Author: Duncan Milne

Using Content to Attract and Retain Talent

Using Content to Attract and Retain Talent

One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is attracting and retaining talent.  With the competition to attract employees being so fierce, are brands using every tool available to them?  With the tight labor market, prospective employees are, in effect, on a buying journey – and serving up relevant content at every stage of that journey can help employers gain an edge.

 

Map the journey

In other posts on this blog we have discussed how engaging and educational content can build relationships with customers along their entire buying journey. Adopting similar strategies can equally build relationships with potential quality hires. Just as it’s important to define your brand and your unique value proposition for your customers, it’s vital to do this for potential recruits.  You have to define your brand for employees as much as you do for your customers. And then you tell your brand story with vitality and authenticity.

But how can brands tell these stories in ways that resonate? First, understand your audiences. Whether they are recent graduates, mid-level managers, or senior executives investigate what they are looking for, what motivates them, what will attract their attention, and what will encourage them to take action in considering your firm over others. You may also want to think about developing candidate personas and creating messaging appropriate not just for the level of seniority but for the personalities you’re seeking to attract.

 

Find your audience where they are

As you begin to answer these questions, apply methods and lessons already learned from the way you communicate with your customers. You already know that a “Field of Dreams” approach won’t work––you can’t simply build something and have them come to you. You need to have conversations where your potential employees are.

 

Start using social media platforms appropriately to demonstrate what your brand’s principles mean for the people who work at your company. And, as often as possible, start real and constructive conversations, using these platforms to invite discussion and dialogue. Social listening tools can also help you truly understand people’s perceptions of your brand. That information can be invaluable in either playing to your strengths or proactively addressing misconceptions and concerns among potential recruits.

 

Match your message to the right platforms

Travel, food and Instagram go together so well; and Marriott Hotels and Resorts have done a great job in leveraging this platform for its recruitment efforts. It’s used it to publish photos of their employees, share employee insights, and emphasize why Marriott appreciates them as a part of a team. And, because Marriott knows that corporate social responsibility is important to potential candidates, many of the posts describe the good works the company is initiating.

Given the high cost of talent, it’s always wise to attract the right people to your company from the get-go. And closely targeted campaigns and marketing programs can deliver a filter. A great example of this is the 2018 campaign by German airline Eurowings. Eurowings used Tinder to recruit new cabin staff targeting young people on the move who were always online. During the two-month campaign period Eurowings reached more than 600,000 users in the catchment areas of Munich, Stuttgart and Austria, securing an engagement rate of 9.8%.

The campaign ran via branded profile cards that worked like a Tinder profile. Users who clicked on a Eurowings branded profile received additional information about the specifications of the job advertised. If applicants swiped right, they got the ‘It’s a match’ message from Eurowings – combined with further information on the job advertised and a link to the Eurowings careers website eurowings.com/career, where anyone interested could find out more and apply.

Another great example of delivering, clear, relevant, inspirational and useful information for potential job candidates is Visa’s “Life at Visa” employer brand. The company has clearly identified the audience it is looking to attract, delivers relevant and appropriate information on the company’s corporate site and backs that up with social media to paint a picture of a brand with a clear corporate culture of inclusion, purpose, opportunity and leadership. Altogether, it presents an attractive proposition for the tight labor market in the Bay Area.

While compensation and benefits are important, potential employees consider a company’s culture, the chance to learn, be challenged, be part of diverse team, and whether the company gives back.  And that’s where content can really make an impression and communicate your advantages.

To put it simply––your company has content experience that you can apply to towards attracting and hiring new talent.  Bring your marketing skills to your hiring process!

The Importance of Revamping Evergreen Content

The Importance of Revamping Evergreen Content

 

As content marketers, we’ve all learned the importance of creating evergreen content – that’s content we know will always be of interest and relevance to our customers. Why? Because evergreen content is not only highly cost effective, it can also deliver traffic and ensure a high ranking in search results for months or even years if it provides real value to your audience.

But you shouldn’t just post and forget. Your evergreen content could still need some TLC. Here’s why.

 

1. Your content doesn’t meet modern audiences’ visual expectations. We’ve all now come to expect rich visual experiences when we consume content. We respond so much more powerfully to images and graphics that enhance and bring to life the written content. If your evergreen content is a wall of text with only a single stock image, your users will move on.

2. Your users are mobile. In just the last year, mobile web traffic exceeded that of desktop, which is all the more reason to avoid that wall-of-text. Mobile users want short, snappy, bite-sized content that’s optimized for their devices.

3. It’s not optimized. Maybe you’ve redesigned your site; perhaps your tagging strategies have changed, you have a new CRM system or maybe those keywords are no longer as strong as they could be. For your content to be discoverable, check in on your evergreen content and its place in your content ecosystem.

 

So let’s say you’ve had a content program for some time now. What’s the best way to find the underperforming pieces? We’d recommend the same approach we adopt for our clients—a thorough audit of all your content.

At Imprint, we’ve found ourselves spending a great deal of time assessing and auditing our clients’ content that’s already available, from the merely ancient to the simply miscategorized—and then working with our clients to optimize it for audience expectations, accuracy, timeliness and revised messaging approaches.

If you’re going about an assessment and audit on your own, make sure to count assets and formats, and most importantly, figure out which content your users are engaging with most of all. Also try to review what exists for subject matter, effectiveness, timeliness, and relevancy to the goals and the audiences you’ve defined.

At the end of the day, we’ve often found that many of the wordier, older pieces of content on a site can be transformed with appropriate visual additions into more concise and engaging pieces of snackable content. Much, if not most, older content can be revamped in this way. Then, all that’s left is to map out where these new versions and their promotions fit with your current content calendar.

When marketers only have so much bandwidth and budget, refreshing existing content can conserve resources and drive ever greater engagement.

Artificial or Emotional Intelligence: What’s Right for Your Brand Story?

Artificial or Emotional Intelligence: What’s Right for Your Brand Story?

We’re entering a new world in content marketing. A world of algorithms, datasets, automation, machine learning, predictive analytics and, of course, that misnomer catch-all – artificial intelligence (AI). Many of us are excited about this new adventure, many are anxious, most of us are just plain bewildered. What does it do? What does it mean? What’s my job going to be like—if I even have one?

According to the 2017 Economist Intelligence Unit report, which surveyed more than 200 global business executives, 75% said they would implement AI in their companies within the next three years. 79% believe AI will make their jobs easier and more efficient. According to Gartner, the artificial intelligence market is set to surpass $100 billion by 2025.

So we all know that we need to start planning and preparing for this, but we’re just not sure for what.

At this stage in our evolution as content marketers (and a species), artificial intelligence does not (yet) mean almost-sentient systems of semiconductor synapses that are going to put us all out of jobs.

“Artificial Intelligence” is, at its essence, a shiny short-hand for super-sophisticated organization—the creation of layers of information and the use of technology to understand the relationships between those layers of information. Understanding those layers lets us intuit future relationships, and allows us to prepare for future engagements our customers might have with our brand.

By looking for patterns and combining this information with smart, modular and semantically rich content, we can deliver more authentic communication, more relevant messaging, a better customer experience and thus more sales and more loyal customers.

Segmentation and targeting.

Artificial intelligence systems represent the next frontier of personalization, with the ability to create thousands of tailored content experiences that will enrich your relationships with your customers – albeit only if that personalization allows for more relevant information to be sent their way.

Offer selection and pricing.

The more we know, the more we’re going to be able to guide our customers (and crucially too, people who behave similarly to them) through their experience with our brand. We’ll be able to offer them additional information and provide alternatives, suggestions and upsells. We may even, if we want to take that risk, charge different people different prices dependent on our perceived sense of their future value.

Customer service and support.

And we’ll be able to offer more personalized support – support that is there at the right time and that addresses the right issues. We’ll be able to provide customer service that delivers loyalty and ongoing dialogue.

Necessity of a Human Connection.

But we’re not all going to be swept away (or aside) by big data and automated content. The Washington Post’s experience with automated story-telling technology can help illuminate why. Their proprietary tool, Heliograf, is used to cover areas such as the weather, local political results and high-school football games in the Washington DC metro area and, in so doing achieves two things. Firstly, it enables the Washington Post to deliver more highly localized news easily and efficiently. More importantly, it allows the rest of the news team to focus on more in-depth reporting where a human touch is needed. The most important stories require depth, intuition, nuance and empathy. Heliograf can’t do that; all it can do is provide (admittedly needed) cover for humans to make their best pieces even better.

So, while it’s estimated that in 2018 20% of all business content will be authored by machines, that human touch is always going to be needed. Because, the art of brand storytelling is going to become more, not less, important.

If your brand is going to be successful in a world where people are ordering and engaging through a smart speaker, a smart phone or a chatbot, your brand needs to be the one consumers ask for by name. They will only do that if they feel a connection with you; a bond. And while we can deliver automated content efficiently, we can’t yet deliver automated content that is emotionally rich, that resonates and that has the clearly articulated values which create that bond. That sort of content still needs the craft of a storyteller – a human being.

10 Secrets to Content Marketing Success for Financial Brands

10 Secrets to Content Marketing Success for Financial Brands

The Imprint team is delighted that the Gramercy Institute named us one of the financial sector’s Top Agencies for 2018.

We were especially thrilled to take part in a round table discussion with our peers, where each agency was asked to name one key driver to success in marketing for financial brands. Here are my takeaways.

1. Reuse content

You’ve got reams of content by now and, let’s face it, some pieces could use a face-lift. So don’t keep producing new content unless there’s a clear purpose; optimize what you have first. Focus on repackaging, transforming and enhancing evergreen content so it’s visually engaging, snappier, and optimized for social sharing.

2. Aim for the white space

Figure out what makes your brand stand out. Define what’s different about you, and your unique point of view. Also make sure your solutions and insights are relevant and useful to your customers and clients.

3. Have a purpose

Define how you are helping your customers and clients, as well as the value you’re providing. This can be emotional support, practical help, advice, information, guidance or data – ­or a combination of all of those things.

4. It’s human to human

We can all get caught up in discussing B2B strategies or B2C campaigns, but it’s always H2H – human to human. You’re talking with people. And people respond best to conversations, so you need to listen.

5. Collaborate

Of course your agencies are vendors, but they’re also partners. They’re full of fresh ideas and expertise, and they want your business to be successful—that’s why you hired them. So involve your external teams in every stage of your program from ideation to implementation.

6. Try new things

Don’t be afraid of pushing against brand guidelines. Take risks and innovate. Your audience, whether B2B or B2C, is expecting to see new formats and approaches to brand story telling. Fortune favors the brave.

7. Confront your internal hurdles around social media

You need to be where your customers and clients are having conversations. And that’s often on social channels—not a website. We’re in a highly regulated industry, but all brands need to get to grips with the compliance and approval obstacles that prevent them from taking true advantage of social media’s opportunities. You need to tie social into content development process and also plan for some spontaneity.

8. Create an emotional connection

People want interaction on social media, so leverage that. Be personal, warm, and informal and you’ll create a dialogue that will be incredibly valuable both to you and your customer or client. Ensure your content makes sense to your audience’s life or business.

9. Inspire action

Give your audience a way to respond to your content—and not only through a 1-800 number or an email address. Ensure your audience will want to share and comment on your content.

10. Be strategic not tactical

Every piece of content you create or repackage should be built around a goal, a target audience, a customer journey and a message that supports, builds and brings to life your brand’s business.

 

To the teams at:

 

Congratulations! We’re proud to be part of such a smart, thoughtful and committed industry. Thanks for your insight. Here’s to a successful, strategic and engaging year of financial content marketing.

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