Jeanine Gordon, Content Strategist & Managing Editor, @ Article-Writing.co
Content marketing – it’s something that’s on everyone’s mind, or at least it should be. If your recruiting firm has big plans stepping up your content marketing game, the results can be astounding, but it’s going to take hard work to get there. Before you can reap the rewards of winning at content marketing you need to put the time and energy in. If you want to hit the sweet spot with your efforts, you need to dig deep and drill down into what exactly you need to do.
Deep Thought #1 – It’s Not Just Words on a Page
Great! You and your team have finally picked up on the notion that content marketing is no longer optional for your business and you’ve decided to join the marketing revolution that bypasses traditional, hard-sell advertising in favor of a subtler approach based on the written and visual materials you share with the world. That’s a positive step in the right direction, but before you start spit balling topics for your shiny new company blog, stop and take a step back. Content marketing should never be a knee-jerk response to wanting more clients or to attract better candidates. Yes, you can achieve those things with your content marketing, but it’s not going to happen overnight, and it sure as hell won’t happen if you don’t have a plan for your brand.
Content marketing whiz and successful entrepreneur, Andrea Baxter knows a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to putting words out into the world, saying “companies still have a lot to learn when it comes to how they do content but also understand why it’s important to their business.” For those businesses that are winning at the content marketing game, she explains that “content for a business isn’t just fluff anymore … if it’s not done well and can’t have the time, attention, and strategy to support it, then it isn’t worth having a blog.” Apply that same wisdom to any content you create for your recruiting firm or even your own personal brand, whether it’s your agency’s Facebook posts, your web copy, or a whitepaper. In other words, don’t half-ass it.
Content marketing isn’t about instant results. You don’t push a big magic button and watch the sales come rolling in. Instead, you’re playing the long game, and if you’re playing it well, it means that you’re serving up a super-tight strategy with plenty of thought behind it. In a blog post for Kissmetrics, Neil Patel sums it up nicely, saying, “Give your content time to gain traction and deliver organic results. Content marketing isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon.” Ask any marathoner about the race and they’ll tell you how much strategy and work is behind those 26.2 miles.
Deep Thought #2 – Engage Your Audience
As a recruiter, you know how important conversations are. You’d never just wordlessly accept an assignment from a client without engaging in a dialogue about it. Similarly, you’d never just hand a qualified candidate a job offer without multiple rounds of conversation, both formal and informal.
Think of any content that you create for your agency as another critical conversation with your audience where you’re opening the channels of communication and inviting them to join along with you. To communicate your brand, you want to talk with your readers, not at them.
Andrea puts it this way, “Engagement is key and I think a lot of companies miss the mark on this, to be honest.” Simply put, engagement is where it’s at. But, you can’t share with your audience if you don’t have one. If you haven’t figured out who your target client or candidate is, stop reading and go do that. Don’t spend one single second producing content if you’re not creating it with a specific group or demographic in mind.
Only when you have your audiences’ persona at the forefront of your content strategy can you ensure that your words will be useful, meaningful, and have them wanting to come back for more. Talking just for the sake of talking will usually mean that no one will want to listen. When you know who your audience is and you create content that serves a purpose for them, they’ll be eager to read it, share it, and stick around to see what you have to say next time.
Deep Thought #3 – If You Don’t Measure, You Can’t Learn
Content marketing takes time and effort, there’s no way around it. So, if you’re putting that time and energy in, you want to make damn sure that you know exactly how it’s working, or not working, for you.
Andrea can’t stress enough the importance of having clearly defined goals to use as a benchmark for identifying how your business’ content marketing efforts are doing. While publishing content is great, she emphasizes, “don’t forget to measure! Like anything in marketing, you need to know if it’s working or not and where you need to make adjustments.”
You’re not sitting around writing a company blog, tweeting about your recruiting business, or writing LinkedIn articles because there’s nothing good on Netflix – you’re doing this to boost your reputation in the industry and get those awesome clients and candidates to come knocking on your door. If you aren’t using well-defined metrics to measure your efforts then you’ll never know if your blog is bringing in more business, or if any of your other content is serving its purpose.
It all fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. Remember that you need to know who you want to engage with, and then do so with thought-provoking, rich content that meets a need and excites your audience about what your staffing group has to say. Once you say it, take stock of whether it resonates. If it strikes the right chord with your audience, keep it coming. If it falls flat, don’t be afraid to change directions, but always remember thing that marketing your recruiting agency will take time.
While you’re nodding along and thinking that this all makes sense on paper, applying these strategies to your own staffing firm might require more time and effort than you have to spare. As a recruiter, you wear enough hats throughout the day as is, so if marketing just isn’t an area you want to drill down on, work with an experienced article writing service to help you strategize and create the content that your recruiting agency needs to get noticed, become part of the conversation, and get the results you’re after.
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