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One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Posted by Kathleen Smith

Engage your audience is a frequent battle cry of marketers. Many organizations start pumping out content thinking that this will be engaging.

Content is engaging if it provides value to an audience. Unfortunately many don’t understand their audience before pumping out the content.

We all provide information for our job seeker customers about job search, resumes, social media and the like, but how about some of the different facets of each job seeker audience? Some of the other facets include:

  1. Understanding that there are different technology proficiencies – some of your audience may be luddites or they may be early adopters,
  2. Different stages of job search – active, passive or just job position curious,
  3. Different levels of security awareness or proficiency which may increase or impede their activity on your site.

While you may have a content engagement strategy for your core audience, you can modify or customize the content based on the different facets of your audience. You will want to focus not only on the decision makers but also their influencers.

Influencers are those content consumers who provide a resource to your core audience. This may be a career advisor, mentors, or spouses.

For example in our niche community of security cleared professionals, one of the largest sources of qualified job seekers is transitioning military personnel because the majority of them have security clearances. Many companies and job boards target military personnel by providing them with job search tips, transition advice and job postings that require military experience. This is all well and good, but are the military personnel actually going to read this material?

Understanding the world of someone in the military is important to develop the content to engage them as well as to determine who are their influencers. Not many military personnel have the mindset or bandwidth to read all of the career search material available to them, let alone act on it. Why? Due to the fact that they may be on deployment or the simple fact that most military personnel are mission first, family second and then they might think about their own careers.

Who are their influencers? There are many from career advisors, fellow transitioning personnel, TAP/ACAP advisors and most importantly their spouses. Military spouses take on many of the responsibilities of both parents while the other spouse is deployed. Parenting and wage earning, but also job search for the deployed spouse.

Understanding this component along with the fact that military families have long relied on social media for support and outreach, we developed a content engagement strategy for military spouses providing value and support to the spouses along with content to be shared with their soon to be returning home spouse.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day certificateWe launched the Military Spouse Appreciation campaign in 2009 which coincides with the national celebration of military spouses the Friday before Mother’s Day. For the entire week leading up to Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we recognize military spouses on Twitter. Thanking them for their support and sacrifice. Spouses are nominated by the community and selected based on their community activity. A certificate is posted both on Flickr and on Twitter. We also reach out to several of our customers who are military friendly employers and ask them to retweet the messages to their communities.

For the rest of the year, any of the career advice that we have that is geared toward transitioning military is posted on the @MilSpouseDay Twitter handle on a daily basis. Additionally any job posting on our job board that requires military experience is posted on this Twitter handle as well. The @MilSpouseDay Twitter handle has grown organically to 1,500 followers over the past 5 years without any paid advertising.

Engaging your community is a simple understanding of who the audience is and who their influencers are. Then taking your core content, customizing it to key audiences, and then distributing to influencer communities that you have engaged by providing recognition and value.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 1:51 pm

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