Employee advocacy is the marketing channel your team needs to amplify the reach of that content, and double the effectiveness of your marketing program. Here's how to set up an employee advocacy program.
Marketing teams strive to get the right message to the right audience. It doesn't matter how great your product or service is if the people who'd be interested in it don't know about it. That's where your marketing team comes in. They churn out killer content that explains what your company is about, what you provide, and most importantly, what benefits you provide consumers. However, even with great content and strong execution on typical marketing activities, it's still difficult to get the desired reach for your content. Employee advocacy is the marketing channel your team needs to amplify the reach of that content, and double the effectiveness of your marketing program.
How Employee Advocacy Benefits Your Marketing Program
How will having employees share the same content your company is already sharing improve its reach and engagement? Our customer data shows that employee advocates can drive as many clicks as a company's social media channels combined, and even exceed them. Imagine if your company simply added the employee advocacy channel to work alongside your existing social channels. If employee advocates can generate at least as many clicks as the corporate channels, you've at least doubled the effectiveness of your marketing program.
Managing Your Employee Advocacy Program
When you introduce a new function or technology to your team, you typically need someone to oversee it. Unfortunately, not every company can hire an employee advocacy manager, whose sole responsibility is to implement, manage, and monitor an advocacy program. However, with the right technology, employee advocacy is one of the only marketing channels that doesn't need a full-time manager; once you set it up, it only needs to be monitored.
With certain features, like automated content aggregation and instant broadcasting, you can automate employee advocacy. It takes a little prep work, like tagging and grouping employees, connecting corporate social channels to your employee advocacy platform, and setting up filters to ensure that only relevant content is pulled in. You also set up the platform to send out content with certain keywords or hashtags to certain people, so that employees only receive content that they'd want to share. Once this setup is done, you only need to occasionally review the groups and tags, and the rest of the program will run automatically. This means that when your marketing team shares content on your social channels, content that meets the filters set up will go onto the platform and be automatically broadcasted to relevant employees.
So for very little additional effort, you've added a new marketing channel that will double the effectiveness of your total efforts. And while employee advocacy will get your brand story out there, it will also bring real, measurable results.
Aligning Advocacy With Your Existing Marketing Program
The most effective way to introduce an employee advocacy program is to align it with a specific planned marketing initiative. It's hard to get employee buy-in if you just tell them advocating will amplify their efforts. But if you say that advocating will help drive registration for an upcoming event, and then provide them the tools they need to advocate easily, that's a big motivator. It gives employees a specific goal, with a set time frame to see the results. It's also easier for you to measure the success of the employee advocacy program, since you can measure it against the specific objective (e.g., event registrations, leads generated in a campaign, etc.).
If your marketing program is on track but you're struggling to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or get your content seen, employee advocacy could be the boost you need to amplify your marketing efforts.
Russ Fradin is the co-founder of Dynamic Signal and a digital media industry veteran with more than 15 years' experience in the online marketing world. Russ co-founded and was CEO of Adify (acquired by Cox for $300 million in May 2008) and co-founded SocialShield. He was also SVP of BD at Wine.com, EVP of Corporate Development at comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) and was among the first employees at Flycast (acquired by CMGi for $2.3 billion in January 2000). Russ is also an active angel investor in the digital world and is on a number of boards. Russ holds a BS in Economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
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