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If you’re a heads-down HR manager, you probably haven’t paid much attention to the concept of inbound marketing. But, as marketing and HR continue to converge and overlap, it’s important that you understand this fundamental shift in business communications.
More importantly, you can use simple inbound marketing techniques yourself as an inexpensive and automated method to make industry contacts, source candidates and promote your company in the background while you focus on your other core tasks.
Traditional outbound marketing consists of mailing brochures and postcards (junk mail) and mass, unsolicited emails (spam). Even if you had the time or budget to use those methods, they are becoming more expensive and less effective every day.
Modern inbound marketing consists of earning the attention of prospective industry contacts and customers by providing them with some form of relevant information, in exchange for their permission for you to contact them again. In addition to that valuable contact permission, there’s also the potential they’ll contact you first.
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The beauty of inbound marketing is its scalability; both up and down. International brands with huge budgets use inbound marketing for spectacular results. But, inbound marketing is also a powerful tool any individual can use to help a company of any size.
3 Inbound Marketing Hacks for HR Managers
Use a PowerPoint eBook to tell your story
First you need to write your story. Make a list of the things you and your company really need right now along with any problems that might be putting you in a bind. Then list the things you and your company have to offer, the valuable information you can share with the public and the reasons people would want to work with you or buy your service or product. Look around you for what’s cool, interesting or valuable, and then write down your thoughts.
Maybe you just earned an HR industry certification, and you want to tell other HR professionals about the three things they can do to get prepared. Perhaps your company is hurting for technical talent, and you want to describe the five reasons technical people love working where you work. Go visit with your employees, ask them for ideas, and get their permission to quote them and link to their social profiles.
After you’ve gathered your story ideas, click on this Hubspot link and download their PowerPoint eBook template. All you’ll need to create your eBook is contained within these 18 pages. Read them carefully and think about the things you want people to know about you and your company.
Your story doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, it’s better if it’s not. But, it must be authentic. Visualize yourself at a job fair visiting with a candidate or another industry contact, and write the way you talk. Readers will love it if they can tell you’re an HR person and not a copywriter or marketing pro.
Build landing pages with contact forms
Now you need to get a little technical. After you’ve written your story and created your eBook, you’ll want to distribute it while capturing the contact information for the people who download it. You’ll need to put together a one-page website, which will be the destination for the people who’ll download your eBook.
Doing this is easier than ever before. My daughter recently set up a Wix site in an afternoon, but it doesn’t matter which website company you use. They all have their pros and cons, and you’re only going to create one page. So, pick a website and a method of building your lead capture form that suits your personal style and capabilities.
Facebook ad targeting
After your landing page is up and running, it will be time to think about who can help you with the problems you need to solve. Then figure out what those people do, both at work and during their free time. Even though your primary objective is to promote your company, you won’t be able to do that until you identify and connect with people who can help you.
Interest in your eBook will get them to connect with you, but to do that you’ll have to display it where they’ll find it. And, the best place to do that is on Facebook, using their ad targeting tools.
Facebook is the most familiar destination for the most people. And, you can get started with a tiny test budget, and then scale it up as you figure out what you’re doing.
Later you can explore LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social platforms when you’ve experienced some success. But, Facebook is perfect for promoting your first “non-professional” eBook download page to the specific group of people who will benefit from your story.
Learning new skills while increasing your influence
That’s it. Your first inbound marketing program – an eBook, a landing page, and a few Facebook ads. It won’t be perfect, but the first-time someone downloads your story and tells you their name, you’ll have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. And, you’ll show your colleagues you’re doing everything in your power to help them and your organization’s cause.
Just like the professional content developers and providers in large organizations, your efforts will improve with new iterations over time. You’ll learn valuable skills and you’ll earn admiration (and possibly help) from people who recognize your willingness to learn more about what they do.
And, if you work for a very small company, your story can be as simple as “Why I love My Job” and can contain a list of reasons why others might also love it, along with an invitation to connect.
With a little creative effort and a few ad dollars per month, you can promote your organization in ways that whole professional marketing departments could only dream of doing just a few years ago.