Why and how you should consistently fuel employee advocacy

Your most potent product advocates are probably on your payroll. Here’s how to empower and unleash the promotional potential of your internal influencers.

Fueling employee advocacy

Are you turning your staffers into employee advocates and brand ambassadors?

When developing a content marketing strategy, you put plenty of thought into the types of pieces you’ll produce and the platforms you’ll publish on, but you’re probably missing that crucial consideration.

Here are helpful tips on why and how to empower your internal influencers:

Employee advocates are the new influencers

  • Consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of social media influencers, and influencer marketing is suffering as a result. It’s all about authenticity now—and there’s nothing more authentic than your most engaged employees.
  • Employees who are actively engaged at work are 20% more profitable for your business due to reduced absenteeism and staff turnover, according to Gallup. Engaged employees are more productive, and they create happier, more harmonious teams that work better together.
  • Engaged employees can also be a reliable source for effective content marketing efforts. Empowering and encouraging your employees to produce content is a way to turn team members, at any and every organizational level, into effective salespersons.

Try these tips to launch your employee advocacy program.

Implementing an employee advocacy project

  • There’s simply no way that employee advocacy will be successful if your workforce isn’t engaged. Your employees must truly believe in the mission and value of your organization and want to contribute to the success of your business. You must consistently woo and win them over to get them—and keep them—on your side.
  • Make it easy for employees to share relevant content on their own social media channels, and actively encourage this process. You can do this by highlighting content in your company newsletter and intranet, providing instant share links and suggesting possible hashtags to be included alongside the content itself.
  • As well as encouraging employees to share content, actively involve them in its production. Rather than just using dedicated content producers, invite your employees to share their successes and write about their projects and areas of interest.
  • Employee-generated content not only aids your content marketing efforts, but it also makes your team feel that their opinions are valued. This, in turn, leads to better employee engagement.
  • For example, Starbucks refers to its employees as “partners” in its brand social media guidelines, encouraging every employee,: “Share your passion. We’re called partners, because this isn’t just a job, it’s our passion. So, go ahead and share it!”

Using content marketing to engage your employees

This principle works in the opposite direction, too. Your internal communication should engage and entice your employees and make them feel like a priceless part of your company.

When strategizing for internal content marketing, focus on producing educational, uplifting and entertaining content that will empower your employees to be more effective in their roles and assist in career progression. Appeal to and cater to them just as you would an external audience.

Internal content should also be easy to access and digest. Make sure there’s time built into the working day to explore the information available on your company intranet, and split the content into bite-size pieces so your employees can dip in and out between other work tasks.

Experiment with different formats, too. Videos can work particularly well with educational content.

As well as educating your employees, use content to reinforce your company mission and values. Share news about your goals and achievements as an organization, and include details of charitable initiatives and how you’re working with the community.

Inspire and engage your team members with interviews and life stories of successful people within your organization. This approach helps your employees learn more about the people they work with, and it shows how each person can progress within the company.

Your goal should be to make each employee feel proud to be part of the team. That’s the key to unlocking the multitude of employee engagement benefits.

Michael Brenner is a speaker, author and CEO of Marketing Insider Group. A version of this post first appeared on the Marketing Insiders blog.

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