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Now a question that is often asked of us when we talk to potential clients is “So, how much money should I spend?” and “How many marketing strategies should I implement at one time?”, “What’s going to get me the results?” And in true consultant style, we would always say “It depends.” But anyway, that’s the subject of today’s podcast.
So that’s the question from Nina – How many marketing strategies should we utilise in our recruitment business and what would be your suggestions? I would always say “It depends on your budget. It depends how much you want to grow.” I would strongly suggest, thinking about the email that Nina sent us, definitely more than one because one is a very vulnerable number. I like to do things in 3s. More depending on what cash you’ve got but definitely you need to have at least three different strategies that you are implementing.
Now, so let me cover some of these anyway so that you’ve got some ideas on this because it is about consistency and it is about ramping up that branding of you online. Because remember, marketing is all about creating a demand, creating some buzz out there, making yourself be distinctive and coming across more than the competitors do. And so how can you start this? What would you want to be thinking about?
Well, I would always say, have a minimum of three. Now some of the latest research data, would suggest that if you’re looking at how much money you should spend on your marketing, it should be 10% of your turnover.
Now some people may have just suddenly dropped off their chair when I said that particularly if you are a smaller recruitment company and you’re thinking “My God, I can’t possibly spend that” or even a larger recruitment company saying “Well, hang on a minute here, that’s like 200 grand a year!” However, that would be for all of your marketing and different avenues that you might want to go down. But you know again, it depends on what you want to achieve and what your goals are.
So what would I suggest then? Well what I’m going to do is share with you some of the key marketing strategies that are known to work and work really well in recruitment as well where I would place my money.
The first one obviously is your online presence. So you know, you want to make sure that you have an online brand that is recognisable, that speaks into your market, that is better than your competitors. Now what does ‘better than’ mean? Well, if you have a look out there is still an awful lot of shoddy, cheap looking websites out there. That’s a nearly easy way to stand out, particularly in a market now that’s growing, well you need to brand yourself and stand out online.
So an online presence – really important. You must have a great website. It must be easy to navigate and easy for people to know exactly what the call to action is, what the next steps are that they need to take either as a client or a candidate.
Depending on the market that you are in, you need to have a really strong LinkedIn profile. If you are working in the manual sector of the temp sector, you know maybe Facebook might be something for you to consider. More Twitter as well and depending on the types of positions that you are recruiting into then I would strongly suggest you have a really strong presence on LinkedIn.
Now just over 12 months ago, Marketing Chirper brought out a report that looked at some of the different online marketing strategies which were the ones that gave the best return on investment and one of them obviously was a website, SEO, maybe it’s starting to change a little bit more now but social media as well- very very important.
So you know, you’ve got to have that lucky triangle I would always say. You know, you’ve got your website and you’ve got your social media as an element. And then obviously you know you have LinkedIn, you have your blogs. So that’s really really important to do that.
What next? Well, the next channel that I would strongly consider in is email marketing and many recruiters do not email as much as they could. Often they’ll send out one email and that will be it. Whereas really if you think about the psychology of influence, if you’ve ever read any of Robert Cialdini’s work- very well worth buying. It is all based on evidence and one of this is about the number of touch points that you have people before they start to engage with you.
So one email, we said before “Don’t bother.” You know, have an email campaign. Have some form of email strategy. Keep in regular and consistent contact with your potential clients.
The next thing that I would always suggest that you do is you know, to actually focus on referral marketing. There is a super guy called Michael McLaughlin who is the consultant’s guru if you like. I follow Michael quite a lot and he did the guerrilla marketing book for consultants and he talks about the ideal thing that you should be heading for at the end of the day is to have 60% referral.
Now for us, we’re quite lucky and a lot of our clients actually come through referral and that’s because hopefully we do a good job, people like us, and we deliver for clients.
So you know, an ideal goal I think for everyone to have is to make sure that you have a really strong base of referral so that you’re not scrabbling around like many people are trying to generate some additional revenue and clients. Focus on your online social media, we talked about email marketing and referrals. So these are all things that I would definitely have in a marketing mix.
I would also look at your inbound marketing and your outbound marketing, have them combined together so that you are hopefully building a database of clients. So there are different ways of engaging with these because of all the sophisticated equipment that we all have now.
We know the levels of engagement, we know lead scores and all these different people, and maybe you send emails and then you find out that certain people are clicking your links more than anything else. Then what you could do is how about sending those a direct mail to engage them. So that’s a really sort of a cyclical thing. I call that blended marketing so that’s inbound and outbound marketing and I would always suggest that you have that as one of your marketing strategies.
The next one is good old paid advertising. You can switch it on and you can switch it off and it’s always worth testing. You know, the jury is out a little bent on LinkedIn adverts. We’ve have some great results for clients and we’ve had some not so great results for clients. So that is just purely I think the way LinkedIn is working at the moment and again think it’s very much sector dependent.
So how about paid per click advertising, banner advertising, all these ‘being in front of where your customer is’ is always going to be of value to you and as we would always say test and measure it. So “All right, okay, I’m going to spend X amount here, let’s see what it brings in for us.”
The other thing is tradeshows! Where do your market hang out? Is it worth going and taking a stand somewhere or just going along to one of these events and hanging out and just seeing who you might come across because you know, the power when you are in front of somebody can be quite significant as well.
So you know, Nina asked this question and I would say you’ve got to have a minimum of three. Never just go for one marketing strategy because you are incredibly vulnerable, incredibly incredibly vulnerable. I do some teaching as well on sales and marketing. There was one chap and all of his marketing was through pay per click which was great. However, if Google suddenly decided that they didn’t like him anymore, he was going to be incredibly vulnerable because he hadn’t nurtured some of his marketing channels to utilise.
So hopefully Nina’s got her answer and maybe one or two other people have got their answer. You need to be thinking about investing a budget. Many people don’t invest a budget so think about – “Okay, what do I want to achieve? What sort of ROI would I be hoping for in my investment?” – and then focus on that.
The rule of thumb is approximately 10% of your turnover. It may be less depending on the size of your organisation. A lot of people who listens to this are smaller, slightly smaller companies. At least start with three different channels and test and measure… test and measure.
We now know that our biggest lead generation comes from our email marketing, it comes from referral and it comes from our social media strategy and links with our website. So there you have it and this is Denise from superfastrecruitment.co.uk. The downloaded of this is on our website depending on whether you are listening to this on iTunes or not and we look forward to speaking to you next time.
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As an ambitious recruitment organisation, THE marketing strategy to master is email marketing. It will consistently deliver both candidates and clients.