Remember: content marketing is all about inducing or encouraging action. On most career sites, that takes the form of three major tasks: apply for a job, contact a recruiter and join a talent pool. There is a fourth action that is commonly implicit on the site: read more.
A mistake in most recruiting content is that it assumes that content with a well-fined audience and a focused message will automatically create that action. But that simply isn’t true. Every book on how to look for a job has at least one page (if not a whole chapter) on asking for the job. The same holds true on our side of the table: don’t forget to ask people to take that action.
This is why the call to action exists: to connect compelling content to a meaningful action.
You might assume that every piece of content should end with a big flashing button that leads to a job application process, but that’s a rookie mistake. While Alec Baldwin might get away with the strategy of Always Be Closing, your content doesn’t (and really shouldn’t) feel like a ham-fisted demand to close the deal. Content is there to inform, educate, inspire and entertain (see Content Goals). Nowhere on that list is “incessantly pester” or “annoy.”
Think of a specialized middle-manager role you are trying to fill. The job description requires 7-10 years experience in the subject matter and 2-5 years experience in management. This suggests that you are looking for an experience dual-threat, not an easy find. Now, let us assume your amazing content begins to give a qualified prospect a compelling reason to apply. But obviously the prospect wants more information, either from your site or somewhere else. But every time they look for information, you’ve got that big flashing button demanding they apply. If your recruiter behaved that way, you’d probably fire them.
Content should be an invitation to read more content, consumed like potato chips, one after the other until the prospect is sated. Only then will they consider applying. But if you’ve badgered them enough, they will simply leave (remember the threshold for leaving is a simple click).
So consider where in the funnel your content exists and what kinds of applicants it is speaking to. Is this content the beginning of the process or should it be starting to close? That thinking will dictate the call to action.