Communities are a powerful thing. You see it in everything from Nike to TSwift. The non-intrusive nature of community marketing empowers individuals to invest because they’re not just being told (or sold) a narrative. They are actively taking part in shaping it. People are now much more apt to be swayed by peer reviews and testimonials. In the healthcare staffing industry, travelers lean on each other for transparency on agencies, recruiters, and hospitals. The importance of their community and opinions weighs heavily on an agency’s investment in their trust.
Unlike standard marketing and ad campaigns, community marketing is an ongoing success strategy. If you want your brand to be a part of a community that adds value, you can see an increase in brand awareness and lead generation over time. Why invest in this tactic? Below are five benefits that scratch the surface of what community-based marketing can do for healthcare staffing agencies.
1. Reduces Dependency on Paid Advertising
It’s estimated that the average person sees up to 10,000 advertisements a day, resulting (understandably) in ad fatigue on their side and very pricy upkeep for marketing teams. Now imagine being in a niche yet substantial target audience like traveling healthcare professionals— it’s easy for even the best ads to be scrolled past due to repetitiveness.
On average, when referred, people have a 37% higher retention rate and a 70% higher conversion rate. Their lifetime value is also 16% higher than that of non-referred prospects. Communities, as spaces for people to gather around shared interests or goals, are the perfect location for referrals to be organically made. This makes your travelers the best brand ambassadors and means you can potentially allocate more budget to other areas.
2. Consistently Speaks Directly to a Target Audience
As hinted above, community-based marketing speaks directly to a target audience by leveraging channels and platforms that the audience is already active in and engaging with. Building relationships within a particular community can tailor marketing messages to that audience’s specific needs and interests, making them more relevant and impactful.
Here are a few things speaking directly to a community can grant an agency:
- Authenticity and transparency: Community-based marketing often involves more authentic and transparent interactions. Being recognized by the community somewhat holds an agency to a certain standard, and openness can be rewarded by being seen as more genuine and fewer sales oriented.
- Personalization and relevance: By understanding the unique needs and preferences of the target audience, the message can be tailored to specific and current situations, making it compelling.
- Social proof: By engaging with influencers and advocates within the community, the marketing message can be amplified and validated by trusted and respected people.
3. Increases Retention Opportunities
Community-based marketing can help healthcare staffing agencies offer more support and resources to travel nurses. This can include access to specialized training, mentorship, career coaching, and other resources to help travelers succeed. Furthermore, agencies can demonstrate their expertise and commitment to the travel nursing community by being present, building credibility, and establishing a reputation as thought leaders and culture advocates.
Successful businesses are no longer driven by educated guesswork. They’re driven directly by the feedback and participation of their audiences. When you can empower your travelers with a voice in the direction and the development of your agency’s growth, they become part of the team.
4. Reaches Passive Candidates with Less Effort
Over 1.7 million healthcare travelers are currently employed in the United States. That’s a lot of eyes to attempt to capture. Passive candidates are travelers already involved with an agency (or agencies) or permanently placed staff not actively looking to make a switch— today. For example, it’s more likely that only two out of 100 travelers are actively scouring job boards, while the other 98 are not searching but are open to options. It would be a missed opportunity to focus on those two travelers when the potential audience is so much larger.
If an agency is placed at the top of mind, those passive candidates are likely to take a peek at least. A 2021 study showed that passive candidates are less driven by money and opt to make the switch for a better work/life balance. Passive candidates have the luxury of being choosy because they do not need to travel with you, but they might want to. If they regularly see that other travelers in their communities benefit from better agency partnership experiences, they’re apt to jump.
5. It Makes an Agency Stand Out in a Very Crowded Space
It’s hard to stand out in the space. All healthcare staffing agencies have the same goal, so it doesn’t matter what you do— but how you do it. When you consistently acknowledge, support, interact with, and give value for free to your community members, they, in turn, give you their loyalty by telling other travelers about you, including why they should work with you. 80% of people say that their experience with a company is as vital as the service it provides.
The Power of Feedback in the Gypsy Nurse Community
The Gypsy Nurse community has grown to 575,000 travelers as this is being written, making us the #1 recognized brand in travel nursing today. Our community of travelers lets their voices be heard in an annual survey to rate – based on their personal experience with agencies – key performance areas that the community had indicated were most important to them when working with a travel nurse staffing firm.
By sharing this report, the information helps travelers everywhere make informed decisions when choosing the right agency for their unique needs and helps agencies better understand what’s essential to the travel nursing community. Travelers will always trust travelers over even the best marketing at the end of the day, so when the community speaks— it’s wise to listen.