Why Engaging Employees Should Be Your Biggest Marketing Effort
Most companies spend money on marketing. Creating brand awareness, driving sales, and attracting top-tier talent are all typical goals of these budgetary decisions. But what if we told you that your greatest brand ambassadors are sitting right beside you?
That’s right, your employees have the potential to be your brand’s greatest cheerleaders and most vocal advocates. All customer interactions, job interviews, and work-related social media posts made by your staff are reflections of your company standards and culture.
So how do you cultivate amazing brand ambassadors from the inside?
First consider this: Why are employees such an important part of elevating your brand?
- They’re going to share, whether you’re encouraging them to or not. As many as 50% of employees have shared something about their employers on social media without prompting from within the company. Put simply, there is always something to share – whether it’s positive or negative. Tap into the huge percentage of employees already sharing, and you’ve hit a marketing jackpot.
- Consumers are more likely to buy a product or service when they hear about it from people they know and trust. Customers have more trust in employee feedback than in advertising. By taking advantage of your most loyal advocates (your employees), you can make your business more personable and successful.
- Employees feel empowered when they’re included in the marketing efforts of the organization, creating a more open and productive work environment. Putting shared responsibility of positive brand representation on the shoulders of your workers portrays that you trust their opinions and their abilities to act as the faces of your company. It inspires them to take pride in their duties, resulting in higher quality work.
- When given the responsibility of advocating for the brand, employees are forced to deepen their knowledge of products and services. You can’t have a meaningful conversation about something you don’t understand. When staff members are interacting with potential customers, they will be required to do their research first and will continue to stay up-to-date with the latest news about your organization.
- Interactions between your company and the public will be more authentic. By knowing more about your company’s products and services, employee interactions with the public will seem easier and more personal – less like a customer service agent reading from a script, and more like a team that truly believes in the mission of your company.
How can you encourage employees and create opportunities for them to be effective brand ambassadors?
- Ask employees their opinion. Your biggest inside scoop on the effectiveness of your products comes from the staff. By showing you value their opinions, you can create a sense of shared responsibility.
- Encourage sharing and interaction on social media. Provide a few guidelines on how to positively represent your business. Include rules about language and conduct, direct them on promotions you’d like them to share, and guide them toward industry-specific hashtags to use.
- Show appreciation for your employees. Workers who feel valued typically perform better. Make them feel like their achievements and efforts matter. Incentives such as spontaneous happy hours, paid trainings, and bonuses like a flexible work schedule or an extra paid vacation day go a long way when investing in your biggest asset.
- Promote internal and external transparency. The more your company culture is transparent about what’s happening, the more confident your employees can feel about promoting that information to the public. Consumers love transparency too, meaning more customers will trust what your workers say about the company.
- Emphasize company culture – and then practice what you preach. Your mission statement, company values, and end goals should be at the forefront of everything you do. When you lead by example as the proudest brand ambassador possible, your employees will be inspired to follow suit.
Prioritizing a sense of pride in your employees might seem like a big project to take on, but you’ll soon see the rewards of an engaged employee base. With active encouragement, a little training, and some good old-fashioned positive reinforcement, you can begin taking advantage of your company’s strongest asset.