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Ketan Dattani on Strategies for Online Visibility and Engagement

As industry leaders begin to uncover more and more possibilities for their businesses, it's never been more important to have a strategy in place for online visibility. Today, Ketan Dattani, the CEO of Buckingham Futures, shares his knowledge to help other business leaders get noticed.

Can you share a bit about your business and how it has embraced the digital landscape for growth and visibility?

Founded in 2013, Buckingham Futures has established itself as a premier recruitment agency specialising in the environmental health sector. With a commitment to excellence and a keen understanding of the unique demands within this field, we have carved out a niche, connecting top talent with leading organisations across the UK.

Our mission at Buckingham Futures is simple yet profound: to provide outstanding recruitment solutions that meet the specific needs of both candidates and employers in the environmental health industry. We envision a world where every organisation has access to skilled professionals who can drive positive environmental and public health outcomes.

One of our core strengths lies in our specialisation. Unlike general recruitment agencies, we focus exclusively on environmental health, allowing us to develop deep industry insights and a robust network of professionals. Our team comprises experts with backgrounds in environmental health, ensuring we understand the nuances of the roles we are recruiting for and can match the right candidates to the right positions.

We offer a comprehensive range of recruitment services tailored to the environmental health sector. These include:

- Permanent Recruitment: We help organisations find long-term employees who can contribute to their ongoing success.

- Contract and Temporary Recruitment: We provide flexible staffing solutions to meet short-term project needs or cover temporary absences.

- Executive Search: For senior-level positions, we conduct thorough searches to identify leaders who can drive strategic initiatives.

In recent years, we have embraced digital transformation to enhance our service offerings and expand our reach. Recognising the evolving nature of recruitment, we have invested in cutting-edge technology and digital strategies to stay ahead in a competitive market.

What specific strategies have you employed to enhance your online presence and engage with your target audience?

We believe in giving back to the community and advancing the field of environmental health. Our marketing initiatives, including blogs associated with industry trends, and career advice, and PR strategies in the form of podcasts from notable figures, have positioned us as progressive thought leaders in the industry (although we still have much to learn, of course!) Moreover, due to a digitalised economy, the prevalence of online events and the ability to connect and create corporate relationships internationally due to platforms such as Google Meet has skyrocketed the number of opportunities for professionals.

By enabling myself to speak to other CEOs in countries such as India and America, I've been able to discuss business objectives and create a collaborative atmosphere, in real time despite the time zones and tangible location. Moreover, by understanding the power of social media, we as a team developed a comprehensive social media strategy. We established a strong presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, platforms where both potential candidates and clients were most active. By sharing industry news, job opportunities, success stories, and awards ceremonies, we built a community around our brand. Our follower count on LinkedIn grew by over a quarter over the course of a year, and our engagement rates across all platforms looked healthier too.

Can you provide an example of a digital campaign or initiative that significantly boosted your business’s visibility or customer engagement?

We happily adopted a data-driven approach to monitor the success of our digital strategies. We utilised Google analytics tools to track website traffic, social media engagement, and the performance of our job vacancy visuals. This data allowed us to continually refine our strategies, ensuring we were meeting our goals and delivering value to our audience. Our data-driven approach led to a 10% improvement in overall campaign effectiveness and a 15% increase in ROI. With the implementation of highly aiding planning tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Semrush, we are striving to continuously improve and boost out overall ranking which in turn, would help our visibility within the search engines.

Furthermore, in 2018, we at Buckingham Futures recognised the immense potential of digital transformation for expanding our reach and improving operational efficiency. Our journey began with a comprehensive digital audit to assess our current capabilities and identify areas for improvement. The audit revealed that while our traditional recruitment methods were effective, we were missing out on the vast potential offered by digital platforms. We started with a complete overhaul of our website, ensuring it was user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and optimised for search engines (SEO). HubSpot states that companies prioritising SEO are 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI . Gladly, we also collaborated with a top-tier digital marketing agency while also investing digital marketing graduates to revamp our content strategy, focusing on keywords relevant to environmental health recruitment. This effort led to an increase in web traffic within six months and a reduction in bounce rates.

The digital world is constantly evolving. What challenges have you faced in maintaining an active and effective online presence, and how have you overcome them?

One of the main challenges businesses such as ourselves may possess, is the fact that due to the rapidly emerging digital landscape, we cannot fall behind. The latest updates for AI programming tools are being coded by the minute, and businesses, including ourselves, cannot afford to compromise on our "tech-savviness". We must consistently be sharpening this angle. Integrated AI and automation tools into our recruitment process are currently quite lacklustre. We have not as of yet implemented an AI-driven applicant tracking system (ATS) that could automatically screen CVs, match candidates with job listings, and schedule interviews. This would incredibly speed up the recruitment process and also allow our recruiters to focus on building relationships with candidates and clients. The automations on average lead to a 15% reduction in time-to-hire and a 10%+ increase in placement rates. In a similar manner, we have not yet invested heavily into digital paid advertising. By utilising Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads, companies can reach a broader audience of both job seekers and hiring managers. By using precise targeting options, our competitors are now seen by the right people at the right time, maximising their return on investment. Our digital advertising efforts for example, must be utilised more efficiently, and our know-how by default, has to grow in order to keep up with the changing times and stay on an even playing-field.

What tools or platforms have you found most effective for building your online presence and engaging with your audience?

I would wholeheartedly say that while online platforms are advantageous, there is nothing like building corporate, long-lasting relationships through the art of networking. For me, introductions can begin online (so, sure, the internet can be heroic) but it's still prominently about attending discussions in person, and making memories through meaningful topics. This is the backbone of having new clients work with us, and building trust! Once we begin working with more and more clients, the rest falls into place. More clients equates to more vacancies in sectors such as food safety, housing regulations, trading standards, and pest management, and thus, vast potential for candidates to find a job they will be fond of!

How do you measure the success of your digital strategies, and what key performance indicators do you focus on?

As a recruitment company, measuring the success of our digital strategies is crucial to ensure we are meeting our goals and continuously improving our processes. Here are the key performance indicators (KPIs) we focus on to evaluate the effectiveness of our digital efforts:

1. Website Traffic: One of the primary indicators of our digital success is the volume of traffic our website receives. We track the number of visitors, page views, and unique visitors to gauge the reach of our online presence. An increase in traffic often indicates that our SEO and content marketing strategies are working effectively.

2. Bounce Rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. A lower bounce rate suggests that visitors find our content engaging and relevant, encouraging them to explore more pages.

3. Conversion Rate: We monitor the percentage of website visitors who complete desired actions, such as filling out a contact form, applying for a job, or signing up for a newsletter. Higher conversion rates indicate that our calls-to-action are compelling and that our site is user-friendly.

4. Time on Site and Pages per Session: These metrics help us understand how engaged our visitors are. More time spent on our site and more pages viewed per session suggest that users are finding valuable information and are interested in what we offer.

On top of this, we also eagle eye on social media performance through:

5. Follower Growth: We track the growth in followers on our social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook). An increase in followers indicates that our content is attracting a larger audience and that our brand is gaining visibility.

6. Engagement Rates: This includes likes, shares, comments, and other interactions on our social media posts. High engagement rates show that our audience finds our content relevant and engaging, which helps build a strong online community.

7. Reach and Impressions: These metrics measure how many people see our content and how often it appears in their feeds. A broad reach and high number of impressions indicate that our social media strategy is effectively expanding our audience.

Lastly, the tracking source of where our candidates come from (e.g., job boards, social media, direct applications) helps us understand which digital channels are most effective in attracting talent.

By focusing on these KPIs, we can continually refine our digital strategies, ensuring that we are effectively reaching and engaging our target audience, improving our recruitment processes, and delivering exceptional value to both clients and candidates.

The digital landscape is always changing. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, and how do you decide which ones to adopt?

At Buckingham Futures, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is essential to maintaining our competitive edge and continuing to provide top-tier recruitment services. We as a company are committed to adapting and innovating to meet these changes head-on.

Firstly, we regularly read industry publications, research reports, and whitepapers to understand emerging trends and technologies in digital marketing, recruitment, and environmental health. According to a report by Deloitte, 77% of companies are increasing their investments in digital tools and technologies to enhance their business operations.

To bring the point home further, our team attends relevant conferences, and expos. These methods provide valuable gateways into the latest advancements and best practices in the recruitment industry. For instance, participation in the Recruitment Agency Expo at the Excel which we attend every year allows us to meet new faces and discover cutting-edge recruitment technologies. Through these means, we also maintain close relationships with technology vendors who keep us informed about new features, updates, and best practices for their platforms. These partnerships ensure we are leveraging the most effective tools available.

When deciding which trends and technologies to adopt, Buckingham Futures ensures firstly that there’s consistent alignment with business goals. For instance, our commitment to efficiency and excellence drives us to adopt tools that streamline our recruitment process and enhance candidate experience. One way to dive into this deeper is through an effective cost-benefit analysis which we conduct thoroughly. This includes evaluating the upfront costs, ongoing expenses, and potential savings or revenue increases versus how beneficial it would be in terms of acquisition and new users.

It’s important to note that before fully integrating a new technology, we often run pilot tests to assess its impact on our processes and outcomes. This allows us to identify any potential issues and make informed decisions based on real-world performance.

Finally, we gather feedback from our team and clients during the pilot phase and after full implementation. This feedback is crucial for making any necessary adjustments and ensuring the new technology meets our needs.

At Buckingham Futures, continuous improvement is part of our culture. We regularly review our digital strategies and technologies to ensure they remain effective and relevant. By staying informed and being proactive in adopting new technologies, we aim to remain at the forefront of the recruitment industry!

What advice would you give to businesses that are just starting to establish their online presence and engage with customers digitally?

Static, one-size-fits-all ads are relics of the past. In today's dynamic digital landscape, personalisation and interactivity are king. That's why investing in dynamic ad creatives that adapt in real-time based on user behaviour, preferences, and contextual triggers is vital. Whether it's personalised product recommendations, interactive quizzes, or immersive storytelling experiences, visually compelling posts captivate audiences and drive action, delivering commendable brand impact. Ensure your posts align with your company’s theme, so if a potential client scrolls through, it’s enough for them to exclaim “there’s THAT brand!” before they’ve even had a moment to blink and view your logo! They should be able to blissfully recognise your content based on the theme, colour, and tone of voice… however, ensure your posts aren’t repetitive, or they’ll just fall asleep at the coffee table!


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