Category: Social Media (page 1 of 2)

How to write headlines: 8 tips for recruitment marketers

 

There is an 80:20 rule when it comes to writing online, and David Ogilvy put it so well when he said you should spend 80% of your time focusing on the headline.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

The five most important headlines you should consider are:

  1. Blog titles
  2. Social status updates
  3. Email subject lines
  4. Website page titles
  5. LinkedIn headlines

For each of these there are some rules and formulas which are universal.

Tip One: Relevancy

Make sure your headline is relevant to your audience and feels like it has been written for them. Consider using words that are specific to them like “The 3 mistakes hiring managers make when dealing with recruiters”. (By the way, negative headlines really capture people’s attention.) This will potentially reduce the volume of people interacting, but increase the relevancy of those interacting. And what matters more : volume or quality?

Tip Two: Solve problems

Try answering questions you are being asked regularly. “How to …” is the most powerful term in digital marketing. Leading with this allows you to start solving business problems your targets may have.

Tip Three: Timeliness

How timely is your content? Tie your headlines to something that is happening right now. This drives up the urgency in the reader. The downside is that the content won’t be evergreen so you may not be able to keep coming back to it.

Tip Four: Tool Up

Use tools! Check out Adestra and their subject line analysis tool. It allows you to see if the key words you are using are likely to boost or drop your open rates. Using this I can see that the key word “danger” in a subject line should increase clicks in my email.

Tip Five: Short

Short and sweet. It works for blogs, social media, emails. With email marketing it is crucial you have a short email subject line especially as nearly half of all emails are now read on mobiles.

Tip Six: ACTION!

Drive action by using verbs. These doing words will help your audience start to take action themselves.

Tip Seven: Question?

Ask questions of your audience. They will be more likely to read and respond.  Wouldn’t you?

Tip Eight: Use numbers

People click on titles, updates and emails with numbers In. Use them sparingly though as some people have become bored or listicles (articles made entirely of lists). That said they still have some of highest click through rates.

 

So I should write a post called “5 mistakes recruitment marketers make with headlines” next week and use “How to write headlines: 8 tips for recruitment marketers” for this post.  Lets see how it works…

3 reasons content marketing is still important for recruitment marketing

Content is King. We know. We’ve been hearing it for the best part of eight years.

But still so many recruitment companies aren’t focusing on creating unique content as part of their strategy. Here are three reasons why it is still important.

1. Search Engine Optimisation

If Google isn’t one of the top sources of traffic to your business you are probably in trouble. Still in 2017 the best way to rank within the search engines is to create good quality content specific to the search queries your target audience are looking for. So if you are trying to drive applications for “site manager jobs in Plymouth” how well does your site rank for that term? If it doesn’t, then start creating content around each of those key terms and the phrase as a whole.

Not fussed about ranking organically? Well if you are investing in pay per click and Google Adwords the more relevant your website content the cheaper it becomes to advertise.

2. Social Media

Referrals to websites from social media have increased dramatically over the past few years. And this will be the same for your business if you are creating content regularly.

When looking to grow followers on social media, creating a reason for these people to come back time after time is key. That reason is content.

Check out these key metrics to measure social media.

3. Content Convinces

Unless you are the only business doing what you do and your audience has no alternative then you need to convince people to work with you. Content will allow you to convince candidates, clients and future employees that you are the business for them.

The best recruitment marketers are those who are able to use content to persuade. Whilst a recruiter can do this on an individual level a marketer can do this at scale.

You know content is fundamental to digital marketing so create some today.

Looking for ways to start? Check out this framework.

How to do Influencer Marketing on Twitter (in 5 simple steps)

You may not have the most influential Twitter account for your particular area of expertise.  But scores of people are just clicks away that you can leverage to help boost your brand and your message.  All you need to do is find them and ask.  Here are five steps to do just that.

Step One.

Start by going to Buzzsumo.com and clicking on the Influencers section.  Search for the topic or areas of expertise that are most relevant.

Here you can see a list of Influencers in the “recruitment marketing” arena

Step Two.

Go to Klout.com and sign in.  You will be presented with people who are influencers in your space.  Then search for the Expert Tags related to topics that are relevant to you.

On the right you can see the influencers in Recruitment and Staffing as well as their Klout Score

Note that whilst in Buzzsumo you can search for any key words, on Klout you search for tag terms.  For example I can search for “recruitment marketing” on Buzzsumo but on Klout I will have to look for the tags “Human Resources” and for “Recruitment and Staffing”.

For more information on using your Klout score check out this blog on social media audits.

Step Three.

Build a list (either public or private) of these infleuncers on Twitter.  This will make it easy to keep tabs on them, the content they share and the conversations they have.  Start reTweeting and interacting with these influencers.  Hopefully they will recognise you when it comes to contacting them.

Step Four.

Pick a piece of content you would like these inlfuencers to share.  Reach out to each influencer directly and personally.  Whilst contacting them via Twitter is easiest, I would recommend taking more time to craft a compelling message and contact them via LinkedIn, via email (if you can) or via their website / blog.  Below gives you direction for wording that message.

Hi X,

Like you I am really passionate about XYZ area of expertise.  In fact I’ve written a couple of articles on the topic.  I’d love you to take a look if you get the chance.
Here is a link to the piece that I think is most likely to be of interest to you.  I’d love to hear your feedback on it.  LINK.
If you like it I would be really grateful if you could share it.  That would make my day!

All the best,
Y

P.s. Let me know if there is every anything I can do for you.

Step Five.

Set up a search for your website domain (or the content you’ve shared) in a tool like Hootsuite or regularly check back on Twitter using a saved search.  Be sure to thank everyone who shares your posts and articles.

Interact with those Twitter members who have taken an interest by reTweeting or responding to influencer posts of your content.  They should be more responsive.

Get Advanced.

Once you are accustomed to interacting with influencers you may wish to track the outcomes they drive.  One simple way is to share bit.ly links.  You can see how many times those links have been clicked.  If the influencer is used to receiving requests to share content they may also be familiar with these types of tracking tools.  With bit.ly, when using their logged-in free version, you are able to customise each bit link (such as bit.ly/GiantFinder).

If you use Google Analytics try UTM tracking to get a more comprehensive view of what visitors are doing when they are on your site (use a UTM builder to make this easier).  See below for an example.

giantfinder.com?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=influencers&utm_content=John%20Doe%20twitter

Here you can see:

  • what the source of the campaign is: source=twitter
  • that it is a social media campaign: medium=social
  • and that you are focusing on tracking influencers: campaign=influencers
  • you can even specify which influencer you shared the link with: content=John%20Doe%20twitter

If you want to learn more about building UTM tracking into your campaigns check out this by Kissmetrics.

Good luck on your influencer marketing efforts!

Improve your personal brand on LinkedIn

Even the best marketing, PR, advertising and branding professionals neglect their own personal brand. But by ignoring themselves they are missing out on business opportunities, jobs and are building the wrong associations in others’ minds.

Take the bull by the horns and make a couple of quick changes to make sure that every interaction with you online is as impactful as possible.

Start by thinking about the five key messages or stories that you need to tell.

  • Who am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • My mission
  • What I do
  • What that means for you

Five key messages

Who am I?

This should be a short introduction to you. It is essential that it is easy to tell across multiple channels and be as relevant on the homepage of your website and LinkedIn page as it is being told by someone else in reference to you.

A good profile picture is essential. You are seven times more likely to receive a response to an InMail if you have one. In addition, it helps should you bump into someone at an event or meeting. The style of the picture should reflect how you wish to be perceived. A picture of you down the pub might be the picture you have to hand but that isn’t the lasting impression you want to leave (unless you are a publican of course).

Why am I here?

What is the purpose of this conversation or this content that you are making me read? What are you trying to achieve? Be up front about your objective.

My Mission.

Explain what you stand for. This needs to include your core values and your mission statement as well as what motivates you.

What I do.

Your mission should be more of your “why” and this is more “how” you do your job. Find your USP – your unique selling proposition and explain it to your audience.

Instead of just explaining what we are selling you could equally discuss the UBR – the unique buying reason; the reason that people buy instead of the reason we sell.

What that means for you.

Complete the circle and give case studies and testimonials of how you have helped or impacted others. It is essential that you have success stories that demonstrate how you have achieved your mission through what you do and how you do it.

Putting things into practice

Now take a look at your LinkedIn profile and see how these elements take shape.

Use your headline not to show your job title, but instead how you can help other people. This is your succinct Who I Am content.

Build out your Summary with your full Who I Am message and then explain Why Am I Here followed by My Mission.

Each section of your Experience should explain the My Mission of the company you work for or represent. Then you can go on to explain What I Do highlighting your USPs (or UBRs). If your role involves a process that you take people / businesses through it is wise to document that.

Use both the rich media components and Recommendations to show what you have done for others. This is your online portfolio that highlights What This Means For You should someone choose to do business with you.

Housekeeping

Double check that your contact details are up to date and that it is easy to get in touch.

You can add up to three links on your profile – make sure you use them! At the very least link to your company website. A few other options include social media sites, specific areas on your website (such as testimonials or services), your blog or a portfolio.

To see an annotated guide check out the slides below.

Toe-dipping marketers don’t finish first

Digital marketing is measurable and you can scale up from a small start.  You can test to your hearts’ content.

Dip your toe.  Try this.  Optimise that.  Tweak this.

Dip your foot.  Optimise.  Tweak.  Try a bit more.

Dip your ankle…

 

“Don’t bunt.  Aim out of the ball park.  Aim for the company of immortals.”

David Ogilvy

 

When your competitors tested it a while back and are today using it successfully what are you actually “testing”?  Are you testing the platform, the product, the channel? Or are you testing your own ability to use them effectively?

 

Digital marketing doesn’t need more testers of the mainstream – especially not in saturated markets.  Marketing needs a hero to do it bigger, better and have more impact.

 

So when they are swimming laps and you are still dipping your toe it is unlikely that you are going to win the race.

Swimming pool

Sales Vs. Marketing – should you do one without the other?

The best recruiters act like marketers. The best marketers act like sales people.

The challenge modern businesses face is that whilst the roles of marketing and sales are on their way to converging, the day to day activities each party undertakes are still distant cousins.
According to HubSpot the tools that marketers prefer are predominantly inbound lead generators – like social media, whereas sales professionals lean more towards outbound tools – like the telephone and email.

Marketing vs Sales

Inbound activities such as social media and content marketing are like marketing with a magnet whilst cold calling and untargeted traditional advertising is marketing with a proverbial sledgehammer smashing your prospect over the head with your message regardless of their interest or relevancy. Thoughtful and targeted still works when it comes to advertising and cold calling. Take for instance the practice of calling companies who are posting job adverts; if you are recommending the perfect candidate the client is more likely to listen to you. That is smart and relevant. Your prospect has an obvious business problem which you can fix with your candidate.

In the above example I say “more likely” because the fact of the matter is that this prospect has probably had a dozen calls this morning already and two dozen emails with the “perfect candidate” being speculatively pitched.

2013-11-26 09.18.422

Rather than extol the virtues of inbound marketing and sneering irreverently at telesales professionals I truly believe that both have a place and should work in conjunction for maximum impact. Having started my career making cold calls (a job / challenge that I absolutely loved!), I believe that there is a still a place for telesales and cold calling. However cold calling without the support of marketing is like bringing a knife to gun fight.


One person, one phone, how many calls?

It is impossible to make unlimited calls within a finite timeframe, and although training and coaching can help people to hone the skills of a sales person on each call it is still a lot of investment with a variable return.

Whilst I would never say that marketing generates 100% returns I will say that the equation of sales and marketing working together is better than the sum of their parts.

Sales + Marketing = <Sales only OR <Marketing only.

(Measuring the ROI of social media is hard – but here are a few ideas)


Marginal Gains

“The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.”
Dave Brailsford

Mr. Brailsford was on to something. The fact his cycling teams won 59 World Championships and multiple gold medals at the Olympics was no fluke. Make everything you do more effective and your business will be more successful.

  • Training makes each call better.
  • Good call lists and research make every call more relevant.
  • Fantastic candidates to pitch increase the likelihood of a close.
  • Warmed-up contacts who have been marketed to make for better calls and conversations.
  • An inbound lead makes for the quickest of turnarounds.

Maximise your calls
In the same way that untargeted calls get little return it makes sense to have a targeted approach to marketing. Focus your energies and resources on a specific audience which is manageable (by manageable I mean reasonable within the means of your time, budget and skills). Select the audience you want to influence and begin to market to them.

Business courses and marketing qualifications talk about the “buyers journey”,” sales funnel” or “marketing funnel”. Familiarise yourself with it. Understand who needs to see your business and start to build up awareness with this target audience, deliver a message that makes them consider you and your services. If that message is good enough and resonates that target audience will start to generate a preference or bias towards you compared to other businesses and competitors. At that point you may well drive conversions directly through inbound leads, but equally you should be targeting these people with traditional sales methods like telesales. Calls to a warmed up audience are substantially more likely to drive returns.

Buyers Journey

According to the Harvard Business Review 57% of a decision to buy from a business happens before contact with a sales person. That top of the funnel marketing activity dictates the success at the bottom of the funnel.


The Cold Call

Killing the cold call starts when you warm up the audience with marketing. A colleague of mine worked for a well-known recruitment agency (the one where everyone wears blue suits and brown shoe wearers would historically be sent home to find more appropriate attire). In his years at this agency he never once made a cold call. The reason being that every person he interacted with already knew the business, the brand and had made their mind up if they were good or not. The quality of the recruiter rarely came into question as quality was assumed based on the brand’s reputation in the market. When this colleague moved to a start-up he finally learnt what cold calling was. Introducing a new business or a new concept is hard when your target audience has no frame of reference to work with.

If you ask him where he preferred working he can’t deny that life was easier at the well-known agency.

Make your life easy. Be a well-know agency.  Start marketing now.

Can you Tweet your brand?

The optimal length for social media updates keeps getting shorter.  The top performing LinkedIn posts in the last month were 120 characters or less and all contained images or videos.  The optimum length for a blog headline has also shrunk down to just 6 words.  This post only used 5, as have all of my most read blogs.

As our attention span shrinks and our need for instance gratification increases brands need to develop easy to digest core messages that describe what they do and how they do it.

This exercise should be taken further than just the social media space.  In Talk Like TED it recommends that each business interaction and presentation be summarised in a less than 140 character, the length of a Tweet, in order to be memorable for the audience.

Can you capture what you do in less than 140 characters?

My headline on LinkedIn is:

Helping recruitment agencies to get the best from LinkedIn.

9 words.
59 characters with spaces.

If you can Tweet what you do then add it to your LinkedIn profile as a headline.  This will be added to every connection request, every InMail you send and be seen when people search for you or visit your profile.

Following most presentations I gave in 2013 and 2014 I checked Twitter to see if it had been mentioned (come on we all do it!) and time after time the same phrases was Tweeted and reTweeted:

The best recruiters act like marketers.

6 words.
39 characters with spaces.

The best recruiters act like marketers

Today the market has changed and people understand that recruitment is evolving.  Now I spend much of my time helping recruitment agencies that are trying to be more marketing focused to get the most from LinkedIn (as my headline would suggest) through media, marketing, branding, and communication.  I would sum up most of my conversations or presentations with the following Tweetable sound-bite:

How people see you will dictate your future success.

9 words.
52 characters with spaces.

What should your message be?  What do you want your candidates and clients to remember about you?  Make sure you can Tweet it.


 

Here is an infographic from Buffer with the optimal length of status updates across various social platforms.

’The

 

Are we social media sheep?

Marketing is getting the right message to the right people.  In social media to get the message out to the right people we need to think about two elements: building our follower base, getting our followers to share our message.

The first; building your followers, focuses on building an organic reach.  This is an audience of individuals who have said, “Yes I am interested in what you have to say and I am an advocate.”

The second; getting followers to share, is often referred to as your earned reach.  You improve your reach as more connections of your followers see your message through social sharing.  The quality of your message will dictate your success.  This reach is potentially unlimited.  Viral marketing is based on this concept.  On LinkedIn roughly 33% of company status updates are seen from an earned audience – people who are not currently following that company but have seen it through their connections sharing, liking or commenting on that update.

The more followers you generate, the easier it is to gain even more followers.  And the more your content gets shared and distributed by your followers the more likely future shares are to occur.  The opposite is also true – if you post poor content and receive no interactions it is hard to suddenly generate engagement… but that is another story.

There are three psychological factors that are behind this concept:

1.    The Fear of Missing Out
Fear of missing out (or FOMO) is a form of social anxiety.  This is especially associated with modern technologies such as mobile phones and social networking services.

2.    Social Proof
Social proof is where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.

3.    Bandwagon Effect / Cultural Phenomenon
The bandwagon effect is where the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others.

The Fear of Missing Out
To make the most of the Fear of Missing Out you need to demonstrate why people should follow you.  Explain what it is you are doing to improve their life, and in recruitment marketing specifically, how are you influencing and improving someone’s career.  Are you opening them up to opportunities?  What might they miss out on if they don’t follow you?

Social Proof
If people assume the masses can’t be wrong then you can take advantage of this by generating high volumes of followers which in turn makes it easier to generate more followers still.  Getting yourself added to directories and lists of people to follow will serve as evidence that you are someone that others revere and are interested in.

Recently Facebook optimised videos in their news feed to take advantage of this.  You can now see how many people have watched videos, and as the numbers of views increase, this small design tweak will drive up still more video views and help content to go viral.

Facebook view counter

Bandwagon Effect / Cultural Phenomenon
You have a window to accelerate your success early on in social media.  Being the first to do something increases the likelihood of people wanting to be involved with your brand.  Everyone loves something new and exciting.  When Twitter and Facebook first launched people would follow everyone and everything, whereas today we are more selective as the initial novelty has worn off.

Have your competitors beaten you to the punch and have they all started using tools or platforms that you haven’t?  You have a window of opportunity to get in before it becomes harder to generate followers.

The first advertisement on Instagram was posted by Michael Kors, and as they were the pioneers they sparked such interest that in 18 hours they had acquired in excess of 34,000 new followers.  Being the first to market has its benefits!  Being too late to the party means that people may well already have made their allegiances and you may struggle to achieve success organically.

5:15 PM: Pampered in Paris #MKTimeless

A photo posted by Michael Kors (@michaelkors) on

With each of these elements there is an opportunity.  Start looking at your marketing strategy to establish how these psychological factors can improve your social media strategy.  The more you focus on the bandwagon effect, FOMO and social proof the easier it is to grow you organic reach and generate more followers as well as improve the likelihood of these individuals sharing your content.

Measuring social media is hard. But not impossible

Measuring social media is hard.  Extremely hard.  Everyone will tell you a new and different way that they quantify success.

The challenge becomes harder still when you try reporting these measures to recruitment directors who still struggle with digital communication in the 21st century.  Some of the fastest growing, best known and most successful recruitment businesses are run by people who years ago were recruitment consultants themselves.  As they move up the ranks and proceed to move further away from the coalface of recruitment and making cold calls they continue to look back on the process fondly.  Measures for these people are based on activity and direct outcomes.  How many calls did you make today?  How many jobs did you pick up?  How many CVs have you sent?  How many first interviews are arranged?  How many placements have you made?

When I was in recruitment I had a daily target called my “2x2x2”.  Two jobs picked up.  Two new candidates seen face to face.  Two interviews arranged.  If you did that; you would be successful.

Measuring social media is slightly different.  The outbound activity in social media doesn’t have to result in a business action directly through the same post, person or even channel.  The way in which we measure social and digital interactions impacts how companies buy and invest in solutions.  Only 36% of finance executives agree that the metrics they use to assess technology investments are commonly understood across the company according to Capgemini.

With my 2x2x2 KPIs, my output was being measured – and so too where the results that followed.  If the placements didn’t come it showed that something was falling down somewhere along the chain.  When thinking about social media there are so many potential business outcomes that feed into so many places and the impact can and affect many different people that it becomes harder to measure.  But not impossible.

The way I look at measuring social media is as follows:
Views – Actions – Business outcomes.views actions business

Views: How many people have seen us?

Views are the number of times that your content, updates or brand has been seen.  You can track this across most social channels.  In the last year Twitter has made substantial updates to its reporting platform to help advertisers and individuals better understand their reach.  On LinkedIn it is possible to track both the views from personal status updates as well as from company status updates.  From company updates you can see impressions, clicks, and interactions.  Facebook has a similar tool for Pages.

Actions: How many people have interacted with us?

Actions should include things such as social interactions – the number of clicks, Likes, Shares, Comments, Favourites and Retweets.  This helps you to understand if the message you push out resonates with your audience.  If you divide the actions by the number of impressions you can calculate a percentage of people interacting with you.  On LinkedIn and on Twitter we call these an Engagement Score and you should be aiming a score of 1%+.
Twitter analytics
Business Outcomes: How many people have given us something to start making money from?

Business outcomes are harder to measure on social.  This is where you require tracking set up on your own website to understand what visitors do when they get to your business and where they originally came from.

Using things such as UTM codes you are able to track people from social media, content, email, advertising etc. and understand how these individuals use your website and what they do.  By eventually linking back each application, job spec and internal applicant to the source of origin paints a picture as to what has been successful.
Google Analytics
As your business starts to drive up awareness across multiple channels and your marketing becomes more layered, intricate and possibly complicated it becomes harder to establish what has influenced the eventual conversion.  Was this candidate Following up on LinkedIn before clicking on a link from Twitter and then applying?

Many social media monitoring businesses such as Radian6 and Adobe’s insight tools are demonstrating how each platform and channel impacts your business’ marketing funnel.  Google has a section in its analytics called Attribution (you will need to have your Webmaster Tools and Analytics set up correctly to use this.  Find it under the Conversions tab).

attribution modelling
I highly recommend looking at the data in detail to see if you can spot trends, but also seeing what your gut feel is.  If you can sense that a channel is a key influencer then you can establish if your strategy helps to drive up applications across all channels.

From tomorrow start to report on the key metrics that you can influence as a marketer.  Look at the number of views, the actions and finally set up correct tracking to link business outcomes back to each channel.

ROI of a Telephone

Do you measure the return on investment of your telephone?  Probably not completely.  The return on investment from your phone won’t dictate if you renew your phone contract, although you do expect good service at a good rate.

Do you measure the cost of your people and establish how profitable they are? I should hope so.  The return on investment from your people will dictate if you keep them on and if you reach your financial goals or not.

Shouting down the phone

A telephone is just a tool to connect you with someone.  So why not send a letter?  Or just send more emails?  Why invest in a telephone too?  Because the potential in the telephone is huge.  You can communicate with people pretty much anywhere in the world and pass on whatever message you want.  You can instantly change tact if the message you are sending isn’t resonating.  There is a constant feedback loop to help steer the next message in that conversation.  But the success of a telephone really lies with the person dialing out.

Next time you think about the channels you market through assess if the way you are “dialing out” is good enough.  The success of marketing often lies with the person dialing out.

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