It’s no secret that organizations around the world are rushing headlong to join the content marketing wave. There’s a lot of confusion over exactly what a content strategy should look like and how it should be executed, and plenty of opinion on that.
But perhaps a good way for neophytes to understand what a content strategy should look like would be simply to look at Talent Zoo, which has been in the content game for more than a decade.
The Atlanta-based online job board is focused on the marketing industry that’s been around for more than 15 years. And for most of that time, they’ve been focused on content marketing as a way to draw both employers and jobseekers to their website, which is a marketing industry-focused information source to rival some of the long-established legacy media.
“You attract an audience with content, and the better your content the better your audience,” says Talent Zoo founder Rick Myers. “For us, that has always been our content strategy.”
It seems to be working; Talent Zoo says it has more than 250,000 registered professionals and 12,000 companies that use the site. Myers is proud of the quality of both employers and employees using Talent Zoo, calling it a “who’s who” of employers.
“That’s our content at work bringing us quality professionals and driving more satisfied employers who continue to buy job postings,” says Myers. “We wouldn’t continue to spend the amount of time and money we do on content if it didn’t work.”
Myers says his content philosophy is simple – produce quality content.
“That means producing content that is either relevant and timely, or helpful. We also enjoy laughing so humorous content is always part of the mix,” he says.
“If you’re going to be in the content game, take it seriously. Do it for your audience and do it well, or don’t do it. It’s like having half-assed sex. Your partner knows, and it’s probably going to hurt your reputation. Turn your audience on, not off.”
That sounds like advice everyone can understand. Right?
“We have a responsibility to our advertisers to attract a high-quality audience,” says Myers. “[We reach] passive job seekers and ‘sleeper’ job seekers … the people who aren’t actively looking. An educational piece of content helps attract many dedicated professionals, and those professioanls often look at our job postings.”
Myers has an in-house team that oversees the content effort, coordinating regular contributors on an editorial calendar and working in ad hoc submissions from professionals looking to be published. It’s at the center of the Talent Zoo marketing strategy; Myers says content is the “heart of our product” and “the real meat on the plate.” His focus is on quality, but there is also a fast pace of content – they’ll often have five or six posts a day on a variety of topics.
“Without it, we’d be just a list of jobs. Our quality [job postings] would plummet. Soon it would be a volume game – the wrong direction for professional hiring.”
Despite the hype around content marketing, Myers says that he still sees a lot of businesses that don’t get the importance of content, and the ones that do get it don’t want to spend the time or money to produce quality content.
According to Myers, that’s a mistake. With a clear commitment to providing high quality audience-focused content, Talent Zoo has risen above the job board pack.
And that’s smart business.