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Employer Branding

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Is Your Business’ Marketing Falling Behind?

By Employer Branding, Inbound Marketing, Marketing

It seemed like on January 1st of this year, I woke up to a world that had completely changed.

For businesses hat rely heavily on Google search rankings for revenue—last year’s algorithm changes 
(Panda and Hummingbird)—shocked my business and a handful of our clients and competitorst. I  saw almost everyone’s website rankings tumble. Like mMost businesses, we lost significant traffic and a lot of potential customers. We  never saw this  coming because at the time we were heads down on several retained client projects. Business was good. We had no clue what was going on in the digital marketplace—we were more focused on our clients than our own marketing. In the end we ended up making a classic business mistake.

Determined to not let this kind of thing happen again, we quickly scrambled to figure out how to fix this. And for the record, we weren’t engaged in any kind of “black-hat” tactics that penalized companies like JCPenny and others.  

The reason I’m writing this blog post is because so many business owners and marketers are still unaware of what’s happening in the world of digital marketing and search engine land. Like us, we were too busy to pay attention and to our detriment are still struggling to climb back to the top of the SERPS we once enjoyed.

Consumer behaviors have shifted. Today, the customer is more informed than ever before. Everything is trending towards mobile and social. 90% of every purchase starts with a web search. Are you aware of these trends baby boomers?

In time, your Rolodex and network will begin to dry up and you’ll need to get more customers—regardless of what business you are in. Cold calling today is proven to be less effective than it once was, trades shows are extremely expensive and that email list you purchased may not have performed as well as you had hoped.  

In order to prepare for 2015 and beyond here are three things you can start doing now to prepare.

inbound-marketing-employer-branding1. Inbound marketing


Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time. (Source: Hubspot)

Companies must begin to shift their focus to creating content on a regular basis that will improve their website rankings and that augments their traditional off-line marketing activities. You must attract customers to your website through a combination of outstanding product and service offerings and capture their information through offering remarkable and relevant content. This in turns keeps your search engine rankings high and allows you to participate in social media to a greater degree.  

Check out some of these trends related to inbound marketing (Source: Hubspot):

  • 60% of companies have adopted some element of the inbound marketing methodology into their overall strategy.
  • B2B companies are early to embrace inbound marketing — 65% implemented inbound practices in 2013, while just 46% of B2C companies report doing inbound marketing.
  • 81% of companies report some level of integration between inbound marketing and larger marketing goals.
  • 41% of marketers say inbound marketing produced measurable ROI in 2013.
  • 8% of marketers will increase their inbound marketing budget in 2013 — the 3rd year in a row inbound budgets are increasing at or near a 50% pace.
  • 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly — which, by itself, is still an impressive result.

If you haven’t looked into or considered what inbound marketing can do for your business, you may be at risk of falling behind.

2. Employer branding
For a long time, companies have focused only on their corporate brand—thinking that an attractive brand to their customers would naturally attract the talent they need to meet their “human resources” needs. But according to a recent LinkedIn study that may not be the case any longer: “Talent acquisition has undergone significant changes in recent years, with a fundamental shift in the way that organizations source and engage with talent. “Posting and praying” continues to decline as forward-thinking organization now proactively find and attract the best candidates, even those who aren’t looking for new roles.”

A company’s employer brand is TWICE AS LIKELY to drive job consideration as its company brand.

To remain competitive in this dwindling economy of talent, companies must look at their brand as a two-sided coin—corporate and employer—to maximize their ability to attract the best talent. The companies with the best talent wins.

Investing in employer branding will: 1. Increase consideration of your company, 2. Lower recruiting costs and, 3. Decrease voluntary turnover.

We recently launched a new careers page for our client Nor1: This is an example on how to showcase your companies culture: https://www.nor1.com/careers

If you haven’t looked or considered your employer brand, you may be at risk of falling behind.

3. Customer service
Customer service is said to be the new marketing and for good reason.  Customer service ties my above two points together. To delight your customer you must delight your employees. By delighting your employees, you create happy customer experiences. This is especially true in the retail environment and technical support arenas.

You must also seek to hire your employees and overlay your brand utilizing the employer branding process. In order to truly deliver and connect your brand to your customer on a personal level—companies must begin to devote time to their customer service processes that mix employer branding, marketing and customer service. It’s everyone’s responsibility to be involved in marketing. From the janitor to the CEO.

Check out some of these customer service statistics:

  1. 45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly. (Forrester)
  2. It is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer.  (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
  3. 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. (RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report)
  4. Consumers are 2 times more likely to share their bad customer service experiences than they are to talk about positive experiences.  (2012 Global Customer Service Barometer)
  5. 26% of consumers have experienced being transferred from agent to agent without any resolution of their problem. (2012 Global Customer Service Barometer)
  6. A customer is 4 times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related vs. price or product related. (Bain & Co.)

“Customer service is your primary communication channel with customers. Use it to craft the best perception of your company and your brand. Doing this builds sustainable, profitable relationships with your customers.” — Adii Pienaar, the author of Branding, co-founder of WooThemes, and now founder of PublicBeta.

If you haven’t looked or considered how to improve your customer service processes, you may be at risk of falling behind.

To wrap this up, don’t make the mistakes that so many other companies have made concerning Google algorithm changes. Begin to adopt an inbound marketing methodology to stay in the game. In addition, begin to create and invest in your employer brand to remain competitive in this dwindling economy of talent. Tie inbound marketing, employer branding into stellar customer service to drive your marketing and branding efforts.

 

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

 

Employer Brand

How To Build Your Employer Brand

By Employer Branding

employer branding

I entered Rush and joined a fraternity at the University of Wyoming in 1993. The fraternity I joined was known by everyone as the ‘best’ on campus. They had a reputation for winning consistently year-after-year in intramural sports, having the highest GPA, the most varsity athletes and throwing the best parties. Their reputation attracted almost every able-bodied freshman and not to mention every good-looking sorority girl.

Because of our strong reputation and sense of purpose to be the ‘best ‘— we were able to attract and recruit the best candidates every semester that added to our numbers and bank account. It is commonly known in the Greek world that Rush is the lifeblood of the fraternity. Without a consistent flow of the ‘right’ members, fraternities dry up and are forced to shut down.

Business owners like fraternities — must always be conscience of what kind of members/employees they are attracting, recruiting and retaining. By letting one bad person/ hire in, you risk the reputation and effectiveness of your organization. We live in a world were now one single bad customer experience will be shouted from the rooftops through the 1.1 billion Facebook users or 645 million Twitter users. By having a sound employer branding and talent acquisition strategy, you can avoid a lot of potential bad customer mishaps.

Here are three things you can do now to build a strong employer brand:

1. Create a reputation of excellence

Our fraternity won almost every intramural football, baseball and basketball game every semester for 4 straight years. Our reputation was widely known on campus and naturally attracted the best guys. To attract the best employees, you must also create a reputation of excellence in the marketplace and communities you serve. Product and service aside — this can only be done by hiring the ‘right’ people. Start by looking at your brand and what purpose you serve outside of just making a profit. If your brand were a person, what would it be like? Model your employees after the brand you want to personify. Develop employee personas and the marketing mechanisms like a good careers page to increase your chances of attracting the ideal candidate. Create a culture that allows your ideal employees to thrive. You must also communicate an image of excellence and back it up with your actions. In today’s digital world, 90% of all potential prospects will visit your website or social media network(s) before deciding to apply for an open position. If you do not have a solid website impression then you may be loosing out on attracting the ‘right’ candidate(s). The goal is to have employer brandingthe right person, in the right place at the right time. The natural result will be engagement, team synergy and innovation.

2. Keep the ‘wrong’ people out and let the ‘right’ people in

Trouble began once our house started letting every one in. The ‘wrong people’ forced the ‘right people’ out. We began to suffer academically, athletically and our parties began to suck. The sorority gals began to hang out at other houses and our morale and reputation began to sink. 

It is crucial in your interviewing process to properly assess each and every candidate. You need to have an employer brand strategy in place that allows you to filter the wrong people out and let the right people in. By building a strong employer brand strategy and aligning it with your recruitment processes – your business in time will reap the benefits. It will make your workplace a great place to be and your employees — through good management and leadership processes — will give you their best efforts.

3. Nurture excellence and innovation

Our fraternity was successful all those years because our guys had a sense of purpose to be the ‘best’ and the resources and the talent to do really cool things. For example, we always beat out other fraternities in the coveted homecoming float contest because we had more talent: engineers, architects, pre-med and creative majors. Our members would work tirelessly (without pay – I might add) for weeks to build and design the best homecoming float that equaled the Parade of Roses. When you have talented and engaged employees, everything falls in line and you as a business owner have the ability to take your business to new heights. Most owners spend too much time and attention on balance sheets and how to increase the bottom line. This is important, but the one thing they overlook that can truly impact those things is a sound approach to attracting and hiring the ‘right’ people. Once the ‘right’ people are in place, culture grows organically within the confines of a clear corporate and employer brand strategy.

Employer BrandIf you’ve ever been in a fraternity, this simple example can be applied to your approach on how to best attract, hire and retain the right people for your business. In B2C/customer-facing companies i.e.: banking, credit unions, hospitals, retail, restaurants, service industry, etc., your people are the key differentiator in a marketplace full of identical competitors. Without a strong brand and talent acquisition strategy, you risk the same disorders as my fraternity did.

Earlier this year, the fraternity closed because it failed to keep the ‘wrong’ people out. This story cuts close for a majority of companies today struggling to build great workplace environments, maintain innovation, satisfy customers and attract the ‘right’ talent. A “brand+people” approach will allow organizations today to build a strong corporate and employer brand that reduces turnover costs, attracts talent, fosters a culture of innovation and engages employees.  Contact us for a free 30 minute consultation if you’d like to learn how we can help you maximize your organization’s brand and people.

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands  who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.