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Using inclusive strategies in your online marketing campaigns

Jonathan Birch, creative director at Glass Digital, shares how recruitment businesses can attract new clients and encourage the most talented candidates from all backgrounds to sign up using an inclusive marketing strategy.

Inclusive marketing is all about creating content that reflects the diverse audience your business serves, so you can make sure your brand messaging resonates with people from a wide variety of different backgrounds. In recent years, all sorts of businesses have woken up to the power of inclusive marketing, not least because it can help them ensure that they’re not missing out any key demographics. And one industry that can certainly benefit a lot from this approach is recruitment.

As a recruiter, you'll no doubt want to make sure that you're not losing out on any talented applicants simply because your marketing isn’t inclusive enough. And, depending on the industries your recruitment business works with, you may have a lot of interest from employers looking to make their hiring practices more inclusive and their workforces more diverse. Plus, inclusive strategies can help your business when it comes to hiring staff internally, too. In this article, I'll share some tips for creating an inclusive digital marketing campaign.  

Make sure your content is inclusive

Perhaps the most important aspect of inclusive marketing is ensuring that the language you're using in your content isn't implicitly biased. By 'inclusive language', what I really mean is using language and terminology that is respectful, accurate, and relevant — and when done right, it will ensure that everyone feels welcome at your company. By ensuring that your content includes everyone, you'll be showing potential applicants and clients that no one is excluded, and that your recruitment business is one that will value the talents and experience of applicants from all backgrounds.

There are few key things to remember when using inclusive language, like remembering not to use 'he' as the default gender, and using people-first terms when referring to specific groups or individuals (e.g. saying 'an engineer with a disability' rather than 'a disabled engineer'). It’s also important to remember to only mention characteristics like gender, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation when it’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

There can be quite a lot to bear in mind, and biased language is often subtle and easy to miss. So, it may be worth seeking professional training for your marketing or copywriting team, or you could consider outsourcing the work to an agency with a proven track record of writing in an inclusive way.

Showcase your company culture with a blog and social media

As well as using inclusive language, it's a good idea to showcase any inclusive policies and practices you have in your own business. One of the best ways to do this is using social media and blogging to spread the word. Additionally, if you haven't already, you'll definitely want to have a page on your website which sets out your egalitarian values as a company, and affirms your commitment to inclusivity in all aspects of your business. 

If you can showcase your own inclusive company culture, demonstrating that you have a diverse company culture that values contributions from a range of different voices, then this could really help to show applicants from a variety of backgrounds that they might be a good 'fit' for your services. And, it will also help to signal to any potential business clients that you share their values. It can also be a useful strategy when you're hiring staff internally, as it can help people from all backgrounds to really visualise themselves working for your company, which may increase applications.

Target diverse publications in your outreach strategy

A link building campaign — where you exchange a guest post or blog for a link back to your own site — is a fundamental part of any good digital marketing strategy. Not only will it help you to build links that will benefit your site's overall SEO and Google rankings, but it's also a fantastic way to gain exposure and tap into new markets and audiences. But, knowing where to target is half the battle, especially if you want to take an inclusive approach.

Naturally, it makes a lot of sense to target industries that are related to your field in recruitment. But, you don't want to be too narrow in your approach, as this may mean you're missing out on a number of key demographics. You want to try to reach out to a diverse range of publishers and websites, to try and make sure you're reaching potential applicants from as many different backgrounds as possible.

Additionally, think about how you can use your link building content to help encourage applications from a more diverse audience. For instance, if you want to get more women on your books as candidates, then you may need to widen your approach, both in terms of the sites you target, and the content you're offering. That could mean sharing case studies from people who have successfully switched careers using your service, or sharing tips and advice on how women can thrive in a particularly male dominated industry, for example.

Inclusivity is much more than just a buzzword — it's an entirely new way of thinking that can help to make sure that all candidates feel welcome with your business. By ensuring that your content and ad strategies are inclusive, and by reflecting your own company culture in your in your marketing, you can help to attract talent and new clients from a more diverse range of backgrounds.

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