“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” Well, playing the game of content strategy isn’t that dire, but since we’ve all heard that content is king, maybe content does deserve a place vying for the crown in one of my favorite TV shows/books: Game of Thrones. At a minimum, we should all agree that in the ‘realm’ of recruitment, content is a crucial player.
Now, I won’t go all Ramsay Snow/Bolton (aka crazy) on you if you don’t yet have a content strategy. But given the importance of content as part of your recruitment marketing plan, I will pull a Lord Varys and help you out by sharing six steps to developing a content strategy so you can win at the Game of Content Strategy for Recruitment.
- Describe your audience
- List the reasons your candidate may make a job change
- Develop content ideas
- Find content
- Create a content calendar
- Write content
This process can be used for any of your recruitment marketing efforts: social media, email, mailers, live conversations … and even royal decrees delivered by ravens.
Describe Your Audience
In order to write for your audience, you have to know some details about your target audience. Who do you want to attract? How would you describe them professionally? How would you describe them personally?
If my ideal candidate was Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones,” how might I describe him?
- High income bracket
- Held management positions (Hand of the King and Master of Coin)
- Reported to upper management (King, Queen, and Hand of the King)
- Domestic and international travel experience
- Main forms of communication used: letters by way of raven and word of mouth
- Fluent in the Common Tongue
- Works regular business hours in addition to nights and weekends
- No formal educational training but is well-read
- Military veteran
- Appreciates wit, thinking on his feet, and being challenged
- Wine … the man loves wine
List the Reasons Your Candidate May Make a Job Change
There are a plethora of reasons why someone might need to find a new job: wants more money, loss of employment, new degree or certification, requires a different or more flexible work schedule, etc. Tyrion Lannister’s motivation for changing jobs could be one of many factors:
- Geographic change
- Doesn’t like his boss
- Seeking more responsibility, better job security, and improved work conditions
Whatever the reason(s), you’ll want to use a combination of details about your target candidate (step 1) and their motivation to change jobs (step 2), as the drivers in your content messaging.
Develop Content Ideas
Your content ideas will vary based on your organization and the roles that you recruit for, but developing a master list of possible ideas early in the process will help tremendously when you get to the step where you actually write out your content.
Content that might be attractive to a candidate like Tyrion Lannister, based on what we know about him and why he might make a career move, could include:
- Military/veteran hiring initiatives
- Diversity/inclusion hiring initiatives
- Employee testimonials that discuss work conditions
- Industry news and projected industry outlook
After you understand who your audience is, why they might change jobs, and have developed a fabulous master list of topic ideas that would be attractive to this audience, apply this knowledge to finding content that is in line with the above three steps.
“Game of Thrones” is set before the development of social media, but in present state, social media is a fabulous place to find content. Between thought leaders, industry resources, hashtags, groups, your connections, and events that are constantly posting on social media, this is an easy place to curate content.
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You can also find great content on your company website, newsletters, and press releases, as well as using your internal marketing/communications department and hiring managers as resources.
Create a Content Calendar
Put quill to parchment and plan when you will share your content with your audience!
- Create a calendar with content ideas for the upcoming calendar year
- Plan and organize content ideas around key events and dates for your company, professional, or general holidays/observances, and recurring organizational happenings
- Incorporate monthly themes that correlate with your content ideas
Each quarter, create a dedicated calendar for each month that outlines the above “yearly” ideas in more detail (including dates and specifics). Finally, each week, create a weekly content calendar with the word-for-word posts for each day.
Think about how a candidate like Tyrion Lannister would appreciate a whole month’s worth of content around the topics of job security and work conditions, followed by a month showing how your company appreciates those who are military veterans.
Write Your Content
If you’ve followed the above steps, writing the content should be easy! Reference all of your above notes about your target audience, why they might make a job change, what content will be attractive to them, where you’ll find this content, and write your messages!
Always remember to re-read your messages and check for proper spelling, grammar, run-ons, fragments, etc. After rocking the Game of Content Strategy for Recruitment, no one will be able to say “you know nothing, Jon Snow.”