5 steps to a successful content marketing strategy that attracts talent

5 steps to a successful content marketing strategy that attracts talent

Follow these steps if you really want to become a talent magnet, create better hiring experiences and improve candidate quality.

Gone are the days of simply posting on job boards and expecting hundreds of applications.

Nowadays, if your employer branding and messages don’t resonate with your ideal candidates, you’re simply handing talent to your competitors!

‘Content’ isn’t just a fancy buzzword or fad. Done effectively, there’s a world of benefits of using content marketing for talent acquisition. It helps you:

  • Build relationships with passive talent
  • Easily convert talent
  • Improve candidate quality
  • Create better hiring experiences – for everyone

Just as a content marketer needs to appeal to their ideal target audience, so do HR and TA managers when it comes to attracting relevant talent.

But before you dive in and create anything, you’ll need a structured plan to make sure your content appeals to your audience.

Here are 5 important steps to creating a content marketing strategy if you really want to become a talent magnet – and no cutting corners!

1. Identify your target audience

The first step in your content strategy is to identify who you need to hire (and retain), because a one-size-fits-all approach is not going to cut the mustard here.

Just like you would in customer marketing, you need to segment your talent audience so you can tailor your messages and speak directly to each.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What talent is hard to fill?
  • What talent segment do we need to hire a lot of?
  • What talent segment is hard to retain?
  • What talent segment takes up most of your time to hire?
  • Which talent segments are most critical to the business?
  • And if you don’t hire those talent segments fast enough, what impact will it have on the business?

Once you’ve done this, you should be crystal clear on who you’re targeting, and you’re ready for step 2…

2. Determine ideal personas for each talent segment

Now you’ve identified your audience, you need to understand those people in depth – their desires, fears and inclinations – so you can produce content that’s valuable to them. The best way to do this is to create personas for your audience. For each of your critical talent segments, map out:
  • Background – basic criteria like years of experience, function, industry, skills and qualifications
  • Psychographics – interests, aspirations, professional goals and where they spend their free time
  • Behaviour – how they make decisions about career moves and interact with potential employers
  • Geography – where they are physically located
‌Once you have your personas, you should have a deep understanding of your target talent and the messages in your content to get their attention. ‌Here’s an example of Paul, a senior IT professional, working in Financial Services.The type of content he’s interested in includes:
  • Major IT infrastructure projects
  • Trends around the digitalisation of banking
  • Growing market locations for IT and FinTech such as Singapore
Investing time into creating your personas will make your content development process a LOT easier.

3. Create a content calendar

So now you know who you’re targeting and what will pique their interest. Time to get organised and create a structured communications cadence by doing this:

  1. Create a content calendar with some core content themes you know your audience will find valuable.
  2. Choose content formats such as video, blog posts, infographics, podcasts, imagery.
  3. Set an objective for each content piece. Is your objective to build brand awareness or drive applications for a particular vacancy on your careers site? Or perhaps you’re trying to rectify brand misconceptions using real life testimonials?
  4. Select communication channels such as your careers site, blog and social media. Consider going beyond the usual suspects like Facebook and LinkedIn – where else does your talent hang out?
  5. Post regularly and commit to building your employer brand by keeping the conversation alive!

One of the keys to success in content marketing is consistently showing up for your audience, because this builds familiarity, trust and credibility.

4. Amplify your message!

Now you’ve got a plan in place and know what you’re saying to who – it’s time to get the word out and grow your reach.

When you invest time into creating awesome content, you want to make sure you get as many eyeballs on it as possible. Do not waste its value!

Use these 3 key methods to get your content seen:

  1. Organic content – Your own content that shows up in peoples’ feeds without paying to boost it. It’s free and you can use hashtags to dovetail into existing conversations about a topic. For this to work and grow your online network, you must create high quality, relevant content and post regularly!
  2. Employee advocacy – Your people are your best advocates and they’re usually connected to talent you want to hire. Bring them on your employer branding journey and ask them to share, like and comment on your content. Ask your leadership team to lead by example and do the same.
  3. Paid advertising – Allows you to quickly expand your reach and target specific talent segments. It costs moolah, but it’s worth considering if you need an initial boost. If budget’s tight, select content that already performed well organically.

You could use these in any combination, but the route you take depends on your objectives, the strength of your brand and the size of your current audience.

5. Measure your success

You’ve put in tremendous effort to get to this step! But how do you know if your content marketing is actually working?

Just like any investment, you need to determine your ROI – which means measuring your KPIs against your objectives.

If your objective is brand awareness, measure the impressions of your posts, social followers and traffic to your website. If you’re trying to create engagement, track the likes, comments and shares on your posts.

And if you’re running a campaign to drive leads or get people to join your talent pipeline, then look at applications, sign ups to your talent community or registrations on your landing pages. Don’t forget to measure your recruiting metrics too, like time to fill and quality of hire.

These metrics can also help you identify trends so you can optimise your approach. Try experimenting with different content topics, formats, length of posts/videos and timing, then make incremental improvements over time.

Play the long game

Remember – content marketing is not a quick win. You don’t turn it on and suddenly see people flooding in. It’s a long-term investment that you can tweak as you go.

The important thing is to keep showing up consistently for your audience with relevant and valuable content. And over time, you’ll see the great impact on your talent attraction and retention efforts.

It goes without saying, never create content without a solid employer brand foundation in place. Having a well-defined, data-driven Employee Value Proposition will make sure your content marketing efforts are not in vain.

Ready to start The EVP Project to build a winning employer brand in-house? Schedule a call with us to see how we can help.

Watch the whole video series here