Scaling Back to Scale Up: How to Strategically Scale Employer Branding Content

Learn how to focus your efforts, prioritize the right channels, and maximize content impact. Discover tips on leveraging employee advocacy and optimizing your strategies in our two-part series.

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Jul 8, 2024

If you’re a solo employer brander or working on a lean team, you’ve likely realized there’s too much to do with too few hours. So, how can you make an impact with the resources you’ve got?

Throughout my career, I’ve been in your shoes. A certain excitement comes with starting an employer brand and all the possibilities to make it shine. From launching new career sites and CRMs to crafting compelling employee spotlight blogs and stunning culture videos to being present at the hottest events and managing digital campaigns – there’s a lot to it.

there’s A LOT to it.

Once you get the engine going, you might find that doing ALL OF THE THINGS isn’t sustainable. And truthfully, it might not be worth the effort. It’s really easy to get caught up trying to establish a complete brand using all channels, the latest strategies, and tools. However, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to do everything to make an impact. In fact, doing less can help you see stronger results.

It’s all about focus.

If you feel like you’re juggling too much, I’ll share how you can be more intentional. In this two-part series, we’ll first discuss how to dial in your channels and your content strategy. In part two, I’ll dive into the data and explain how to optimize your efforts.

Let’s get started with channels and content!

Channels: Where to Prioritize Your Efforts

It’s natural to feel like you must be everywhere to build brand awareness—on certain job boards, on all social media sites, and at every event. How else will candidates find you, right?

Managing every channel effectively becomes way too hard if you’re a lean team. Instead, you’ll likely minimize your efforts to a “spray and pray” methodology because you’re spreading yourself too thin.

Things change fast—algorithms, technology, trends. It’s hard to keep up with the rapid changes and strategies on multiple platforms. Being everywhere isn’t necessary. Start by identifying which channels your audience uses, engages with, and has the most conversations on. Narrow it down to a couple and commit to learning how to use these most effectively and competitively. As you gain momentum and learn best practices, consider expanding to new channels.

Content: Quality over Quantity

When I first started employer branding, content strategy was different. It was all about producing more, more, more. So, of course, my days were filled with crafting new blogs, scheduling a ton of social media posts, and trying to scrape together a budget to do more videos.

But more content meant more competition to be seen and heard. We’re not just competing against other employers, but all the other things trying to grab what little of our audience’s attention spans are left (e.g., product marketing, cute dog videos, streaming channels, 24/7 news cycles). With so much content being thrown at us daily, it’s likely people aren’t seeing it or engaging with it initially. Rather than constantly pumping out new content, consider how you can make the most of what you’re producing.

The first step is to assess the success of your current content. Use any analytics tools you have to assess what’s working and what isn’t to determine whether certain topics or mediums resonate best with your audience (more on that in part two of this series).

Then, when planning your macro content, think about how you can get more mileage from it. A blog doesn’t have to just be a blog. It can be broken down into micro stories for social media or used as testimonials for your career sites. A video doesn’t have to be used in its entirety. Break it down into shorter clips for ads or to embed on your job postings. Mix and match by taking elements from your content and pairing them with similar pieces of other content to repurpose it into a new story.

Now, your content calendar has expanded from one piece to several that can be spread out over time, giving your audience more opportunities to see and engage with it. This is also a great way to test how your audience likes to receive content. You might discover that they prefer shorter sound bites over longer pieces or something else unexpected.

Employee Advocacy: Amplify Your Reach

As much as there are fun brands out there (looking at you, Duolingo), the reality is people would much rather hear from (and trust) other people than a message coming from a brand account. That’s why we see thought leaders skyrocketing into semi-celebrity status or why there are so many platforms to leave a review.

Even if your brand is getting engagement on its posts, it’s more likely that people will connect more deeply with posts coming from an employee. People want to connect. They want to learn. They want to celebrate.

They want the reality and the truth.

It’s really easy for a brand to shout, “HEY! WE’RE THE BEST! WORK FOR US!” Then, they can offer some backup to their claims by promoting their recent employer award win, highlighting updates to make their benefits more inclusive, having PR announce how their new products boosted their stock price, or putting out reports about their commitments to ESG.

That’s all well and good, but what’s usually more telling is how your employees promote it. If they remain silent (you hear crickets), could it mean that they aren’t proud of the company they work for? That they don’t agree with what’s being said? Or is it simply fluff with no substance?

But even beyond that, most candidates want to hear the real experiences of the employees. They want the specifics. It’s one thing for an employee to repost something from a brand. It’s another for them to share a story about their experience that backs up your messaging. Employee stories are vital for employer branding, so why not use them? It’s little effort for an employer brander, with potential exponential results.

Got inclusive benefits? Great. Let’s hear about the woman who was supported by her employer when using an in-vitro egg-freezing benefit. Won an award? Let your employees celebrate the things they appreciate most about their experiences that led to that win. Got a lot of buzz about a new product? Do spotlights on the teammates who made it happen.

This approach is specific and (hopefully) unbiased. Usually, these things get more engagement on social media or encourage a friend to ask to be referred to a role.
But…How Do You Know if it Works?

Now that you have some tips on focusing your content strategy, you may wonder what’s next. How do you know if your approach provides meaningful results? How do you know when it’s time to scale up or cut things out?

In part two of the series, I’ll discuss how to pull and evaluate essential data needed for your employer brand strategies. Data is important whether you’re curious about your overall brand performance or launching specific tests to see what resonates best; it helps you identify trends and insights that allow you to optimize your efforts.

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