Do You Know What Your Target Audience Is Looking For?
Target on sight! Market research is a great way to understand your target audience and to ultimately boost your staffing firm brand, but how do you go about gathering relevant data? Should you create focus groups or simply distribute surveys to your current clients and candidates? What about hosting informal networking events? Whether your plan is to conduct primary research or to locate results from existing secondary research, market research is an integral part of gaining insight into your target audience and discovering what is important to them.
The first fundamental step in any staffing firm market research effort must always be to draft a basic outline of what you already know, or at least what you think you know, about your target audience. Assemble your sales and marketing teams and begin to create two distinct marketing personas. Start with what you know about your current clients and internalize who your ideal client would be. Is there a specific industry that you are focused on? What size company do you hope to attract, and what job titles within the company hold the hiring power? Are you restricted to a certain geographical area, or do you have more flexibility due to your multiple office locations? Next, look at your current talent pool. Are you happy with what you see, or is there room for improvement? Are your clients satisfied with candidates’ skill sets, or do you need to locate applicants with different backgrounds? Once you have molded your basic client and candidate personas, it’s time to dig a little deeper.
Let’s face it, times have changed. Due to the competitive nature of the staffing industry, recycling the same marketing approach that you have used in the past is not going to cut it. In order to stay ahead of the game, gather market research on industry trends and recent changes in the hiring cycle. Learn as much as possible about today’s college graduates and study how they approach their careers. What issues are important to your clients and candidates, and how are you going to meet their needs? In order to build strong relationships with your target audience and ultimately build your brand, you must invest time into getting to know who they are.
Get Inside Their Heads
What do clients and candidates expect from your recruiting and sales teams? How heavily do long-term career goals or company culture factor into an applicant’s decision to accept a position? What priorities are more important than a big paycheck or a flashy title? Are your ideal clients and candidates more likely to pay attention to brief videos and infographics, or are they searching for more substantive articles or case studies? Which social media platforms are preferred by your target audience, and what marketing messages are going to attract their attention? In order to really get inside their heads, you need to find these answers through a staffing firm market research effort.
Get to the Point
Now that you have a good idea of what types of individuals make up your target audience and how they think, it’s time to get to the point. How is your staffing firm going to help candidates to be successful in their careers? What is it about your talent pool that makes your placements a better choice for clients? Do you know what stresses out potential clients and candidates? Have you identified the important factors that go into their decisions? In order to realize ROI from your staffing firm market research effort, you must use your data to create a campaign that carefully explains how you are going to solve their problems.
Get Your SEO Updated
In addition to discovering what makes your target audience tick, you must actively monitor online forums and find out what they are talking about. Compile lists of common subjects, and pay particular attention to those areas that are not being adequately served. Armed with this data, begin to update your website so that engines give preference to your site. By differentiating your staffing firm and highlighting your abilities, you are going to establish your firm as an industry leader. Carefully select keywords and phrases that users identify with your staffing niche. Rather than trying to be a jack of all trades, show clients and candidates what you are bringing to the table by accurately representing your staffing firm online. Draw them to your website with helpful, relevant content, and monitor your SEO analytics regularly in order to stay on top of any potential red flags.
- Create marketing personas to help your team identify with potential clients and candidates
- Keep in mind that times have changed and be open to new approaches
- Get inside the heads of your target audience and find out what makes them tick
- Use market research to create a campaign that solves their problems
- Update your website keywords and content so that search engines give preference to your site
About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.