Are You Ignoring Your Biggest Marketing Asset?
You’ve worked hard to get a company brand and service you are proud of. You also are pushing hard to look for ways to get the word out and help your target audience feel the same level of passion you do for your brand.
This is also where your company’s marketing department comes in. And it’s no easy task to grow a brand and fight for a voice amongst the competition you might have in your industry.
While your marketing department specifically is key to fueling company growth through content, emails, paid ads, etc., you might also be overlooking your biggest marketing asset.
Employee Roles in Marketing Tactics
Employees of the company are the resource that every marketer should be tapping into.
Your employees know the company best and work within the ranks to help produce that very service, product, and brand you are so proud of. It is your employees that are your company’s best champions and most credible source for your audience.
This concept and strategy are simply dubbed, “employee advocacy.” And there are plenty of statistics out there about how it can transform your business.
One statistic I’ll leave you with is brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels (MSLGroup). That’s huge.
Employees today are ready to become advocates and many might already be sharing content online. Weber Shandwick found that half of all employees are already posting about their employers online and a quarter of all employees are brand advocates already.
Companies also need to see the current trends of the Millennial generation – a generation heavily involved in the social tech world – and harness this to work in a consistent way and drive brand value.
Your company should be creating brand advocates that produce an increase in business, better workplace results, and drive higher levels of satisfaction.
Related: Interested in putting an employee advocacy program in place? Download your free guide to learn everything you need to know to get started.
How Else Do Employees Help Marketing?
By developing an employee advocacy strategy, it means your company allows employees to freely get involved in social sharing. Whether this is company content, third-party industry news, resources, etc.
While your marketing department may specifically focus on content creation, paid ads, SEO, etc. they now have a massive army of colleagues to help deliver the brand to the masses.
Your employees may have hundreds, if not thousands of social connections who may not know your brand and may have a need for your product or services.
Quickly, you can organically grow your brand reach and spend less on paid advertising (which continues to rise in costs).
Besides helping the brand reach, employees sharing content helps marketing:
- Increase web traffic
- Drive more qualified leads
- Boost social engagement
It’s why many companies have relaxed on social media policies and look into employee advocacy as a way to increase marketing results.
One great example of an early adopter of employee advocacy was Dell, who got over 10,000 employees to actively participate and share on their behalf. Learn more about their results and program.
Why Employee Advocates are Such a Big Deal
Imagine if you were online looking for advice on starting your own restaurant. You are looking into a couple companies that provide produce for restaurants. Then, your friend pipes up to tell you they worked for one of the companies you were looking into.
Then they explain to you more about the company: how all the produce is grown locally, and how to judge what produce is best for your restaurant.
What would you walk away with after your search?
You may naturally feel a sense of pride because an employee expressed his or her feelings of loyalty and passion for the brand. You may realize the information you got was coming from someone you trust. And it helped you to make the best decision for your restaurant.
That is the power of employee advocacy.
Now, imagine how it would work if you just saw a post from that employee from time-to-time about the importance of local business. Or, perhaps the employee talks about the high level of quality expected by their employer. Maybe you will post something yourself about supporting local businesses.
The power of employee advocacy is in the unpaid, un-scripted way they can appeal to friends, family, and peers.
The hard part is that in order to have this powerful effect, the approach has to be candid and authentic. Otherwise, the message comes off as spam or a sales pitch. That is not what you want employees doing.
An employee needs to see value in what he or she says about the company is absolutely true and something he or she can stand behind. Each employee wants to feel involved and a part of something bigger, so it is important they add their own voice to the content.
Marketing your brand, product, or services can be challenging and expensive. With new competition and the rising costs of ads, it can easily limit your marketing teams online reach.
However, in this digital age, your company has access to the biggest marketing asset right in the organization: employees.
Allowing employees to be an extension of your marketing can help your brand grow exponentially and drive more quality organic leads, without spending thousands a month to accomplish the same thing.
Wondering how you get employees to care about social media and employee advocacy? This post is definitely for you.