When you hear ‚Äúemployer brand‚Äù there are probably a few things that come to mind: your careers site, the written and video content you post there, and the social channels on which you share that content.
If you‚Äôre doing those three things, you‚Äôre probably already doing more than most. But there‚Äôs one item that may never have crossed your mind‚Äîit‚Äôs the item that separates those who are content doing a fine job with their employer brand from those who are willing to take a big leap into the world of employer branding.
That item? Podcasting
Podcasting is the cool new digital media format on the block. In reality, podcasts have been around since the 1980s and really took off in their own right in 2004. However, most people could agree podcasting became mainstream in the last few years after the podcast show Serial went viral. Pretty soon, you couldn‚Äôt join the cool kids in conversation if you didn‚Äôt listen to at least one podcast.
To be fair, just because something is mainstream and cool doesn‚Äôt mean it‚Äôs right for your employer brand‚Äîpodcasts just happen to be one of those things that crosses into both territories, and here‚Äôs why:
The Audience is There
No matter which way you dice it, people are listening to podcasts these days. In fact, in 2017, it is reported that 42 million people listen to podcasts weekly, and of those 42 million, 31% of those are 25-54 years old (i.e. the main ages of those in the workforce). Some other stats that should get you excited about podcasts:
‚Äì85% of people listen to a podcast all the way through‚Äîyou can‚Äôt get that kind of attention span anywhere these days
‚Äì65% of podcasts are listened to on mobile, meaning candidates mostly can take you wherever they‚Äôre going
‚Äì15% of podcasts are listened to while commuting‚Äîno, it‚Äôs not an impressive statistic, but that means there are engaged listeners who are part of the workforce
The Tools You Need Aren‚Äôt Expensive
One of the biggest draws should be not only are podcasts sound only, making them easier to learn how to produce than video, but the equipment you need in order to produce podcasts are extremely cost-conscious.
Garageband, the recommended program for recording and cut podcasts (at least in my book), is about $20. Other than that, all you need are 2-3 high quality microphones (we‚Äôd recommend MLX condenser microphones which run between $70-$100) and you‚Äôre set. If you‚Äôre blanching at the idea of that much for a microphone, consider how much you‚Äôd pay for a high quality camera‚Ä¶
Put Your People in the Hot Seat
It‚Äôs always important to remember employer branding is not just about getting candidates to apply, it‚Äôs also about getting employees to stay engaged with your company. Podcasting pays off in a big way for engaging employees.
Not only do you need someone to host the show, the host will need a guest each episode to discuss the episode‚Äôs topic with. In this way, you‚Äôre giving candidates real stories and insights from current employees, while also giving your employees a chance to shine and remind themselves why they love working at your company.
Building a social audience is hard. In fact, building an audience from the ground up is so hard that most of the time it‚Äôs going to come down to spending money on social advertising to build that following. You know what‚Äôs not hard? Adding tags into a platform that‚Äôs designed to get you impressions.
Soundcloud, our podcast host of choice, provides an easy way for you to build up your podcast SEO by categorizing each audio file and giving it tags that make it searchable. Libsyn, another platform we‚Äôve used in the past, also has an easy tag system, and it even submits you directly to iTunes. Easily optimizing your podcast content for search is a huge plus that social media just doesn‚Äôt have.
Even with all the benefits that podcasting does offer, we‚Äôre not going to promise you that you‚Äôll brush shoulders with the likes of podcast legends such as This American Life, Serial, or Radiolab‚Ä¶BUT! You will be standing out of the crowd, giving candidates a convenient and exciting glance into life at your company, as well as letting your current employees shine.