• Ettie Holland

The HR tech content marketing puzzle

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

So - you’re an HR tech content marketer. Or a marketer and/or business owner juggling loads of plates including content marketing, more likely. (Either way – welcome. You’re in the right place.)


The problem is, you’re not sure exactly what your blog should be doing. And beyond your blog, you’re not sure what else you should include in the content marketing mix.


You know content is meant to be king, but you’re not enjoying regal results. Maybe you’re not enjoying any results.


And the HR technology space is crowded. It’s harder than ever to make your voice heard. You want to make a splash – but you’re barely making a ripple.


  • Where’s it going wrong?

  • What could you be doing better?

  • Are there best practices for HR tech content marketing?

  • What’s working (and what’s not) for other HR tech businesses?


Read on, to find out how to create better HR tech content – so your audience notice, read, click and slide ever-closer to sale.


Effective HR tech content marketing has four parts


Great HR tech content marketing is a puzzle with four pieces: strategy, execution, promotion and scale.

For your content marketing efforts to be effective, you need all four pieces:


  • Is your content tethered by (good, incisive) strategy?

  • Is your strategy well-executed? (Is it well-written? Engaging? Powerful?)

  • Have you promoted it? To the right people in the right way?

  • Can you scale it? Sporadic, every-blue-moon content won’t achieve much.


If you’re ‘doing’ content marketing but you’re not enjoying the results you want, it’s almost certainly because you’ve neglected one (or more) of those.


So let’s unpick them.


STRATEGY

Your HR tech content marketing efforts are only as good as the strategy behind them. Sure, you’re excited to get started. And you’re playing catch-up because your competitors have robust content marketing ecosystems already.


But you can’t skip this step.


The great thing about content strategy is that it sets-up all your other puzzle pieces. Without it, you’ll find it near-impossible to get the other three right. But even if you do, your content will likely be ineffective.


One crucial part of your HR tech content strategy: buyer personas. Download our free eBook to discover how to level-up yours, and build a robust foundation for growth.

You might write the best content in the world, pour budget into promoting it and have an incredible scale-up plan that sees you putting out high-quality pieces every day, for instance.


But if it’s not strategically-aligned, it’s still throwing mud at the wall. Because you didn’t tether your activity to your business goals at the outset.


Read more: Six questions your HR tech content strategy must answer

EXECUTION

Now the mechanics of better HR tech content marketing – the writing. How you bring your content strategy to life.


I work with some clients who love to write. The blog was always their baby, but the business grew and they’ve got less and less time to commit. They secure external support but writing holds a special place in their heart.


Versus some clients who loathe writing. They might be forced to write a post or two now and then, but they just want someone to take content creation off their plate for good.


It’s fine, whichever type you are. But please, PLEASE don’t be that awful guy-or-gal in the middle who wants all the creative control without the creative nous to back it up.


Because the point is, whether you love or hate writing is less relevant than whether you’re any good at it. (In practice, loving writing and being good are more likely to come hand-in-hand – but certainly not always).


Execution is crucial because boring writing won’t get read. Make sure whoever writes for you writes well. That means, they know how to engage their reader.


Otherwise you could end up with oodles of strategically on-point writing that you’re promoting to the right people – but all you do is damage your brand reputation, harm customer trust and, oh. Make yourself look like a tightwad too. (AI-written content and £0.0-whatever-per-word content farms, I’m looking at you).


Read more: A six-phase content writing process for faster, more focussed writing

PROMOTION

OK, so you’ve got the first two pieces in place. Which means you’ve got some damn good content sitting there, ready to go.


And… that’s it.


If you’re not doing anything else, it’ll just sit there. Long-term, you’ll start to build organic traffic via SEO – that’s great.


But it shouldn’t be your only recourse.


It’s such a shame, to let good content fester in the wastelands of your blog without doing anything with it. So think about your distribution paths. Readers won’t just turn up. Good content won’t just rise to the top.


Shitty content outperforms great content every single day, because the people writing the shitty content have a whole marketing machine churning behind the scenes. If you stick the same promotion power behind great content, you’ve got the potential for stratospheric results.


(Download this free eBook from HubSpot for more on content promotion.)


SCALE


Volume is less important than quality. Volume is less important than quality. Volume is less important than quality.


But, of course there’s a but.


You’re going to create more misses than hits. We all do, even the brands you think don’t.


Which means you need to create a lot to increase your hit ratio.


That doesn’t mean you need to put out 5 pieces of crap content every day (have I been clear enough about content farms yet?) Not even every week. But it means, once you’ve found a semi-winning formula, you need to repeat it.


Which means you need the infrastructure to scale. Things like… the right tools to automate, distribute, measure, and so on. The right people to strategize, create, refine. The right processes to drive collaboration and secure feedback so content can happen faster.


That’s the final puzzle piece. And it’s the hallmark of a mature HR tech content marketing ecosystem.


HR tech content marketing needn’t be puzzling


Content marketing can feel like an impossible equation, and it’s true that nobody can reliably predict every win and fail. Some pieces you thought would go down a storm see nothing but tumbleweed; some pieces you know damn well are crap (from competitors not you, obviously) are runaway performers.


But that element of unpredictability doesn’t mean the entire content marketing ecosystem is shrouded in mystery.


In most cases, you can reverse-engineer successful content (or more importantly, businesses who have successful content marketing functions) using these four puzzle pieces.


So you can work out where you’ve been going wrong, what you can work on, and how to take your content marketing results to the next level.


HR Tech Copy are the communications consultancy for HR and recruitment technology businesses. If you need help working out which puzzle pieces are letting your content marketing down, get in touch.

If you’ve got a project in the pipeline or you’re curious to discuss where HR Tech Copy can add value, drop us a line and let’s have a chat.

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