Have you ever been spellbound by watching a talk or reading a book by someone who is so passionate about their topic, it’s contagious? Want your business content to be just as compelling? The answer is staring you in the face. Harness employee expertise and passion by activating your employees to create content and you’ll see amazing results.
There are so many benefits to employee-generated content that it’s almost unbelievable how underutilized it is. Your audience is much more likely to engage with content that has personality and comes attached to a human face than they are with generic brand content.
Getting your employees to create content for you is also an incredibly cost-effective strategy. Why outsource all your content creation when the people who know your business and your customers best are those who already work for you?
And yet many businesses don’t encourage or use employee-generated content. Maybe because they don’t know how to get started or they’re worried about losing control of their content marketing strategy. Or maybe they think their employees won’t want to contribute or don’t have anything of value to say anyway.
If you like the idea of using your employees to create content but you’re not sure exactly how to get started, let me introduce you to the secret sauce: employee activation.
- Employee activation can turn your most engaged employees into valuable content producers.
- They can be a valuable source of content even if they aren’t skilled writers.
- It’s important to have clear guidelines in place before you implement an employee-generated content strategy.
What Is Employee Activation?
You’re no doubt very familiar with employee engagement. Your business may have even invested thousands into programs to increase engagement.
Disengaged employees are dangerous because they can cost your business in lost productivity and even worse – their disengagement rubs off on others. So it makes sense to do what you can to engage those employees or eliminate them.
But what about the employees who are engaged. What exactly are you doing with their motivation and drive?
When employees are so engaged at work that they want to do all they can to ensure that shared business goals are reached, we call this employee activation. Activating your employees lights a fire that turns them into evangelists for your brand.
If they truly believe in the mission of your company and that their role has an important part to play in it, they’ll be more than happy to contribute to your content marketing efforts with their ideas, opinions, and expertise.
How to Turn Employee Experts into Content Creators
But even when the will is there, you still need a plan to manage it. And this plan should start with putting some guidelines in place for social media usage.
Employees’ own social media accounts are the obvious place to get started with employee-generated content. They have a built-in following of people who already trust them and want to listen to what they have to say, and content on these platforms is often less formal than blog posts on your brand site, for example.
But just letting your employees loose is not the best strategy. It’s important to be clear about what’s acceptable and what isn’t when talking about their work or the company on social media.
Encourage your employees to build their own strong personal brand. Each individual is a representation of your company, so while a glimpse into someone’s personal life can help you to feel a connection, too much can be off-putting.
Provide your team with information and resources about how they can build their personal brand both on and offline. Get your employees to Google their own name and see what comes up – they may be surprised!
Once firm guidelines are in place, it’s time to encourage the content creation itself. While some very engaged employees may not need much encouragement, others may need a little push.
Incentives such as bonuses, team prizes, or even just personal recognition can really help boost participation in an employee advocacy scheme. Try and introduce some competition by running a leader board and see who can get the most likes or shares on their brand-related content.
Identify Expert Influencers
When you’ve been running an employee-generated program for a while, it can be a good idea to single out a few expert “influencers”.
Just like influencers in the world outside your business, these individuals can be the face of your brand and can be a huge bonus to your marketing efforts.
How to identify these individuals? Start by looking at the most engaged employees – those who are willing to go above and beyond at work.
Next, identify those who are heavy users of social media. Who has the most followers and posts most frequently throughout the day? Which people actually interact with their following, rather than just posting content to be consumed?
Your employee influencers will not always be the people who are most diligent at work. But look for those who communicate naturally with others and provide inspiration in what they post.
What if Your in-House Expert Isn’t a Natural Content Creator?
So, let’s say you have a long-term employee who’s highly engaged at work, passionate about what he does, and keen to share his expertise. But he’s not a natural writer. How can you make use of this valuable asset in your company?
Content doesn’t have to be long or in-depth to be valuable. A photo on Instagram with a short description could be just as beneficial as a 2000-word blog post.
Not everyone can write, but this doesn’t matter. If an employee struggles with writing, she can create a video instead. Or you can interview employees and hire a writer to present their answers as a feature article. The words come out of their mouth so it’s still “their” content, just packaged up in a more professional package.
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today–and generate more traffic and leads for your business.