I talked in my last blog of some of the trends that would emerge during 2014, and the importance of content was at at number 1. I said then
"Websites and social channels aren't always about broadcasting your messages and jobs, but should also be about building two way conversations and meaningful relationships with current, future and past candidates, clients and employees. The importance of creating and sharing a range of content that educates, informs and entertains will be crucial to this."
There's currently a lot of talk about content and how best to use it. For recruitment businesses there are unique opportunities, as at the very core of the recruitment process are two types of written content - job briefs and CVs. These are normally prepared by third parties and more often then not used (or published) without any editing or re-drafting. How crazy is that?! Our core message to the market is based around someone else's written content in which we rarely attempt to invest a tone of voice, insight or humour of our own.
Does the brief paint a picture? Are we inspiring the most relevant job seekers to investigate the role further? Do the candidate profiles that we submit show achievements, transferable skills and give an indication of how they can add value to the client?
Aside from job briefs and CVs we have many other sources of content - sales presentations, industry or sector research, client case studies, salary guidelines, career advice, interview advice and the thoughts and opinions of everyone from the CEO to trainee consultants. All of these help to build thought leadership and authority. And let's not forget stories from candidates of how their new jobs have transformed them and their careers, and from clients of how the key hires have helped transform their businesses.
That's quite a lot of content to be getting along with, and we've got many ways to showcase it - blogs, white papers, downloadable reports, video, audio, slideshare, graphics and photos. Listen to what clients and job seekers are saying, learn what they want and which problems they face, and create content that shows how you can help, whether it be stories, blogs or visual.
So what are we trying to achieve? We need content that communicates, informs, educates and inspires. Stories that enable clients and job seekers to see us as the answer to their problems, and thought leaders in our space. Which means we need content that...
- Is relevant and accessible
- Speaks to our audience
- Provides the solution to their problems
- Gets their attention
- Inspires action
- Initiates dialogue
- Gets shared
As the US author, speaker and social media strategist Gary Vaynerchuk frequently tells us, every business is now in the media business and the only way to compete is to become an authority on content, as it is the storytellers who control the conversation and make money.
So what are the 7 key components of content that really works?
- Simplicity : People respond to clear messages and stories that are easy to follow, so don't over complicate what you say
- Clarity : No jargon or buzzwords, just straight forward plain language that connects emotionally without the need to think too deeply
- Humour : Show that you enjoyed creating it, but don't resort to in-jokes or current fads…make it fun and timeless
- Passion : Talk like you mean it and tell it like you really believe it, passion and belief are infectious
- Focus : Know the problems or situations that you are trying to address and create content that clients and job seekers think is just for them
- Honesty : Don't try to sell something you can't really offer, and don't offer solutions that you can't deliver…people know that if it's too good to be true then it probably is
- Action : That's what you need at the end, so make sure you inspire a call to action…be it sharing, recommending, referring or making contact
How many of your job briefs and adverts, candidate profiles, market intelligence and thought leadership pieces tick those 7 boxes?