“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer is. It’s what consumers tell each other it is.”
How to develop your Employer Brand:
When considering your employer brand, you need to acknowledge that this is the first glimpse future employees, customers, and clients will have into your company. Your brand must therefore consistently act as a positive representative of your company.
Depending on where you currently are in your branding journey, you may find the concept of marketing extremely daunting, but it doesn’t need to be as complex as it may appear. There are basic steps that will assist you in getting your employer brand up and running without taking up a huge amount of your time and cash.
Intrigued? You should be! Once you get started with branding, it will become far easier and more natural, until the time comes where it is a part of your daily routine. Be patient with it though, these things do take time.
1) What makes you stand out?
No doubt this is something you have already considered. Chances are there are a lot of other companies that do exactly (pretty much) what you do. So, what makes you different? This is something that you really need to consider. Is it the incentives you offer your employees, or is it your interaction with the local community - Perhaps, you incorporate charity work and ‘giving back’ into your company culture. Whatever it is, make sure it is something you want to shout from the rooftops, because THAT is essentially what marketing is all about. Your first step is to put aside time and think about what you want to be known for as a company. When your brand name is read or heard, what is the first thing you want people to think about? You need this foundation in order to build a strong brand.
2) Social Media platforms
If you are not yet on social media…that has GOT to be your second step. Firstly research where your target audience spends most of their time; if it is LinkedIn focus your attention there, however, if they spend more time on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram consider prioritising these platforms instead. Once you are established on your elected social media platforms focus your attention on regularly posting highly relevant content. Make sure you are active in engaging your audience and focus your posts on content that will benefit those individuals you are targeting.
- Follow relevant parties where possible.
- Give people a reason to follow you by posting interesting and relevant updates. For example, if you (like us) are a recruitment agency, post relevant industry news that clients and candidates will benefit from.
- Post regularly but not unnecessarily. Try posting daily, but do not overwhelm your followers with ‘spam’. Unnecessary posting will bore your followers and will cause ‘scroller apathy’ in that they will lose interest, and possibly (very worst case…) UNFOLLOW YOU! Something to be avoided at all costs.
- Harness the power of your employees, especially on LI, by having them ‘like and share’ different posts. By so doing, your post will be seen by a wider network and is more likely to encourage people to read the post. People (or 'sheeple') are interesting, in that when we see other people have liked or shared a post, we feel more confident in adding our own ‘approval’ and liking it too.
3) Always seek to improve your knowledge and understanding of branding.
There is no shame in admitting that you are not yet a pro at branding! If you’re natural then props to you, however, it is important to admit that everyone and anyone on this branding journey has room for improvement. We can all do better and be better. So, buy a book (and read it), try a training course, ask someone more experienced for tips and advice. There are plenty of free, online options that you can use at your own pace. Seek out expos and training days. There are plenty of different resources available to assist you in your journey to become a branding guru. Just don’t be afraid of investing time, because the ROI will come back tenfold.
4) Branded merchandise
Now, you will notice that branded merchandise is fairly far down this list. And there is a reason for that. When it comes to branding, having your logo pasted on absolutely everything really isn’t all that important. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely a valuable investment, but if you are not doing any of the previous three steps, branded merchandise will not be very influential in improving your companies’ brand. However, if you ARE investing your time and energy into the previous three steps, then by all means go for it with the branded merchandise! People love freebies, and it is a fantastic way of getting your name out there. Whether on people’s desks in the form of pens, in kitchen cupboards on mugs, or whatever it is you decide to do - it certainly keeps the name of your company in the mind of your consumers.
5) Last but by no means least…make sure your website is top-notch!
Possibly the first insight your consumers, clients, and future employees will get into your company is your website. Have a quick look now and put yourselves in the shoes of one of these three visitors…is it interesting? Does it clearly display who you are and what you do? Does it capture the essence of your company? If not, then perhaps seriously consider updating your site – it is an important investment that all companies need to make. The 21st century is no place for unimpressive websites.
There we have it. Five very basic but very important steps in building your employer brand. There are of course other factors, but start with these, and build your foundation from here. There will always be learning curves and bumps along the way, but the more you learn the easier it will be to see what works for your company, and what doesn’t. Before you know it, branding and marketing your company will become second nature and the results will begin to flood in. Just persevere and be patient. These things do take time.
Written by Leah Moy