To prepare for an employer brand launch, often there is a big, initial push to create content -- and lots of it. Photographs, social images, career site pages, and videos requiring many resources, reviews, and approvals. This library of content supports big splashy announcements, both internally and externally. Content powers the flipping of the switch on existing channels to the new employer brand creative and messaging.
Months later or perhaps a year down the road, long after the launch excitement wanes, the content pool starts to dry up. But the brand channels still need to be updated. How do you get in a cadence of creating ongoing content? And, once created, how do you encourage employees to share it? For an employer brand manager, these two questions may keep you up at night.
Whether you have no, some, or a large budget, here are some tips to make content creation and amplification more planful, proactive, and productive.
MAKE IT KNOWN
When you are working in employer brand, day in and day out, it’s easy to forget that not everyone else eats, breathes, and sleeps “EB.” Like any effective marketer or communicator, you’ve got to let others in on what’s coming up and how they can help.
Provide a line of sight into your content calendar. For example, if you know you’ll need content for “National Dog Day” on August 26, share that with your team and set a deadline to submit earlier in the month.
Send a message at the beginning of each week with ideas and recommendations on content that is needed, along with links to content that has already been posted.
Craft several approved status update options for your recruiting teams to easily choose from, copy, paste, and share. This will make it easier for the non-writers on the team and each post will stay on brand.
MAKE IT FUN
Create some healthy competition between office locations. Ask for content and reward the office that shares the most with a prize or drawing for branded swag.
Host a global employee-generated video contest in advance of specific content needs. An example of this may be “International Day of Charity”on September 5. In August, ask employees to submit a video of themselves giving back or volunteering in their local communities. Encourage employees to share the video on social media using a branded campaign hashtag. The top three videos with the most engagement win!
In November (a time of thanks), create a “Tag! You’re it” contest where employees post a “thankful” message on a preferred social channel. He or she then tags another colleague and uses a company-branded hashtag. The colleagues tag someone else, and someone else, etc. until you’ve created your own viral “ice bucket challenge.” All you’ve done was set up the campaign; the community takes it from there and creates content that you can screenshot and share later on.
MAKE IT REWARDING
Create an “office of the month” recognition to celebrate and recognize exceptional performance in that location. (Whoever sends in the most usable content … wins!) The office earns bragging rights for that month and will hopefully be motivated enough to keep up the great work.
Is it campus recruiting season? Encourage recruiters to share photos from their university adventures. Next, take the above “office of the month” idea and bring it down to the individual talent acquisition team member level.
Ask recruiters or hiring managers to nominate to feature externally as part of a recruitment marketing campaign and, importantly, ask them, “WHY?” Work with that employee to pull together a nice image and testimonial that recognizes their impact, hard work, and dedication.
MAKE IT MATTER
Is there a Moms group at your organization? An LGBTQ group? A veterans group? Connect with your Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to understand which “awareness” months or holidays have special significance to them. Often, ERGs will have events already planned and are happy to share stories, photos, and videos!
Pre-populate your content strategy or editorial calendar to align content needs to different cultures and countries represented by your employees. Consider holidays, local events, and things they are proud of in their particular region. Then, when you ask for content or for people to share it, there will be an increased sense of local pride in doing so.
When asking your teams to submit and share, let them in on the “why.” Tell them why it matters hiring strategies, how it will help their team, and how it impacts the overall organization. Where possible, share success stories from members of the team as proof points that sharing company content really does work!
Did these ideas get your creative juices flowing? And, notice they don’t require some big expensive, shiny HR technology either -- just a little thoughtful planning and proactive communication. Do you have other no cost or low-cost ideas for how to gather and share employee-generated content? We invite you to share your tried and true tactics below in the comments.
If you learned something here, you should check out this post: 4 Tips on How to Keep Recruiters On-brand and from Going Rogue
Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad) is an Engagement Director and Principal Employer Brand Strategist for exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm building employer brands and the talent strategies that drive them through research, consulting, and creative and digital execution. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research, and recruitment strategy offerings.