How to Use Different Types of User-Generated Content to Enhance Storytelling for an Employer Branding Event

Learn about the different types of user-generated content, the elements of storytelling, and how to build content to fit an event. These components are connected to each other, and you can use them to strengthen the effectiveness of employer branding events.

Storytelling is a popular tool for modern marketing. In this article, we’ll uncover how to leverage user-generated content within storytelling for employer branding events.

 

Why is Storytelling Important for Employer Branding?

Storytelling, also called narrative marketing by experts in the field, is used to establish and strengthen relations between a brand and its consumers. By sharing engaging stories, the consumer is able to remember the key messages of the brand.

Cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner claims, “Information served as a story [is] remembered up to 22 times faster than raw facts or random content.” What’s more, an effective story evokes strong and permanent emotions within the audience.

We can look at Airbnb, which does an exceptional job at creating stories based on travel experiences that fit the brand. Here is an example from their Instagram page:

 

Evoking Strong Emotions is Important for Several Reasons:

  1. They create a bond between the client and the brand.
  2. They inspire the recipient to make up their own story related to the specific brand.
  3. They help people remember the message better.

Seth Godin’s TED Talk, “How to Get Your Ideas to Spread,” is the perfect example.

 

Storytelling can also serve a multidimensional purpose. It satisfies the desires to feel safe and understand the meaning of life, which are inscribed within the human mind. Effective stories help the organization relate to its social surroundings. Sharing stories allows you to consciously create a community as well as to satisfy the deeply hidden, psychological needs of consumers.

 

Why is User-Generated Content Good for Storytelling?

Research clearly indicates that modern consumers (especially the millennial generation) are indifferent to advertisements. So, what do modern consumers expect?

Authenticity.

It is in this field that user-generated content has no match. Content created by users is characterized by realness and a lack of business undertone, and consumers can feel this. It also works because it is much easier to feel the happiness of the guy or girl next door, as opposed to the famous and well-known Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

There is a reason behind numerous studies showing that before making purchases, users check for the opinions of others who have purchased a given product or service (usually through reviews). The situation is similar with pictures, which we can see through user-generated content campaigns.

 

#AerieReal - A Great Example of User-Generated Content

The #AerieReal campaign on Instagram used unaltered pictures of female users, showing the real beauty of women and promoting the body positive trend. For every picture posted under the appropriate hashtag, the company donated to an association fighting eating disorders. Not only did the campaign raise the projected amount of money, but it also turned into a movement related to body positivity, which continues with the same hashtag.

It is proven that the impact of user-generated content is strong among customers. The 2018 User-Generated Content Marketing Report shows that more than 70 percent of consumers agree that user-generated content increases their purchasing confidence. More than 60 percent agree that this type of content encourages them to engage with the brand.[1]

 

Storytelling in Employer Branding

We’ve partially touched upon the impact of storytelling on employer branding. A well-planned story allows you to permanently inscribe an image of your brand on recipients’ minds. Here is an example of a video from Shippit:

 

This video gives you a behind-the-scenes view of the office, shows you employees in their workspace, and interviews them to share their experiences. 

Employer branding concerns, above all, the reception of the brand by current and potential employees. A well-constructed narration builds a certain image of the brand in its role as an employer.

In this case, user-generated content is of the utmost importance. Employees who are enthusiastic about sharing their experiences provide an underestimated value. The organization itself benefits from this, and employees who see authentic happiness among their colleagues become more motivated. Also, a sense of unity increases in a successful team, which has a direct effect on increasing team members’ effectiveness.

Of course, active storytelling that is co-created by employees also has an impact on employer branding in the external dimension. Storytelling gives a way to incorporate various types of user-generated content into marketing activities as naturally as possible. Recruitment processes are most affected by these actions. Experienced professionals looking for employment pay special attention to factors such as the culture of the organization and its reputation. Warm, authentic feedback from employees on social media makes it easier for the company to recruit the most talented employees.

 

Building Content Around Employer Branding Events

Building content is incredibly important in the case of an event devoted to employer branding. On the one hand, rich content published on a blog, as well as on social media, contributes to the better event promotion itself. On the other hand, it increases the authenticity of the organization.

For example, when organizing an HR event that aims at simplifying the process of recruiting specialists, you must give them a specific reason for choosing this event; and we’re not talking about cheap tricks like free coffee. An ideal situation would be for people to come not because of the EVENT, but because YOU are organizing it.

For this to happen, your target group must see real value in your message. Determining the right story supported by the experiences of those who work at your company can work wonders. Content can support in-person events, as well as virtual and hybrid events. Our 6Connex cloud-based virtual event products can help you set up webinars, virtual venues, and many more.

 

How Do You Get User-Generated Content to Enhance an Employer Branding Event?

The fairly obvious solution is to encourage your employees to publish authentic content related to upcoming events themselves. In such a situation, all types of “call to create” strategies prove to be useful. Confirmation of participation in the event should be complemented with a space in which the employees will be able to share their individual stories and pictures related to a given experience. This is how a unique and authentic story created by employees is made.

 

Ways for Users to Generate Content:

    • Backstage activities related to event preparation
    • A preview of attractions
    • Surprises
    • Tweets with a suitable hashtag

Another content-building opportunity is to arrange short breaks for guests during the event. This gives an excellent time to take Facebook pictures, create Instagram Stories, and so on.

After the event, encourage guests to create reviews of it on social media. Use simple, reliable engagement tools to make the process as easy and efficient as possible.

An employer branding event is subjected to the same rules as any other event. To increase the likelihood of creating appropriate content, spice up the conference with original elements that fit your industry. Examples include electrical installations or choreographed flash mob performances.

 

Leveraging User-Generated Content to Enhance Storytelling

User-generated content is a multidimensional phenomenon. Therefore, it is worth having a closer look at the most popular and powerful types of user-generated content ideas, which include:

    • Videos
    • Live Streams
    • Case Studies
    • Reviews
    • Success Stories

Experts also name:

    • Forum Posts
    • Social Media Posts
    • Photos
    • Testimonials
    • Blog Posts
    • Q&A Forums
    • Wikis

 

Videos

Video marketing can be a valuable component of storytelling that shows how a given product or service holds up in various life situations. Effective video should avoid dry dialogue and scripts, as the success of this format is determined by factors that don’t rely on traditional methods.

 

For this reason, the most optimal form of video reporting is simply an interview. The subject should appear as natural as possible, and the host should ask questions that are concentrated on the positive effects of a given product on the person’s life and how it helped solve a problem.  

Video recommendations should be limited to three to four minutes and include a logical theme. It is helpful to present specific problems that the protagonist of the feature must face. In the case of a video implemented into employer branding, an example is the struggle to find a good employer who will be able to ensure an optimal work-life balance.

 

Live Streams

Users can create live streams before and during an event. Live streaming through social media allows for real-time sharing of experiences during an event.

A collection of memories gathered after the event can create fantastic social proof when promoting a future event. It also serves as an element binding the community connected by the event.

 

Personal Stories from Leadership

Another element of storytelling is the personal stories of leaders. They provide an incredible opportunity to show the human side of the brand, as well as the authentic individuals that create it. This format encourages emotional and intellectual engagement from the audience. This fact alone strengthens the relationship of the consumer with the brand, and in the case of employer branding, a potential employee for the organization. Here, authenticity is important for evoking sympathy, building relationships, and persuading.

 

Reviews

Storytelling ideas are not limited to short stories. Reviews offer a helpful tool that encourages user-generated content. Studies conducted by specialists show that recipients are willing to trust user reviews.

Why? Because reviews are considered a type of publication, which is inherently objective. Most recipients think that reviews, regardless of whether they are positive, are created by independent individuals.

Reviews can effectively be used in storytelling, just as they can support an event in the field of employer branding. The company’s image in services like glassdoor.com, reputation.com, greatplacetowork.com, or indeed.com may affect others’ minds. A comprehensive review, which will then be placed on the company blog and social media pages, can bolster the content around the event. Users can boost the credibility of a review with pictures and comments under posts.

The opinions of employees about the company are equally as important for potential candidates. If the employees are eager to inform about a pleasant atmosphere at the company and want to share the company’s mission, it’s a sign that they feel good about the company.

 

Success Stories

Success stories can diversify event content. In the case of employer building, they can help maintain positive relationships with employees who are the most active on social media. This is a personal, genuine story provided by a recipient or a satisfied employee that gets the individual’s personality across. It is effective because it provokes powerful emotions and provides a story for recipients to identify with.

These stories can be published on a dedicated company blog or specially designed landing pages. To reach millennials, it is helpful to connect the story to a wider social issue. For instance, connect stories on sustainable events to broader environmental concerns.

 

Does Event Content Only Work During an Event?

For event content to work as an effective storytelling tool, it should have a timeless character that generates traffic for an extended period of time. Evergreen employer branding storytelling should present the general development of the industry. It also helps to present the history of the brand with employee-generated stories.

 

Effective Storytelling Goes A Long Way

Storytelling can provide unexpected value to marketing efforts. Leveraging some of the user-generated content ideas listed above can boost the image of your brand to have a positive effect on your event’s buzz.

Common themes related to user-generated content include the authentic character of the stories and the ability to connect with a range of employees who work separately from the company’s marketing department. Effective storytelling is time-consuming and complex, yet specialty tools can simplify the process to help your employer branding.

 

For more information about user-generated content or creating a virtual venue for your employer branding events, contact us or request a demo today.

 

 

Related Resources:

Top 10 Employer Branding Examples and How to Use Them in Your Event Strategy

 

Sources:

1. Tint - UGC Marketing: Key Insights from Top Marketers

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