Content marketing is all around us. In fact, you're probably either using or viewing some form of content marketing on a daily basis and you might not even know it, especially if you use social media. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as "...a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action."
To put in in simple terms, content marketing is a long-term strategy meant to establish a meaningful relationship between a brand and its audience by delivering them valuable, relevant content. So exactly how can you do this in a veteran recruitment campaign? First let's start with the basics.
Your content marketing, no matter what methods you choose to use, should do three things:
- Identify/Reinforce somebody's pain point
- Agitate their pain point
- Provide a solution for their problem
Additionally, each piece of content marketing you create should be part of a grander funnel, or journey path. All your content should fall neatly into one of the following areas of the buyer journey path:
- The prospect is made aware/reminded that they have a problem, and that your company/organization/school has some kind of solution for it.
- The prospect evaluates the options and solutions they have available to them, including yours and your competitors'.
- The prospect makes a decision to do business either from you or one of your competitors.
Here is a great illustration:
Once you realize who your target audience is, you'll be able to craft a message and, ultimately, begin to craft your content. So what kind of content should you use for each stage of the recruitment funnel? Well, let's take a look at some examples.
Top of Funnel Content
Prospects entering the top of your recruitment funnel typically have no idea that you have a solution for their problem. In the cases of some passive candidates, they may not even realize they have a problem at all. So your content must be relevant to their place in the journey path - they must be made aware.
Here is a great example of a video being used as top of the funnel content to recruit veterans by Norfolk Southern.
Now that is awesome. The video speaks directly to the specific audience they are targeting - military veterans. It also subtly makes them aware of their problem of finding a satisfying career after the military. Finally, it offers a solution in a great way - by showing not just one or two military veteran success stories, but by introducing many veterans succeeding in many different jobs. Essentially this ad says, "we have careers for any kind of military veteran." Pretty compelling stuff.
Here are some other ideas for top of the funnel content:
- Social media posts
- Research Data
Middle of Funnel Content
Once a prospect has been made aware of their problem, and that you have the solution they're looking for, they must now be able to trust you before they make a decision on your offer. This is where middle of the funnel content comes in. Middle of the funnel content is all about nurturing your prospect so that, in time, they will come back and buy from you. Remember, content marketing is, in most cases, a long-term strategy.
Typically, prospects will have questions during the consideration stage of the buyer journey, which is why I love content that aims to answer those questions. Here is a great example of an FAQ section Verizon has on their website. In fact, Verizon has an entire microsite set up specifically aimed at military veterans. They understand that the message they need to send to military veterans looking for jobs is not the same as a civilian looking for a job.
Some other great middle of the funnel content ideas are:
- Educational Resources
- White Papers
Bottom of Funnel Content
You're almost there! Assuming the content prior to this has served its purpose, your prospect is ready to convert, either with you or somebody else. Whether that is getting them to click "buy" or a different kind of goal, bottom of the funnel content will serve the same purpose. Get your audience to take your desired action. In the case of recruitment marketing, it might be a prospect requesting more information or actually applying/enrolling.
Here is a great example of a landing page for Felician University, dedicated to military veterans. The messaging and imagery is directed solely towards veterans.
One of the things I like about this landing page is that it offers the prospect a couple different options, which in this case Felician University would consider them all to be a conversion, just of different variations. Somebody who applies immediately is certainly a conversion, while those who elect to plan a visit or request more information would fall into the "qualified lead" category. Now, this type of multiple CTA landing page may not work for every kind of business, but I do like it in recruitment.
Here are some more examples of bottom of the funnel content:
- Demos/Free trials
- Case Studies
- Comparison Sheets
How your content marketing fits within your greater recruitment funnel is just as important as what types of content you choose to use. Ensure that all of your content is aligned to recruit military veterans - this means that the messaging is all consistent and every piece of content is dedicated to veterans.
Want to bounce some content marketing ideas for your veteran recruitment campaign off us? We'd be glad to connect! Just fill out the form below and we'll get in touch!