How Zenefits Continues To Thrive In A Saturated Industry
Laura Winkenbach and Elisabeth Brier

As the startup community continues to thrive and prosper, more companies are aiming to be the go-to resource for this ecosystem of founders.

The amount of HR platforms has grown exponentially in recent years with many aiming, particularly, to garner the attention of small and medium size businesses.

However, despite this mass saturation, Zenefits has been able to rise above the noise and become a leader in the industry.

Through incorporating the platform into a larger economic and social narrative, Zenefits has successfully positioned itself as a fixture within the startup community.

Zenefits VP of Content, Laura Winkenbach explains what specific strategies have contributed to the company's growth and offers her advice on what other founders may due to foster this same level of distinction.

With nearly everyone seemingly eager to hop on the startup band wagon, there's been a surge of companies aiming to cater to this community of entrepreneurs. How does Zenefits rise above the fray of these other HR platforms and successfully sway users from competitors?

HR and benefits administration is one of the most unifying issues facing business owners nationwide. As any entrepreneur grows and scales their business, the drain in time and resources to manage paperwork and data entry is overwhelming, and for many, detrimental to their long term sustainability. Zenefits has achieved the most accessible and comprehensive offering on the market today by demystifying these processes and democratizing HR (Human Resources) – both through its platform offering and also through the content we share with our small business customers. Integrating native solutions with best-in-breed partner applications at a competitive cost pushes Zenefits to the top of the pack, attracting new customers and continuously delivering to the old.

What are Zenefits unique value propositions and how are these reiterated via content and marketing strategies?

As the leading HR solution for small and medium businesses, Zenefits is the only company in the space providing truly all-in-one HR. Our content and marketing strategies embody the same comprehensive nature of our product, with various channels and mediums to engage our audience. Our customers operate across a range of verticals, and we strive to address all of their unique interests and questions. We create approachable and engaging venues across our marketing and content channels for entrepreneurs to connect with our team of experts and one another.

Though Zenefits is an online platform, are there any face to face tactics you utilize to attract new users from the target demographic?

Absolutely. The benefit of signing onto the Zenefits platform is an online, automated solution to simplify small business HR and benefits administration, but our engagement and support of business owners nation-wide is all-encompassing. From our call center to local Zenefits meetups to regional events with small businesses and HR professionals alike, we make a concerted effort to seek out and support fresh and inspired entrepreneurs across the country.

How do some of Zenefits additional features ie "Ask Bud" and the Zenefits blog function in fostering visibility and conversions?

Zenefits’ blog is an integral facet of our engagement strategy. Our blog sees tens of thousands of viewers per month, and serves to provide much more than company updates. We have crafted our blog as an interactive resource for business owners, from industry FAQs to managerial tips and tricks. Our content is meant to educate our audience on both Zenefits’ platform and also relevant industry, regulatory, and policy news. Content features such as our “Ask Bud” category illustrates one way in which we share industry expertise to support readers through thoughtful content. Bud Bowlin, a respected benefits adviser, provides relevant insights regardless of readers’ industry, political affiliation, company structure, or any other differentiator. The column offers commentary on timely industry news, such as healthcare, to offer tips and tricks, observations, and opinions that are personalized to our readership. In this way, Zenefits democratizes complex and confusing debates with content that gets at the core of what all business owners need to know.

What would you advise startup founders in regards to overcoming competitors and remaining dominant in an industry that's becoming increasingly more saturated?

Technology does not - and should not - exist in a vacuum. The technology Zenefits offers plays an integral role across the HR and employee benefits landscape, and is directly linked to political, social, and economic trends industry-wide. To overcome competitors, your content must support and contribute to broader conversations around these trends. In our case, those conversations encompass everything from employee satisfaction, to regulatory changes and healthcare. Start by valuing your target customers’ most authentic needs. Furthermore, as competitors continue to saturate the space make sure that you maintain a rapid pace of creativity and innovation. Surround yourself by colleagues who challenge you to think in new and critical ways, and are tapped into the wider industry in which you operate. Ask questions, and actually listen to the answers. By listening to your customers and producing services and content with their unique needs in mind, your business will thrive.

Any new updates we can expect to see from Zenefits in the near future?

Zenefits is poised for an impactful year. In the midst of such regulatory and political flux, we know that our services are more critical than ever. Just in time for the charged debate around healthcare in our country, we released our first ever Small Business Benchmark Report, which marries Zenefits’ industry expertise with data drawn from our widespread customer base to support small business owners as they weigh their benefits options. You can expect to see a lot more from Zenefits in the near future as we build content to contextualize and advance the impact of our products this year.