There is a very powerful and FREE marketing tool that many business owners and organisations fail to recognise or leverage. Why is employee advocacy so often overlooked as a marketing strategy?
Well, whilst it is free and it does yield brilliant results, employee advocacy relies on authenticity and transparency in order to work effectively. It can’t be forced and it can’t be approached in a formulaic or overly processed way.
Assessing whether your business is suitable for an employee advocacy strategy
First, you need to make sure you’ve done the inner work to make sure your company is a healthy and supportive workplace, with happy and fulfilled employees. If there are any issues that haven’t yet been ironed out, or if you have internal problems that need to be resolved, you are not ready to embark on an employee advocacy route with your marketing. Employees will only advocate about a workplace they are content in, anything they put out about their place of work must be true and authentic.
If you have assessed your business and believe employee advocacy could be utilised as a marketing strategy, it’s time to put together a well-structured programme to help employees that want to become advocates do so successfully. This includes letting them have access to your brand guidelines, particularly your tone of voice. If you have topics you’d rather employees steer away from, this is the time to make sure they’re aware of any parameters in play.
Once you have provided employees with everything they need to be a successful advocates of your business, make sure that they are recognised and celebrated for their contribution. After all, they are providing your business with free exposure to their networks and beyond.
How is employee advocacy beneficial?
There is no better advert for your business than the people that work for your business. If they are passionate enough about your business to spread the word about the work you do and how good it is to work for you, you’ll find that both future employees and clients alike appreciate content from people inside the organisation giving an insight into the inner workings.
In the same way that job hunters look at LinkedIn and Glassdoor to gain an impression of a company through reviews of what it’s like to work there, clients also like the opportunity to have a sneak peek into what an organisation is like – who better to hear it from than your employees who can give a candid and transparent view?
Whilst your marketing strategy shouldn’t centre fully around an employee advocacy programme, it is certainly beneficial having it as part of your overarching marketing plan – providing real value.
Employee advocacy is a reflection of your business
You can’t control how people view your brand/business, people will formulate their own opinions about how your company comes across and what they think about the output of your content, work and messaging. Employee advocacy can help steer your brand persona in the right direction. It’s important that it’s organic, with employees trusted to speak in their own voice about their own experiences. The more natural the content being put out by employees is, the more believable and transparent the business appears.
Of course, not all companies or businesses will be comfortable with the idea of employee advocacy being utilised as part of a marketing strategy – but that says more about the work that needs to be done internally in a business before it can become an option on the table.
A progressive and supportive company that puts its staff first values their opinions and trusts their expertise will see employee advocacy become a huge part of its success.
Your employees are the Heart of your business. Today on Valentine’s Day, why not get in touch with us to discuss helping get an employee advocacy programme in place for your business?