25 Feb How to grow your recruitment business with great content
Let’s start with what we mean by ‘content’. For the purposes of this post, I’m referring to blog posts, white papers, reports, videos, case studies, testimonials, landing pages, podcasts, webinars, templates and infographics. There are definitely others. But I’m not talking about job adverts. I’m sure you’ve done enough of those to know how to write a good one!
What we’re talking about here is content marketing. Which very simply put, is about producing great content that helps solve the challenges of your candidates and clients. That is, they find it useful and valuable. It’s not about selling your products (directly anyway!)
Candidates and clients have changed the way they behave online and to really grow your recruitment business, you need to keep up.
30% of all Google searches now relate to employment. A person will interact with your business 13 times before engaging a salesperson. It takes on average 18 call attempts to reach a prospect. 74% of b2b decision makers will use the salesperson that first adds value. I could go on…
So this explains why 88% of b2b marketers use content marketing as part of their strategies and 51% are going to increase spending in the next 12 months. It costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. Small businesses with blogs get 126% more leads than those without.
Ok so it seems like it’s worth doing, and many people are doing it, so why not in the recruitment sector?
Well, in part, it’s because recruitment businesses have been traditionally focused on outbound tactics. But with candidates and clients changing, whats needed now is a new approach that complements this with inbound marketing, at the heart of which is a decent content strategy. So here’s how you can grow your recruitment business with great content.
Stay front of mind
The real opportunity for content is it gives you something else to talk about when people aren’t looking or recruiting. See the recruitment hype cycle below that helps illustrate the point.
It’s based on the idea that over time, peoples interest in recruitment changes. Which means how likely they are to engage a recruiter also does.
Salespeople use outbound tactics to target decision makers at the top end of this curve. But if you are able to create content that engages candidates and clients at other points of their cycle, you’ll deepen relationships and stay front of mind. Essential in such a highly competitive, fast-moving market.
According to Indeed 22% of people stay in their job for less than 2 years. This rises to 46% for less than 4 years. The CIPD’s latest employee outlook survey suggested a quarter of people are looking for a new job. We know there’s a lot of movement in the market. It’s what keeps the wheels turning so what are you doing to stay in touch with these people?
Clients, of course, will vary hugely in terms of how often they recruit based on their team size, wider company factors and your own business model. But the fact remains, what value can you offer clients that aren’t recruiting? What more can you post on social media, that isn’t another job ad? What can you email someone that is no longer on the market?
Great content of course. By writing about topics that are relevant such as career development and team management issues, you’ll be able to engage at times you might not otherwise have done so previously.
So content can help deepen your relationships. It will build your own credibility as well as the companies. It will help you generate inbound leads by keeping you front of mind. And if you have the right tech, it will help you do it with minimal effort.
Give people what they want
So let’s look at the content itself. What do you think your candidates and clients would find useful? How would they find it?
This is more obvious on the candidate side. A quick look at SME Rush, a keyword research tool, and you can see that ‘interview tips’ gets 12,100 searches in the UK a month whilst ‘CV tips’ 8200. But to be more granular, ‘marketing cv’ is searched 1200 times a month and ‘marketing CV examples’ 260 times.
The key to creating great content is understanding what people will find valuable at each stage of their journey with you. No point emailing someone CV tips if you have already organised an interview. But equally knowing someone has downloaded your CV template is a good indication they are about to go on the market.
Client-side is a little trickier! A great exercise to help with this is to create pesonas. Essentially, these are profiles of your perfect client. This includes everything from company information such as role title, number of employees and team size through to their responsibilities, daily activities, KPI’s and what keeps them up at night.
With this information, you can create great content that engages your clients such as salary guides and market reports. Again, anyone downloading these is a sign that they are considering recruiting.
What makes great content is that it’s hyper-relevant. There are over 2 million blog posts published, 300 million photos uploaded to facebook, 5 billion videos watched on youtube and over and 269 billion emails sent every day! You are fighting to get heard over a lot of noise, so your content has to stand out.
And this is where a lot of recruitment companies struggle. If you’re going to do it, commit! Poor content will at best only drain your time and waste hard earnt cash but at worse could damage your brand. But get it right and there are some great opportunities to grow your business through content.
Brings candidates and clients to you
Producing great content isn’t the goal itself. You need to do something with it and generate traffic back to your website.
Email is likely to be one of your strongest channels. In days gone by you might have promoted your content to a big list. I wouldn’t totally write this off, but with GDPR round the corner, this could give you a few headaches (I’ve written a post about recruitment and GDPR recently). Think about your segment – anyone that’s given you a job in the past 12 months might be a stronger, safer place to start.
These days, with the way people behave online and interact with content, you should be looking at making your email communication more timely and therefore relevant. If you haven’t already, it’s worth exploring marketing automation.
It can help you do lots of things (and doesn’t cost the earth) but one of the key benefits, is it can help you trigger email content at very specific times.
Consider our above-mentioned audience – those people not looking for a job or not recruiting right now. Emailing content once a month from your consultants is a great way to keep them engaged and front of mind. There are also the people using your services which might appreciate a timely email giving them access to a CV template or interview guide.
If you don’t have marketing automation, consider creating templates and encouraging consultants to send it at relevant times.
Other channels that can help extend your reach and generate traffic are social media. Post regularly, once a day on LinkedIn and Facebook and up to 15 a day on twitter. Pull out the benefits, include an image don’t forget a link! You also should be commenting on other peoples posts and it’s worth considering social advertising, as they have some very clever campaigns available now.
Secondly, SEO. You should always have a keyword in mind when writing any content. Do your keyword research, get your titles right, have a decent keyword density and include internal and external links. You’ll also want to try and get others linking to your posts for a real SEO boost. Blog posts can be a good source of ongoing traffic, month after month if they are relevant.
PPC is also an option but can be an expensive channel, especially if you’re targeting the wrong keywords. But their remarketing campaigns that only target people that have visited your website or indeed a specific list of email addresses can be a very powerful (and cost-effective) way to get people reading your content.
Generate more leads
What recruitment company doesn’t want more leads!? There are two main ways to do this through content.
The first is by getting people to fill in a short form to access it. This could be to download a white paper or industry report or a CV template or interview guide.
This can then be passed to a salesperson for a follow-up call. By using the topic of the content, they can use it as a hook into a wider conversation about their issues and challenges. And of course, if you’ve made it relevant, this is likely to be about their recruitment needs.
That’s the more direct approach. There is another that utilises the other key benefit of marketing automation, tracking!
If someone fills in a form on your website or clicks a link in an email, it tracks their online interactions with your website on that particular visit, but more importantly, on subsequent ones.
So this is where your blogging strategy becomes essential. After speaking to a decision maker 6 months ago, you send them a link to a blog post ‘8 ways to retain your best people’ (he wasn’t recruiting). They clicked through and read it but you’ve not heard from them since, despite a few calls. You also connected on LinkedIn.
Whilst waiting for his train, he logged into LinkedIn and saw your latest update, ‘Why poor recruitment can harm your client relationships’. So he clicked through and read it on your website. He also read another recruitment post, clicked through to your service page and then read a few case studies. Overall he spent 3.15 minutes on your website.
Is he recruiting? We don’t know but the fact he’s looked at sales-focused content (your service page) suggests he might be researching. Certainly worth a call or email…or both!
The above-mentioned tactics for promoting content, mean you’ll bring people back to your website through email, social, SEO and PPC. If they’ve been previously tacked, it can be a great way to generate leads for your teams. And this then gives you the holy grail of being able to link your content marketing budget to lead generation activities and revenue.
To find out more on the benefits of content marketing, marketing automation and inbound marketing to your recruitment business please call 0203 488 0234 or download our white paper, How to Generate More Candidate and Client Leads with Powerful Marketing.