#117 How do you implement an employer branding strategy?

Blog header #117 How to implement an employer branding strategy_ - Building a modern, magnetic employer brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

Implementing the employer brand strategy is an important phase before you start posting and sharing content online.

It would be easy to think we’ll just start posting content online now that we have the strategy. But holding your breath for a second is key to getting organized before you go ahead and just start posting.

The implementation phase needs your attention, time and other resources, such as money and pairs of capable hands.

It’s all about getting organized, setting your key content fixtures up, and updating social media profiles and your career site to match your fresh employer brand key messages.

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I share with you what is the implementation phase, how it differs from the execution phase, and what will be your most important implementation tasks before you go ahead and start posting and sharing employer brand content.

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What does implementing an employer branding strategy mean?

Implementing an employer branding strategy means that you prepare and set everything ready for the execution of the employer branding strategy.

In your employer brand strategy, you’ve made some key decisions which I teach at Talent Marketing School, such as:

  • what are your employer branding goals
  • how and when do you measure your [employer branding] success
  • who your target audience will be
  • what are those key messages your employer brand marketing needs to drill into the minds and memories of your target audience,
  • and in which channels, platforms, and media do you plan to focus your brand marketing efforts and resources

When all this is decided and confirmed, and you hopefully also have a budget to accomplish your goals and objectives, you move on to the implementation phase.

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Implementing your employer branding strategy means putting your strategy into practice

The implementation phase begins with preparing how you put employer branding strategy into action. And is followed by getting organized to keep your employer branding efforts active and in line with your strategy over long-term.

This phase is easily forgotten when you budget and plan your resources, such as time, money, tools and pairs of available hands for employer branding.

The implementation phase is more like a preparatory phase and once you have done it, you don’t need to be implementing regularly. What you need to be doing is executing regularly.

Examples of key tasks during the implementation phase

When implementing your employer brand strategy, you set everything ready for consistent and efficient work. Executing your employer branding strategy and plan refers to performing the actual tasks in your strategic plan.

Let’s dig deeper into what are some of the key tasks in the implementation phase.

#1 Updating your career site

Probably everyone needs to be making some updates to your career site content and messages during the implementation phase.

I have an episode coming soon about your career site, so I’m not going into too much detail about it in this episode. However, I want to mention that updating your career site [content and messages] as an implementation task most often does not mean a huge technical update on the site.

Most often it means:

  • Paraphrasing words and messages to match [the key messages and target audience in] your new strategy and plan.
  • Refreshing your images to communicate change [as executing a new employer brand strategy is always a process of changing existing images and beliefs, assumptions in the minds of your audience].
  • Replacing excess text with images and other visuals such as icons, graphics and videos to make your site easier to skim.
  • Adding elementary strategic content such as blog posts designed to grow awareness and build affinity and lead magnets converting career site visitors into employer brand marketing or recruitment leads.

All this needs planning and prepping, and it is good to do before you start investing in sharing and promoting your new employer brand marketing messages elsewhere.

You want to avoid conflicting or confusing messages between your career site and marketing elsewhere.

#2 Building your employer brand marketing photo bank

All marketing these days require visual support.

Most of you will be doing employer brand marketing online, creating and promoting content. For that, you will need photos that help build your employer brand, communicate your chosen employer brand key messages and help build the desired employer brand image.

This is an important implementation task that needs to be done before you start posting content.

If you join my email list, you’ll get this free PDF called “Quick Tips for building an employer brand photo bank”. Click here to download it.

#3 Updating your social media bios and profile images

You probably have social media profiles you have already been using for recruitment marketing and employer branding.

Check out the bios of those social media profiles. What descriptions are written on the bios?

If you are serious about building a magnetic employer brand, ideally you have at least one dedicated social media profile just for employer branding and other talent marketing.

I understand this can be tricky as, especially in larger organizations, the marketing departments can be quite controlling over the use of social media. And sometimes, it is very good that they are.

What should the bios of [employer brand marketing] profiles include?

  1. Who is the content on this account meant and created for? 
    • Mention your target audience [in writing on your bio] so that people can relate [and recognize if this is for them].
    • Paraphrase your EVP so that it pulls in just the kind of talents whom your EVP is meant to resonate with.
  2. What can you promise to deliver to your audience through the content on this account?
    • Are you sharing tips and inspiration?
    • Are you showcasing life behind the scenes?
    • Are you sharing behind the scenes of your open jobs and recruitment processes?
    • If I check out your profile and wonder if I should follow you, what can I expect to see? Think radio station: Is this a radio station where you play the TOP 100 hits or country music? 
  3. Link, link, link – Where do you want to direct your audience?
    • If this profile is for employer branding and talent marketing purposes, your link should not be the general home page for your company’s website.
    • Direct your target audience as close to your career site, any specific content or page you want them to see or to a lead magnet relevant to them.
  4. CTA – Call to action statement
    • What would you like your audience to do now that they have found you on this social media and are checking out your bio?
    • Do you have a lead magnet for generating leads to your employer brand marketing or to your recruitment funnel? Call action to download it or to DM you with a keyword so that you can send them the link.
  5. Profile image(s)
    • Make sure your bio and images support your desired employer brand image and are in line with your employer brand key messages.
    • Update a relevant photo if you have more space than just for a logo.

#4 Planning and organizing your elementary employer brand content production

Content production can take a lot of time, so don’t rush into social media before you have enough employer branding content ready for regular publishing.

One blog post, social media post or video doesn’t go that far.

Start posting (as in moving onto the execution phase) only once you have enough content to share and repurpose for at least a month.

This plan will give you time to create your next month’s bundle of content before this month is over. That keeps your content publishing an on going and active process, which is key to success!

I used the term elementary content. These are – in addition to those employer brand photos – content such as blog posts, downloadable PDFs and eBooks, videos and podcast episodes, that you can share, and promote BUT also repurpose many times as social media posts.

#5 Organizing your employer branding into an execution team

Some of you may be working solo when others can build a team around the employer brand marketing tasks.

I didn’t mention this in the podcast episode, but even if you carry the responsibility alone, you can still create a part-time team of helping hands as contributors. You might be surprised how some of your colleagues are glad to pitch in as content producers when you ask for their help.

When you ask around and build a team or part-time helpers during the implementation phase, you can prepare and coach them in advance, share your strategy and talk about how you best work together.

When you are getting organised as a group, you must ensure everyone knows what and how they are expected to pitch in. You also need to make sure everyone schedules time for the tasks in their calendars because if it’s not in the calendar, it doesn’t get done.

What are the key tasks and responsibilities you need to share within this group?

  • Ideating and creating new content and posts regularly (in advance).
  • Publishing or scheduling posts according to your content publication plan.
  • Allocating a little time weekly to engage and have conversations with your audience online.
  • Collecting and analyzing your marketing data for results and success.
  • Planning ahead the new elementary content production and who’s going to be doing it and when it needs to be ready for publication.

In general, employer brand marketing needs a lot of coordination, planning and managing. As the employer brand marketing lead, you need to plan, coordinate and manage the contributors, everyone’s schedules and availability for their tasks and creating, publishing and repurposing content. Setting up your team is a key task during the implementation phase.

Why the implementation phase of your employer branding strategy is so important?

The implementation phase helps you to start creating your employer brand marketing process and systems and resource the time, people and money for the work.

You also need to resource time into creating the process of using data as your guide, because regular data analysis is key in improving your employer brand marketing processes, content and how you execute this work.

The more experienced you want to become, taking the role of an employer brand manager and managing and developing your employer brand marketing skills, routines, processes, systems, and structures is as important in delivering results as the actual marketing tasks.

Did you miss last week’s episode about “What is an employer branding strategy and when do you need one”? Go here to check it out.

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