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Let Your Expertise Shine - Parqa Marketing

Brand Credibility Part 6 of 6: Show or Tell – Let Your Expertise Shine!

One thing staffing and recruiting agencies know better than anybody is the difference between simply working and actually getting the job done.

When it comes to your brand, you could be working hard and doing everything right by:

  • Starting from the ground up, creating a brand guide complete with all the elements of a cohesive brand that defines your agency
  • Taking the time to define what you do and who you serve
  • Log hours creating and broadcasting consistent messaging that resonates with your audience
  • Build credibility by living into your company values every day

So how could it be, after all this time and hard work, this strategy still might not move the needle? 

We’re wrapping up our 6-part series on brand credibility with one of the most crucial elements to building credibility: demonstrating your expertise.

Read on to learn about how demonstrating your expertise could be the most important ingredient to your brand strategy, the final step in building credibility and creating a winning and successful brand.

Expertise Puts the “-ability” in “Brand Credibility”

Can your staffing and recruiting agency solve persistent and complex employment problems for your partners? Of course you can! But how?

Simply telling your audience that you can create employment solutions and help their businesses grow is a good start. But stopping there accomplishes very little. It might be good news that you can create employment solutions, but unfortunately, your audience is less likely to choose your agency simply because you say you’re up to the challenge.

Your audience is looking for more than lip service. They’re looking for themselves in your content. Ideally, they’re looking for a story or a challenge similar to their own, like finding and hiring job seekers in a candidate-driven market. They’re looking for the solution you (and only you) can provide and how it not only solved the problem but was the beginning of a years-long, mutually beneficial partnership

When you demonstrate your agency’s expertise, you demonstrate a clear ability to get the job done. Only those agencies who can clearly demonstrate proven results will attract the most clients and job seekers. 

Why Demonstrating Expertise Can Be a Tricky Business

Expertise is like salt. Too little or too much can spoil a recipe.

In the same way, demonstrating your expertise can be a tricky business. Modesty in marketing is always good. On the other hand, leaning too heavily into your expertise, and you risk blurring the line between genuine enthusiasm for your work, and bragging.

The balance in developing and delivering just the right mix of expertise often comes down to subjective unknowables, like:

  • Intuition to know what content works the best
  • An ability to read an audience
  • Tactfulness in how or where you tell those stories
  • A moral compass to guide how much or how little to highlight your successes

Once you can create the right strategy, showing your work – from your process, successes, and even your mistakes – can build a potent back catalogue of expertise that is supported by the emotional weight of genuine storytelling.

Broadcasting Expertise With Your Digital Marketing Strategy

At Parqa, helping staffing and recruiting agencies demonstrate their industry experience is one of our favorite things to do. Nothing moves the needle like telling your story through authentic, relevant stories on platforms like your website, social media, email campaigns, and many more. 

When it comes to your online marketing goals, we believe there’s an opportunity to leverage every digital platform available to broadcast your industry expertise. Here are some of the key  tools and strategies we use to highlight your industry expertise in your marketing mix: 

1. SEO

Primarily a tool to increase your agency’s brand awareness and direct more traffic to your site – a key SEO strategy can make your agency rank higher in search results. The search engines which deem those higher-ranking sites to be the most authoritative sources in their industry or subject matter will make them more visible to consumers who will then associate your company with industry expertise.

2. Social Media

Not just for pictures of the office dogs. Using your social media platforms to create engaging and useful content, interact with your target audience and answer their questions is a great way to promote your staffing and recruiting agency and a powerful tool in demonstrating your expertise.

3. Blogging and Guest Blogging

What better way to demonstrate your staffing and recruiting know-how than to share or interpret industry information, trends, and interesting articles? Actively blogging and contributing blogs to other sites not only keeps visitors coming back to your site, but is also a great way to position yourself as a modern and savvy staffing and recruiting business.

4. Reviews and Testimonials

Reviews and testimonials are the physical evidence of your industry expertise. Publishing your feedback from clients and employees to your website is a key strategy to adding their powerful endorsement directly to your site. But you shouldn’t stop there. Responding to positive and even negative reviews on Google or Glass Door is not only mature and thoughtful but demonstrates your commitment to following through on your commitment to excellence. 

5. Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is often not the foremost strategy in promoting industry expertise. But nowhere is word-of-mouth and strong relationships more powerful than in staffing and recruiting. When you go above and beyond to create a customer experience that is second to none, you’re laying the groundwork for associating your strong brand with positive, uplifting experiences.

6. Case Studies

What better way to demonstrate your expertise than by telling a true story about a real client, with a real challenge, and a real strategy that accomplished real results? These should be editorially written with plenty of data to support the outcome. It’s even better when you can get an authentic testimonial from your client at that specific organization to speak sincerely about the great experience they had with your firm. 

It’s okay if creating a digital marketing plan that leverages all of these powerful tools sounds like a tall order. That’s where a digital marketing agency can help.

Entrusting your content strategy to a marketing agency – especially one that specializes in serving staffing agencies and recruiting firms – might be the best business goal you can set.

Everything Your Staffing/Recruiting Agency Needs to Know About Brand Credibility

Branding, maintaining your brand credibility, and demonstrating your industry expertise is an ongoing process. It’s one that takes attention to detail, savvy and consistent commitment.

For everything you need to know about brand credibility and the importance of your agency’s most powerful tool, check out our previous five episodes here:

  1. The Set-Up: Brand Messaging for Staffing and Recruiting Agencies
  2. The Follow-Through: Living Into Your Company Values
  3. Brand Your Way Out of the Summer Slowdown
  4. How Messaging Can Resonate or Repel Clients and Candidates
  5. The Core Components of a Brand Foundation

At Parqa, we’re big believers in the power of branding. We want your staffing and recruiting agency to be empowered to create and sustain a powerful brand.

We’d love to help you create content and a strategy that will:

  • Project the trust and reassurance that is so critical to your industry
  • Establish your agency as the leading expert
  • Help you to rise above your competitors
  • Create and nurture leads
  • Ultimately, grow your business

For everything you need to create industry expertise and brand credibility for your staffing and recruiting firm, contact us today!

The Core Components of a Brand Foundation

Brand Credibility Part 5 of 6: The Core Components of a Brand Foundation

We’ve all heard plenty of marketing jargon related to branding:

“That is so on-brand.”

“Their branding is incredibly strong.”

“I love their look and feel.”

But what does it mean to actually be on-brand? How can you know whether your brand is clearly identified and boldly deployed? At Parqa, we like to say that marketing is how you communicate about your product or service. Branding, however, is how you make someone feel when they encounter your brand.

Your Brand’s Core Components

Whether you’re a talented creative professional or someone who knows absolutely nothing about design (or even marketing in general!), this article will bring you the core framework that constitutes a brand.

Your Brand Logo

This is the primary icon or symbol that represents your brand in the marketplace. Since your logo is the very first piece of your brand that a user will see, it is incredibly important to get it right. There are many different kinds of logos including:

  1. Lettermark: This is exactly what it sounds like. The letters in the name make up the logo itself. (Think: HBO, IBM)
  2. Wordmark: This is also fairly straight-forward: The entire word is the logo. (Think: Coca-Cola, Google)
  3. Pictorial mark: This type of logo is a standalone icon without any words accompanying the logo design. (think: Apple, Target, Twitter)
  4. Abstract mark: This is a specific type of pictorial logo, but instead of a recognizable object, it’s more of an abstract, geometric shape or icon. (Think: Pepsi, BP)
  5. Mascot logo: This is a type of logo where the mascot is the logo itself. (Think: KFC, Kool-Aid)
  6. Combination Mark: This logo includes an image and the words in one combined graphic. (Think: MasterCard, Pizza Hut)
  7. Emblem: This version is very similar to both the Pictorial and the Combination mark, but the unique difference is that the words fit inside of the emblem itself. (Think: Starbucks Coffee, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles)

Your Tagline

A tagline is a brief, memorable phrase that is used to support your brand throughout your marketing efforts. It should communicate the primary sentiment or feeling you would like people to associate with your company, brand or service. Here are a few examples to get the creative juices flowing:

  • “Have it your way.”
  • “Just do it.”
  • “Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks.”
  • “I’m lovin’ it.”

Your Mission & Values

Whether you want to categorize these as separate elements within the brand strategy, or group them into one, it is mission-critical to your brand that you have these elements clearly identified. Your mission statement is a brief 1-2 sentence statement about why you exist in the marketplace and what you aim to bring to the world through your product or service. Your core values are the primary pillars that your business stands on, and that your employees and team members embody in the day-to-day. These help you create a culture and a driving force for what you truly stand for in the world.

Color Palette

Every brand must have an approved color palette, as it is a crucial part of building a successful identity as a company. The colors, shades and hues you include should have a “why” behind them, as well as rules and guidelines for how they are deployed (Think: primary, secondary, tertiary, accent, etc.). You want to have a base color, an accent color, and a couple of neutral colors that encompass your color palette. See some examples here:

Color Palette Examples

Font Selection

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing fonts, but there are important guardrails and guidelines to help you pick one that will work for your brand. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure you select a font that matches your brand’s personality. It should be unique and memorable, legible, and communicate your brand’s personality. Serif fonts are thought to be classical, traditional and trustworthy, while sans-serif fonts are more modern, clean and help create minimalistic look-and-feel. Whatever you do, choose one that makes sense with who you are as a company.

Your Personality

Once you choose your brand personality, you may find many other components of your brand fall into place – like your brand colors, font and tagline. That is why establishing your brand’s personality should be one of the first steps you take in creating your brand.

Begin by choosing 3-5 character traits about your brand that clearly communicate who you are in the marketplace, what sets you apart, and what makes you, you. Here are a few personality clusters as examples. What most clearly resonates with your brand?  

  1. Energetic, cutting-edge, passionate
  2. Calm, Approachable, helpful
  3. Formal, inclusive, trustworthy
  4. Cheerful, playful, sincere

Your Brand’s Voice & Tone

Your brand voice is the distinct personality your company or brand takes on in all of its communications. If voice is what you say, tone is how you say it. They should fall hand-in-hand with the Brand Personality you’ve identified (above).

Graphics & Iconography

Graphic elements or iconography are the little details that help deploy a brand. These patterns, gradients, overlays and icons help to build an entire system within your brand that is consistent and clearly recognizable.

Your brand’s graphics and Icons can be hand-drawn textures, line style treatments, background patterns, usage of white space and/or color blocks, or curated shapes. Are you a company that uses hard edges and geometric patterns to communicate innovation and modernism? Or are you wanting rounded edges that communicate synergistic, cause-and-effect relationships? There should be a why behind all the graphics and icons that are created or developed to visually express your brand.

Brand Guide

Your brand guide should be an internal document that, while it is not a separate entity or component to your brand, is a holistic, all-inclusive guide that outlines exactly how your brand should and should not be deployed.

All of the above elements outlined in numbers 1-8 live inside this centralized document. Your brand guide should be shared with everyone that touches your marketing or branding materials of any kind – whether they’re working on your website, your social media accounts, your event booths, fact sheets, or anything else in between. Think of this document as a how-to guide for your brand. 

Need Branding for Your Staffing & Recruiting Agency? We can Help!

Moral of the story? There are a lot of important factors that go into brand strategy, and it’s incredibly important to get it right. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to me personally on LinkedIn or get in touch with the branding experts for staffing and recruiting companies at Parqa Marketing here.

Brand Strategy | #LearnWithParqa

Brand strategy has emerged as one of the most important business imperatives for staffing firms in 2021. In this week’s episode, Chanel and Kelli lay out the 3 most fundamental components of a successful brand strategy.

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