Content marketing has fast become a go-to channel for marketing teams looking to generate interest in products; gain leads; drive organic traffic; and build a library of informative and in-depth content for clients and prospects.
However, attracting candidates with content isn’t limited to just marketing to potential customers; rather, recruitment departments can also harness the power of well-crafted content to convert job-seekers into applicants. In fact, content marketing can help talent teams engage top candidates in a number of thoughtful and meaningful ways that intersect with a job-seeker’s interests.
Effective content marketing can also make a difference in moving the candidate along to the next stage. In particular, content marketing as a talent acquisition strategy should focus on engaging job-seekers with relevant articles, white papers relevant to their career interests, webinars, videos, or podcasts to help a candidate navigate through an employer’s recruitment funnel. When brainstorming recruitment content, look at industry publications and professional groups on LinkedIn to identify current topics of interest for candidates in your industry.
In Part Two of this section, we’ll discuss how to create relevant content and ensure candidates are able to find it.
An effective content marketing strategy includes a variety of content types to fill various channels and appeal to different types of candidates. That’s because some candidates may prefer to watch a video, whereas others would rather read an article. Likewise, some may like to learn in bite-sized pieces, while other appreciate an in-depth article. With that in mind, below are a few types of content to consider adding to your mix.
Your organization may already have a blog where the marketing team regularly posts content for your potential customers. In the same vein, consider a blog on your careers site to better educate and engage candidates about what it’s like to work for your organization.
Then, when generating blog articles, keep in mind that each piece of content needs to be of value to the reader. According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 66% of marketers prioritize their audience’s needs over their sales message when creating content. In contrast, 88% of the most successful marketers prioritize audience needs over sales messaging.
To that end, consider:
- Interviewing employees across all roles and asking them to describe how they got to where they are today
- Sharing news about exciting projects
- Featuring hiring managers to discuss the hiring process and post updates on upcoming events
Similarly, if you have strong writers on your team, ask them to write short blogs about their experiences.
Video is a great format for recruitment content that often boosts candidate engagement. Take the booming popularity of video-based social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram as evidence that this is a particularly influential type of content for young workers. Video is particularly powerful on social channels, so consider amplifying your efforts by encouraging colleagues to act as employee brand ambassadors for your organization on their social channels. Besides, job-seekers trust an organization’s employees three times more than the company itself to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there.
If you’re just getting started in video, don’t worry about high production quality. Due to the popularity of tools like Zoom during the pandemic, as well as the proliferation of video on social media, candidates are used to watching basic videos. In fact, the authentic feel of these types of videos can often yield even higher engagement than professionally produced content.
Micro & Social Content
Talent teams are stretched thin, so consistently creating long-form content may be challenging. So, if your team lacks the bandwidth to create long-form content, consider shorter, “micro content.” This might include sharing small bits of entertaining or informative news or industry updates with candidates on social media or micro-content platforms.
Social media, in particular, is perfect for micro content, with 94% of content marketers using social media platforms to distribute content. This content could include fun moments from the workplace, employee testimonials, or short videos of the company participating at a career fair or a conference. Essentially, content marketing is an opportunity to explore as many different ways to connect with your audience as possible; just remember to stay on brand and keep a consistent theme with language and design. This way, prospects will enjoy a more uniform and cohesive candidate experience.
If you take the time to create content for candidates, it’s important to make sure that they can find it easily. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing—and doing so can help drive job-seekers to your careers page organically. In particular, well-optimized pages rely on homing in on and deploying the right set of keywords, as well as tailoring metadata for search and making sure the pages load quickly.
When done right—and in conjunction with high-quality content—SEO can lead to a great deal of traffic and conversions on a career site. Plus, leveraging SEO as a talent acquisition strategy makes sense, as 226 million job-seekers use Google each month to begin their job search. What’s more, 51% of all content consumption comes from organic traffic. Accordingly, with employers across the globe struggling not only to source and recruit talent, but also to increase retention, a smart SEO strategy is an integral component in the recruitment marketing arsenal.
Meta titles and meta descriptions are the two fields that show up on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This is the page you see after typing something into a search engine like Google. Metadata makes it easier for Google to spot and index your careers page content on relevant search results pages. For this reason, your meta title should be clear so job-seekers immediately know the title and location of the job opening when they visit your page. The meta description is the caption beneath the title that describes the web page’s content in more detail. A tailored meta description helps Google and job-seekers quickly identify and interact with your content in the way that you intend.
When creating a meta description, try to stick to the following guidelines:
- Limit it to no more than 155 characters.
- Keep it clear and concise, with a call to action for job-seekers.
- Reference the language of the page you’re working on to really nail your metadata.
Although it can be time-consuming, researching and choosing the right keywords can also help you obtain greater visibility from qualified job-seekers, as well as increase organic search traffic to your site.
Begin by understanding which short- and long-tail keywords job-seekers use to search for jobs relevant to your company. You can also research which keywords your competitors are using in their job postings, as well as more comprehensive content, to inform and expand your keyword list. Notably, this may require job titles and descriptions to be altered. While you’re at it, pay close attention to keyword intent—the reason for a job-seeker’s search. Ensuring that this is part of your SEO recruitment strategy guarantees that keywords are aligned to your broader business goals. Additionally, if you’re a brick-and-mortar business, utilize locally focused keywords in your content to better reach quality candidates in close proximity to you.
Content marketing can also fuel other parts of the recruitment marketing mix, and email is the perfect channel to start expanding your content marketing program. What’s more, content and email marketing campaigns can complement each other by increasing the sharing of content and expanding reach. In the next section, we’ll offer tips on how email marketing can give your content a boost.