In marketing circles, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, is considered a rock star. A major, world-tour-standing room-only rock star. He made content marketing what it is today, not only popularizing the term “content marketing” but paving the way for marketers across the globe to tell their stories in shareable and compelling ways through – you guessed it, content.
I felt like I scored VIP backstage passes to see Pearl Jam when I had the opportunity to meet Joe Pulizzi in person. And, he was speaking at a special event for senior care executives that I was fortunate to be a part of, discussing the important topic of creating a fan base to attract and engage employees.
Joe explained that if your employees are fans of your company, they won’t leave. And what’s more, they will tell their friends and recruit on your behalf.
He opened with a case study about a trucking company with high driver turnover that was also struggling to attract new employees – nearly identical to the situation many senior care organizations are faced with today.
The solution that Joe and his team developed for this company is one that can be applied to senior care. Harnessing the power of timely and valuable content, the trucking company began issuing a newsletter, delivered in the mail, targeting the drivers’ spouses. The spouses consistently read the content and then shared it with the drivers when they returned home.
The results were impressive! Turnover plummeted, driver health issues declined, satisfaction increased. And, employee referrals became the company’s #1 recruiting method. This newsletter was an instrumental piece of their overall strategy to address these issues. It has stood the test of time and is now in its 15th year.
Joe shared the company’s journey and highlighted the following steps that the team took to build their content strategy in addressing their workforce issues.
Find Your Content “Sweet Spot"
Joe recommends starting by identifying your target audience’s pain points to determine how you can help. The trucking company managers knew that many of their drivers were making unhealthy food choices on the road, so they created a section in the newsletter dedicated to promoting a healthy driver lifestyle. They also knew their drivers wanted to increase their cash flow, so they produced regular articles that offered ideas on how to make more money and develop their careers.
Craft Your Content’s Mission Statement & Keep It Top Of Mind
The goal of the trucking company’s newsletter was to “help them become better humans while living the life of a driver,” Joe said. Creating a mission statement for your content – in this case, a newsletter – is a great way to keep everyone aligned. Your mission statement will make your goal clear to the entire organization and help you focus on delivering value to your readers. To build one, Joe suggests considering your core target audience, what will be delivered and what you intend the outcome to be.
Additionally, the trucking company’s overall mission, vision and core values were printed on the cover of each issue for constant reinforcement and buy-in.
Just as the trucking company did, senior care organizations should consider creating a mission statement for their content and communications. This will help keep resources and content aligned to your overall goals. In addition, be sure to share your organization’s overall mission, vision and values in each installment to keep them front and center for employees, who are the heart of everything you do. Consider publishing stories within your materials that show employees how they can contribute to your mission, and in turn, drive their success and the success of your organization.
Be Transparent About Organizational Challenges
The trucking company used the newsletter to update employees and their families on any challenges they were facing and offered solutions for how they could help. In fact, they even talked about the driver retention and recruitment problem that caused them to launch the newsletter in the first place. They discussed their plan for resolving it and how they as employees could contribute to the effort.
Senior care organizations can use content to keep employees up to date on their own recruitment and retention efforts. Promote any new employee perks that you’re offering, praise from residents and their families and other uplifting stories from your communities. Consider sharing your awesome stories and content on social channels. A compelling or entertaining video on Youtube can go a long way to engage potential candidates. And, showcasing how employees live your company’s values day in and day out can make for great stories, too.
Joe recommends using the same format and delivering it at the same time. Consistency is key. In his example, both the truckers and their spouses knew when to expect the newsletter. That helped to build trust with the company.
Since senior care employees are coming and going around the clock, be sure to make your content available at the times that mean the most to them, shift by shift. If you go with a printed piece, consider mailing it rather than handing it out at your community. Another option is an e-newsletter that can be distributed en masse. Whichever you decide, it’s important to be reliable and consistent in your cadence for employees.
Tilt Your Content
Joe revealed one of the true secrets to success with content marketing: the content tilt. According to Content Marketing Institute’s website, “Your content tilt is what separates you from everyone else in your market area. It’s your unique perspective on your content niche, which creates an opportunity for you to attack, lead and, ultimately, own the category. Without “tilting” your content just enough to tell a truly unique story, you risk blending into the rest of the noise and being forgotten.”
Set your long-term care or senior living organization apart from the likes of retailers and other organizations competing for hourly workers. Constantly emphasizing your commitment to care and the do-good nature of the industry will remind employees why they chose this line of work. Share inspirational stories about residents, employees, teamwork and other feel-good content that drives home the rewarding aspect of working in senior care.
Rock Out With Your Content
There truly is no better man than Joe Pulizzi to share wisdom and experience in guiding the universe in content marketing. During his discussion, senior care executives took away different nuggets of advice that they could apply to their organizations. Taking a page or two from his content marketing playbook can help senior care providers accelerate their path to attracting and engaging employees. Rock on!