Everyone involved in marketing should know what branding is.
But there’s so much more to “branding” than a logo and colors. Your branding story needs to appeal to a wide range of people, including customers, stakeholders, and even your own employees.
Employee branding is a specific type of branding that doesn’t always get the same amount of focus as traditional external branding strategies. However, when you turn inward, you need to be able to deliver a branding story and message that resonates with people inside and outside of your company.
In this article, we’ll explain why employee branding is so important and give you some strategies for success.
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What is Employee Branding?
Employee branding is a facet of branding as a whole within an organization.
Employee branding is all about how a company is perceived by those who work in it or who want to work in it. Basically, it’s the perception employees and potential candidates have in your business.
Businesses that have a strong work culture have employees that are motivated to work and excited to recommend others to the company.
On the other hand, companies that don’t support their employees or have leadership struggles are less likely to have happy, hardworking employees. And it might be hard for those brands to find new talent.
As a business, you need to work on getting your employees on the same page when it comes to what your business stands for. Your values and mission should be shared by every individual within your company.
Then, over time and through word-of-mouth marketing, your employees become major spokespeople for your brand and help you improve your reputation among internal teams and potential new candidates.
What is an Example of Employee Branding?
A great example of a brand with good employee branding is Heineken.
The brewing company is known for its “Go Places” campaigns that center around the goals and ambitions of team members. The campaigns were able to showcase how the brand cared about its employees and wanted to emphasize their uniqueness.
The campaign was featured in both advertisements and videos as well as digital content online where there were deep-dive interviews with employees. And the success of the campaign was felt in the significant increase of applications Heineken had following the campaign’s end.
Why is Employee Branding Important?
Employee branding is important for a number of reasons. The first is that it is a component of your already existing brand presence. In order to increase brand recognition, you need more than just customer-facing branding activities.
Another important benefit of employee branding is the ability to attract and retain top talent. Every company wants the best of the best to apply. And people who are at the top of their fields have more options when it comes to where they want to work.
When your business suffers from a poor employee brand, top talent isn’t likely to want to apply to your company. After all, if the rumors are that they can be treated better at a different company and have more respect there, why would they apply with you?
When you have a strong employee brand and a great brand reputation among current employees, top talent is interested in working with you and will actively apply to open roles.
A strong employee brand also helps you gain more customers.
When your custom branding and employee branding work together, they can boost your brand’s reputation even further and create a brand culture for everyone who interacts with your business.
Customers also want to know they support a business that treats employees fairly and provides a good working environment.
The Importance of Content for Employee Branding
Employee branding doesn’t just come out of thin air. It needs to be supported by content and marketing materials that can help you inform and educate employees.
Content like employee handbooks, training manuals, workshop presentations, career pages, and even internal messaging all have a role to play in the employee brand.
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4 Key Components of Employee Branding
Four components of employee branding need to be included in your strategy in order to have an impact. These four building blocks are the core that makes up your strategy to improve and grow your employee brand.
1. Brand Advocates
A brand advocate is someone within your organization who is an active supporter and spokesperson for your brand. They voluntarily promote and advocate for your brand without compensation or threat.
They tell their friends and family about how great working for your company is and recommend it to job seekers. You need to do what you can internally to gain more brand advocates for your company.
2. Social Presence
Another important part of your employee brand is your social media presence. Social media is a way for your company to highlight company culture.
Tactics like birthday celebrations, company event photos, employee shout-outs, and awards are ways to showcase your employee brand with potential candidates and current employees. The more positive content you have, the better your employee brand.
3. Career Pages
A career page is where you can post your open job positions on your company website.
Even if you are not actively hiring, a career page can help you demonstrate your work culture and explain to potential candidates why your company is a positive, healthy working environment.
You can use it to describe the benefits in detail and list important reasons why someone should want to work with you.
4. Brand Consistency
Just as with every other aspect of branding, you need to have consistency in your messaging. If you have disparate messages and inconsistent language or brand image, it can make your company look unorganized.
You want to maintain consistency throughout your branding and ensure that professionalism is at the top of your employee’s minds.
10 Ways to Build Effective Employee Branding Strategies
Here are 10 great ways you can boost your branding strategies and build a strong employee brand.
1. Create Content for Candidates
Content creation is usually thought of in regard to informing or educating customers, but it can also be used to attract employees. Think of it as marketing for candidates, not clients.
2. Support Employee Training
One way to increase employee satisfaction is to offer training and tools to help them grow professionally in the workplace.
3. Actively Search for New Talent
Don’t sit by and wait for the top talent to come to you. Being proactive in your talent search gives you the opportunity to speak for your company first and introduce your employee branding to potential candidates.
4. Stay Active on Social Media
Social media is a great place to speak with your team one on one and develop engaging posts for employees. It can also increase brand awareness and showcase your team.
5. Identify Core Values
Your business values can help to define your culture and what your branding identity is with employees. The more specific your core values are, the better for your brand.
6. Develop Your Company Culture
Your company culture is the values, mission, and workplace environment that you create. You want to make sure your culture is positive and meaningful to the people who work for you.
7. Know Your Top Talent Targets
Just as you have a customer profile, you should have a recruitment profile. That will help you know the criteria you want to invest in when searching through your talent pools.
8. Involve Employees in Recruitment
You can offer a bonus for referrals that turn into hires to help your employees feel excited about helping with recruitment. That way, they pick the top talent out of their network for you.
9. Maintain Brand Consistency
Ensure that your internal and external messages are communicating the same values, culture, and goals to keep your branding consistent and effective.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Address Mistakes
No business is perfect. When dealing with employees, you are bound to make a few mistakes. Don’t be afraid to address them head-on and problem-solve to avoid further issues in the future.
An employee branding strategy is an essential part of your brand’s image. When your employees are happy and know that they are respected in the workplace, they share that with their networks. This attracts new talent and keeps your current teams satisfied.
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