What is Brand Gravity, Why You Need It and How to Get It

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May 1, 2019

You’ve been working on spreading your employer brand through ongoing recruitment marketing campaigns. You’ve even got your social media presence on message. Now it’s time to work on your employer brand gravity.

Yep, gravity.

Brand gravity is the term for when a brand has the emotional pull necessary for people to remember you and your company, even when they don’t really know why. In terms of recruitment marketing, it means you have people going straight to your careers page when they’re ready to look for an opening, because they already know and love your employer brand and want to be a part of it.

Brand, in a more general sense, is the emotional response people have when they see your logo, or slogan, or even just a piece of content they know was created by you (and they know this because it was written in your unique brand voice). When people are searching for the combination of your company name, slogan, and keywords for open positions, you’ll know your employer brand has gravity.

Employer brand gravity defined

Gravity is the term used for the added SEO pull generated when people search your brand name along with other keywords you rank for. It is also the overall pull your content and brand have; that is, it’s ability to draw people in and keep them there.

When applied to recruitment marketing and employer brand specifically, this means your ability to attract potential talent into your pool and have them stick around until they’re ready to convert to applicants.

Back in the marketing day, this kind of pull was reserved for the big players in any given industry. It took the literal gravity of a company the size of a Microsoft or an IBM to have the resources to pour into making a brand that sticky.

Today, however, digital technologies and social media have combined to level the playing field. It no longer matters if you’re a 6-person start-up or a 60,000 person goliath, brand gravity is available to all. By cultivating your social media presence, combined with the content you’re publishing in your brand voice and other recruitment marketing activities, you can easily rival the gravity of the biggies in your sector.

Brand gravity physics

In physics, gravity is the mix of mass, proximity, and velocity. These aspects translate well into the employer brand world:

  • Mass = Scale — Digital tech allows even that 6 person company working out of a co-working space to have the same size presence as the 800-lb gorillas. No longer do you have to be a Fortune 500 company to have the pull you need to draw in applicants. There’s a joke that on the internet nobody knows you’re a dog. In this case, nobody knows you’re NOT a bigger physical size. Your presence is equal to your pull, which is equal to your brand gravity.
  • Proximity = Availability — Your potential applicants are only as far away as their cell phone or laptop. Your office may be in Denver and your applicant may be in Vancouver, however your pull can be as strong as if they were down the block. Again, this comes down to your online presence. Having a professionally built website and a robust social media presence goes a long way. Keeping your ATS and job listings updated and automating as much of the applicant funnel as possible go a ways farther.
  • Velocity = Ease — How easy is it to interact with your company? This translates to responses to blog posts, reciprocal likes and retweets and interactions on social media, and how responsive you are during the application process. This can be a bit tricky for that 6-person company. Can you spare 30 minutes, maybe twice a day? That’s enough to check and respond to comments, likes, and tweets. And in doing so, you set the expectation that you are a responsive company that respects people’s time. And that’s gold.

How to increase your gravity

Now that you have a handle on just what brand gravity is, let’s look at three things you can focus on to increase yours. These are not instant fixes, but in recruitment marketing you’re already playing the long game. Work these three tips into your efforts and you’ll see results in SEO pull and the number of quality applicants who seek you out when it’s time to find a new employer.

1. Go for the emotional connection

Use your authentic brand voice in all content, all communications with your job hunter audience, and all communication with folks when they’re in the talent pipeline. That way, there won’t be any surprises when someone comes on board only to find that your presence is all an act.

You want to foster positive associations, so tie your voice to your company values and mission. People want to connect with their employers, and knowing that your values line up with theirs is a great way to have that happen. Especially with millennials and the up-and-coming Gen Z cohort, this matching of missions is key.

The next piece to this puzzle is to personalize your communications. When you’re interacting with blog followers or friends on Facebook, use first names. Make reference to posts of theirs that you’ve read and enjoyed. And most of all, respond in voice! All of this will combine to put a friendly face on your company and your brand, and let everybody know that you understand their perspectives and respect them.

2. Be available

This applies to all of your presences, from the company blog to Twitter to the contact form on your careers page. It also means you have your entry updated and are monitoring the big review sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. It also means you have your SEO sorted out with map sites, location indexes and your company bio is current on social media.

Include the hours you monitor those accounts, by the way, so followers know when to expect to hear from you. And that segues us ito the next tip.

3. Be responsive

If someone comments on a blog post, respond to them. If someone @’s you on Twitter, respond to them, too. Then stay current with your feeds so you can continue the conversation. Because that’s what this is, a conversation between your company brand and the potential candidates out there.

It should go without saying, so we’re going to say it anyway, when these potential candidates become active applicants this responsiveness has to continue. Be merciless in your updating of your candidates. You want them to know what the next step is the minute you do.

There are many reasons for this, for our purposes today the primary one is this: If this person does not get an offer, or if they receive one that they decline, you want them to remain actively engaged with your brand. That way, when another appropriate opening appears, they’ll remember how wonderful you were at updating them and responding to their questions and they’ll want to apply.

Creating employer brand gravity will happen naturally if you follow best practices for recruitment marketing. Specifically, cultivating your online presence, being responsive to input from your audience, and embodying your company values and mission are the underlying practices that will get you there.

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