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The C* Word - Content Marketing and The War for Talent

2 min read.



Employer Branding, Talent Attraction

What is this Content Marketing all about? Everyone is saying we need to produce content. But, what does it really mean to you in the ongoing war for talent? How will it help you build and engage talent? 

I was fortune enough to be asked to run a Content Marketing Bootcamp at the LinkedIn 100 Summit and wanted to share some of the insights from this session. 

It’s often said that advertising talks at people and traditional marketing talks about people. Well, content marketing talks with them. It involves them.   

It’s more than just words. Content is an experience… not fonts, code and design.  Content is what gives you visibility online – when you think about it, it’s why search was invented. 

Your content marketing and the strategy behind it (if done well) will increase the visibility of your brand in front of those you want to connect with. It will help you join in with the conversations going on in their hearts and minds, building a community of both passive and active talent for today and tomorrow. 

Content is not just about the web – you need to think past the web, it’s what your candidate consumes on any device.  It’s the entire experience. 

But here’s the thing.  When we talk about producing content what are you thinking of?  Is it thoughtful persona specific content that will generate emotion and passion in your audience, or is it just something you are content with? 

Are you just satisfied with what you are producing? Being satisfied just isn’t anywhere near good enough.  Less than 2% of content created has 100 shares or more. So if you are just content with what you are putting out there then why the hell should candidates take time out of their lives to consume it? 

You need to think differently. Quality content goes deeper than that… it’s a commitment, not a campaign. 

For me we need to work harder – much harder. Learn to take a deeper view on what part content has to play in your mission to attract, engage, recruit, nurture and retain talent.  

The C* word is a content ethos that embraces: 


What’s’ the ‘why’ of your company.  And what actions do your people demonstrate every day in their behaviours (not just words) that bring your Employer Brand to life? What helps candidates actually experience what it feels like to work with your teams – helping them to form positive feelings and thoughts about you. 

This shouldn’t just be what it’s like when a candidate gets there.  Content will help answer questions candidates have on their minds throughout their recruitment process with you. Whether it be them interacting with a blog that has triggered their interest, the applications process, assessments right through to the pass or fail stage. 

And it goes further than that. Talent Board research shows that candidates will spend up to two hours researching a company before they make a decision to apply. What content have you got out there that answers their questions? 


Content will help you attract and engage with people, creating digital connections with your company and your people.  In fact, people are more likely to connect with people than brands (have you got a plan for employee advocate marketing?).  Content marketing efforts help you build meaningful, two-way connections with candidates.  


Content will help bring your company culture alive. Uncover stories that show real-life examples, telling tales that emotionally connect and resonate with candidates. Not just words, but using the power of content marketing to bring your EVP alive and help people feel the passion within your company. 

Brian Chesky, CEO of AirBnb sums this up brilliantly when he says, “Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with passion.” 

By using the power of content marketing to bring your EVP alive you can emotionally connect and show the passion behind the culture of your company. Don’t waste the opportunity. 

Candidate Experience 

It is also an integral part of your candidate experience. Think about it. Content is what they consume from the moment they touch your brand all the way through the recruitment process until you pass or fail them. Be it on or offline, the written word or video content, or even physical conversations, (Yes! Actually talking to each other!) all of that content is shaping a candidate’s frame of mind on how they feel and think towards you as a potential employer. 


Content is central to you attracting and engaging candidates.  It will help you build a community of talent.  If you get this right, you’ll create pipelines of passive and active talent, not just having a community to recruit when the time is right (for you and them).  If done well, you can create a community of people who engage with your content because you add value to their careers and their lives.  

Get this right and you will build a fan base who will listen to what you have to say and care enough to share it with their communities, bringing them  towards you and your brand. 

Commitment – Passion, dedication, time & effort 

Content is a commitment and requires effort from all those involved in your team. It doesn't mean everyone has to write, but it requires an interest and constant collaboration. This is because content isn't just marketing, it’s also culture and to create culture, you need commitment. 

Create a content culture in your teams.  It’s not a content marketing strategy; it’s a people strategy with a commitment and a shared passion for people. Great content can attract great people and help you become digitally famous. 

We don't need more content. We need content that does more – helping you in the war for talent. 

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