Years ago, when I first transitioned my role from recruiting to employer branding, the world of Recruitment Marketing looked a little different. At that time, we were all working hard to create and share as much new content as possible. This approach worked well when we were building the foundation of our employer brands, but over time, things started to shift. The constant content creation was making less of an impact as more employers began to produce careers and culture content.
Rethinking Content Strategy
The concept of content shock was introduced a few years ago. Simply stated, with the ridiculous rate at which we produce free content, people are overwhelmed with information (aka noise) day in and day out.
All those ads, blogs, emails, social posts, news stories, podcasts, videos are coming at us faster than our brains can consume it. So, we miss a lot. People’s attention spans are limited. Pair that with the fun social media algorithm changes, and you might wonder if anyone sees your content. And if they do, will they remember it or will it be a fleeting thought before the next piece of content crosses their path?
With this in mind, I took a step back and looked at our Recruitment Marketing content strategy in a new light. We needed to stop contributing to the noise and start thinking differently about the stories we shared. And we definitely needed to stop producing content only to use it a handful of times and forget about it. (I’m doing a content audit as we speak and it’s scary how much of our content is collecting dust!)
Switching Up Our Recruitment Marketing Content Approach
So, how did we shake things up to make more of an impact with our Recruitment Marketing efforts? We created longer, more strategic campaigns.
The Rule of 7 states that someone needs to see your content at least seven times for your message to sink in and for them to take action. How many times have you written an employee spotlight blog or shared a company culture video only once or twice before putting it on the back burner in favor of creating new content? It’s more common than you think and it’s not doing us any favors!
With this in mind, I had to think like a corporate or consumer marketer. I needed to be more strategic in my content plan and get more mileage out of what I was creating. So I reached out to our demand generation team to get insight into their integrated marketing campaigns and tweaked their approach to work for recruitment.
It made a world of difference. If you attended or watched the Rally webinar “Employer Branding That Speaks Uniquely to Women in Technology,” you may have seen a glimpse of one of our campaigns (and if you haven’t watched the webinar yet, you definitely should consider checking it out — it’s packed with a ton of other great takeaways too!). In this blog post, I’ll break down the campaign I talked about in the webinar so you can consider a new way to approach your Recruitment Marketing content to cut through the digital noise.
#SecureWomen: Our First Integrated Recruitment Marketing Campaign
The company I work for, Carbon Black, had a big initiative to hire more women and had invested in the Grace Hopper Celebration (a massive women in technology conference). We decided to create an accompanying campaign that supported our involvement in this event to attract the attention of women in tech.
When it comes to integrated campaigns, the first thing to note is that people don’t consume content in the same way. Some people might prefer certain channels versus others, other people might lean towards video over written formats. To address this, an integrated marketing campaign leverages multiple marketing channels and mediums to promote consistent messaging.
This approach helps you reach more people and increases the chances for The Rule of 7 to work its magic if individuals use more than one channel. In our campaign, we used blogs, videos, our careers site, third-party careers sites (i.e., LinkedIn), social media, social media ads, collateral, paid media, and our sponsorship of the Grace Hopper Celebration.
The other thing to note: to increase exposure to your content seven times means you’ll need to do more than promote something for a couple of weeks. Think of how early they promote movie trailers or Christmas sales! With this in mind, we did a 3 month-long campaign that led into the Grace Hopper Celebration event.
The Planning Process
I gave myself about a month and a half to plan before launch. During this time, I organized:
- Overarching themes and sub-themes
- Assets (i.e., design, webpages, social media images)
From there, I built a high-level content plan, identifying what content we already had that could be plugged into our calendar. Then I found content gaps that required us to create new content.
Partnering With Key Stakeholders
After the planning process, I identified people I’d need to partner up with to ensure the campaign was a success, including:
- Our design team to create a campaign aesthetic. When people were scrolling through their feeds, we wanted our campaign content to be recognizable.
- Our web development team to build a content-rich landing page targeted to women. This page delivered content in a way that made it easy for women in tech to find information and remain engaged.
- Our Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager to understand the programs we have to support women. If our campaign content was saying we supported women professionally and personally, we needed to have the proof points about the programming at our organization that makes this possible.
- Our employees to tell their stories and provide testimonials. We tapped different women at our company to help us write blogs, be featured in videos, or provide quotes we could share on social media. We also featured several employees who attended the Grace Hopper Celebration, so attendees had the bonus of speaking to women showcased in our campaign.
How the Campaign Played Out
Our themes built upon each other. We had our overarching theme of “Smart Women Rock. Secure Women Rule. #SecureWomen.” Our aim with this theme was to share a building story about how Carbon Black supports strong women developing great careers.
The 3 month-long campaign plan all supported that tagline and approach. Here were the three areas we focused on to support that message:
- We introduced our theme by sharing concrete details about how Carbon Black supports women and why this matters. Then, we wove in employee spotlights where women who worked at our organization would talk about their jobs, their involvement in our employee resource groups, how our company supported them as a working mom, and so on.
- We followed up this first theme with information about internal mobility. We included employee spotlights that talked about how female employees are supported in their career growth with details about the different programs Carbon Black offers to help women thrive here. We also showcased allies (both men and women) and how they’re supporting their colleagues or the external community.
- Finally, in the weeks leading up to the event, we focused specifically on women in technology to make sure the conference would resonate with Grace Hopper attendees. This personalization was key as Grace Hopper is a massive conference with a lot of competition for attention, so ensuring we had the right content front and center during and after the conference (when they had more time to research and digest) was important.
By creating an integrated Recruitment Marketing campaign, we saw increased engagement from women, both internally and externally. Our employees were proud to tell our story, and external female candidates wanted to rally behind our message. Recruiters shared that more women vocalized that they had applied or accepted a job at Carbon Black because they read or saw our people’s stories.
Ultimately, our campaign was able to cut through the noise because of the overarching narrative that was spread across multiple channels. Focusing our narrative on how we support women, rather than making it solely about our hiring needs, was a really good move that candidates responded to. It showed we’re a company that cares and is thoughtful about the experience that all of our employees have. And as a candidate, isn’t that the type of company we all want to work for?
Rally note: Want to hear more from Ashley? If you missed the Rally webinar that covered this and other strategies related to attracting and recruiting women in tech jobs, you can watch the webinar on demand.