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The Keys to Defining Your Target Audience

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The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing and recruiting podcast from Haley Marketing Group dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Social Recruiting, Content Marketing and Employer Branding. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page [InSights] Optimizing Your Career Site


Brad Bialy: Matt, when we think about content marketing, one of the critical steps in the planning and development phase is understanding your target audience. Tell us why this is so critical.

Matt Lozar: It’s critical to know our audience because we need to know that audience to help us really plan any part of our marketing. It goes back really to business goals, I think like we’ve talked about, and that if your goal is more candidate applications, we need to know which candidates are we going after. We can start just with industry, we can look at geography, we could look at active versus passive. Once you really refine and solidify that target audience, then we can go into those next steps of planning the content.

Brad Bialy: Yeah, and we talked last week about content. We’ve talked about setting goals as well. When we think about creating a content marketing strategy, and really planning out a content blueprint, it starts with your goals. What are you trying to achieve as a business, and how can content fuel those goals? From there, we need to understand our target audience. Who are we trying to talk to, and who are we speaking to with every single post that we make?

Matt Lozar: It’s not just blog posts too, it’s copy on your website, it’s social media posts, it could be in job descriptions. It’s really putting ourselves in the shoes of that light industrial worker, of that customer service rep, of that IT contractor looking for an 18 month assignment, and really trying to figure out what’s going to speak to them in your content to build that relationship that content marketing does so well.

Brad Bialy: Yeah, think about the active job seeker, somebody that is currently unemployed who needs to find work so that they can pay their bills. The message that you send to them is much different than somebody that is happy in their current role, who you’re trying to provide with an additional opportunity, the next step in their career.

Matt Lozar: Give us an example of each of those, and how you would target an active job seeker versus the passive job seeker.

Brad Bialy: For active job seekers, the content is all about getting started soon, getting started ASAP. Or, if you’re an active job seeker and you’re frustrated with your current role, it’s how to find work that excites you, how to find work that gives you a sense of fulfillment. You’re actively looking for work, so the messaging should be built around how to find that next step in the process. If you’re passively looking though, and let’s say you’re happily employed, but you’re open to offers and open to opportunities, that passive job seeker is going to be looking more for work/life balance.

Brad Bialy: Maybe it’s how they can get away from answering emails on the weekend, or how they can spend more time with their family. Content that is going to fuel them and provide them with a way to come back to your website where then they could ultimately see that you have services, and you have job opportunities that you can help take them to the next level.

Matt Lozar: Thinking about that target audience, one thing we really talk about here at Haley Marketing with our consulting classes that our CEO David Searns runs, is we don’t want to have that target audience be too big. We don’t want to focus on the whole pie, we want to focus on our slice of the pie. The Haley Marketing Group is a pretty good example of that. I think is, we really just focus on the staffing industry and provide a lot of marketing services to one industry. We’re not trying to go after every industry available out there.

Matt Lozar: For a staffing agency, we want to think about… You don’t want to be everything to everyone, you want to find that target audience and really refine it to meet your smart business goals.

Brad Bialy: Yeah, so let’s give the listeners some homework here, for example, and something that you can actually use as a takeaway. After you listen to this podcast, or while you’re listening to this episode, think about your main goals for the first quarter of 2019. From there, think about your target audience. Who are you actively trying to recruit? Who are you actively sourcing? Define that target audience. Build that persona, and build the ideal candidate on paper so that everything that you do from this point forward, from your messaging to the copy on social, the copy on your blog, any tweaks that you make to your website are in line with that target audience.

Matt Lozar: Let’s take it a step further from what Brad just said, is where is your target audience spending time? We could have the best content plan in the world, but if we’re sharing that content in the wrong place, where your job seekers’ attention is not, we want to go where their attention is. Is it Facebook? Is it LinkedIn? Is it an Instagram, SnapChat? Is it email? Is it a job posting? Where is your target audience spending time, and that’s where you want to share the content.

Brad Bialy: Yeah, so again, breaking this down into one key takeaway as a homework assignment, as you think about your goals for 2019, build out your target audience. Build out that persona. Who is the ideal candidate? Where are they spending their time? Where are they investing their time off hours? How can you actively reach them through the messaging, and social posts, and copy that you put together?

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