Talent Circles

Monday, February 9, 2015

How to Create Awesome Online Content for Your Job Seeker Community

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Are you leveraging online content to attract potential candidates? If not, you’re missing a big piece of the recruiting puzzle. You’re not alone, though. Creating share-worthy online content is definitely easier said than done, and many are completely mystified by how one does it consistently. I know this because I get many questions about how I create online content day after day. The answer I give people is that content truly is all around us. I’m inspired by other blogs, podcasts, videos, photographs and so much more. However, behind that truth are a couple of secrets that I often think about hours after being asked the question.

So for those who want to create awesome content that job seekers want to read, I’d like to share a few tricks of the trade.

Understand your audience
Creating awesome online content starts with understanding your audience. In your head or on paper, briefly profile what your candidates are usually like, or what you want your candidates to be like. Doing this allows you to think about what these people want and need and to escape the trap of only coming up with ideas that appeal to you. The content isn’t about you. It’s about the needs of the intended audience you are trying to reach. Know your audience and you’ll soon know what they want to see, read and hear.

Keep it real
Your content should emphasize your employment brand’s look, feel and tone, but it shouldn’t sound like marketing speak. Content should appeal to candidates as individuals and should focus on providing a solution or resource that meets a need. Most days I talk to my intended audience directly, looking to them for inspiration. I ask them about their challenges, frustrations and situations that drive them crazy. This reminds me that there are real people on the other side accessing my content and reminds me of what they are like as individuals.  

Don’t limit yourself  
If I was only engaged in brainstorming content between the hours of 8 and 5, I wouldn’t have near as many resources on my website and blog. Ideas come at me in the strangest places, such as in the car while listening to a song, at home during a television show or while talking with a friend over coffee. By opening yourself up to accept ideas in many different forms and metaphors, you’ll have a never-ending supply of ideas for blogs, resources, webinars, podcasts and more.

Be original
This seems like a given, but in a world where job seekers have millions of blog posts and resources to choose from, it needs to be said. How can you give an old topic a fresh spin? Are you willing to tackle the tough things that no one else is talking about? Providing fresh and customized content that advises, informs and suits their needs will set you apart.

 Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell


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