No one talks about it. But Marketing and Human Resources need each other to succeed. Here are four areas where marketing can assist HR, and vice versa.
Most companies need talented employees now. But marketing involvement is often limited to ordering the “Now Hiring” signs and making sure positions get posted on the website or social media.
Marketing can do more. Like rewriting “now hiring” to make it more sexy. Making job descriptions more appealing. Creating point-of-purchase material that entices and excites. Rethinking the website to bring talent recruitment to the fore. Or using social media to share company culture.
Robust recruitment marketing has a side benefit of increasing retention. Find passionate employees and let marketing create videos of them talking about what they love about their jobs. Share those on your website and social media – and encourage your team to like and share.
Actively look for ways to hold up team member achievements and successes — on social media but also at the point of purchase and in employee emails and communications — with the spotlight squarely on those top performers and their accomplishments.
It may not seem like a marketing function, but finding fun and innovative ways to share goals and wins is a sure way to engage your team.
There’s the classic story of the company owner who took a piece of chalk and wrote on the shop floor, in huge numerals, the number of units his day shift had produced. Nothing else. When those workers came in the next morning, they found it replaced by the night shift with the much bigger number they had produced. It was on. And productivity and pride soared. That’s marketing.
Let marketing and HR brainstorm inventive ways to display goals where the team members responsible for meeting those targets can see them. Find equally compelling ways to show progress toward them — and to celebrate reaching each.
A brand stands or falls on how well employees deliver on the brand promise. The more ways HR can find to instill the mission and accountability into everything from the hiring process to ongoing training and support, the stronger the brand will become and the more effective every marketing initiative will be.
Whether for a print ad, a website, a radio spot, a brochure, a TV spot, a digital ad, an email, a video or something else, there are five factors that mark great copy.
Our brains have been retrained. Texts and tweets and TV have shortened our attention spans. So short copy gets read Long copy doesn’t. Trim ruthlessly. Short words. Short sentences. Short paragraphs. Get in. Get out.
Great copy takes the customer’s point of view. Show me you understand my problems. Feel my pain. Share my joy. But make it about me.
Nothing sticks in your brain like the unexpected. That’s why surprise works so well in copy. And humor is the best surprise — real humor that makes you smile or chuckle. That kind of copy doesn’t just get a reaction. It gets shared.
Too much copy uses logic to persuade. But forget the head for awhile. Aim for the heart. Conjure up the emotions you want the customer to feel. Contentment. Frustration. Joy. Longing. Nostalgia. Engage the heart, and the head will follow. (And yes, this includes B2B copy. Because business owners are people, too.)
Lose the jargon. Seriously. How simply and clearly can you say what you do and how you help? Look over every sentence that takes your message into the world. Is it clear? Is it helpful? Is it necessary?
If you can inject those five ingredients into all of the copy you’re using to reach prospects and customers, you’ll reach a lot more, and they’ll retain a lot more. And that means you’ll sell a lot more.
If you want to keep a prospect’s attention long enough to turn them into customers, there are three important things you have to do — three steps that make the whole process easier.
Find Your Prospect’s Pain.
What problem does your prospect have? It could be pain they’re well aware of, or pain they’re oblivious to, because they don’t know any different. It could be pain from not using services like yours, or pain from using a competitor who isn’t delivering on what they promised.
And don’t get too literal about that word “pain.” Think more broadly. What annoys them. What exasperates them? What wears them out? What takes too long? What feels impersonal? What doesn’t work as intended?
As clearly as possible, define all the kinds of pain your prospect has to endure without you.
Agitate Those Pain Points.
Remind your prospect of their pain in vivid ways. If they’re unaware of it, demonstrate it to them. Show them what they’re missing. If they know about it already, amplify it.
Share details. How is it hurting your prospect when they don’t use you? What are they giving up? What are they putting up with? What sucks? Poke that wound. Agitate that pain.
Offer Your Pain Relief.
Only after you’ve shown the prospect that you understand their pain, and only after you remind them how much it hurts, offer them the relief that only you can provide.
Show them how you eliminate their pain. Let them see how much better — how painless — life can be when they’re using you. Better yet, use testimonials and let your own customers tell them.
Easy As 1,2,3.
Understand your prospects’ pain and remind them of it. Agitate and amplify it. Then show them how you spell relief.
If you follow that simple formula — on your website, in your video, in your ad, in your email — you’ll generate more leads and convert more of those to customers.
(And if you could use a hand, Idealogy’s Allen Howie is the Louisville region’s only Storybrand Certified Guide. Call 812-399-1400 or reply to this email to find out how he can help you relieve your prospects’ pain — and your own, too!)
The average professional spends about 13 hours a week reading and responding to email. So if you want to cut through that thicket, watch these seven factors.
Inform and Sell
Alternate emails between those that give the reader valuable information and those that sell what you do. Think about answering the “how to” question in either case — “how to boost your _____ results” or “how to cut your _____ bill in half.”
The 50% Subject Line Rule
Spend half your content creation time perfecting your subject lines. If your email doesn’t get opened, it doesn’t get read. Powerful subject lines get emails opened. Use numbers. Ask questions. Keep it short. Use punchy language.
Try different kinds of content and pay attention to what works for you. Is it a quick video? An article? A chart or infographic? A “how to” pdf? Experiment to see what performs best, but keep mixing it up.
Calls to Action
Think beyond open and click-through rates. What do you want your reader to do? Tell them. Buy now. Get a free sample. Schedule an appointment. Download the free guide. Give your reader something to do.
Trim and Grow
Have a continuous process for building your list and stay on top of it. Prune that list regularly. Get rid of names tied to bounces, or those who go a certain amount of time without ever opening one of your emails.
Involve Prospects and Customers
Ask readers what they want. As a part of your regular conversations, ask what kinds of emails they find themselves opening. What do they need to know more about? How can you help?
Share your email content across your social media platforms. Share your social media links in every email. Share other people’s relevant posts with your connections, but not too often — the best content is always yours.
Email remains a powerful, cost-effective way to drive awareness and sales. And there’s a lot more you can do to amp yours up. Call us today to find out how we can help you max out your email ROI.
There are lots of ways to miss the potential of social media for your company. Here are four of the biggest to avoid.
Hiring the Wrong Person.
Just because someone is active on their own personal social media — even if they’re wildly engaging — doesn’t mean they can do the same for your company. If they don’t really understand your business — and more importantly, your customers — it’s unlikely they’ll post the kind of content that will truly resonate with them and move them closer to a purchase.
Here’s the good news. There’s probably somebody who already works for you who knows you and your customers well and who would like the opportunity to start handling your social media. They get an opportunity to do something different and earn a bit more, and you get a much higher chance that your content will hit the mark. If that won’t work, consider hiring an agency or a professional to manage your social media accounts.
Now Hiring. Again.
If you’re constantly posting open positions you’re trying to fill, you’re either saying that you’re short-handed, or that you have a lot of turnover. In either case, it suggests that you’re having some internal challenges, and that the service you’re providing right now may not be great.
Should you use social media for recruiting? Absolutely. But try positioning your postings as signposts of growth. Use testimonials from existing employees to talk about what a great place yours is to work. And post plenty of other kinds of content so it doesn’t seem like you’re always looking for help.
Same Old Same Old.
Take a look at your posts from the last three months. If they’re all pretty much the same kind of content (“congratulations to or team for doing ____”) the chances that your audience is paying attention are getting slim. You need to be helping them, informing them or entertaining them — and ideally all three — every step of the way.
The cure? Take time to build a content calendar that really mixes things up — and stick to it. Schedule lots of different kinds of posts, with a focus on what interests your customers the most.
Always Be Closing. Or Not.
If you’re using social media only to sell what you do and promote how awesome you are, with pictures of your team doing exciting things, it’s pretty unlikely to move the needle for your brand.
Instead, make your customers the star. Ask them questions. Tell their stories. Share their posts. Like their content. Show how their lives or businesses are better because of their connection to you. Check your analytics to see which posts seem to catch on — and create more like them.
Social media is a fantastic tool, but like all tools, you get more out of it when you really know how to use it. Use yours well.
In marketing, we usually think that the more people we can reach, the better. But when it comes to the lists you’re using, going big may not be the best strategy.
It may seem counterintuitive, but with email or direct mail, you should almost always try to trim your lists. Here’s why.
Especially with direct mail, each prospect you reach costs you money. So it makes sense to focus your list on your best prospects — those who:
- Are most likely to have the problem you solve or who want what you provide
- Are most likely to buy
- Have the highest potential to generate long-term / lifetime value
- You can serve cost-effectively and profitably
Think about your best customers or clients — those who meet the above criteria. What do you know about them?
If they’re individual consumers, what’s their annual income or net worth? Where do they live? How old are they? Are they college educated? Do they have kids? How old? What else?
If they’re businesses, how big are they? What’s their annual revenue? How many employees do they have? What industries are they in? Where are they located? How long have they been around? Who’s your contact?
Now look at building or refining your list around more people or businesses who fit those criteria. These are the prospects you’re more likely to convert.
Keeping your mailing lists more focused means you’re not paying to deliver your message to those who are less likely to buy. Keeping your email list under control means fewer bounces and higher open and click-through rates. In both cases, your response rate goes up and costs go down.
So if you’re using these two powerful marketing tools, amplify their value by tightening up your lists. And be sure to use your website to offer visitors something of value in exchange for their email address.
(And if you could use a hand building those lists or crafting a message that creates engagement and response, call Idealogy at 812-399-1400 or email email@example.com to get started.)