We target Canadian small businesses (<75 employees) who aren't hiring frequently enough to have internal recruiters, job posting discounts, or fancy tools. Our shortlisting services are flat-rate and 60-90% less than recruiting agencies. Things we're already testing: content marketing, guest posting, partnering with associations & CoC's, PPC, tradeshows, and a referral program. Looking for some creative growth hacking ideas. Thanks for the input!
Are you targeting new businesses? Try acquiring a list of all new business license applicants. Do you have a budget for radio? Try news talk radio stations in your markets.
Also try targeted news feed ads with Facebook and LinkedIn if that isn't already part of our PPC plan.
Referrals are huge. Check out Rafflecopter. Get on the phone with people and check references - while you check references, so a little indirect sales.
Event marketing is pretty low hanging fruit. Create an event or meetup to target your small business customers. The event should be a based on a topic of interest to your customers. ie. A panel talk by local entrepreneurs giving growth tips. Also include a small networking reception as part of your event. As host of the event, you have the advantage of telling the audience more about your company and services during the introduction. You can make the events monthly or quarterly to ensure that you are constantly engaging with your customers.
Another thing you should consider is public relations, or more narrowly media relations.
Identify journalists in your area that write (or broadcast) about your industry. Introduce yourself and tell them you are hoping to become a resource over time, and ask them what types of things they are most interested in/looking for. Then, actively look for items of interest to send their way--even if it has nothing to do with your business. This is critical; you want to be genuinely helpful, and not simply pestering them to cover your business. In addition, you may also "pitch" yourself as a quotable source when they are working on stories that involve broader topics about small business.
If possible, offer to meet them at their office. You might get a tour of a newsroom, radio or TV studio and see firsthand how they work.
Over time, journalists will appreciate good sources. Many journalists are overworked and underpaid, and they are grateful for "eyes and ears" who are uncovering story ideas for them. Even better, if you make introductions of other reputable sources to them, you further cement yourself as valuable in the journalists' networks. Remember, in your area what they care about most is the local impact of anything they write about...even for national/international stories, they will always be looking for a local "angle."
After developing a rapport (over a period of months and even years), it will be easier to contact these people when you have something newsworthy to share about your company.
Receiving favorable coverage in the media equates to a "third party endorsement" of sorts that is far more credible in consumers' eyes than traditional advertising and marketing.