#151 The Art of Storytelling: How to Use Stories in Your Employer Branding Content

Blog header #151 The Art of Storytelling_ How to Use Stories in Your Employer Branding Content  - Building a modern, magnetic employer brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

The art of storytelling is a powerful tool for any business trying to create compelling employer branding content.

Storytelling allows employers to communicate their brand values in a relatable and engaging way, making it easier for target audiences to connect with them on an emotional level. 

Employer branding content generation is not easy, especially if you pay attention to the reach and engagement of your content.

Whether through video, written content, or even podcasts, employers can use storytelling to showcase the unique aspects of their organisation and what makes them special.

Through stories, they can emphasise their company culture, values, mission statement, and more while ensuring they remain authentic to their audience and employees. 

Stories don’t have to be overly complicated or lengthy either –think about the key points you want to convey and try to keep it short and sweet! 

The Art of Storytelling: How to Use it in Your Employer Branding Content

In this storytelling podcast episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I’m sharing a love of mine: the art of storytelling and how to use it in your employer branding content.

Storytelling can help employers create content that is both compelling and memorable, allowing them to engage with their target audience in a meaningful way. 

When done correctly, storytelling can help employers differentiate themselves from their competition and better communicate the value they bring to potential current and future employees. This will significantly help you to grow your employer pulling power and improve retention.

Watch this episode.

If you are new to this podcastmy name is Susanna Rantanen. I am a seasoned strategic employer branding expert, executive-level advisor and content & social media marketing coach for professionals struggling with winning and keeping the talents a business needs to succeed.

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Storytelling employee experiences

The art of storytelling is a powerful tool for businesses to utilise in your employer branding content. Not only does it help capture the attention of potential employees, but it also allows you to showcase many essential aspects of what makes talents decide whether they choose and keep choosing your company as their place to work.

At Employer Branding Agency Emine, we extensively apply storytelling to our many clients’ employer branding content. And over the years, we have noticed story content to be super valuable internally for organisations going through changes and transformation. So, it’s useful not only for external employer branding but also for internal branding.

Storytelling provides an excellent opportunity to differentiate your company from competition by emphasising elements like your company’s purpose, mission, values, company culture and employee experiences.

Susanna Rantanen

Crafting stories for your employer branding content starts with your employer brand communication strategy

When crafting stories for your employer branding content, remember your employer brand story needs to resonate with your target audience. 

You must embrace the vital role reversal I’ve often spoken about: “Talent is the hero in your employer branding stories.”

You must embrace the vital role reversal I’ve often spoken about: “Talent is the hero in your employer branding stories.”

Susanna Rantanen

Rule #1: Avoid telling stories about your company

This means you must avoid telling stories about your company’s history, achievements and accolades because your talent audience cannot identify with those.

Instead, find the stories of your existing employees because your future employees need to be able to identify with them.

A sound communication strategy for your employer brand will help you correctly pick your brand content ideas. So again, I advise you to start with an employer brand communication strategy.

Planning the narrative so your target audience can position themselves in the hero’s role is important in storytelling. 

Planning the narrative so your target audience can position themselves in the hero’s role is important in storytelling. 

Susanna Rantanen

As said, the best way to achieve this is to position a relatable employee in the hero’s role in the story. This way, your target audience can become inspired by how the hero in the story has grown in your organisation, supported by your leadership culture, values and ways of work. 

Pay attention to this: storytelling means not focusing your employer branding content stories on your company but using your employees’ stories as a frame for your target audience to place themselves into.

The Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ reminds us that:

“It’s not about you, it’s about them”. 

Three examples of how to change your existing employer branding content into storytelling content

#1 Storytelling career stories

Career stories must be the most popular version of employer branding content. Unfortunately, I find them quite boring, and I’m sure I’m not alone. 

To be frank, and you deserve me to be frank and honest, the common career story is like a CV storified. Nothing is exciting about it to anyone else, but maybe the person whose CV it’s about.

Another standard version of a career story is not even a career story but a role description written out in a blog post. Again, it is not compelling and does not help me to imagine myself in the same seat. 

The good thing is that these are usually short, making the suffering of reading them quick. 

But in the shortness comes another problem: they communicate very little information and lack the required descriptiveness that enables the reader to imagine themselves in that situation.

Heroes Career Stories as part of the Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️

One of my favourite tools is the Hero’s Career Story™️ I have developed, and we use writing career stories for our clients.

This framework removes these common problems with career stories. 

It offers the reader a narrative that helps them imagine their career development and life if they were to join this organisation.

The Hero’s Career Story™️ framework is strategically planned to resonate with your target audience. 

With the help of using talent personas, you can plan the types of heroes career stories your employer branding needs, then find the actual employees matching the story needs. 

This way, your career stories are not identical and repetitive but versatile, compelling and matched with your desired employer brand perception.

#2 Alumni Career Stories

Another great career site content example is alumni career stories. These are very similar to the heroes career stories, but the key message differs.

When the Hero’s Career Story™️ is about an existing employee and pinpoints how you, as their employer, are helping them to develop a career and build a better life while employed by you, the Alumni Career Story™️ takes a different angle. 

It helps your target audience imagine the career opportunities and better life the former employee achieved due to what they learned and experienced while employed by you.

The idea is to cast a vision even longer to the future than just today. This works really well in cases where your ways of work, leadership examples and values enabled them to progress in their career to places they perhaps were not ready and even considering yet while working with you. But they took those learnings and used them to their advantage later in life. 

I love hearing stories where your purpose-driven culture and leadership values enable them to carry that forward to new experiences and places in life!

#3 Narrative social media posts

Another great way to apply storytelling in employer branding content is short social media posts.

The structure is always the same. You just fill in the gaps. This I learned from Donald Miller, the master of business storytelling

A storytelling social media post moves forward in this order:

(1) Identify the problem of the reader.

This acts as the hook, capturing attention. The post will only hook people who can identify with the problem.

(2) Make the problem worse.

It’s not a big enough problem if you can’t emphasise it!

Kind of like: “Oh goodness, I’m really struggling with this. This is really a huge problem!” 

Just like those awful traditional career stories. They are a pain to your employer brand appeal.

(3) Then, explain how you can help solve this problem.

This is a very concrete proposal of how to get rid of it.

I would say, for example: “Join my LIVE training, and I’ll give you the framework to fix your career stories.

(4) Then, talk about what life looks like after the problem is gone.

I could say:

Your career stories are actually growing your employer brand demand, your reach and getting people in your target audience engaged with your employer brand. Your employees get a voice and truly advocate for you as their employer. You can prove your boss investing in employer branding content makes sense, you earn their trust and, in their eyes, grow as an employer branding professional!

So, you are very specific in describing the situation after your target audience has followed your plan.

(5) You end the post with a CTA to tell your audience what you want them to do next.

CTA is the call to action you want them to do after they have read your post. I hardly ever see clear calls to action in employer branding. This is a lot of opportunities to connect or to generate leads to your recruitment funnel missed due to a lack of clear call to action.

To follow my example here, I would end this social media post with the following CTA:

DM me if you want to learn more about this upcoming LIVE training, and I will send you more information.”

The art of storytelling resides in its ability to invite your target audience into the story

The art of storytelling resides in its ability to draw people into the narrative and make them part of it.

When crafting stories for your employer brand, focus on compelling and relatable characters that readers can connect with.  

Paint vivid pictures through details and descriptions that bring your stories to life. Through this process, you’ll be able to create a narrative that will appeal to your target audience and leave an enduring impression on them. 

Another critical element of compelling storytelling is aligning your content with your employer brand values and desired employer brand perceptions.

How do you want your target audience to perceive you as an employer of choice?

This will help you in two ways:

  1. Establish trust with potential candidates and let them know exactly what they can expect from working for you. 
  2. Differentiate you from your competition.

To do this, highlight the unique aspects of working at your company while conveying how these fit into the bigger picture of achieving business success and delivering the customer promise with great success. 

Ultimately, by harnessing the power of storytelling, you can create content that is both engaging and informative for potential job seekers and your existing employees.

Doing so will help you build strong relationships with your current employees and reach out to new ones authentically.

Why not try storytelling if you’re looking for creative ways to boost your employer branding content?

Stories are effective ways of connecting with an audience on an emotional level – which is key when it comes to recruiting new talent into your organisation!

Employer branding content is an important part of any business’s overall marketing strategy

Employer branding content is an important part of any business’s marketing strategy, and storytelling is an effective way to engage and attract potential candidates. 

The art of storytelling is about building a narrative around a product or brand – weaving together the facts, values, and emotions that draw people in. 

Regarding employer branding content, stories can help connect your organisation and job seekers by communicating the company’s culture, values, and mission and how their work impacts your customers.

The art of storytelling involves using imagery voice and matching any images in the content with the words. The power of storytelling is to transport readers into different scenes so they can better understand what it’s like working at your organisation. 

You can also use stories to show how successful employees have grown. The goal is to make your content feel more personal and relatable to the target audience. You want them to be able to imagine themselves in your organisation, living and building a career as the character in your employer branding content has done. 

How do you get started with the art of storytelling in your employer branding content?

To ensure your storytelling efforts are successful when creating employer branding content, start by asking yourself what makes your organisation unique? What do you stand for, and what are the desired employer brand perceptions your employer brand stories need to convey?

Starting cold turkey with storytelling will be difficult unless you have a plan. As you are meant to build the employer brand, your storytelling content must match your other content key messages and help deliver the employer brand value expected from this work.

The Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ provides a sturdy plan for creating employer branding content that aligns with your employer branding vision, goals and desired employer brand perceptions. 

Contact me if you need an agency partner to help with the strategy.

If you prefer the DIY way but want someone to guide and coach you on how to get started and create the plans, I’m your coach! I’m happy to chat and discuss if we are your right partner/coach.

Because once you have that clear plan, applying storytelling gets way easier.

What is business storytelling?

What is storytelling marketing?

Why must talent be the hero in your employer branding story?

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