To be seen and heard online, your content needs to go ‘viral’. But what does viral mean? Put simply, it’s any content (an article, image, video, advertisement, etc) that has a large and rapid circulation on the internet. There is no dark art to making content go viral; it’s a mix of skill, luck, timing and intuition. 90% of the time, people get it wrong – but for a talented and fortuitous few, their content gets seen and shared by the right people.
But, if the success rate is so low, why do people bother? Because the rewards of viral content can be astronomical, sometimes making its creators world-famous.
On a less grand scale, viral content can be equally effective on a local level. Business owners and recruiters are waking up to the potential of engaging content and are actively seeking to create the next industry-shaking viral. Indeed, when it comes to sourcing and hiring, it’s essential to convey an infectious and exciting employer brand to attract top talent to a company. The message you relay in the viral content is also paramount – e.g. “We may be serious about our products, but we still know how to have fun”.
So, for all those business owners and recruiters who want to create socially infectious job ads that go viral, here are our top tips to getting your content seen and heard by the online masses.
Make your employer brand as infectious and appealing as possible
There is no point trying to brand your company from the outside in. Take a look at the state of your current employer brand and company culture. Is it a business you can shout and rave about? What benefits do you offer employees? What are the working conditions like? Do you provide industry training, career development, flexible working, bonus schemes and social opportunities? For employees, all of these things mean positive career prospects and enjoyment at work.
Take Google, for example. Google is not only a super-brand in terms of service, but employment too. At one stage, the company was receiving 75,000 applications per week. Why? Because, arguably, it has the best employer brand in its industry. You want to create a brand that people – employees, candidates, writers and bloggers – want to discuss. Make yourself desirable. Give your company a personality. Doing this is the first step to portraying your company successfully and idiomatically within a viral job ad.
Create a job ad that mirrors your employer brand
Having worked on your employer brand, it needs to be marketed effectively in your job advert, ensuring your company culture and benefits are relayed in a positive, fun way.
Post and share your job ads at opportune moments
Post job ads when applicants are most responsive. For instance, research has shown that job ads posted on Twitter have higher levels of responses on certain days and certain devices. Jobs on LinkedIn will have a different response, as will those on jobs boards. Partnering with an online recruitment agency – one that is knowledgeable about the marketplace – is the best way to transpose your brand to paper (figuratively speaking). Online recruiters are experts when it comes to branded campaigns. Not only that, but they will also know the best places to post your job ad and the best time to do so. This won’t cost your business absurd amounts of money; you can typically benefit from the entire recruitment service for a one-off, low-cost, flat fee. eRecruit Solutions’ service starts at only £599. Our knowledge of business, coupled with our experience of the marketplace, means our service extends far beyond the call of hiring. Indeed, we also provide a free company recruitment assessment; branded campaigns; online skills testing; social media ads; and video interviewing.
Identify key industry / mainstream influencers
You should already know the most powerful online personalities in your industry. If you don’t, find out. By striking up online relationships with key influencers, you potentially give yourself access to thousands of people. If these key influencers see the brilliance of your company, they will have no problem posting, sharing or retweeting job ads or quirky content. These people may include famous industry personalities, coaches and mentors, professional bodies, industry publications and local government.
Before you post a job ad, do some research on your industry: who’s talking about it online? Who are the authority figures that people look up to? Who has the most online contacts or followers?
Post content that people want to share
Candidates are increasingly accessing job-related content as a routine part of the hiring process. This includes video interviewing, video testing and general brand content. It’s all about engagement; something that all companies should be striving to achieve. Recent research has shown that job ads with videos or video links generate significantly more applicants than those without. The first step is to produce a good corporate video. This won’t be a one-off video used for recruitment; it’s a long-term investment that can be posted on your website, your branded channel on YouTube, as well as other media platforms.
By making your video content more accessible, you have more chance of being seen and shared on social media and business platforms, giving your jobs roles and company exposure to a wider market.
Research has shown that the best viral job ads evoke a sense of joy and surprise at the beginning, before taking the viewer on an emotional ride. This won’t be suitable for all companies, but try and pinpoint the key characteristics of your business and work out the best ways to present them to a mass audience. Generally speaking, viral videos are funny. Find the humour in your industry and/or job vacancy. Anything funny or thought-provoking will encourage people to share the content.
Make sure it’s easy to share your content!
There’s no point having great content if no one can share it. Make sure ‘share buttons’ are conspicuously placed around your content. Encourage readers/viewers to share with friends and colleagues.
When it comes to viral content, there are no guarantees. This article is merely here as a primer for those looking to break into viral content. Taking these steps, however, will help you create more infectious content, as well as use the right platforms and engage with the right people to get your job ads seen and shared.