Inbound Marketing for recruitment agencies is now imperative. Due to the constant need for top talent across the country the industry remains strong and we’re seeing more and more competition both on the client and candidate side, with many new agencies popping up and putting their hat in the ring for the large fees on offer from Australian companies. Because of this many small to medium sized agencies are faced with the difficulty of differentiating themselves and bringing on new clients in a flooded market.
Fortunately for the forward thinking recruiters / agencies out there the industry as a whole tends to be more on the traditional outdated side when it comes to business development methodologies. Most agencies still opt to beat their heads against a wall having consultants make large amounts of cold calls, cold emails and cold inmails in the hope of bringing on new clients. While this strategy can provide results given enough work (and time) it also represents a huge competitive advantage for those agencies willing to learn and understand new, modern methods of attracting and retaining clients that caters for the shift in B2B purchasing decisions showing that businesses want to do autonomous research and choose who to engage with, rather than be told who to engage with.
If you run a recruitment agency and are looking to get ahead and separate yourself from the competition then it’s important to understand that there is still a need to have direct communication but it should be at the discretion of the potential client and you should do your best to facilitate this. Recruitment agencies need to adapt to the future and invest in content marketing, marketing automation, social media and SEO to initiate relationships and limit the reliance on cold calls, cold emails and cold Inmails.
Only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product or service, while 62% will consult a search engine. (HubSpot, 2016) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
The new approach to facilitating these conversations with potential customers is Inbound marketing, which is a technique for drawing clients to your services via content marketing, social media and search engine optimisation. Below you’ll find some tips, information and strategies focused at helping your recruitment agency overcome the shift and achieve great growth in 2017 and beyond.
The old notion that content is king still holds true in 2017 and this is because it’s the driving force behind turning your website into a lead generating machine. Not only will good content shared on the right platform and targeted at the right people help build your industry clout and help you stay top of mind with potential and current clients it will also enable you to target and rank for accessible keywords that are most important to your business from a revenue perspective.
The content element of your website should be planned ahead with well written up to date articles focused at interest points of your potential prospects. We also want to engage them with the right piece of content based off how far through the buying cycle they are:
- Awareness : client identification of a need and the realisation that your agency can potentially fill the need
- Consideration : client evaluation of how your offering meets this need, including the evaluation of offerings from other recruitment agencies
- Preference/Intent : a clients logical and emotional inclination towards one solution or another, ultimately leading to an engagement decision
- Purchasing : The action of engaging with your agency
- Repeat work: The emotional and logical process that (hopefully) leads to engagement across more vacancies
For recruitment agencies the awareness stage is all about being found via search engine marketing and on Linkedin this includes connecting with potential prospects and posting information that will resonate well with them as well as optimising consultant profiles to be found. In terms of being found for search engines, you’ll want to do some research around what search terms potential clients will be searching for upon looking for recruitment agencies that offer your services and tailor your website and content towards ranking for these terms. For a relatively new website with a low domain authority it may be hard to rank for the more competitive keywords i.e “Sydney Sales Recruitment”; in this case the best option may be investing in a PPC strategy encompassing these important keywords. It’s a good idea to utilise strong call to actions throughout the entire buying cycle.
Great content to share during this stage includes:
- White papers
- Blog Posts
- Tips and List Posts
Good examples of calls to action during the awareness stage include:
- Subscribe to our newsletter
- Learn more
- Follow us on Linkedin
Often those in charge of filling roles will choose to search LinkedIn opposed to Google for a recruiter that fits their needs, yet still many recruitment consultants don’t have their profiles optimised to be found for search terms relating to their specialties despite spending thousands of dollars on Linkedin talent solutions. Let’s consider the example below:
I’m a sales director at a software company with an APAC head office in Singapore, I’m looking to build a vendor presence here in Australia and am looking for a recruitment partner to help me place 15+ new sales roles in the region. I use Linkedin regularly and know that there is a large presence of recruiters on Linkedin at my fingertips so I search for “Technology Sales Recruiter” in Sydney as I don’t know the region well. If you were a recruiter in this space you’d want your profile to be one of the top results so that I’d see your profile, your company, your website, information about your company and your services so that I’m aware of you as I go through the consideration and Intent stages and ultimately choose which company / consultant to help me fill these placements.
This particular client may be worth upwards of $250,000 to your business over the course of the year and may have missed the opportunity to guide them through to an engagement decision if they couldn’t find you through their Linkedin research.
Here is an article from ignite visibility that will help you build out your profile and be found by those looking for your services:
Now that you’ve gained interest from a potential client you want to engage them with content via your website that helps guide them through the consideration and preference stage of the buying cycle you want them to recognise your expertise and begin researching to decide that your services are the best fit for their need.
Appropriate content for this stage includes:
- Case Studies
- Consultant Hero Pages
- In-depth articles
While you will still use the calls to action listed in the awareness stage, most of your calls to action in this stage will be designed to help your potential client research your services and expertise and move to the purchasing stage.
Good examples of calls to action during this stage include:
- Learn about our consultants
- Download a Resource
- View our Video
Once your potential client has progressed through the consideration and preference stages we’re looking to close the client this element of inbound marketing is a little different for recruitment agencies than most other businesses as the potential client will generally choose to use a recruitment agencies services after researching the agency, talking to them, deciding they are the right fit and agreeing to the terms of engagement.
Good types of content for the decision stage include:
- Terms and conditions
- Direct Emails
- Case Studies
- Pricing Information
Good examples of call to actions during the purchasing stage are:
- Talk to a consultant
- Contact us Now
- Download our Terms
Once the client has decided that you’re the right fit for their needs it’s important to deliver quality results and maintain and build rapport with clients (This is the part most recruiters do very well J ) happy clients will often turn back to you if the need for more placements arises and may very well utilise your services if they move company and are responsible for filling roles in their new position.
Relevant content for your clients during the repeat work phase are:
- Direct mail
- High Quality Articles
Important to constantly be producing up to date relevant content via blog posts for your organic rankings, attracting relevant visitors and building a sales funnel through your website.
An important aspect often overlooked by recruitment agencies is the reputation of the individual consultants themselves, businesses will often conduct business with the consultant rather than the brand they represent, a few recruitment agencies have started to realise this and are starting to build out pages specifically focused around individual consultants to act as campaign / landing pages that personalise their consultants and give insights into their specialties, their qualities and the verticals they work. This allows the business as a whole to control what their clients are seeing and come across as industry experts across multiple verticals i.e (a potential client finds your consultant page for Joe Bloggs via Google after searching for “IT Technical Recruitment” or by finding his Linkedin SEO optimised profile) This page outlines his skills, knowledge and understanding in the IT Technical recruitment space and helps build confidence in the perspective client that Joe is the man they’re after, similarly a different client may find your page on Jane Doe which outlines her skills in Sales and Marketing recruitment. This allows you to be found for niche roles and diversify your specialties without losing your brand value by promoting yourself as a “Full Service Agency.” It also allows you to maintain control of what potential clients are seeing and guide them through the information you want them to see.
SEO is an element of your website that although commonly perceived as extremely technical, basic optimisation is relatively easy to implement and can have a profound impact on the performance of your website and the type of traffic it receives. On a basic level the most important things to think about are keyword research, page titles, meta descriptions, alt tags and backlinks. The keyword research you do should be focused around the buying keywords (what phrases are those who are likely to be interested in your services searching for?) You should then gather 10 of these phrases to get started and optimise your recruitment website with these phrases in mind and branch out as you grow. It is however important to remember that whilst you may want to rank for “best recruitment agency” or “Sydney recruitment agency” sometimes longer tail keywords with less competition are more accessible for small to medium agencies with lower domain authority to aim to rank for organically and you may have to invest in PPC to access results from the more competitive phrases until Google recognises your website as an authority. Page titles are the title of the page; however, these can be longer than the default setting and should always include your target your key phrase or phrases (providing it doesn’t go over 55 characters). The meta description is a ~160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained in the description. Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites to your own, search engines use these links to crawl the web and will crawl the links between different websites, essentially Google views webpages with high numbers of high page rank / domain authority websites linking back to your sites as valuable and therefore is more likely to give them a high search ranking. What you want to focus on when link building is gaining credible back links from high quality websites as opposed to reaching out to directories or easy to gain back links that may negatively affect your websites ranking.
The best way to do link building is to produce high quality content that other industry focused websites may want to use, it is also worthwhile to write content for other credible industry websites via the form of a “guest post” to earn a backlink, although being time consuming the results are definitely worth it. If you’d like to learn more about SEO download the beginners guide to SEO from MOZ.
It is important for every recruitment agency to be measuring analytics from their website to gain insights into what campaign are performing, how many people are visiting the website, what blog content is resonating well with our target audience, where drop offs are occurring, landing page testing, how much time visitors are spending on the website and much more. Whilst we here at Tonberry Digital use and recommend Hubspot for reporting (and all other aspects of inbound marketing) There are cheaper alternatives such as Google Analytics which is an easy to use free reporting tool that can help you understand:
- How many people visit my website?
- Where do my visitors live?
- What websites send traffic to my website?
- What campaigns drive the most traffic to my website?
- Which landing page is performing best?
- Which pages on my website are the most popular?
- What blog content do my visitors like the most?
- How much time are visitors spending on my website?
Although Google analytics is a powerful tool the platform can be daunting for first time users, so we recommend checking out “The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics”
Inbound tools to get started
Now that you understand what inbound is all about and have a few strategies and basic concepts to implement, you’ll want to get started closing new clients. We recommend, use and service our own clients through Hubspot which is a feature rich all-in-one marketing platform, however it really does depend on what stage your recruitment business is at, if you’re ready to spend $2,000+ a month on a licensing fee then Hubspot is definitely our recommendation. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative and are willing to get hands on here is a guide to implementing your own inbound marketing platform using technology readily available in WordPress:
Finally if your business is ready to dive head first into the world of inbound marketing but you don’t have the personnel to manage the platform, you might want to consider our services, we deliver inbound marketing services to our clients who are looking to scale in growth and bring on new clients, you can view a full list of our services via the button below.