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Guest Blog - Using Content Marketing as a Candidate Attraction Method

Mike Shields (2)

Mike Shields Blog, Tips, Marketing...

Ever wondered why your recruitment drives lack engagement or isn’t attracting the right kind of applicant? Your marketing might be good, but is it providing value? Mike Shields, Head of PR at Distract, explains why content (combined with consistency) is still king after all this time.

If you’re trying to attract a candidate in today’s climate, even before the COVID-19 crisis, you may have found that it was becoming even more difficult than usual to find the right kind of fit for your business.

What we live in these days is a democracy, ruled over by the candidate. With thousands of SMEs out there and less and less huge corporations and entities hiring for life, the choice really is up to the individual. This may be why it is harder than ever to attract and then ultimately retain really good staff.

Step in marketing, that’s always been able to help right? Get some ads out there, tell people why you are the best and it’ll change within a matter of weeks. Wrong.

These days, candidates don’t just seek out the values of a company. They also want to know that they are working for a company or business that knows their stuff and that they can develop and learn from. Not only is this useful for attracting candidates, it also shows your customers and potential clients that you are well-versed, knowledgeable and are the market leaders in your sector. But how do you do this effectively? Enter content marketing.

But what is content marketing?

A long, drawn-out explanation is tedious and serves little purpose, but ultimately, content marketing is about providing regular, informative material that serves a primary purpose of providing value in the form of observations, opinions, guidance and insight that is hopefully unique to you.

Let’s think of an example. Imagine you are in the food processing industry. Your specialism is effectively delivering quality products to your clients and ultimately the general public. Rather than boasting about the number of units you produce, what your profits are or what awards you may have secured (even though this is all valuable for PR reasons), why not add value to others and be seen as an altruistic company?

How can you create this?

Here’s where it gets interesting. The content can be anything you put your mind to, for example, let’s take our food processing firm. Have you implemented training for your staff you think is unique? Have you pioneered something unusual in terms of packaging? Has your factory been automated at all? These three things are issues that many will be seeking to hear about. You are in a position of privilege and have already been through these processes. As a result, can you make the most out of this resource and become a fountain of knowledge? If so, why not give it a try?

The delivery methods can be myriad here. At Distract, we write blogs, articles, e-shots and run two podcasts as well as writing as guests, as you’re reading here, on others’ blogs.

The sky really is the limit and you can really go wild if you want to. Consider the following in relation to our invented food processing SME:

  • Get personal: A day in the life of a company employee, either by video means or by a regular blog.
  • Keep it regular: A regular piece of content around training, whether it is talking about existing methods that have worked or not in your own organisation or comparing new disciplines coming through. This can be a podcast, a regular video series or a series of webinars
  • eBooks: These can be produced on all sorts of topics, but try to find a few that are unique to you. In the case of the food SME, something advice-led on food safety legislation or a topical supply chain issue could be perfect, especially in times of pandemics at the moment.
  • Interactive content: Why not conduct a survey? This could be a light-hearted take on consumer trends or something more B2B focused in the long-run. Either way, it provides regular, long-form content which can be stretched out. Even better if you can do it annually.
  • Be a voice in your industry and in others: Investigate which news sources need insight that only you can offer. Expert in automation? Impede on the manufacturing, tech, finance and other industries that could use your advice or knowledge. Be the person people turn to.
  • Get social: Don’t neglect social channels. LinkedIn is a great place to test out content marketing. Start a series of articles and publish regularly. Find out what your community wants to know about and be the voice of reason in a chaotic landscape.

The key here is to get stuck in. PR, marketing and advertising is all part of the marketing mix, but often the most valuable asset you have for attracting the right people is your own knowledge and expertise. If you were given the choice of working for an organisation that spouts self-aggrandising content over actually usable material, the decision becomes obvious. Use what you know to make sure that you remain a resilient, valuable business that people want to work for.


Thank you to our guest blogger, Mike, for sharing his expertise on content marketing in Ambitions' latest guest blog.