How To Measure The ROI of Employer Branding Campaigns

Written by James Self

Feb 3 2017

roi employer branding campaigns

This blog will examine the KPIs and metrics used to demonstrate the ROI of employer branding campaigns, discussing:

  • The importance of defining an ideal employee target persona
  • Campaign channels to consider
  • KPIs to monitor per channel to demonstrate ROI

 

For most employer branding campaigns, return on investment means securing brand awareness with the right employee candidates to support future recruitment drives.

To achieve that, it’s important to first define the right objectives and metrics to measure.

The best metrics to measure, channels to use and specific campaign tactics will of course depend on your precise target employee personas, the scale (local or global) of the campaign and the content assets you are promoting.

Consider Your Ideal Employee Demographics

Before starting any activity, it’s important to ensure that the strategy you adopt aligns with a clearly defined profile of your target candidates (personas).

 

The demographic profile of the candidates you want to attract should drive all activity within your employer branding campaign. Getting it right is crucial as this will have a bearing on everything, from the channels your brand uses, through paid ad targeting, the tone of messaging, to the specific content you create. Get it wrong, and ROI is much harder to achieve.

 

To use an inbound marketing term, this buyer persona profile should define the age range, skillset, education history, digital channel preferences, salary range, ideal geographic locations - and more - of your ideal candidate.

Channel KPIs To Monitor

Note: as mentioned above, the precise channels an employer branding campaign uses, will depend on your ideal candidate persona - and their channel preferences i.e. the social channels they frequent.

LinkedIn

Typical campaign activities:

Sponsored updates, text ads, longform posts, organic social promotion, video content promotion

Key metrics to monitor:

  • Engagement (likes, clicks, comments, shares, video views)
  • Click through rate, site traffic and time per visit (how much traffic came through to your site, and how long did they stay on your site)
  • Reach

 

Tools to use to monitor KPIs:

  • LinkedIn Reports Dashboard
  • Google Analytics

Linkedindash.png

YouTube

Typical campaign activities:

Paid ads (Display ads, pre-roll ads, overlay ads, skippable ads etc), video content promotion

Key metrics to monitor:

  • Views
  • Impressions
  • Video engagement (comments, likes)
  • Subscribers
  • Organic subscriber velocity (Studies of the YouTube algorithm show it prioritises videos that are watched by a high number of subscribers within 48 hours of being posted. This can indicate that your content is relevant and interesting to your audience)
  • Conversion attribution on video and paid ad CTAs (and in profile/ video description links)
  • View-through rate
  • Unique users
  • Awareness lift
  • Ad recall lift
  • Paid ad CTR

 

Tools to use to monitor KPIs:

  • YouTube Analytics
  • Google Analytics
  • AdWords

 

YouTubeAnalyticsDash.jpg

Facebook

Typical campaign activities:

Organic social promotion and/or paid ads.  These vary based on your objectives - for employer branding, a good ad campaign option may include ‘Brand Awareness’, ‘Local Awareness’ ‘Video Views’ etc.

Key metrics to monitor:

  • Engagement (likes, clicks, views, comments, shares)
  • Click through rate, site traffic and time per visit (how much traffic came through to your site, and how long did they stay on your site)
  • Audience profile (are you building the right audience to align with your target personas?)
  • Content reach
  • Impressions

 

Tools to use to monitor KPIs:

  • Facebook Business Manager Analytics
  • Google Analytics

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Twitter

Typical campaign activities:

Paid ads (promoted tweets, trends, accounts), organic social promotion

Key metrics to monitor:

  • Engagement (likes, mentions, views, replies, retweets)
  • Click through rate, site traffic and time per visit (how much traffic came through to your site, and how long did they stay on your site)
  • Follower profile (are you building the right audience to align with your target personas?)
  • Reach
  • Impressions

Tools to use to monitor KPIs:

  • Twitter Analytics
  • Google Analytics

Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 16.44.10.png

Paid Channels

Typical campaign activities:

AdWords, Remarketing Ad Banners

Key metrics to monitor:

  • Impressions (how many people saw your ad)
  • Reach (how many people could see your ad)
  • Frequency (how many times someone is likely to see your ad)
  • Cost per conversion
  • Click through rate
  • Cost per click
  • Quality score (the ‘quality’ of your keyword in relation to your ad and landing page)

 

Tools to use to monitor KPIs:

  • AdWords
  • Google Analytics

A Note On Specific KPIs For Video Content

Video content is easy to consume, offers high impact across channels and is increasing in popularity, making it a key content form to consider in employer branding campaigns. In fact it’s estimated that through the course of 2017, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic.

 

Depending on the goal of your campaign, the video metrics you monitor will shift. Below is a great chart from Think With Google, outlining that, for an employer branding awareness type campaign, views, impressions, unique users, awareness lift and ad recall lift are all solid indicators of success:

online-video-marketing-strategy-google-brandlab-01-01.png

Regarding video KPI measurement tools, Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics (depending on where your video is hosted) and AdWords can all be used to monitor results.

Monitoring Mentions: Social Sentiment Scoring KPIs

For employer branding campaigns, social sentiment scoring can be a good indicator of the effectiveness of your brand’s combined campaign activity in striking the right impression with your target employees.

As Hootsuite describe it:

Sentiment refers to the emotion behind a social media mention online. It’s a way to measure the tone of the social conversation.

Considering social sentiment is important as it provides context into how positively your social audience perceives your brand messaging.

 

Without it, metrics such as social engagement, shares and responses can be misleading. For example you may have a lot of responses to a tweet you sent out. But without sentiment analysis, you won’t know if those responses are positive, or resonate with the right targets - or if they’re negative mentions.


Monitoring social sentiment can be complex and time consuming, depending on the size of your social audience. However some automated tools exist, and typically monitor the semantics of social engagement to return a positive or negative score.

Conclusion: What Defines Good Employer Branding ROI?

For employer branding awareness campaigns, ROI can be measured by monitoring how closely your campaign’s audience, reach and demographic, matches your ideal candidate personas.

 

Going back to our earlier point about defining employee personas, if these have been correctly established at the outset of a campaign, campaign tactics, selected KPIs and channels should all match and resonate with that ideal persona.


The result will be a precision targeted campaign, monitoring the right KPIs to gain a true view of what works - allowing you to continuously build employer branding awareness with the right targets.

B2B Marketing Zone