Chats with Christina

Megan Rowe
November 3 2022
For this week’s blog, we decided to look back on one of our recent Red Talks podcast episodes with Christina Robinson – Recruitment Marketing guru and owner of Green Umbrella marketing.
Green Umbrella are a forward-thinking digital marketing agency with a focus on the recruitment sector and are actually our go to blog writers! Or rather, our go-to blog writers before I (Megan) joined Red at the beginning of the year and confessed to secretly loving blog writing. Now Green Umbrella and I juggle writing Red’s blogs together. I love taking inspiration from their blog writing style and ideas and must admit to fangirling slightly when I realised that we would be chatting with the owner of Green Umbrella for Red Talks! Christina was an absolute delight to have on the podcast, interesting, hilarious, and full of ideas on how to improve your organisation’s marketing strategy.
Here is a transcript of some of the key questions we asked Christina on the recent podcast:
Why is digital marketing so important for recruitment businesses?
‘It’s because it’s accessible. It’s accessible for you as a recruiter, but it’s also so accessible from a candidate perspective. It’s so easy to get in front of a candidate in today’s world. And in a really interesting way and innovative way, in a way that actually makes them aware of your brand, of what you’ve got available, your approach to recruitment. We’ve got these little devices in our hands that we just can’t quite let go of, where we’re constantly scrolling and checking, and you close one social media app so you can open the next one and that’s just on your way into work. Then maybe you arrive at your desk, and then you have a quick check on LinkedIn because you don’t think of it as a social channel, and then you’re opening your email, and it’s all there. And it’s all happening in the palm of our hands. And that is why it’s so important.”
Tell us about the reach of social media.
‘Well, social media channels age up. Facebook started; it was just for the kids. All of a sudden, responsible adults want to know what their kids are up to, so they start using it. The kids go ‘sod this, there’s something new in town, we’re going to jump over to that platform instead’, and the responsible adults follow.
TikTok is the perfect example. TikTok started, the kids are on there, all the marketing teams across the globe are going ‘ooh something new, we know what’s going to happen’, they’re there as well. The social platform has already got the plan on how to monetise the channel, all we need now is the people with the money, i.e. responsible adults, to follow. And every time we get a new social media app in play, we see this ageing up process happen. And TikTok is probably the platform that it’s happened quickest on….the kids are going back to snapchat, the adults are hanging out on TikTok now. And TikTok’s understood as ‘how can people use it from an employer branding perspective?’ They put a lot of effort into that, the advertising opportunities on TikTok. You’re looking at quite a serious investment in terms of TikTok ads, but stuffs worked really well, from an e-commerce perspective, low-cost products are just selling thick and thin on TikTok. So, we see this pattern repeating. So, we need to understand ‘okay if this is what human behaviour is around these channels, where are the opportunities to leverage it? Where do we need to be in front of the curve to make sure that we’re capturing those people as soon as they land?’”
How to choose which social media platform to market your business on?
“Understand who your audience is. Anytime I say to someone ‘what does your ideal client look like’, they’ll tell me about the size of business, they’ll tell me about the demographics, age range, possibly education, definitely geographical stuff, but beyond that they struggle. If we really understand our audience, if we get into the mindset of them, think about what they’re having for breakfast, what podcasts they’re listening to, and really understand them on this level, we can really drill down and go, okay well what are those traits? Are they going to be spending most of their time on TikTok? Then let’s put all of our efforts there. If your budget is limited and your resources are limited in terms of time, then put all your efforts there.’
How should businesses focus their content?
‘We shouldn’t be producing content for contents sake. And I think this is the trap that a lot of people fall into. We don’t produce content, we produce assets. Every piece of content you create should: entertain, engage, or educate. And in a perfect world, when you’re doing it well, you’re always going to be doing at least two of those things.
Even if you just think about actually making it manageable. If as much of your content as possible can hit at least two of those three points, then you’ve got to produce less content. So that’s one thing. If you’re then looking at all of your channels, and going ‘well, do you know what’. I mean – spoiler alert! You don’t actually have to be on every social media platform going.  
If we’re creating content 20 years ago, its like flyers everywhere, posters everywhere, and businesses would look at a geography and say ‘we’re going to flyer this postcode and this postcode, cause that’s where ideal clients are going to be.’ They wouldn’t just do the whole lot anyway. So, it’s almost like we need to take the same approach.”
What are other agencies doing well right now?
“A lot of people are going back to the drawing board. There’s this real feeling of: people are overwhelmed by content, so how do we break through the noise? How do we deliver things differently?
If you think about podcasts and this podcast for example, not enough recruiters are using their voices. So now recruiters are looking at how to deliver content in a more innovative way – so looking at things like podcasts, YouTube. I mean, YouTube has been around for years, but not many are really engaging in that. So how can we use that? The TikTok’s, the reels, the YouTube shots, how can we engage there?
But you’ve also got a lot of recruiters going – so we’ve got all of these fantastic assets – how can we break them down and actually physically get in front of people without having to leave our offices or homes? And so we are kind of seeing this shift back to more traditional methods….think lumpy mail, getting something physical through the letterbox! You can never take away from the excitement of things like that. And it’s not expensive. It depends what data you hold on people, let’s say you know when their birthdays are, it’s simply going to the card factory, and getting ten random birthday cards for a quid, and the cost of a stamp, and then sending them a handwritten card, that’s not branded, on their birthday, from you and your team. I mean the fact that it’s not branded, and that it’s handwritten, makes it personal. It works really, really well.
So it’s not all about posting, it’s not all about broadcasting, it’s about listening as well.”
What would you say to companies on how to manage their marketing as we stare down the barrel of a recession?
“As a business owner, this is my first recession. However, going into a global pandemic and seeing what happened then, and the reading you do around it, if I used my clients as an example, the people that held firm, are the people who might have turned a lot of stuff off in their business, but they kept their marketing going. Even if they had to reduce it a bit, they kept it going. And they were the ones that bounced back quicker. They are the ones that today when I look at their businesses I just go ‘wow’. Having had the phone calls with them in despair, in tears, to see where their businesses are now and how much they’ve grown, it’s because – when everything else stopped, they were still showing up. They were still showing up and serving and adding value and therefore, when their clients came out of the gate, they were the ones that they were racing towards.
Some of the businesses who on day one were like ‘right we’re going to shut down, stop’, there’s some of them that are still struggling now, and now they’re about to go into a recession. So, for me, it really is okay yes, we need to try and stay cash rich, yes, we need to look at our overheads, but marketing is the function that is ever present in your business, it always needs to be there. Maybe we need to look at what we’re doing, be more efficient with it, but we also need to not stop.

This was a really illuminating discussion, covering so many interesting themes! Our two Key Takeaways would be:
  1. Don’t have a scattergun approach to social media: pick one or two core channels and focus your time and energy on making those as good as possible.
  2. Don’t post content for content’s sake: it MUST be value add.
On that basis, we reflected on our own social media channels and the sort of content that we’ve been sharing recently. We made the executive decision to strip our marketing back a little: focusing on our two most prominent channels – LinkedIn and Instagram - and really driving the marketing forward on those. It’s amazing how much marketing time this has freed up – time which is now well spent on ensuring the content we share on those channels is as creative, engaging and value add as possible.
We also hope to be adding value with these blogs and podcasts – by offering helpful tips and advice to you, the reader!
Finally, thanks again to Christina for joining us on the podcast. Click to listen to the full episode now, and to learn more about Green Umbrella themselves head to their website!


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