Q: What is one of the best, untapped marketing resources for your business?
A: Your employees!
Employee advocacy — when employees spread word-of-mouth about the product or service their employer provides — is proven to be an incredibly effective marketing strategy. The Marketing Advisory Network found that leads developed through employee social marketing convert seven times more frequently than other leads.
Additionally, Sociabble found that content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared by brand channels.
Team participation can help boost marketing efforts, attract job talent, and contribute to a positive company culture.
Yet many companies encounter challenges when they try to get staff more involved in digital marketing efforts.
Staff may not have the time, the resources, or the knowledge about what to share and when and where to share it.
It’s also common for departments to be siloed, especially in larger organizations. For instance, the customer service department doesn’t necessarily know what the marketing department is doing. Or the marketing department isn’t brought into new product discussions until ready to launch.
Creating more inter-connection between departments can be a big boost to both your marketing efforts and employee morale.
Here are some ways to increase employee engagement in digital marketing:
- Encourage employees to share content with you from events they attend.
- Asking staff to send customer testimonials and good reviews/emails your way when they come in.
- Provide post templates for staff to share what they love about their jobs and working at your company (if it’s authentic).
- Have other departments contribute to blog posts.
- Like and share content from your brand.
- Participate in videos and photos – stock images are great, but what if you could feature images of your own staff members?
The most effective way to make this happen is to have a system in place — a strategy that makes it as easy to do as possible, and lays out expectations.
- Before events, give a template of what you would like attending staff members to provide (i.e. the names of contacts they met so the marketing team can add them on LinkedIn, two pictures, etc.)
- Give employees the necessary tools for what you’re asking. If you want more pictures taken at events, make sure they have a digital camera or smartphone with a high-quality camera and that they know how to use it.
- Meet them where they’re at. If you want more involvement in blogs, for instance, set up an interview with them versus asking them to write the blog first-hand.
- Go to them. Job shadow a customer service agent or sales representative for an afternoon to see what language they use with customers and questions they frequently receive instead of asking them for a list or setting up a meeting.
- Send links to content you would like them to reshare.
- Perform digital marketing on their behalf, such as with an Enhanced LinkedIn program for a sales associate.
- And so on…
The main consideration is — don’t force it. If they’re not interested, don’t make them be interested. But do look for the staff members who take an interest and have creative ideas, even if they’re not in the marketing department. These are the people who can help you see the brand through a different light and sometimes understand your customer demographics even better.
Having a strategy for engaging employees in digital marketing is key. And so is having the resources to make it possible!
Need more marketing resources? Why not consider digital marketing outsourcing?
At DigiForce Marketing, we make it easy to execute employee advocacy programs and digital marketing strategies that make your brand stand out. Reach out to us today for a consultation and to learn more about our programs!