10,000 Hours in 10 Minutes: Jacco Valkenburg on Knowing Your Audience
One of the most important things digital publishers can do to maintain and grow their audience is to know who their readers are, know what type of content they’re seeking and stick to that type of content. While it might seem obvious, using that strategy for deciding on site content consistently will let your audience know you’re serious about catering to their area of interest, rather than trying to interest a broader readership.
“I make it very clear to my guest and regular bloggers who the prime target audience is and that topics should always be related to recruiting and employer branding,” says Jacco Valkenburg, founder of the Global Recruiting Roundtable. “Career coaches and job seekers will find a lot of interesting market information and tips, too, but I try, and prefer, to publish articles for this audience on other platforms and websites.”
Using this philosophy, Jacco has been able to turn both the Global Recruiting Roundtable and his Dutch blog, RecruitingRoundtable.nl, into some of the leading resources on recruiting news and information in the world.
Jacco is an international recruitment expert, trainer and author of three bestselling books about recruiting and LinkedIn (over 25,000 copies sold). He has extensive experience in global recruitment strategies and execution spanning numerous countries for leading companies. Here, he offers insight on how he’s managed to place his brand at the forefront of the recruiting industry.
Can you tell us the story behind Global Recruiting Roundtable?
I’ve been always very active online and was actively engaging with other recruiters on blogs and social media and loved exchanging ideas and tips. In 2007, I decided to start blogging on a popular recruitment blog in The Netherlands.
As I really enjoyed writing about my experience in recruiting, and getting feedback and response from others, I quickly launched my own (Dutch) blog RecruitingRoundtable.nl. It became one of the most popular recruitment blogs in the Netherlands, and I am proud that we have approximately 75,000 page views each month, which are viewed by 20,000 unique visitors who want to be informed about the labor market, e-HRM, recruitment and selection. Together with a group of regular and guest bloggers, we focus on news, case studies, practical how-to’s, trends and much more in the field of online recruitment.
As I wanted to reach a larger and more international audience, I also created the blog GlobalRecruitingRoundtable.com.
Who should be checking out your site?
The target audience is primarily recruitment professionals. That could be (corporate or agency) recruiters, HR professionals/managers or hiring managers.
What have been the best tools you’ve found for growing the audience to your site?
Organic search is responsible for 60 percent of the traffic, so optimizing content for search engines is essential, and we always put some extra effort in that. Another (related) tactic is to publish only unique content on the blog to ensure that people have to come to this site.
What digital marketing strategies have you tried and found to be less effective?
Facebook and LinkedIn, and very recently Twitter, have paid options to boost your content to a target audience. I’ve tried it, but because these costs are high and there’s no clear benefit or business goal, I’ve stopped doing it.
What role has social media played in growing your brand?
Social media is great for getting traffic (16 percent) and immediate engagement with my audience. Quite often the discussion is not on this blog but in a LinkedIn group or via Twitter. A strong social media presence and unique content strengthen each other.
How has LinkedIn changed the way businesses not only recruit, but also market themselves?
Until 2010, LinkedIn absolutely didn’t want to be associated with job boards or be known as a popular spot for recruiters. To the outside world they were a professional network site only and used the tagline “This isn’t networking – it’s what networking should be.”
But their professional solutions for recruiters became the most important revenue for them, so they slowly embraced the idea and their big fat hairy audacious goal is nowadays “digitally mapping the global economy to connect talent with opportunity at massive scale.”
Their innovative technology has really set them apart from any other product or solution in recruiting. I’ve used LinkedIn since 2004 for recruiting purposes and remember that when I gave my first workshop that year about LinkedIn, I was sure this was the future of recruiting.
How do you think freelancers – web designers, bloggers, etc. – should be using social media to promote their brand and find more work?
Networking – in other words, gaining personal contact with people in your professional field – is the way to find new work. This is not new. But online social networks are the ideal tool for raising your profile and building and maintaining your network.
Social media are a great extension of existing social networks, which so many freelancers depend on. And if done the right way it can give a boost to your personal brand online with a potential great reach beyond that 24/7.
What digital innovations or trends are you most excited about when it comes to not only recruiting, but also building brand awareness?
The mobile (re-)evolution! The traditional recruiting processes will move away from “Apply,” which require candidates to enter lengthy only application forms, mandatory uploading of a resume and motivation letter and using a Desktop PC, to one-click “Tell Me More” options that are mobile-friendly. Recruiting will become even more social. Soon recruiters will start pick up the phone again.
This article was first published on Mediashower.com