When it comes to bringing in new customers and holding onto current ones, content will be king for HR tech companies.
Here’s how to plan and execute an HR tech content marketing strategy that actually works.
TL;DR: Content marketing for HR Tech involves a multi-faceted approach, which involves:
- Develop a solid content strategy with clear goals and KPIs.
- Hire qualified HR writers for content creation.
- Start with thorough audience research.
- Identify how your audience will discover your content.
- Conduct a competitive analysis to understand your position in the market.
- Optimize content for bottom-of-the-funnel keywords.
- Create comparison, category, and alternative content.
- Address middle-of-the-funnel keywords by focusing on audience pain points.
- Cover brand awareness with top-of-the-funnel keywords.
- Use visuals to enhance content and highlight product features.
- Leverage lead magnets to capture leads at all funnel stages.
- Include sign-up options in your content.
- Explore various content types beyond articles, like webinars, podcasts, case studies, video content, social media content, white papers/e-books, and product tutorials.
- Find content ideas relevant to your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
- Collaborate with other teams to distribute content across multiple channels.
- Avoid common content marketing mistakes, such as irrelevant content or being overly salesy.
Have a Set Content Strategy With Goals and KPIs
You need a solid content strategy if you want your HR tech company to grow its inbound channels. You also need ways to consistently and reliably measure your content performance. Before you start revamping your company blog or planning out your content calendar, make sure you set clear benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs). Here are a few to consider:
- Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQLs): Prospects who your marketing team believes are likely to become customers
- Sales-Qualified Leads (SQLs): Prospects who are ready to be passed off to your sales team
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Your marketing costs divided by new customers over a set period of time
- Traffic: Incoming traffic to your website
- Organic Revenue: The money you make from selling your product or service that can be attributed to organic channels
Your HR tech marketing strategy should also outline in detail how you plan to meet your content marketing goals and KPIs. Once you’ve done that, you have the scaffolding you need to build your winning content strategy.
Hire Qualified HR Writers to Help With Content Creation
You don’t want to hire just anyone to write your content. If your writers aren’t familiar with human resources, visitors to your website will get the impression that your company isn’t, either. It might take a little more time (and money) to hire an HR specialist, but high-quality, accurate content is worth it. Not only for your customers but also for your SEO as well.
Always Start With Audience Research
You probably wouldn’t write a blog post for Gen Z readers the same way you’d write one for baby boomers.
When you and your content marketing team have a solid understanding of your target audience, you’ll be able to anticipate their wants and needs and deliver the right kind of content.
Find Out How Your Audience Will Discover This Content
During the process of audience research, you’ll also want to determine whether your audience is going to find your content through social media, industry-related publications, YouTube videos, or organic searches.
Once you have a general idea of their main channels, you’ll want to hone in on them. They might be active on all of those channels, but you should still focus your content efforts on 1-2 channels per quarter to prevent your content quality from being diluted.
Read this to learn how you can level up your HR tech SEO strategy.
Run a Competitive Analysis to See Where Your Brand Sits Against the Competition
In the context of content strategy, a competitive analysis involves seeing the types of content your main competitors have. Are there any noticeable content gaps? How can you create stronger content?
It takes time to build a large body of quality content, so you’ll be starting at a disadvantage. But when you establish your baseline before you begin, you’ll have an idea of what content to prioritize.
Optimize for Bottom-of-the-Funnel Keywords
A well-organized content strategy includes pieces of content for every part of the marketing funnel. Bottom-of-the-funnel keywords are critically important for drawing in site visitors who are ready to make a purchase.
When a customer is just about ready to purchase HR software, they’re likely to search for keywords like “[your software] vs. [competitor software].” In-depth comparison articles (that aren’t just poorly disguised sales pitches) are likely to get you a high SERP ranking and hold your audience’s attention.
You also want to create content optimized for so-called “category keywords.” These are the terms that potential customers might search for when they want to purchase a product within a general category. For example, they might search “time tracking software” or “best time tracking software.”
Often, companies create list-style pieces to optimize for category keywords. You might consider creating a list like “10 Best Time Tracking Software Companies.” These lists are a bit like comparison pieces — you’re just comparing your software to several competitors instead of just one. You’ll also want to include your tech solution at the top of the list.
Potential customers who are ready to buy will also often search for “[competitor] alternatives” to see what other options they have. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to draw in new buyers!
It’s especially important to create content pieces offering your software as an alternative for a major company. Lots of people will probably be looking for options similar to Workday, Oracle, and other massive companies, so great alternative content that mentions these companies is likely to bring in more organic traffic and drive conversions.
Touch on Audience Pain Points With Middle-of-the-Funnel Keywords
In the middle of the marketing funnel, your audience isn’t quite ready to make a purchase. They likely already have a general awareness of HR software, and they’re focused on solving specific issues.
Problem-Solution Focused Content
What do you do when you have a problem you’re struggling to solve? If you’re like most people, you do a Google search. Your future customers are likely doing the same.
Thanks to your audience research, you should already know many of the problems and pain points your audience faces. Create optimized content accordingly. For example, if your software makes the onboarding process fast and easy, you might want to create content around “efficient onboarding strategies” and/or similar keywords.
If you run an HVAC company, your website would have “service pages” for each of the major services your company offers (diagnostics, installation, AC repair, etc.). If you sell HR software, you can create similar pages. Each “service page” centers around a key facet or benefit and is optimized for a relevant keyword.
How-to content is a bit like problem-solution content. But most how-to content is written in the form of a step-by-step guide. When it’s done well, how-to content can be a great way to build trust and credibility with your audience. If your readers learn something from one of your content pieces, they might be more likely to purchase software in the future.
Cover Brand Awareness With Top-of-the-Funnel Keywords
Designing pieces of content that have the potential to drive immediate conversions is exciting. Top-of-the-funnel content that helps build brand awareness might seem dull by comparison, but it’s an integral part of a balanced content strategy.
HR-related content optimized for top-of-the-funnel keywords creates an opportunity for you to educate your audience. Even very general pieces like “What Is HR Software?” can be helpful. You can even include mentions of your own software here — just take care to make sure the focus isn’t only on your product.
Include Visuals to Help Your Content Stand Out and Highlight Product Features
Most successful SaaS companies take a product-led approach to marketing. This means that they essentially let their software sell itself. With a good enough product, you won’t have to waste time selling your audience on your product’s benefits — just seeing those benefits for themselves will be enough to convince your audience members to buy.
That said, your readers probably don’t want to pore over paragraphs of lengthy descriptions. Quality visuals are engaging, and in many cases, they do a better job of showcasing your product than text alone. Demo videos, infographics, screenshots, and even interactive videos can all help grab your audience’s attention.
Leverage Lead Magnets Within Your Content to Capture Leads Across All Funnel Stages
The marketing funnel does a good job of capturing the average buyer’s journey. However, not all prospective customers need to go through every phase before becoming a lead.
You can speed up the lead-generation process at every stage of the funnel with quality lead magnets. Lead magnets are assets that you give your readers in exchange for contact information. Here are a few common ones offered by software companies:
- Product demos
- Free trials
- Online calculators/similar tools
Lead magnets are great for bringing in new prospects. However, you’ll want to take your time and make sure every lead magnet is high-quality and generally useful.
If your customer gives you their email address and receives a helpful e-book, they’re more likely to make a purchase. But if they receive a poorly written, generally useless resource, they probably won’t communicate with your sales team going forward.
Include Options to Sign Up for Your Product in Your Content
You create content with the main goal of convincing your readers to sign up. So naturally, you want to make the sign-up process as easy as possible. To minimize the chances of your reader becoming distracted or being unable to find a sign-up link, include clickable CTAs throughout your content.
This can be a balancing act of sorts. If you have too few sign-up opportunities, you might miss out on leads. But if you have too many, your site is likely to look spammy and repel otherwise promising leads.
Other Types of Content to Leverage Outside of Articles
When most people think of content strategy, they imagine articles and blog posts. But the best content strategy is a versatile one. Don’t forget to incorporate other types of content, too!
Webinars can be a great way to engage with your audience, show off your expertise and professionalism, and generate new leads in the process. They also help customers and potential customers put a face to your company, which just might help you stand out from the competition.
Because webinars are interactive, they can be time-consuming to put together — especially if you’ve never done one before. Podcasts also build trust and authority (and can help generate HR Tech leads), but you can record them before broadcasting.
Podcasts also offer you a unique networking opportunity. If you can convince an expert or two to be on your podcast, you might get a few new leads from their following. And if potential customers see that an expert is willing to work with you, they’ll instantly respect your brand.
Before you purchase a product, you probably want to know the kinds of experiences other people have had with it. Case studies work a bit like testimonials, but they go into detail about how your software helped a specific company solve a problem.
Of course, before you go about writing and publishing a case study, make sure you have permission from the company in question. In some cases, a company will ask you to not include its name.
Videos are perfect for grabbing and holding your audience’s attention. The exact type of videos you produce will depend on your brand voice and what you want to emphasize. You might consider short demo videos (with each one highlighting one product feature). If you want to build brand awareness, eye-catching animated sales videos are great as well.
Social Media Content
Organic search is great for bringing in new leads. But so is content made specifically for social media. If you are social media savvy, this might be something you can do on your own. But if it’s within your budget to hire a social media manager, your brand can benefit from robust, active social accounts.
White papers are informational documents designed to educate your audience about your product. A good white paper can highlight your software’s features and entice would-be customers to buy. E-books are similar, but they don’t necessarily have to center around your product.
Any time someone starts using a new type of software, there’s a learning curve. But when you anticipate that learning curve and make helpful video tutorials, you build trust and authority. Of course, tutorials aren’t a substitute for strong customer service, but they’re an incredibly useful adjunct to have.
Ways to Find Content Ideas Relevant to Your ICP
Your ideal customer profile (ICP) is a portrait of your perfect customer’s traits, wants, and needs. When you have a clear and detailed ICP, you’ll be better equipped to create content that will speak to your current and future customers.
Interview Your Audience
So how do you start forming your ICP? Interviewing your best customers is a great place to begin. You don’t have to rely on interviews in the traditional sense — customer feedback surveys, customer support chats, and even basic demographic information can all be helpful.
Leverage Your Sales and Product Demo Teams
Your sales team and product demo teams likely spend more time interacting with your customer base than you do. Check in with them — they’ll have clear insights into your customers’ pain points. You can use those insights to guide your continuing content strategy.
Use Google Search Console Data
A great content strategy is always adapting. Fortunately, there are countless useful tools that can help. One of these is Google Search Console, a free tool Google has that gives you data on your site’s performance. You can use this tool to find long-tail keywords that are related to your main tech solution.
Use Google’s Free Tools
Search Console isn’t the only free tool Google offers. Don’t forget to gain valuable insights from these other tools, too:
People Also Ask
This is a feature that helps users continue their search journey. But it can also give you an idea of keywords you might want to optimize content for. See which “People Also Ask” questions have the highest search volume and optimize accordingly.
AutoSuggest is another tool that’s great for searchers and website owners alike, and it’s a fast, easy way to get ideas for long-tail keywords with a high search volume. Spending even a few minutes with AutoSuggest can give you a list of promising content topics.
If you scroll to the bottom of the SERP after running a query, you’ll see a list of related search terms. This simple tool can be a gold mine when it comes to finding new keywords to optimize for.
Before you create a piece of content around a given keyword, you want to make sure that keyword is being searched at least somewhat frequently. Google Trends is an ideal tool for this. It lets you see how many searches have been done for a given keyword over a set period of time. If you really want to hit the ground running with your content strategy, start with content optimized for high-volume keywords.
Running out of keyword ideas? You won’t run out ever again if you use Keyword Planner! This tool helps you discover new keywords. Even better, it gives you an estimate of the cost of targeting each one.
Use Keyword Research Tools Like Ahrefs and/or SEMrush
You don’t have to feel limited to Google’s SEO tools. Sites like Ahrefs and SEMrush are also useful. They do have a major advantage over Google: Google’s tools show you data on your own website, but these other research tools let you discover valuable insights about other websites.
This feature is critically important if you need to see how you stack up against your competition. It can also give you ideas to improve your content strategy. For example, if you aren’t sure where to start looking for backlinks for your own site, you can check out the backlink profiles of competing sites.
Collaborate With Other Teams to Distribute Content Across Multiple Channels
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each new piece of content. A collaborative approach helps you reach more potential customers and reduces your risk of content gaps.
So how do you go about distributing your content across multiple channels? The easiest way to do this is to effectively “repurpose” your successful content for different formats.
For instance, say you have a very popular podcast series. To get more mileage out of that series, you might adapt it into a blog or article series as well. Similarly, if you have a successful article, you can distill its main points into an infographic that you can then share on Instagram or Facebook.
HR Tech Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
When it comes to your content marketing efforts, knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do. Here are a few mistakes to steer clear of:
Creating Content That Isn’t Relevant to Your ICP
Bringing in new site traffic is great, but you want a significant portion of that traffic to lead to conversions. Always refer to your ICP to make sure you’re creating content for the site visitors who are most likely to become customers.
Being Too Salesy With Your Product
Highlighting your product’s benefits can be helpful. But if your visitors feel like you’re pushing your product on them, they’ll see your site as one giant ad — not a useful resource. Building trust with current and future customers is vital, and if site visitors think you only care about making a sale, they aren’t going to trust you.
Not Being Willing to Showcase Your Product in Your Content
Here’s another extreme to avoid. You don’t want to be too salesy, but you also want to make sure your site visitors know what product you’re selling (and why it’s the best choice).
Not Matching Search Intent for SEO
Getting clicks is great. But if someone visits your site only to see that it doesn’t answer their question or help them solve a problem, they’ll bounce. At worst, not matching search intent makes your site visitors feel misled.
Examples of HR Tech Companies Getting Content Marketing Right
Feeling low on inspiration? It might help to take a look at some HR tech companies that are winning the content marketing game.
Gusto has a domain rating (DR) of 82. A site’s DR is an assessment of its backlink profile (the quantity and quality of websites that link back to it). It also has 908.1K monthly site traffic.
What’s behind Gusto’s success? Its content marketing campaign is incredibly helpful for business owners. Between detailed small business guides, timely and helpful blog content, high-quality webinars, and useful tools and calculators, Gusto’s site provides invaluable guidance whether you’re a customer or not.
Paycor has a DR of 77 and 846.9K monthly traffic. Like Gusto, it offers a whole palette of resources for HR professionals: white papers, case studies, webinars, guides, articles, and more. Paycor also includes a robust HR glossary — a great tool for building topical authority.
With a DR of 90 and 843.6K monthly traffic, BambooHR is a great example of a site with a strong content strategy. It has an array of content types:
- An HR glossary
- A collection of HR software calculators
- An active blog
- Ungated HR 101 (a course for business owners and other professionals)
- A large content library
- HR Crisis Recovery (a collection of articles to help HR professionals navigate crises)
There’s nothing wrong with publishing many different types of content as this company does, but make sure you aren’t emphasizing quantity at the expense of quality.
Closing Thoughts on HR Tech Content Marketing
When it comes to content marketing for HR tech, there’s more than meets the eye. HR tech is a booming field, so if you want to distinguish yourself and your brand, you need a content strategy that outperforms the competition.
As you can see, a strong content strategy has several facets, and those facets are constantly evolving. That might seem like a lot to manage, but when you have a detailed plan and a suite of analytical tools at your disposal, your company will be poised for success.
Looking for Guidance With Your Content? Schedule a Free SEO Strategy Call
The right content marketing strategy has the potential to bring in wave after wave of new leads that actually convert. But if you don’t have experience with content marketing, it can be hard to know where to start.
That’s where I come in. I specialize in helping HR tech companies create SEO content and develop content strategies that drive signups and demos. Reach out to me today to schedule your strategy call!