The sales game has changed. The days of heavy reliance on cold calls, paid advertisements, and direct mailers are gone. Now, customers have access to an endless world of information on the Internet, making their own purchase decisions before ever stepping foot in a store. Buyers are now barricaded, equipped, and armed with the powerful weapon of knowledge. Now they call the shots. Outbound marketing tactics are just not as successful as they once were, and companies now have to figure out how to reach prospects without spending valuable time, money, and extraneous resources.
This new approach of using the Internet to attract and connect with customers is referred to as inbound marketing. Inbound marketing consists of transitioning a company’s website from a “static brochure” to an online sales tool where businesses provide valuable content designed to answer questions and offer solutions. A strong online presence is now essential for firms to reach their target audience. Using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, social media, blogging, email marketing and public relations to mutually support your content-rich website will help boost brand awareness and drive sales.
Inbound marketing is an effective approach for the staffing industry. I recently came across a case study conducted Grass Roots Marketing, Inc. (GRM), examining the current usage of inbound marketing tactics for U.S. staffing agencies. The review specifically reports the website grades and social media platform activity of 233 staffing firms identified as members of the American Staffing Association (ASA) as well as 25 of the best staffing firms in the U.S. as indicated by research and SIA.
Key takeaways the case study reported are:
– Only 8% of the top 25 staffing agencies in the U.S. and 18% of the 233 staffing agencies are blogging directly on their website or on a blogging platform easily findable through search engines. Although blogging is proven to improve SEO, most staffing companies are not using this tactic.
– While all 100% of the top 25 staffing agencies had a company LinkedIn profile, 82% of the 233 staffing agencies had a company page.
– In terms of Facebook usage, 68% of the top 25 staffing agencies had an active Facebook page while 60% of the 233 agencies had a profile.
– While 64% of the top 25 staffing agencies had a Twitter page, only 52% of the 233 agencies had a profile.
The top 25 staffing agencies in the U.S. have more consistently leveraged the usage of inbound marketing tools than the 233 staffing agencies. Based on size and access to resources and funds, it is sensible that the top 25 staffing agencies in the U.S. would be early adopters of innovative online marketing techniques.
What This Means
In nearly every inbound category analyzed, the top 25 staffing agencies in the U.S. are leading the 233 staffing agencies. Staffing agencies of all sizes should be effectively using inbound marketing tools to strengthen their online presence. The case study demonstrates that staffing agencies stand to gain by improving their website grades and social media prominence.
Inbound marketing levels the playing field for small companies vs. large enterprises. Now, small and medium size businesses do not have to shell out thousands of dollars to compete. Inbound marketing is a cost effective solution to promote your company that will resonate with audiences and increase WOM. Staffing agencies should be shifting their focus to connecting with their target audience through online methods. By providing useful content on an optimized website and nurturing leads through social media and inbound tactics, staffing organizations can increase brand awareness and generate sales.
Megan Curth is the Marketing Coordinator of Automated Business Designs, Inc., software developer of Ultra-Staff staffing software for the staffing and direct hire industry. Ultra-Staff is a staffing software business solution with components for front office, back office and the web. Megan’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.abd.net or follow us onTwitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.