Inbound marketing is quickly becoming THE 2017 buzzword for recruitment agencies who are looking to attract higher quality candidates and new business to their website. But what is it and how does it compare to outbound marketing?
What Is Outbound Marketing For Recruiters?
Outbound marketing for recruiters uses traditional marketing and sales methods that aim to search for and identify candidates and clients and contact them with a service offering, whether that is an open vacancy or a suitable candidate. The vast majority of recruitment agencies will be familiar with outbound marketing methods which include cold calling, advertising, billboards, video ads, e-shots and unsolicited emails.
Although these methods do have a stigma attached to them for being disruptive or intrusive, there’s no doubt that by playing the numbers game, you can achieve considerable success. It is a simple law of averages game – the more times you get in front of people, the more likely it is that they will use your services.
However, in this digital age, the age old methods of traditional sales and marketing are becoming less effective. As a result, agencies are getting less return for their activity. This, combined with a more competitive and candidate-driven market has led marketers and recruiters experimenting with alternative marketing strategies such as inbound marketing.
What Is Inbound Marketing For Recruiters?
In contrast to outbound marketing, inbound marketing is the the method of using online marketing techniques such as content marketing, social media and search engine optimisation (SEO) to attract website visitors at different stages of their client or candidate journey. Using these tactics, the aim is to attract strangers, convert these strangers into website leads and nurture these website leads into new clients or candidate placements.
The Theory Of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing works on the premise that both the candidate and client journey begins prior to a submitting a job application or contacting a recruitment agency. There is a considerable research phase that happens leading up that critical decision stage or Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT) where; either a candidate applies for a job; or a prospective client picks up the phone to call an agency.
“70% of job seekers begin their job search through Google” HubSpot
In the majority of cases, this research journey happens online via search engines, blogs, social media and websites and this process can take days, months or even years depending on the urgency of the candidate or client. HubSpot, the founders of Inbound Marketing, call this process the Buyer’s Journey and it is split into 3 stages:
1. The Awareness Stage – This is the beginning of the journey where, for example, a candidate recognises that they have a symptom of a problem, but they have little to no idea about a solution.
“I wish I had more responsibility at work.”
2. The Consideration Stage – The candidate now recognises the problem and is beginning to weigh up potential solutions to solve this problem.
“I can either ask for a promotion with more responsibility or look for a new job.”
3. The Decision Stage – The candidate recognises that they would benefit from using a recruitment agency but there are so many options, how do they decide which one is the right agency?
“I would like to apply for new jobs but I don’t have the time. A recruitment agency can do some of the hard work for me to find suitable vacancies and prepare me for an interview.”
By identifying a target audience’s specific challenges and goals at different stages of their journey, inbound marketing is the act of producing content that solves those problems and attracts website visitors who are looking for a solution. This way recruitment agencies can get in front of candidates and clients without disrupting their day and in a time of their choosing.
The theory being that, by analysing a visitor’s behaviour online, it is possible to identify those who are ready to apply and those who aren’t. When a recruitment agency decides to contact those “ready to apply” candidates, they will be much more likely to trust the service offered and be receptive to becoming a registered candidate.
So, in this case, an awareness stage piece of content might be a blog post entitled:
11 Simple Ways to Get More Responsibility At Work or 7 Steps To Getting A Promotion At Work
A consideration stage piece of content might be an infographic entitled:
4 Signs Your Boss Won’t Promote You
A decision stage piece of content might be and an eBook entitled:
The Essential Guide To Getting The Most Out Of Recruitment Agencies
Inbound marketing and outbound marketing can and should work together. By attracting visitors at different stages of the buyer’s journey, you can nurture them to become top candidates or future clients without contacting them out of the blue. This will make your outbound marketing more effective and improve your online candidate and client experience.
Do you want to learn more on how to create an effective inbound marketing strategy? Download our free guide to inbound marketing and get started today.