GUEST POST: echogravity’s ‘Ultimate Guide’ to Marketing Your Best of Staffing® Award Published by Kevin O'Brien - February 22, 2018 Most staffing leaders I talk to these days would agree that the industry is undergoing a momentous shift in how we do business. It’s a change driven by talent shortages, technology and automation, and generational flux. But at the heart of the industry, no matter how much it evolves, we’re still all about people. Nowhere is this more obvious than when you win a Best of Staffing® award – which is based purely on the feedback of your clients and candidates. If you’re one of the less than 2% of US staffing firms to win ClearlyRated’s 2018 Best of Staffing Award, you probably feel honored to know that the people you work with truly believe in the value of your company. It’s an award to be proud of. But now that you’ve won, what happens next? Our best advice: don’t treat a Best of Staffing Award like an adrenaline shot, a quick, feel-good boost to morale but unsupported by a long-term plan. I see too many companies with little to no strategy behind applying for or winning industry awards. A win feels awesome, momentarily inspires your team, and may even create some short-term traction in attracting a new client or candidate. But when the shine wears off, there’s no lasting significance. You worked hard to earn this award, and its greatest impact will be seen through long-term strategy. For more guidance on marketing your Best of Staffing Award, keep reading. Internal Employee Awareness Your employees should be excited about a Best of Staffing Award. After all, they’re the ones interacting with clients and candidates, so survey responses are a direct reflection of their efforts. Your goal, then, should be to educate your teams of salespeople and recruiters about the award and how to use it. Your announcement might be verbal or via email, but either way it’s time to spark enthusiasm by using tangible statistics, scores, testimonials, and shout outs from the survey results. Ensure they understand their own role in helping your company to win this award. Share your plans to market your Best of Staffing Award with your employees. They will be instrumental in helping to spread awareness through social media, email, phone calls, and more. Recruiters and salespeople can also use the Best of Staffing Award as a differentiator in their conversations with prospective candidates and clients. Help them find the most effective way to do that with email or call scripts, sample social media posts, and updated sales collateral. Finally, it’s always fun to celebrate this win with your employees – recognizing their hard work and thanking them for their efforts – by rewarding them in some way. A catered office lunch? A fun outing? You decide (or let them)! Content Marketing We’re big believers in the power of content marketing for staffing firms. Providing value to your audience through articles, whitepapers, ebooks, and more will position your firm as a leader and resource in the industry. Great content marketing is built on a robust strategy, and part of that strategy should certainly include employer branding… which is where your ClearlyRated Best of Staffing Award comes in. A press release is the first step. Fortunately, ClearlyRated provides a template you can use and customize to get this piece of content out there quickly. Publish your press release using a tool like PRWeb, where it will be sent to local and national news outlets, and share it via social media, email, and your blog feed. But don’t stop there. If your brand will benefit from recognition in the local community, reach out to local and regional business publications to pitch the award as a story that’s important to their audience. Or, if you have the budget to build awareness of your Best of Staffing win, consider taking out a sponsored ad placement to share the news and direct readers’ next steps with a strategic call-to-action. Beyond the initial PR push, it’s time to get creative with your content marketing. Employer branding-focused blogs that highlight your Best of Staffing Award could include fun employee spotlights, summaries of team activities or philanthropic events, or even a good old “letter from the CEO.” Read more on how to become a thought leader here. Finally, brainstorm some articles that support your services, explore industry trends, or answer typical client or candidate questions. You could write about how staffing firms can help companies overcome talent shortage or how to find a recruiter that’s really worth working with. Both of these examples deliver valuable information to your audience while providing an opportunity to show how a staffing firm with a Best of Staffing Award – like yours – can genuinely help your audience. Remember to keep tabs on your content marketing metrics so you can evaluate how well articles are doing and what to improve in future pieces. Social Media Marketing Using social media to market your Best of Staffing Award is essential to your long-term strategy. It’s how you’ll create brand awareness, lead traffic to your website, and build a network of followers who can, in turn, help generate leads. First, be aware that there’s a lot of noise out there. Getting your voice heard on social networks requires strategy and long-term commitment. Sharing the initial news of your award on social media will be exciting, but you have to think long-term if you want it to gain any traction in establishing your company as a leader in the industry. Don’t be afraid to plaster your social profiles with the ClearlyRated Best of Staffing logos and badges – they’re eye-catching and provide that extra level of credibility. Share your press releases and blog posts on a regular basis, and encourage your employees to do the same. Explore which pieces of content might be worth sponsoring for an extra boost in engagement. Photos of your team celebrating the win will show your human side and will almost always be popular posts. Bonus points for creating “memes” that highlight statistics and testimonials from your Best of Staffing survey results. Beyond the news of your award, keep active in your social presence by sharing industry articles on current trends or news, re-sharing status updates from other industry leaders and peers, and interacting on discussions that are happening in your network. Make sure your team of salespeople and recruiters are equipped in social media marketing best practices, too. Ultimately, these practices will keep your company and its employees top of mind with current and prospective clients and candidates, boosting overall brand awareness and establishing credibility. Other Places to Market Your Best of Staffing Award Internal awareness, content marketing, and social media marketing will make up the cornerstones of your award marketing strategy. Another integral piece of the puzzle will be a robust, on-going email campaign to help you nurture and convert your leads. All of these marketing strategies will take concentrated effort that may require a dedicated team member or outsourced marketing partner. But you can also take care of some less formidable tactics yourself: be sure to use ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing logo on your website and your email signatures; include testimonials from the survey results on your website; use ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing banner image on your social profiles; thank clients and candidates personally for their feedback via email or phone; and include mention of the award in your job advertisements. Congratulations on winning ClearlyRated’s 2018 Best of Staffing Award! Are you ready to tell the world? Echogravity can help you out. Check out our Best of Staffing Marketing Programs to find the best approach for your business.