What is your attention span and tolerance for boring information? If it is anything like mine, then both are shrinking in this ‘new’ world of digital content. There is now so much content everywhere we look - blogs, pictures, videos, Facebook updates, Tweets, Linkedin updates, email newsletters etc. etc. - it all becomes a bit of a blur!
But this itself creates it’s own problem for you, your company and your candidate attraction and engagement strategy. We have inadvertently created an expectation around content. When I arrive on sites that have little or no interesting (relevant) content I am left disappointed, and I am likely to return to Google to find the information elsewhere. My website attention span is definitely decreasing.
So what about candidates arriving your company website, career site, job pages, Facebook page, LinkedIn company page, Twitter Page, YouTube Channel or Instagram account? Have you captured their interest with the content you have written, created, shared or posted, or are you just talking about you or your company all the time? Will they stay long enough to explore more and make the calls to action you hope they will? If they don’t you have a problem!
Would you talk to boring people at a party?
What do you do when you are in a bar or at a party and someone comes over and starts boring you about himself or herself? You know the sort - me, blah, me, blah, me, blah, me - until they draw breath! I don’t know about you, but when that happens, I am out of there as soon as I can be and make a point of avoiding that person again. What do you do?
Just remember how that makes YOU feel, and what impression that gives YOU of that other person. [I want you to hold that thought for a moment]
So now consider the content you create, post and share. What do you do when you see people or companies just talking ‘me, me, me’ or ‘us, us, us’ on whichever social network you use? You know the sort of posts and updates:
- ‘this is what WE do’;
- ‘this is OUR white paper on our new product’
- ‘sign up for OUR latest webinar about how great WE are’
- ‘this is what WE have won’;
- ‘look at US, aren’t we fantastic’;
- ‘these are the services that WE offer’;
- ‘buy OUR products’
When posted continuously these types of posts don’t add much to the user experience, they don’t engage with anyone, in fact they are the modern version of a brag file. However if they were mixed into other types of varied they become more valuable and useful. When posting on social media I have found that mixing one of my pieces of content with five other pieces of content (from different sources), works for me. I am not over sharing my stuff and (importantly) adding value for my fans/followers etc with other people’s great content.
If you think something is boring DON’T post/share it
This sounds so damn obvious, but I find myself dealing with this with clients who feel the pressure just to post and share information. While I understand the perceived need to share only content about your company, mixing it up a little with relevant external content can be beneficial. I wrote about how you can do this in a previous post on content marketing, and it is very effective.
In candidate attraction, much of a company’s content will reside in and around a career site. This makes absolute sense, as it is the primary recruitment destination for most organisations. But the same applies (even more so) to the social media sites you reside on - being boring with what you post will not help you there! Here are seven things to ensure you do with the content you create and/or share:
- Make it interesting
Writing content does not have to be a licence to continually tell the world how good you are all the time, or just talk about selling your products/services all the time. That would just be boring, wouldn’t it! The industry you work in is multi-dimensional, full of a whole myriad of interesting things. Write about them. Give opinion, insights, share your experiences, share other people’s content that you find interesting and above all write content that you would find interesting to read!
- Make it relevant to your target audience
You should know your target audience (if not read this) that you are looking to attract and engage with. If you know your audience, then post content that will be of relevance to them. If your audience is on the ‘younger side’ then your content has to include video and images, as that is their staple social diet! An older target audience might appreciate white papers, ebooks or long detailed blog posts more. It is important you get this right, or a high website bounce rate beckons for you!
- Mix up the content style
You don’t have to limit your content to writing - pictures, video and audio also work very well. Take the blog posts, news articles, video, pictures etc. you have created and the articles that you like and find interesting, and then mix them up and sharing them with your different audiences. As an example, when showing people what it is like to work for your company, employee video’s and images are the best way of doing this.
- Be consistent
People quickly get used to and expect content delivered at regular times. Having a content strategy (including a content calendar) will help you manage this. Posting good and relevant content regularly (and more often on social media), will quickly help you extend your brand within your target audience. They become used to seeing good content being consistently posted every day (7 days) and every month. This does need planning but it is worth the effort.
- Be timely
This applies primarily to social media channels. Share content when you know your target audience is likely to be online more often, so there is an improved chance of them seeing it and interacting with engaging with it. For example, if your target audience is the construction sector, then share content at times before they go on site (usually 7.30/8.00am), tea/lunch breaks (often fixed at certain sites) and when they leave site and are commuting home. Sharing it during the working day when they are on site (and unable to use their phone) is just wasting good content - they won’t see it. Every audience demographic is different, so make sure you know yours (and don’t forget weekends, people have more time then).
- Track, monitor and measure
It is crucial that you monitor and measure the success of every piece of content you share - both on your own site and on the social media networks. All the social sites have good analytics/insights on everything you share, and your website analytics (Google Analytics or another) will provide essential feedback information. Analysed each week and month, these will help you fine-tune the types of content your target audience likes to read from you.
- Quality, quality, quality
This is so important. Don’t take shortcuts on the quality just for the sake of posting your own content. There is nothing worse than spelling mistakes, formatting issues, bad images or even badly written copy. With all the online text editors, there is no excuse for spelling and formatting issues. With regards to your copy quality, just ensure you have a proofreader or two that always checks the posts before they get posted. This can be done easily but is really worth doing, as a different perspective and a fresh pair of eyes on your content is great for highlighting errors or improvements.
But please remember - if you find something boring then so will your audience, so don’t share it with them!
If this subject resonates with you, and you need some help at your company getting your recruitment content marketing better aligned, send me an email and let’s have a chat.
And remember, if you like this post, don’t forget to subscribe to Sirona Says blog to ensure you don’t miss the weekly posts. And if you haven’t got your copy yet, don’t forget to buy a copy of my new book.