Does your charity run a blog? Do you have one or more social media accounts? The answer to at least one of these is likely to be ‘yes’, but the real question is whether you have a content strategy. High quality content can play a vital part in attracting the right talent to your website and conveying your employer brand. But what exactly is a content strategy and how do you go about creating one?
It starts with the right tone of voice
Put simply, the content on your charity’s website is vital for establishing a consistent voice for your brand and plays a central role in the user user experience. The two main things to aim for are clarity and consistency. You need to convey that your mission and vision in clear and accessible.
If it’s been a while since you’ve last looked at your style guide, it might be time to revisit it, and to start from scratch by once again evaluating your audience. Take the time to create personas for the various groups that you’re looking to target and be mindful of the fact that these might be quite different for donors and for prospective employees. Then build up your tone of voice and communications guidelines around these.
Building your Content Strategy
A content strategy should be formed of valuable pieces of content which will be useful to your end user and will prompt them to take the actions that you would like them to take. Remember that your content strategy can be as broad or as limited as you would like it to be. Your content strategy may cover any of the following:
- Content on your website, including dedicated landing pages
- A blog
- Guest posts on external blogs related to your industry
- Whitepapers / Research pieces
1. Research the intended actions of your target audience
John Locke states “In my opinion, understanding who your target audience is, and what they want, and writing to them (and only them!) is the most important component of being successful.”
While he is speaking about the work of an author, the same applies to content design. When beginning to write, it’s helpful to ask yourself a couple of simple questions:
- Who is my intended target audience for the given piece? (e.g. software developers looking to work in the charity sector)
- What kind of information are they looking for (e.g. Whether they need specific experience to join the sector)
- How can I deliver them something of value?
If you’re looking for some more general content topics around a specific theme, you might want to try a topic generator tool, such as Answer The Public which gives you instant, raw search insights and useful hooks off which to build your content.
2. Test out different content channels to see what works for you
If you’re just starting out with your content strategy, it’s worth going broad and testing out a wide variety of channels to see what works best for your target audience.
When it comes to blogging, it’s important to be consistent and not to lose momentum. Aim for at least one blog post a week and boost its reach via social media channels, as well as a newsletter if you have one.
Many busy people may not necessarily have time for digesting written content, but might be regular users of social media, or enjoy listening to podcasts, so if you have the resources, give each of these a try.
3. Tap into your network
If you’re aiming to appeal to a specific target demographic where you don’t already have a wide reach, it’s worth applying to the publications which write specifically for that group – e.g. software development publications if you’re looking to recruit a development team for your charity. Try to build up a network of contacts. Blog and newspaper editors will welcome repeat submissions from reliable guest authors.
Likewise, use your existing network to support you in promoting your content. Invite guest speakers or bloggers to contribute to your podcast or blog, and in doing so increase its reach. You’ll also be able to tag them on social media and immediately capture the attention of people in their networks, who might well turn out to be your prospective candidates.
4. Optimise your content for SEO
Make sure that your well-written and useful content is getting the attention it deserves in Google rankings. You can do this by improving your SEO. Basic SEO tips include:
- Select relevant keywords to optimise for search engines. Ensure keywords appear in your blog post heading and meta description, and that it is sufficiently scattered throughout the text
- Link to other relevant content on your site
- Link to relevant content on external sites
- Ensure that the readability of the text is good – including a mixture of long and short sentences.
What you can read next
5. Build up a pool of prospective candidates
These days, we know that recruitment is not just a case of a candidate searching for a role and applying for it. Many candidates search for their dream jobs and organisations that they would like to join and wait for the right vacancy to turn up. They may even leave a prospective CV with a charity.
That’s why it’s worth building up a pool of interested prospective candidates and updating them with your latest news via tailored newsletters.
One way to do this is by having downloadable whitepapers or research reports which pique the interest of your target audience enough to make them want to leave their contact details in return for a downloadable piece of content. But make sure that you follow all GDPR guidance regarding marketing to your contact list in the future.
We hope that the above has illustrated the important role that content has to play in building your employer brand and supporting your recruitment. So start with your audience personas, and get your creative juices flowing.