Who are the best brand advocates for your company? While it's true that satisfied customers can be strong supporters for your brand, it's often your employees that have the greatest potential to become enthusiastic and genuine marketers.
Encouraging employee advocacy through content marketing benefits your business in many ways. Of course, you'll have the increased reach of your employees' individual networks--including media outlets, potential new customers, influencers, and potential new hires. Your employees are closely involved with your company, so they'll typically be more passionate in spreading your brand story.
Just as importantly, when you recognize and enable casual content marketing through your employees, they become more engaged. They're happier to spread the good word when the company is behind their efforts, and that satisfaction will be reflected in their productivity as well as their advocacy activities.
Getting everyone involved
Each department in your company can contribute to overall content marketing in different ways, with impact across a variety of channels. These include:
Sales team. When your salespeople engage in social selling, they'll benefit themselves as well as the business. Content sharing through social media helps them boost their personal social profiles while it strengthens credibility and builds better relationships with customers and prospects.
Marketing team. Building a social brand depends on visibility. With your marketing team involved in content marketing through social channels, you'll be able to increase both awareness and reach. In addition, your marketing team will be able to boost results with an engaged network that's able to spread the word quickly--including product launches, public relations, company news, and more.
Customer service. One of the hardest aspects of customer service is dealing with complaints. Through brand advocacy and social presence, your customer service reps will be able to keep an eye on the pulse of the company and address problems proactively--before they start getting calls and emails from angry customers. This increases both employee and customer satisfaction.
Human resources. Social networks are becoming more essential when it comes to hiring. By empowering your recruiters, hiring managers, and other employees to spread the word about open positions at your company, you'll be able to find more qualified new hires, faster.
Encouraging brand advocacy: Formalizing the process
Company support is a huge factor in driving successful employee advocacy. When your employees know that their content marketing efforts will be recognized and appreciated, they'll be more likely to participate.
One good way to start making the process official is by identifying your existing brand advocates--those employees who already promote the business on their own. Look at major social networks to find out who's talking about your company, and let those who are actively marketing know that you're establishing a formal program.
It's a good idea to create a social policy with guidelines and brand-safe content, to ensure that your employee marketers maintain consistency throughout their social interactions. Start with your existing brand advocates and reward them for their efforts--and then extend the offer to employees who are not currently involved.
Keep in mind that employees who choose not to participate should not be penalized. It's essential to make your formal content marketing program voluntary, to avoid feelings of pressure and resentment.
With recognition and encouragement, you can create a built-in army of content marketers for your company who will generate authentic, passionate advocacy--bringing you increased brand awareness, new leads, and sales growth.
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