Video is undisputedly one of the most important elements of an organization’s career site and employer branding today — outperforming nearly all other content across any channel. But pulling off a great take requires significant time, budget, and resources. Or does it?
Not according to Dobby Gibson, Digital Communications Manager at ag-tech giant Land O’Lakes. Gibson, who also happens to be a former agency creative director, shared his knowledge on the topic with the perfect case in point: a recruitment marketing video that he shot with his team ... in a week … on a smartphone … practically for free … with zero travel or film crew.
Better yet? It became Land O’Lakes’ top-performing piece of organic content on LinkedIn.
Learn Gibson's top tips and tricks to start leveraging video throughout the talent experience at your own organization.
Why You Need Video to Engage Today’s Candidates
Truth: Video drives more engagement than text-based content on social media, in email marketing, or on a webpage. Plus, people are more likely to retain information conveyed through video, says Gibson. Also notable — with more companies making remote work a permanent perk for many workers, it’s the predominant way many job seekers will experience organizations’ people and culture.
Despite all of its benefits, video isn’t infallible. When watching video, a large percentage of viewers are multitasking, many tune in with the sound off, and statistics show 40 percent of viewers drop after about 10 seconds, Gibson says.
What this means? “We're going to have to do some extra work in how we create the video and especially how we deploy the video in order to get the most out of our investment in time and budget,” he points out.
Take a Cue from a Marketing Guru: Tell a Story
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the stories you tell,” remarks Gibson, quoting marketing industry expert Seth Godin. So before you even start thinking about the ins and outs of finer details like lighting, sound, and style, keep in mind that you’re always better off portraying your employer brand in the form of a story than a sales pitch.
“Every story has a protagonist, and the protagonist here is the job seeker,” Gibson explains. “What are they going to experience that’s really unique about your brand? That’s the story to sell in your video.”
5 Tips for Getting Your Employer Brand Video Right
1. Start with a Creative Brief
If you aren’t familiar with the marketing agency world, a creative brief may be a new concept. But don’t be intimidated. It’s typically just a one-page document that identifies your audience, their motivations, and the best ways to reach them. A Google search will yield a plethora of templates.
According to Gibson, the value of starting with a creative brief can’t be overemphasized, since it will help you establish your story and content ahead of time. "The great thing about starting with a creative brief is it lets you hash out all the stuff you would otherwise be scrambling to fix after the cameras roll — or even worse, when you're editing and the cameras have been put away,” Gibson points out.
Pro Tip: Have all project stakeholders sign-off on your creative brief before you get started.
2. Have a Model in Mind
It’s always easier to follow an example than to create something from scratch. Find some videos you like, keeping in mind the many styles out there:
- Vlog or user-generated content (UGC)
- Hero or anthem
- Walk and talk
3. Reach Across the Organization
Mine in-house resources and expertise, Gibson advises. After all, who could possibly tell your company’s story better than the people who are building it? User-generated content (UGC) is on the rise for a reason — it's more authentic, it's cheaper, and it's faster.
Leveraging their own employees as talent, Land O’Lakes produced its recruitment video in partnership with its marketing team. Other departments likely to have insight (and possibly budget) to share include communications and IT. If your company leverages an internal talent marketplace that offers gig work, video projects can be an ideal way to engage employees with an interest in the field.
4. Push Beyond the Clichés
Too often, clichés tend to pop up in employer brand videos: Work hard, play hard. Employees are like family. We’re looking for team players. While these sentiments may be true, they do little to help your employer brand stand out, Gibson notes.
To find the heart of your story, take a close look at your employee value proposition. “That’s your story. That's what makes you unique. And that's really what you should try and evoke in any kind of video you're creating,” he emphasizes.
You may find that video interviewees stick to clichés because they’re safe and familiar. If this keeps happening, ask your interviewees to tell a personal story about their experience at the organization, Gibson recommends. This technique can unlock a more conversational tone that people can relate to, instead of sounding forced or over-scripted.
5. Don’t Fear the Phone
A smartphone really is all it takes thanks to major improvements in built-in video capabilities. To maximize what you’ve got, Gibson recommends the following pointers:
- Shoot in landscape mode (horizontal orientation)
- Have subjects face a source of light
- Use a tripod or laptop camera to ensure steadiness
- Perform a sound check to ensure clear audio quality
For more advanced tips, Gibson recommends checking out the following article: The Secret to Creating Budget-Friendly Videos Candidates Can’t Resist.
As the demand for a more authentic, personalized talent experience continues to grow, companies that are able to leverage video creatively, quickly, and easily will stand out — not only as a way to attract candidates but also as a way to engage employees in brand storytelling.
Perhaps in this case, a cliché is perfectly warranted: Your employees really are your greatest asset.