Marketing…. Some people love it, some hate it, some think it’s about drawing pretty pictures and there is zero thought to it, and just about everyone has an opinion on what you should be doing from your website down to your business cards.
Anyone working in a marketing role will know there is so much more to it than images and business cards. You’re juggling two target audiences – clients and candidates, managing budgets, trying to get the biggest return on your investment, figuring out which activity drives the most traffic to your website or converts the most placements. It’s fair to say there is always something that needs doing in the world of recruitment marketing.
With so much going on, though, it can be easy to slip into bad habits when it comes to marketing. Sometimes it’s through lack of time; maybe it’s lack of knowledge; however, here are 7 of the bad habits you need to stop right now:
Failing to plan
I wouldn’t be so crass or cheesy as to churn out a line that failing to plan means planning to fail, but I’m afraid, it kind of does. Without a plan in place, you are literally just throwing your messages out there and hoping for the best. A Facebook ad here, a blog there – surely some of it will work, right? Wrong. Have a plan – know who you are talking to, about what, when, where and how you are going to deliver that message.
Not understanding your target audience
One of the first steps in your marketing strategy should be persona mapping. Essentially, this is mapping out your ideal client (or candidate). Who are the people you want to be talking to? What are their problems and pain points, what level of seniority are they, where are they likely to hang out, where are they based?
One of the common mistakes we default to is thinking about how we, as individuals like to receive messages. If you are not the target audience, then guess what, it’s not going to work.
For example, if you’re looking for junior construction workers, labourers etc. they are less likely to be on LinkedIn and more likely to be on Facebook.
Thinking there is a magic bullet
Maybe this should be directed at board level directors and business owners rather than marketers! Most marketers will know that there is no magic bullet. There is no one piece of activity that is likely to have candidates or clients banging your door down. If there were, we’d all be doing it!
One case study or one video alone is not going to change your world. However, a case study that is presented as text as well as visually suddenly turns into multiple pieces of content. You could turn it into an infographic or a video. Then share this across social media, send targeted emails, present your findings, and so on.
There might not be a magic bullet, but you can make one piece of content work harder for you.
Doing the same as you were years ago
‘We’ve always done it this way’ is one of the most dangerous phrases in businesses. If something has worked for you in the past then, of course, you will try it again, but churning out the same activity and content year after year will eventually see your ROI hitting the floor.
Before you know it, five years have gone by, and your marketing hasn’t evolved. The way we digest information is changing – your marketing strategy needs to as well.
Not measuring (or understanding) your results
Understanding ROI in marketing can be tricky. There can often be several reasons why someone chooses you. For example, a candidate has been referred to you by a friend who found work through you. They head online and click through to your website to register via a Facebook advert. So, which is the lead source – referral or Facebook?
All marketers need to measure as much as they can. Use Google Analytics, Facebook Business Manager, capture the lead source in your CRM. You need to know that for every £ you spend on marketing and every hour you’re generating content that it has a return.
Equally, back up the measurable quantitative information with qualitative feedback and anecdotal evidence from your colleagues.
Resisting technology and marketing automation
It’s not going anywhere fast. Technology and marketing automation is here to stay. Neither have to be scary, or expensive, or complicated. Some of the technology, apps and plugins will truly make your life as a marketer, much easier.
Think about a social media scheduling tool – like Hootsuite or EClincher; you can schedule posts in advance saving you time every day. Or what about Canva – a free design tool where you can create professional-looking brochures, social media posts and more.
Listen to what your peers are using, ask for recommendations and get on board with marketing automation.
Forgetting to offer value
It can be too easy to get caught up in promoting your core sales messages all the time. ‘Register here’ or ‘We’ve got candidates’ are what you want to say, but just promoting these messages all the time is the equivalent of yelling in someone’s face ‘buy now’ – and no-one likes the hard sell.
Use your marketing platform to promote content that makes you a trusted, knowledgeable source. Your aim is to be front of mind when your audience is ready to commit.
Keep offering value, whether that’s whitepapers, salary surveys, benchmarking tools or recommendations – if you have enough decent things to say, people will listen!
I started the blog with a cheesy line, and I feel the unavoidable urge to round off with one… with marketing, it’s not one size fits all or a one-hit-wonder. Develop your strategy and stand firm in it – after all, if you build it, they will come!
Managing Director at Green Umbrella Marketing Ltd.