Best Advice on Branding and Using Compelling Visuals

What’s better than a work trip to D.C. in the spring? Getting upgraded to an executive suite at The Willard InterContinental hotel just one block from the White House! And that’s exactly what happened as I traveled to our nation’s capital for the PR Newswire’s “Employing Visual Content for Compelling Storytelling” forum on Earth Day.

The event was primarily geared toward in-house marketing and PR teams, but there were of few of us HR-brand-ladies in the audience as well. What I liked most about the event was learning what’s going on — what’s hot and current — within corporate marketing; as employment pros, we can learn a lot from those pure creatives.

Top Insights on Using Compelling Visual Content

Kerry Noone: Let the customer tell your story via R_Smed at #visualcomm “a strong brand promise aligns an entire organization to a common vision.”

From an employer branding perspective, this means: Let your employees tell your story.

WWPR: There is no secret button to make something go viral. Create content that is valuable to the viewer via AndrewMcClellan.

This is so true when it comes to employer branding because chances are our recruiting videos won’t go viral.

Cassandra Pean: You don’t have to spend money on fancy graphic designers to create compelling visuals. Use what you have and see what catches on.

Branding your company as employer of choice with a little budget? That’s OK. Just use what you’ve got.

Angie J. Sanders: You can communicate visually if you take the time and energy to figure out what’s important to your company. @CarfaxReports

Research is key to branding, whether it’s corporate marketing or recruitment marketing.

PR Newswire: If you only have 200 ppl looking at your content, but it’s the right 200… That’s successful engagement. via PeterLaMotte

That’s called targeting your message and it’s entirely relevant in recruiting, too.

Jamie Heckler: Sometimes it’s about finding an influencer to help promote your message… Celebrities, d-listers, social influencers, etc.

How about using employees as brand ambassadors or social referral programs?

Susan LaMotte: PESO: paid, earned, social and owned media. Good acronym to measure success #visualcomm

Seriously great acronym from @LivingUnited that can make us all look really smart.

Linda Butcher: Infographics are here to stay. Just remember to make it a snapshot, not an essay.

We see some recruitment infographics from vendors, what about more from employers?

If you have an opportunity to attend a marketing-related conference or a half-day forum such as this one, I would encourage you to go. It’s important that, as we help our companies on their employer branding journeys, we keep an ear to the outside and glean information from the “other side of the house.” Oh, and here was my best tweet during the event:

Want to create great #visualcomm? You need this:

Want more?

Just visit Twitter and search using #visualcomm for a full list of insightful nuggets and to connect with tweeps outside of the HR space. And, if your organization is already creating compelling HR visuals, please tell us more about it below.

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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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