As a leader of a staffing or recruiting firm, if you’re like most of our clients, one of your top priorities is attracting new clients. If you think about the 1-1 (outbound) aspect of bringing in new clients, you don’t assume the people you talk to will become a client after just one touch point, do you? Sure, it could happen, but we’ve all read articles about how it takes an average of 10+ touch points prior to converting a new client. Industries and business models vary, but you know it takes time!
So why would you treat your online presence any different? Most staffing firm websites we review only have one option for potential clients to convert. The Contact Us form. They also provide an email address, phone number, etc., but for all practical purposes, staffing and recruiting firms are asking the people on their site to be ready RIGHT NOW to raise their hand and tell them they have a search, req, or opportunity they’d like to discuss with them.
What about potential clients who aren’t ready to make that decision yet? What if they are in the research phase? They are not likely to fill out a Contact Us form. Are you giving them an option to convert any other way?
What would another option be? A Middle of the Funnel Offer.
The Marketing Funnel
If you think about the marketing funnel, or the way a potential buyer funnels through a process to become a lead, you’ve got three stages. The Awareness stage, the Consideration stage, and the Decision stage. By only having a Contact Us button on the website, you’re asking them to decide at the first stage. But they may not be ready yet.
At the Awareness stage, they may read a blog. At the Consideration stage, they may download an eBook. And at the Decision stage, they will fill out a Contact Us form.
Let’s say you already have blogs on your website, and of course, you have a Contact Us form. You have two potential pitfalls here – if they read a blog, you don’t know who is on your website. Sure, you can see the amount of traffic that visited each page through Google Analytics, but you cannot identify if those individuals are good potential clients. And we all know the value of a Contact Us form.
Moving Toward the Decision Phase
Let’s talk about that “Middle of the Funnel Offer” – we’ll use an eBook for an example. One topic relevant to both clients and candidates is salaries and trends of the roles you fill. We’ve seen much success with creating salary guides as downloadable content on a website. Picture this; you’re a business owner visiting a staffing firm website. You’re in the research phase, and you’re not ready to fill out a Contact Us form to start the conversation…but when you’re on the site, you see a salary guide you can download to tell you more about hiring trends for the roles you’re going to need soon, along with salary information. What do you do? You download it!
If it’s a strong salary guide, it’s filled with insightful content that helps you determine important insights about building your team. Let’s say a few weeks later you’re ready to raise your hand and start the conversation. Who are you going to call? Are you going to call the random staffing firms you briefly researched online, or are you going to call the staffing firm whose eBook has been on your desktop and you’ve been using as a resource for the last few weeks? Bingo.
This is the beginning of inbound marketing. Now, your website is working for you as a salesperson. It’s like having your sales team in the market, networking with potential clients, discussing expertise about industry trends, and building rapport.