Back when I worked at LinkedIn, almost every single day another owner of a recruitment agency would tell me that they wanted to up their marketing and content game…
BUT there were 4 reasons that were stopping them from having any meaningful success:-
1. Not knowing where to start
2. Not having enough hours in the day to spend agonising over time-consuming writing
3. Not being entirely convinced that this marketing stuff was actually going to translate into ROI
4. Recognising that their time was better spent on leading/recruiting than marketing
As I have a background in marketing, recruitment, and social media (and I consume way too much “entrepreporn”), I decided that I was the person able to fix those challenges.
Eloquent was designed to help recruitment agency owners solve these problems, and it all started with this blog “Your recruitment agency is boring”
Looking back at it, the “download this guide” image is embarrassingly ugly and amateur looking.
I cobbled it together on Canva long before we had any graphic designers or brand guidelines.
The landing page and follow up sequence were seriously lacking also.
I was tempted to update that ugly image before sharing this post today, but I decided that I’d leave it there as a true reflection of the blog post, and perhaps to show that sometimes execution trumps perfection.
To date, that single blog post has generated $236,000 (and counting) within the last 12 months.
So why did this post drive so much business, despite the ugly as sin call to action and very casual writing style?
It succeeded because it was part of the fundamental flow for customer acquisition:-
Let me break down how this sequence worked for that particular article, and how it might apply to your business:
It’s probably no surprise that for marketing to work you need to get it in front of your audience.
The day that I posted this particular blog, my years of being active on LinkedIn paid off as I have a lot of connections and a relatively engaged audience.
I was lucky too – the LinkedIn algorithm rewarding long-form blog posts at the time, and Mitch Sullivan commenting on it probably did me some favours also (follow him if you aren’t already.)
If you were looking to achieve something similar for your business and acquire new customers then in order of effectiveness I’d rank the following based on our own experience:-
1. Email marketing
Most recruitment agencies are sitting on massive databases of uncontacted email addresses. This is one of the fastest and most effective ways you can reach your target audience (we are currently sending 100K+ emails per week on behalf of our clients with sub-1% unsubscribe rates.)
2. Paid Traffic
No audience? No problem. Just buy one. LinkedIn (in particular the Sponsored Update and Lead Generation ads) are your best bet for anything B2B focused.
Facebook / Instagram, Google, and increasingly Pinterest are all effective mediums if that’s where your audience spends time and thinks about your particular product.
3. Website traffic
You do already have an audience investigating your business via your website. Using blogs, chatbots, resources, pop-ups, etc. are all ways of getting a message in front of your audience within your website.
4. Other people’s audiences
This can be often overlooked but is a really effective way to reach an audience. Guest blogs, sharing your content with industry and business sites (eg. Business Insider), paid email drops, co-creating content, sponsoring industry events, are all effective ways to reach an audience when you don’t have access to them yourself.
5. Social Media
What I am talking about here is organic social media posting, as distinct to paid traffic. Most of the large social platforms are effectively “pay to play” these days to achieve any meaningful level of reach, which is why I’ve ranked this much lower.
Everyone loves the idea of a social media post going viral and getting millions of (free) views and leads – but it’s unlikely and you cannot run a business on an unpredictable lead generation system.
Social posts absolutely have their role in telling your story, promoting awareness, and engaging your audience – but sharing an article alone isn’t going to have customers banging down your door.
Why did I put SEO dead last? Ranking for organic search terms and receiving free traffic from Google sounds awesome, but I’m writing this in Australia and the actual volumes of intent-based search terms (eg. construction jobs Sydney) is just way too small to be meaningful.
And for the few keywords that are worth ranking for, you will be competing with Seek, Indeed, and the global recruitment agencies like Hays and Michael Page. Your odds of ranking number 1 for an important search term and beating out these giants is slim and requires a lot of time and deep pockets.
We ensure we are getting the fundamentals of SEO right when producing and sharing content to give it the greatest chance of success – but we also need to be realistic about what the ROI of that approach will be.
Once you have an audience then you need some bait to help you hook them and reel them in (I promise that will be the only fishing analogy I use here.)
For the $236K blog post, the bait I used was an eBook with 101 marketing ideas for recruitment agency owners.
That bait attracted exactly the type of person that I wanted to help – recruitment agency owners that care about their brand and want to grow their business.
When it comes to customer acquisition marketing, every single piece of bait that you use should seek to start a conversation.
As Eloquent we can partially achieve this through marketing automation, which is just fancy speak for sending some automated emails if someone takes a particular action on the website, in an email, or through some content.
While marketing automation is incredibly valuable, it still appears to me that the best and highest way to then generate ROI from the lead is a one-to-one communication from the recruiter to the particular person that has downloaded the content – be it a phone call, a personal email, or an InMail, all seeking to progress the relationship to a face-to-face meeting.
The goal here is to have your consultants spending less time on cold calls and more time on warm leads
Warm leads trump cold calls
Having a mechanism to ensure that the consultants have visibility into inbound leads and actually follow them up is the “make or break” point where ROI will be realised from your marketing activities.
Of the 400 or so people that downloaded that ebook, I had some that reached out directly, some that responded to a marketing sequence that followed, and I chose a few of the leads that appeared the most promising to follow up with directly and personally (at the time there was only capacity for 3-4 clients before I closed the doors for a while.)
This is the bit that recruiters do best.
You have put your message in front of the right audience, they have self-identified or expressed an interest through the bait, and from there you have followed up the lead and hopefully progressed to a face-to-face meeting. This is the point where every accomplished recruiter understands how to help add value to their audience and establish a more commercial relationship.
In the case of how that blog generated, as the new clients, I was meeting with had already seen how a funnel worked (because they were in one) and they could see the benefit of doing the same for their own business. The bait had pre-framed the opportunity to help me create conversations that in turn led to conversions.
So, that’s how and why a single blog about recruitment has generated $236K (and counting) within the last 12 months.
Ps. I’m not trying to break any records here, but you should probably do the quiz below and find out how your agency’s marketing strategy stacks up!