Employee advocacy is a marketing and branding technique that relies on your employees to become spokespeople, or advocates, for your company’s brand. It’s important to note that participation must be voluntary rather than a job requirement. You’ll need to make it easy for employees to participate and help them buy into the concept rather than feeling forced. Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits of employee advocacy
Employee advocacy is based on two simple concepts. First, people connect best with people, not organizations. Marketing departments and high-level executives tend to be seen in the same way as the organization they represent, while rank and file workers are viewed as equals and thus more trustworthy.
Second, each employee has her own social and professional network. People tend to flock to those who are like them, so if your employees genuinely like and trust your brand, their friends might as well. Employee advocacy lets you build on your team members’ existing networks to build brand loyalty.
How it works
Employee advocacy works best when it includes a diverse collection of workers from different departments and roles. Any employee could be part of the initiative. Employee advocacy programs utilize word of mouth to get the message out to prospective customers, and today it typically involves a variety of digital content, including videos and written materials.
First, you’ll need to get buy-in from both senior leadership and team members. Develop separate presentation strategies for your C-level executives, who need a concise summary of your plan, strategy, metrics for measuring success, projected results, and your employees, who need to understand how the program works and how it will benefit them.
Your marketing team will play a key role in the success of your employee advocacy program. Your team members may have ideas for types of content to create, but it’s up to your marketing team to create a cohesive marketing plan, give employees content to share, and track the results. To be successful, you will need different engaging content, from blog posts to infographics to videos.
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