The primary focus of any marketing strategy should be to build brand awareness, drive engagement, increase traffic, and generate revenue through marketing and lead generation activities. You want to set your organization up for success by performing strategic marketing initiatives to frequently engage members, draw in jobseekers, and get employers’ paid jobs on your job board before anyone else.
So, how do you build a reputation and brand that resonates with members?
Don’t do random acts of marketing. Set your goals early, write them down, and evaluate them often. Things that may have been important in January may have fizzled out because of economic conditions, new technology or changing priorities. Consider the following:
1. Know your audience. Your membership consists of everyone from early careerists to those who are planning for retirement. Knowing the different demographics and personas (wants, needs, goals, etc.) of your members will help you market your career center in a much more effective way.
2. Identify trending topics. Whether looking within your industry, geographic region, or at the world in general, you should look for ways you can capitalize on what’s trending. Communicating the latest news and resources to your members shows that your association is an industry leader and understands what is important to them.
3. Lay out a marketing plan. Look at ways that you can create efficiencies in your marketing efforts. You do need a written marketing plan even if it’s just bare bones, such as writing down, “Here are five things I’m going to do in Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4.” Commit your marketing plan to paper and look at where gaps may exist, where you’re doing two things when you could be doing one, etc.
4. Think outside of the box. There are so many ways that you can connect with your audience, and at the end of the day, your association is still people trying to connect with other people. What unique messaging have you seen from other brands that resonate with you? How can your association create a reputation that is distinctive from others in your industry?
5. Create content that tells a story. How does your organization use the tools and technology at your disposal to connect? Assets such as video testimonials, case studies, GIFs, and infographics are great storytelling tools. Think about what content catches YOUR attention and makes you want to find out more – then mimic it. How can you create a more emotional connection? Consider highlighting members who have gotten jobs through your career center and telling their stories so others can envision themselves landing that great next career and being the featured member!
6. Build out an interesting design. Ensure your association’s website and career center are fresh, modern, and interesting to look at. Your organization’s branding should be aligned with your association career center branding to allow for a seamless user experience. Be sure to highlight networking opportunities, available CAE courses, and upcoming events on prime areas of the job board homepage.
7. Utilize the power of social media and SEO. Mastering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for improved Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking means a better digital ranking and more traffic for your brand. Organizations can reach both members (jobseekers) and employers by promoting their career center online and building their brand among the 3.2 billion people on social media globally. Learn what platform your members are the most engaged on, and update your status at least once a week, linking back to the career center.
8. Dig into the data. You want to make better informed and strategic decisions for your association – but you probably have a ton of data you’re not even using. How can you create a data framework and then parse it out into ways that are actionable and intelligent? Watch our on-demand webinar, “Analytics for Everyone: How to Become a Data-Driven Organization” to find out how.
Branded materials that are unique to your organization set you apart from other organizations, or even other job boards. You want to get your paid jobs off the job board and into multiple channels, so make sure that brand is reflected in all those channel touch points. You have branding guidelines around your website and marketing collateral. It’s just as important to have this branding across all of your assets, including your career center.
YM Careers has an entire team dedicated to helping our customers to develop the best approach for their market and industry – free of charge.