Content seeding (sometimes called ‘social seeding’) is growing your audience by placing quality content strategically across multiple social media channels where they will attract sharing and engagement. At a time when 73% of millennials find jobs through social media platforms and the dearth of active job seekers is making job board recruitment more difficult, growing your audience on social media is important.
Content seeding works on the premise that social media users tend to trust one another on what’s good and bad. It’s been called a herd mentality and it means that if one person thinks something is worth engaging with, or even sharing, then there’s a strong chance their peers will too. With 4.57 billion articles being shared on Facebook every day, the sharing culture on social media presents a huge opportunity to recruiters.
So, how does one go about content seeding? And where are the best places to do it? What defines quality content? Keep reading to find out how content seeding can help you build a larger, better quality audience that will deliver talent well suited to your organisation.
Increase traffic to your careers site. Content posted online offers another way for people to click through to your website. The better the content and the more widely it is shared, the bigger that audience will be. With 57.6 million active social media users in the UK, there’s huge potential for increasing website traffic with good social content.
Build your employer brand. Great content can strengthen employer branding by building trust in your organisation. If your content always gives them something–some new, useful information–it’ll establish your organisation as generous and trustworthy. You’ll demonstrate it through the content you produce.
Build an online community. Yes, you want people to click from your content through to your careers site but you also want to build a community online. It’s not just for millennials–59% of people say that social media plays an important role in their job search. The bigger your online presence, the more of those people you’ll engage.
Engaging passive job seekers. In sectors where active job seekers are scarce–for example, engineering, science and technology–recruiters are targeting passive job seekers to fill vacancies. Passive job seekers are candidates who are already in work but might be tempted to leave if they come across an offer they can’t refuse. However, as much as they are sought after, they’re difficult to attract–a study has suggested that passive job seekers require an average of 17 touchpoints before they’ll consider engaging with a potential employer. Like programmatic ads, content seeding can provide a way to engage passive candidates by penetrating their online ‘bubble’ without requiring a keyword-hitting search term typed like Google Ads, for instance.
Drive your mobile strategy. As of 2021 most online traffic comes from mobile. It’s therefore more likely that a candidate will view your content and, ultimately, visit your website on a mobile–and critically important that your content and website or careers site is mobile optimised. The mobile-skewed market has brought with it a change in attention spans, too. Now down to eight seconds (from 12 in 2000), it’s paramount that content is punchy and attention grabbing–which is something to bear in mind when making your content choices.
The idea with content seeding as an employer is to get your content into as many places as possible where it will be engaged with by the kind of people you want at your organisation. To do that, you’ll need to produce the kind of content that will really resonate with your audience and draw engagement.
One of the best approaches to that is to conduct focus groups and candidate research to create personas to guide your content choices. Personas represent idealised candidates who fit your job requirements and culture perfectly. Recruitment marketing agencies develop them by asking employees how they feel about work as well as about their interests and aspirations. A focus group run by a third party is a great way to do this as it allows employees to talk candidly in the absence of managers.
Focus groups are also a great way to learn about the kind of content–written, video, podcasts and so on–that employees like to engage with and share. You can also learn about their browsing habits and whether they are members of any Facebook groups, for example, that might provide an audience for your content, if shared.
400 million Facebook users are members of groups. They are one of the defining characteristics of the platform and their themed nature can make them extremely fertile ground for seeding content. A quick search will find Facebook groups for workers in hospitality, retail, call centres and events. Though posting directly into these groups is generally off limits to employers, creating content that group members will want to share with their peers will allow you to penetrate these groups and gain visibility with a highly relevant audience.
Content seeding with influencers works by the same principle as shared interest groups, only the mechanics are little different. It’s still based on the idea of strategically placing content to grow audiences and it still doesn’t work unless that content offers something of real value. Here, though, instead of content being shared in a group, it is shared via an influencer whose followers constitute a ‘group’ of people interested in the same things by following the same account.
It’s worth doing too. Because, even though celebrity influencers have lost sway in recent years, regular, more down-to-earth influencers still live up to their name. A recent survey found that 56% of social media users paid most attention to influencers who were everyday people and 39% to subject matter experts–compare that to 9% who preferred to follow the example of celebrities. So sharing via influencers can add real authority to your content.
If your company operates in the same field as subject matter influencers, you’re in a great position to strike up a relationship that could lead to them posting your content, especially if your content offers something unique and valuable. As the reputation of your organisation grows, the likelihood of influencer-authored content and valuable backlink-trading increases–you’ll become as valuable to them as they are to you. And, just like that, what might start out as a content seed can blossom into an SEO stratagem that will make you more visible to candidates on search engines as well as on social media channels.
Though less fashionable than social media, email is another great way to seed content. That’s because those who read marketing emails tend to be an extremely high quality audience. It’s something backed up by the New York Times, whose newsletter subscribers consume twice as much content and are twice as likely to be paid up subscribers. It might give your content a lot to live up to, but you could further ensure the quality of your newsletter audience by making sign-up optional so that recipients have to actually want to sign up for and receive your email. The audience might be smaller than with social media but will be far more likely to engage with (and potentially share) your content, which makes them important to your content seeding strategy.
Looking for something else to read? Check out our overview of the best media for recruitment advertising.