1. Focus On The User Experience
Improving user experience has been a focus for several years and will continue in 2018. Many aspects of digital marketing will involve a heavy focus on user experience for staffing agencies moving forward for many years. If you look at the trends from around the web you see it everywhere. Google now tracks user experience metrics for organic activity on your site in order to determine how well you should rank on certain keywords. User experience also drives conversion rates, brand affinity, reputation, applications, and hires. Many aspects of UX relate to website design & layout. However, user experience is much more complicated than menus and chat boxes. Customer experience should also be considered in this and all stages of the funnel should be looked at for ways to improve the candidates overall experience.
2. Content Marketing
Over the last few years, content marketing has grown to become one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. According to a 2017 report by the Content Marketing Institute over 60% of digital marketers reported that content marketing was more effective the previous year. We expect that trend to continue. Content marketing involves creating and distributing relevant content that’s valuable in some way to the reader. For staffing, this could be a resource that provides information or a fun blog that provides entertainment. Choosing the right content to produce requires research, creativity, and a knack for words. However, creating content isn’t enough, you must also distribute it in a way that puts your content in front of readers and potential clients & candidates. Distribution for content is most common on social media but there are dozens of other effective ways to distribute your content.
3. Influencer Marketing
Utilizing the reach of influencers will continue to grow in the staffing industry. While this strategy has been effective in the more progressive circles in marketing for some time, staffing is just now coming around to the concept. There are some unique difficulties associated with influencer marketing that are unique to the staffing & recruitment industry. Harvesting contact information on staffing influencers isn’t the difficult part, building relationships and leveraging those relationships takes time and tact. In 2017 vloggers & bloggers continued to grow in quantity as well as their number of followers. We expect to see that trend continue in 2018.
4. Outreach Marketing
Outreach Marketing is most often described as an aspect of Influencer Marketing (the savvy marketing specialist identifies thought leaders and influencers in their industry and formulates a strategy for reaching out to them, garnering favor and acquiring mentions & links). However, for the staffing industry, outreach marketing deserves it’s own mention, especially for marketing trends in 2018. In the staffing industry, influencers aren’t just individuals. They’re industry associations, organizations, universities, alumni associations, certification services, etc. Expect to see comprehensive outreach campaigns that target these organizations grow in popularity as well as efficacy in 2018.
5. Mobile Apps
Developing your own mobile app isn’t for the faint of heart. There are greater risks & rewards when developing a mobile app compared to other marketing trends for staffing in 2018. Major players in healthcare and tech staffing are already working on these. The apps in development (and in production) provide services for job searching, licensure & credentialing, shift exchanges & shift management, salary calculators, shift check-in, timesheet tracking, traveler resources, and much more. One trend that we expect to see is more staffing agencies compiling their resources into an easy to use app that can be used as a value-add for their candidates.
Staffing agencies have been using storytelling for years, some better than others. The industry has developed a negative reputation as being a cold call, high-pressure sales industry. For this reason, many staffing agencies resort to storytelling to humanize themselves and their candidates. One effective method for this is the “featured traveler” often seen promoted by healthcare staffing companies. Telling the stories of your company and employees is a good start but there’s so much more to storytelling than that. Storytelling can be used in job descriptions, display ads, content marketing, as well as influencer & outreach marketing. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box and tell an interesting story. Also, encourage your clients and candidates to tell their stories. Even go as far as to facilitate a platform for them to do so. Incentivize storytelling and make your company human. Because, if you don’t start doing it in 2018, expect your competitors to tell their stories while you remain a silent cold phone call from an anonymous recruiter.
WordPress will continue to grow in usage as will WordPress plugins that improve staffing websites. WordPress is a great platform for users to create content without requiring an expert understanding of web development and design. Many marketing & design agencies that build websites choose to develop on WordPress because of its flexibility and ease of use. All the resources regarding WordPress we’ve been able to find on trends and predictions emphasize and increase in WordPress usage in 2018. While there are some security concerns relating to WordPress, a capable IT manager or marketing agency should be able to protect you from attacks.
8. Privacy & Security
With all the leaks, hacks and loss of data that’s happened in 2017 we expect to see a greater emphasis on privacy and security of private information in 2018. Most of the burden will rest on the shoulders of your ATS but it will be important to ensure your site and information are secure. You may also want to emphasize security in your marketing efforts. Creating doubt in the minds of clients and candidates that other staffing agencies are careless with their private information is probably going too far. But if you promote the fact that you’ve gone to great efforts to make sure their information is secure, that could go a long way. Especially with a candidate that is careful about this sort of thing. We recommend going about it carefully, within a cohesive content marketing strategy.
9. Coordinated Marketing Campaigns
The lines of SEO, Social and Content Marketing will blur. The truth is that the lines have been blurring for a while now. And that’s a good thing. Social media, content marketing and search engine optimization are all so closely related now that it makes sense to coordinate your efforts with a cohesive campaign. The link building strategy you use will involve your content marketing strategy. Meanwhile, your link building strategy will actually be an awareness campaign centered around social media mentions. We expect to see more marketing directors pushing for more comprehensive campaigns. We also expect to see agencies like Staffing Nerd offering more coordinated services for staffing agencies in 2018.
Expect to see more savvy marketers creating videos for their staffing agencies. Video marketing allows for great storytelling and opens up new advertising opportunities. With remarketing on Adwords you’re able to target youtube channels and advertise to candidates who have visited your job details pages without converting. In 2018 we expect to see more staffing agencies reintroduce candidates into their funnel with video remarketing ads. There are many ways to execute an effective video marketing campaign. Youtube alone will be a major player. Other strategies aside, Youtube alone boasts ridiculous statistics. As of January 2018, there were over 1.3 billion Youtube users, nearly 5 billion videos were watched every day (1 billion of which were on mobile), the site gets over 30 million daily visitors, and there are over 3 billion hours of video watched every month.
Personalizing the user experience of your candidates will have a big impact on retention and brand loyalty. Personalized job alerts, good quality recruiting experiences and personalized recommendations are a few great ways to incorporate personalization into your marketing efforts. Moving forward clients and candidates will grow to expect a more personalized experience. We expect to see staffing agencies accommodating them in 2018.
Candidate engagement will be big in 2018 with more staffing agencies opting for chat services and chatbots. This strategy is made easier with websites built on the WordPress content management system. Several third-party developers have produced sophisticated chatbot plugins for WordPress that your staffing company can utilize in 2018 to increase engagement, time on site, and other user experience metrics.
Learn how to capitalize on 2018’s digital marketing trends for your staffing agency