Content marketing is used by some of the most prominent organisations in the world, for both digital marketing purposes and talent attraction campaigns.
Content is integral to the future of digital marketing. It can be defined as “marketing that tries to attract customers by distributing informational content potentially useful to the target audience, rather than by advertising products and services.”
Examples of content marketing include blog posts, infographics, videos, vlogs and podcasts.
Content marketing is gaining in popularity
Content marketing works by gaining the trust of the audience, providing relevant and valuable media on topics which benefit them. As a result, the audience learns to consider the company a trustworthy source of information. So, when they need the services your business provides, you are already at the forefront of their mind.
As such, content marketing can also be used as part of your employer branding strategy. Candidates put in significant research into employers before they even apply for a role. As the current market is candidate-driven, job seekers have every reason to do their research. The pick of the market is theirs. So, employers need to build an audience over time, not just when they are actively recruiting.
This is where a content marketing strategy comes in.
Why is content marketing so powerful?
Trust is the key here.
Content is powerful because, if it is consistent, it builds a relationship between the audience and the company.
For example, blogs that discuss different elements of your industry with knowledge and precision indirectly promotes your company’s expertise. Similarly, posts which discuss your employer brand and company culture which are not specifically attached to any live vacancies indirectly promote your company as an employer.
So, content can be a great way to build up a relationship with future talent. The more content you produce, the stronger your relationship gets. So, when they’re ready to look for their next opportunity, they are already aware of the opportunities available with your company.
How can you optimise your content?
Ensure that your content is high quality
This might seem obvious, but the topic, research and writing should be engaging and thorough. Simple mistakes such as typos and grammatical errors could put your reader off.
Keep it concise
Great content is aware of its audience. So, keep it to a reasonable length. Your content should convey the message but not turn the reader off by being too long. The aim should be to make it as easy to read as possible for your target audience.
Research your topic thoroughly
If content marketing is all about creating trust, then it can also be just as effective at creating a lack of trust. However, this will only happen if your content isn’t up to scratch and doesn’t utilise research properly. Candidates want to be reassured that you are a leader in your field. So, make sure you cite research to back up your content.
Often, it’s better to publish nothing at all than to create content which contains errors or isn’t adequately researched.
Several techniques can be extremely effective when making your content easy to read. For example, bullet points, headers, short paragraphs and short sentences. Your content should be easy to scan, for readers who want to find the information they need quickly.
Make sure you have a voice
When discussing a subject with different viewpoints, take up a position and give your content purpose. However, back it up, and discuss the other position just as thoroughly. Research shows that candidates want to know about your company values before applying.
Keywords are your friend
You can use social media and email campaigns to promote your content.
However, for the best optimisation you want to target people who have a question and need your company to answer it for them.
Imagine, someone googles “women in tech companies.” They want to find information on tech companies who have a high number of female employees and compile a list of those they’re interested in working for. If you have a back catalogue of content on women in tech, filled with the relevant keywords for that topic, you will rank highly on Google and be easy to find.
Better yet, create a piece of content on a topic that has not yet been widely discussed. Not only will you rank highly as there is little competition, but you are more likely to capture attention.
So, to sum up
Ultimately, while keeping the above points in mind, what matters most is that your content is high quality. Write your article first, then make sure it contains the relevant keywords for optimisation. Writing it the other way around will make for a clunky, poorly written article.
Use headers and formatting that makes it easy to read but use these tools to optimise the article itself. Don’t write an article around these rules. Instead, let them improve what’s already there.
Most importantly, answer the candidate’s question. If you provide an answer, your content will be relevant and engaging. Should it do a good job of providing that answer, it is likely to rank highly because it is, quite simply, quality content. Everything else is a bonus.
Content is important as a marketing tool. However, it’s more important that your content is executed well. It’s not worth creating a bad relationship with potential talent. So, give your content the attention and time it needs to make a positive impact on your employer brand.