#106 Why story works so well in talent marketing?

Blog header #106 Why story works so well in talent marketing  - Building a modern, magnetic employer brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

Why story works so well in talent marketing is because it pinpoints why something must change, how the offer makes the change easy and what life looks like after the transformation.

If your job is in copywriting talent marketing messages such as job posts and other recruitment marketing messages, career site content, employer brand marketing messages and company internal messages targeted to the staff, learning why story works and how to use the narrative format will transform your professional life!

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, Susanna talks about why story works so well in talent marketing. 

In this episode:

  • Why story works so well in talent marketing
  • Why typical talent marketing messages are so ineffective

Check out last week’s episode: What is storytelling marketing?

Why story works?

Stories work because they help simplify the complexities around us.

Stories are innately human. Our brains respond naturally to information shared in the narrative format. Even small children recognize a story when they hear one!

Key to using stories in talent marketing is understanding the power of a story: Story is never about me or us. It is always about the audience.

Stories in all marketing work because the story format translates the storyteller’s point (that’s you or the organization) into the recipient’s world.

The narrative format helps the storyteller to translate the message into a format that makes it relatable and meaningful for the audience.

When the audience is able to find immediate meaning, relate with the storyteller and picture themselves going though similar life events with a compelling future ahead, they become million more times likelier to take up on your offer. It just makes sense because the story message helps them to grasp the cause and effect pattern.

What is a story – and what is not

Ever since Instagram introduces the video format feature called Stories I noticed social media users got confused about stories. This led into many social media marketers assuming story and video are the same thing. When you put your content into a video format it automatically becomes a story.

Another false assumption very close to the talent marketing home is that the most common career site content, the career stories are stories. I’ve never seen one that is a story.

Calling a piece of information, an advert or a content a story does not convert the chosen type of communication into a story.

The word story is everywhere, but what exactly is it?

What exactly is story?

Story always has the following recognizable elements:

  • A beginning, middle and the end
  • Internal, external and philosophical problem
  • The hero, villain and the guide
  • A plan, stakes and the ever-after

Stories can be applied in pretty much all forms of communication and marketing messages. But the message isn’t a story until it consists of the listed elements.

Why story works so well in talent marketing?

Stories do many things well, but one thing they do extremely well in talent marketing is build trust and credibility towards the employer.

If you do a bit of analysis on most business communication or marketing directed at employees and job seekers, you’ll find the message is always about what the company needs. It’s never about why employees or job seekers should even care.

Stories reverse this.

Stories translate the message into what matters to the recipient. In short, if you find it difficult to write compelling messages to employees and job seekers, following the storytelling practice is likely to change this for you.

Stories work exceptionally well in talent marketing because:

  • stories help organizations rephrase their message so that it becomes relevant and meaningful for the target audience.
  • storytelling evokes emotions in the listener’s mind and science has proven emotions drive all decision making where there is a chance to make a wrong decision. If choosing a job isn’t high risk, I don’t know what is!
  • we do talent marketing to get top of mind when our target audience makes important decisions. Stories are the only form of communication that stick information into a person’s mind.

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