By Celinda Appleby
The question I have been getting a TON lately is: "How to do you come up with campaign/content ideas?"
The short answer, is they come to me at the weirdest times, so I keep lots of notes on my Iphone. I also read WAY too much and follow news outlets/trends that inspire me. News and Pop Culture seem to bring the most inspiration when I am planning my employer branding/recruitment marketing campaigns.
I know my answer stinks! So I thought I would break this down for you.
Let’s start with the hardest part in campaign creation – Content curation!
If you are just starting out or maybe lacking content at your fingertips, this can be the most challenging portion. Being new to Oracle, I found content identification to be my Achilles heel very early on. I am of the mindset of using people to tell your story. I believe that in recruiting, as a job seeker you want to identify with the people behind the brand or even behind the product/service. When I started this employer brand journey, our content was very stagnant. We were using a lot of stock photography and wordy posts using infographics to sell a job or an event. I found us to be broadcasting all the time and not adding value to the community we had cultivated over the years. For example, I couldn’t find any posts that shared employee stories. Or what I could expect when I started working for them. I quickly started making friends and pitching my vision to anyone that would listen, but lucky for you there are many other ways to curate content.
My personal favorite and naturally super easy for me is personal outreach. I get crazy ideas and more often than I like, we don't have the content just laying around. Thankfully, I have made some great friends here that totally appease my requests. (HUGE thanks to all my “guinea pigs – you mean the world to me!) Usually my idea comes through via email, with very garbled writing and lots of demands followed with emojis. Having made these relationships, my "models" are willing to cut me slack on the request and trust that their best interest is at heart. That is invaluable and something that I recommend everyone doing. Nothing stings more than hearing, no I am not participating in your crazy idea.
A lot of our content is employee generated; depending on the visual we will either retweet them or ask them if we can use the picture on our channels. Sometimes we get so excited, we do both.
One of the easiest ways to find this content, if they are not tagging you on the post is to research hashtags. Being a Sourcer, by trade, I love hunting content down. It keeps my brain active, but it can be time consuming to peruse all the channels one by one. I LOVE Tagboard! This site allows you to curate content across multiple media channels researching one hashtag. You can also use your social media scheduling tool (like Oracle Social, Hootsuite or TweetDeck) to create hashtag streams, that you can “watch” for content.
I love to remind our employees to use the hashtags any chance I get.
We also send out a weekly newsletter to our entire Recruiting organization with customizable and socially sharable content. In this email, I take the time to put out a request for content. Our Recruiters are interfacing with employees, hiring managers and new hires ALL the time. In my opinion they are the pulse to our content strategy and it feels natural to lean on them. I love having this platform as a FREE way to give the recruiting teams something they can use and also have the opportunity to shamelessly ask for help.
While I can't brain dump (wish I could) exactly what goes through my mind; I figured showcasing some recent and active campaigns would be most helpful.
Following trending topics:
I love keeping an eye out on topics that are trending on the internet and all social media sites. I love figuring out how our mission of attracting top talent can align to the trends. And like most of you, I do not always have imagery available that matches the story I want to tell. So it can be an idea that never comes to life or one that takes longer than the trend is alive. Below you will find several that are performing quite well across multiple channels.
This hashtag and trending topic, aligns well with one of our core values: "Healthy body - Healthy mind".
We didn't have content available to go, but were able to curate content quite easily for this campaign, thanks to our Recruiting partners.
I came across a blog post from an Engineer in the Bay Area and I immediately felt compelled to share our story. In less than 8 hours, we found 9 amazing Engineers across 4 regions that submitted their photos. I added it to a collage maker and shared it.
This idea came from the fact, that who can provide the best advice and motivation to our target audiences? Our resident career experts! Posting our tips leveraging a popular hashtag has really helped generate engagement. The Recruiter shared that the campaign in less than 72 hours gained him more than just internet popularity - he actually connected with qualified candidates.
This post can't begin to articulate all of the work that goes on behind the scenes. However, I am hoping that being able to see real examples of content that are currently running on our channels and performing well, will share some insights into the content engine that is constantly running in my brain.
I have been sharing these very same ideas with my team and they seem to find value in them as they grow their social media content pool. I know I am somewhat of the elephant in the room, as I have a team that can help bring my ideas to life! But everything I have shared today, can be done very easily using FREE tools, if you have the creativity and time. Pulling content together should feel like a fun task, vs. going to the dentist. Leveraging real stories and pooling your resources should help with that.
Celinda Appleby is a "wanna be" blogger that is passionate about sourcing, social recruiting and employer branding. She previously held recruiting roles within corporate and agency enterprises. Celinda has over 12 years of recruiting and human resources experience across a broad range of industries including technology, accounting, marketing and government sector. Feel free to connect with Celinda on LinkedIn and Twitter.