Undergoing a Marketing Transformation? Why Employee Advocacy Is Your Next Logical Step
Social media is now a concrete element of B2B marketing workflows, but many companies are looking to take it a step higher. With organic reach facing a sharp decline, B2B marketers are resorting to paid avenues that don’t necessarily prove to be valuable. What’s worse, is that their audiences — in particular, Millennials who are an important target market — are becoming increasingly desensitized to sponsored ads. So what can companies do? How can they maintain their online visibility without exceeding their budget? How can they engage their audiences and generate leads from social through more organic-driven content and less through paid methods?
The Next Logical Step
Our latest webinar discusses how you can organically increase your company’s reach by tapping into the power of employees. That’s right! The future of B2B social media lies in employee advocacy. Much like your company, employees are highly social and most likely, they are more active. On average, employees have 10 times more social connections than corporate social accounts. It, therefore, seems natural to make your marketing content available for employees so they can share it across their personal channels.
Employees can carry your company’s message with an authentic voice, making them a highly trustworthy source. Imagine the same piece of content shared by a company like IBM versus an IBM employee. Undoubtedly, the content shared by the employee is going to be received with more trust. A Nielsen Global Online Customer Survey shows that only 33% of buyers trust the company whilst 90% of customers trust product or service recommendations from people they know — your employees.
Not only are employees more connected and trustworthy, they also know your company inside out, positioning them as the perfect messengers of content. We’re not the only proponents of employee advocacy. According to a new study from Altimeter, employee advocacy is, in fact, one of the fastest growing social business programs, with 90% of companies surveyed (companies with more than 250 employees) pursuing or have plans to pursue some form of employee advocacy. The study dives into the impact of employee advocacy, showing that the top 4 business incentives for implementing a program are:
- Amplifying the reach of messages on social media — 54%
- Driving increased understanding and brand health of organization — 47%
- Engaging employees more deeply in the company mission and employees’ work — 43%
- Providing customers with a better experience — 43%
Indeed, for companies who are looking for a social marketing transformation, employee advocacy is the next logical step. The questions you may be asking are perhaps, how can I provide content to employees? Why would they be interested in sharing company content?
Employee Advocacy: 2 Powerful Channels
In our webinar, we highlight two powerful employee advocacy channels that B2B marketers can unlock. The first is social media, which is often the main touch point that comes to mind when referencing employee advocacy.
However, a second channel that you probably didn’t consider is employee email. In other words, you can promote your marketing content across banners on every email sent by employees.
What Types of Content to Provide Employees?
Regardless which channel you choose to integrate, in order to make your advocacy program a big success it must include content that employees willingly share. Any type of B2B content that your marketing team is investing precious time producing, including eBooks, customer case studies, videos, and even blog posts like this one, can be leveraged and reshared by employees. As long as the content itself is up-to-date, engaging, valuable, and relevant to an employee’s role in the company and type of audience, then it’s likely that your employees will want to share it, and their audience will find it interesting.
How to Simplify Content Sharing?
Unfortunately, asking employees to share your content on social media or update their email signatures manually is tedious work. It’s, therefore critical that whatever you get employees to do is simple and effortless.
When it comes to social sharing, the Oktopost app enables employee advocates to share content on-the-go with minimal effort across their Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook profiles. The marketing team frequently updates the app with fresh content, so wherever employees go, all they have to do is open the app, view the content, and hit share.
Employee email is very similar in this sense. Sigstr ensures that all the signature content is controlled by the marketing team. That means that with zero input, employees can highlight your company’s latest and greatest content in every single outbound email.
What’s In It For Employees?
Employee advocacy in the form of social media and employee email helps employees become thought-leaders. More specifically, sharing high-quality B2B content demonstrates their industry knowledge, draws attention to their skills, and boosts their professional network. Employees are also seen as helpful and are looked up to as an influencer in the industry. Therefore, employee advocacy is truly beneficial to all parties — companies and employees alike.
It’s time to say goodbye to targeting your audience via intrusive ads. Employee advocacy has the power to reach thousands of fresh audiences and engage them with a personalized experience using nothing more than organic content. Whether it’s through employees’ social networks or email signatures, implementing an employee advocacy program gives you an opportunity to turn every single employee into a promoter of your company’s latest marketing content. Are you ready to get started with advocacy and leverage your employees’ untapped reach? See how Oktopost can help!
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Originally published at www.oktopost.com on February 21, 2017.