As a talent acquisitions manager or a marketing manager within a human resources team, you’ve probably asked yourself how to reach large quantities of high quality candidates in a thoughtful and meaningful way. You’ve leveraged various niche and mass market job boards, created an employee referral program and are building out a social media presence to support your branding efforts. But what strategy has been put in place to leverage that social media presence to attract the right talent? Creating a content marketing strategy for your talent acquisitions team is going to be equally as important as building out a content marketing strategy for your sales or marketing team. Connecting with individuals in a deep and profound way is significant when convincing top talent to want to dedicate the next chapter of their career to your firm.

Compiled here are five steps to create a content marketing strategy that will attract and engage talent that is right for your firm.

  1. Segment your target audience.
    Get to know your target candidates. Who are they and what do they look for in an organization? Is culture a priority for them or is skill development, flexibility, compensation or impact made most important? Leveraging existing technology or social media platforms paired with in person events such as interviews, career fairs, on-campus or club events is a great way to learn more about your target audience. Once you have discovered all that you can, segment your audience by attributes such as level of experience, job function preferences and desired organizational benefits.
  2. Create personas for each segment.
    Create personas that match each of your target audience segments. For example, Jessica is a recent MBA graduate seeking a technology firm who will invest in her professional development. Outside of work she enjoys keeping up with her social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Google+. Matthew is a senior level business development executive within a CPG firm. He is not particular about the industry he will step into next but is passionate about business development and strategy and is looking to manage at minimum a team of 5 employees. Creating personas will help personalize your segments and consequently create content that best aligns with their interests.
  3. Tell stories each segment will want to hear.
    Once you’ve developed personas, start thinking about content that might best engage those personas. For example, Jessica may be interested in learning about a product manager’s day-to-day role within the organization and new products being developed at the firm, while Matthew may be interested in learning how the organization is performing and who they’re creating partnerships with. Your goal should be to create content with values, goals and challenges each persona can relate to. If flexibility is of value to any of your segments, don’t be afraid to share personal stories from employees who feel your organization enables them to enjoy both work and life.
  4. Share stories where your audience is reading them.
    Equally important as the content created is the method used to push the content out. Keeping with our personas examples, you want to ensure any content created for Jessica is pushed out on Twitter, Instagram and Google+. For Matthew it may make more sense to push relevant content out on your blog, LinkedIn or on relevant industry blogs and magazines. Your distribution strategy should align with where your customers already are. For candidates like Matthew, it may be wise to think beyond your own content. Think about what influencers already exist in a particular industry or function, say business development for Matthew. Can you partner with those influencers and borrow their audience? Creativity is key!
  5. Build relationships between prospective candidates and organizational ambassadors.
    Create a brand ambassador program where select employees share their experience working at your organization. Depending on the platform you use, this will encourage prospective candidates to build relationships with your firm. You may also want to host a webinar or virtual panel of those ambassadors, furthering prospective candidates’ ability to connect with employees on the ground.

As suggested in Align your Social Media and Recruiting Strategies, put metrics in place that will measure the success of the approach you put in place. Which segments are engaging the most and which methods could use some fine-tuning? What content best converts into preferred applications and how can you expand upon it? Creating a content marketing strategy is an ongoing process that will evolve with the goals of your HR department, and essentially your firm.