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How we helped a startup healthcare staffing company beat the industry giants at their own game.

We knew that our client was being outspent in media, by millions, in fact. And we knew there was no point in trying to win the keyword bidding game. The competition had been around longer, had more resources, and far bigger media budgets. By bringing a strategic approach that used the small size of the startup against the lumbering slowness of the competitors, we helped our client become a well-known force in the highly competitive healthcare arena.

A differentiator for BlueForce was their personal touch. While the behemoth companies they compete against live by impersonal email blasts, BlueForce insisted on talking to each nurse one-on-one to ensure they knew their travel rep and could have all of their questions answered.

In this case study, you’ll learn how our comprehensive digital strategy and media ecosystem set the stage for media success.

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BlueForce Healthcare Staffing is a startup that provides nurses on a temporary basis to cover staffing shortages.

It’s a highly competitive sector of healthcare—and fairly lucrative. BlueForce had its work cut out for them when taking on the competition; some of whom had media budgets in the millions.

We interviewed dozens of travel nurses.

No one knows what it’s like to be one better than the nurses themselves. The staff of BlueForce had already clued us in on what they would say—and to their credit they were 100% right. To us, the real insight lied in the realization that the order of importance was different.

Travel nurses are paid significantly more than a regular nurse. We were even told that money was the primary factor for being a travel nurse. Our interviews said otherwise. Seeing the country and avoiding office drama were the driving factors. Money was just a bonus.

These insights led to an entirely different strategy than the competition was operating under. For starters, we could ditch the incentive approach, which is always a race to the bottom. Instead, we focused on social PR, and social media engagement, using travel as the primary theme. We worked directly with travel nurse bloggers and influencers to build a following and reach nurses on the platforms they preferred, such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and travel nurse blogs.


Solution 1

Based on the “travel the country, while avoiding office drama” insights, we created a media ecosystem for BlueForce. It mapped out all the relevant platforms we could work with, the purpose of the messaging for each platform, and what we hoped to achieve on each platform. It was immediately clear that—while Pinterest and Instagram got the most interactions, Facebook was their platform of choice.


The Challenges

1. We were outspent

2. We were (relatively) unknown

3. We were local


Solution 2

Obviously social media is not a panacea. It’s great to have content to share, and links to drive them to, but the end destination must match any expectations set by the content. This meant developing simple methods for BlueForce to get and stay in touch with their growing email list of travel nurses.

We made the homepage be dirt simple. It’s really just a large photo with a search field over it. But that search field allows visitors to filter their search by keyword, location, medical specialty, orientation date and desired pay.

The Results

BlueForce is now receiving qualified leads from the website, thanks to the development solutions we provided.

With the help of our messaging and imagery, BlueForce’s Facebook following grew from fewer than 40 to well over 2,000 in no time. Facebook has also turned out to be a huge traffic source (over 66% of the social media traffic to the dotcom derives from Facebook).