It’s time to start thinking about your holiday marketing campaign. No matter what your business, there’s always a way to work in a little holiday cheer into your end-of-year marketing.
There’s one character, though, you don’t want to creep through. Scrooge.
But what if your employees think you’re a bit of a Scrooge? How engaged are they at work?
Only about 30 percent of the nation’s employees are engaged on the job, according to a Gallup survey. And if they’re not, all you need to do is glance at the mirror to see Scrooge’s shadow.
There’s a secret to marketing—holiday or otherwise—that Scrooge doesn’t want you to know.
Several of them, actually. They all start with happy, engaged employees—not stressed-out Bob Cratchit types working ‘round the clock to make the boss happy. Here’s how to kick Scrooge to the curb for a revenue-boosting holiday marketing campaign.
- Realize that great customer experiences come from happy, engaged employees.
- Great customer experiences create customer loyalty.
- Customers trust employee messaging over official brand messaging.
- Empower your employees to share branded content for a great holiday marketing season.
Use the Service-Profit Chain to Leverage Customer Loyalty
First, realize that there’s a direct relationship between superb customer experiences and satisfied, engaged employees. It’s called the “service-profit chain,” and it starts with employees who start the day with a smile on their face and a mission to serve their customers on their mind.
If, on the other hand, employees feel their boss’s cold stare upon them when they give a little extra time to a customer who they feel needs a little lift, they’re not likely to deliver superb customer service. They’ll punch in, do their job, and punch out, making a mental note to check out ZipRecruiter after dinner.
When an employer empowers his or her employees to go above and beyond the call of duty to serve their customers, magic happens.
It gets better. Customers who receive superb service will become not only occasional customers, but regulars. Loyal regulars.
Even a five percent increase in loyalty, as Henri Moufetta’s study pointed out, can yield overall profit increases from 25% to 85%. Even Scrooge would drool over that kind of profit.
When that loyalty spreads out into glowing customer reviews, you might just need to build another safe to stash all the gold that will roll into your coffers.
Turn Your Employees into Brand Advocates
Leveraging employee engagement can go even farther to spur your holiday marketing numbers to climb off the charts. Have you ever thought about empowering your employees to post content about your company?
“Isn’t that the marketing department’s job?” a modern-day Scrooge might ask. “Will I have to pay them overtime?”
Wrong question. Wrong answer.
What if Joann down there in Engineering would write a blog post about how that new gadget you just rolled out works? What if she partnered with John in Marketing and Bill in Graphic Design to make a catchy animated video that tells customers how to use it?
What if that video went viral and your new gadget became the holiday season’s hottest new toy?
That’s only one example of what can happen when you activate your employees to pitch in on spreading the word.
According to Hootsuite’s Christina Newberry, customers are more likely to believe a message if it comes from an employee. Quite a bit more, it seems.
As Newberry points out, people are more likely to trust messages from regular employees than they do messages from the company’s CEO. Messages from the company’s tech experts garner even more trust—65%, according to Newberry.
And as an Entrepreneur article points out, when employees share brand messages, those messages’ reach increases by 561%. Others share employee messages 24 times more often than messages that come through the marketing department’s social media posts.
Potential customers engage with employee-shared content eight times more than with content that the brand’s official marketing arm shares.
When you translate that into profits, it could make Scrooge turn cartwheels.
Should you send your marketing team packing? Absolutely not. That’s Scrooge talking.
Empower and Encourage Employees to Share Branded Messages This Holiday Season
Your marketing team is your vital link to empowering your employees to share messages with their friends and colleagues. They are, of course, experts in communication.
Turn that marketing expertise loose on campaigns that build enthusiasm among your employees. Partner with HR to provide rewards to employees who share your brand messages.
Encourage your marketing team to join forces with your sales teams to find the reasons people give for not buying. Turn the answers to those objections into explainer videos, FAQ webpages, and blog posts. Add the sales team members’ names to the byline, and your shares will likely explode—if the statistics we’ve cited hold true.
Even better, your marketing team should get your go-ahead and jumpstart an official employee advocacy program. First, teach them the value of social engagement and advocacy.
Remember, use the same principle you use with your other campaigns to sell employees on the value of posting content—the “what’s in it for me?” factor. Whether it’s prizes, bonus pay, or a raise if the company meets its holiday marketing goals, you need to drive home the point that what’s good for the company is good for them.
Next, educate employees about how to post. Provide them with branding guidelines, style guides, and all the editing help they need to turn rough drafts into polished copy, videos, and infographics.
Empower them to share content from third-party partners whose business is complementary to your own. Provide them with a list of your competitors, too, so if you don’t want employees to share competitors’ content, they have a heads-up before they share.
Helping your company build engagement among your employees, it would seem, will do more for your bottom line than a Clio-winning ad. And you won’t have to hire a pricey Madison Avenue ad agency to do it.
Even Scrooge would have to admit that’s a great deal!
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