Are you struggling to promote your brand? Or are looking to take your brand to the next level?
Chances are, you’ve implemented a variety of strategies to market your brand to potential consumers.
Marketing costs time and money, things that are both precious to your business. But there is a very valuable marketing tool that is hiding right under your nose.
These are the people who know your company the best and are some of the best people to help promote it.
They are the life of your company, why not take that and push it out into the world?
But before you send your employees to shout the merits of your company off of rooftops, it is necessary to do some preparation to make your employees ready for the role.
Inform Your Employees About Your Brand and Their Roles in It
It is highly possible that while your workers understand their day-to-day jobs like the back of their hands, they are fairly unfamiliar with the way the rest of your organization works. For instance, you could have a data person who lays out who will be targeted for marketing efforts. He likely only has a cursory understanding of what the copywriter is doing. And that’s okay. But it’s also just as important that he knows why each role in your team is important.
Because in order to bolster and support the brand, it is necessary for your employees to bolster and support each other. Often, lack of understanding can cause negative feelings where none are necessary. Maybe your data guy changes something that your copywriter puts in every form, getting annoyed at the copywriter every time he has to do it. But since the copywriter doesn’t know it annoys the data guy, he keeps doing it. This type of thing is one of the small factors that can contribute to why some people don’t like their jobs. And an employee that isn’t happy at your company will be less likely to promote it.
Benefits and Perks
One key reason employees are drawn to full-time work are because of its benefits and perks that come along with giving away one’s free time. Benefits and perks make it worth their while and also have the added bonus of making your employees happy.
Benefits include the classic healthcare and retirement option, while perks are simpler. For example, at HiP, there is a fully stocked kitchen that we are encouraged to eat our breakfasts and lunches in. There are also company lunches on Fridays. Not only do these things make us more productive, since we never have to worry about food while we work, but it also makes us happier (full stomachs = happier people). The happier your employees, the more engaged they will be in your company and the more productive they will be.
Give them stuff
No, I don’t mean give them random gifts (though I doubt that would hurt). Figure out some items that your employees need/use on a regular basis, then have some of those things made with your logo on it. This can be anything from pens to tote bags, whatever you think your employees will get the most use from.
At HiP, we are a company that is made up of mainly millennials and on my first day I found a portable cell phone charger in my desk. I now carry that charger with me and use it quite frequently.
And it has the intended effect. Not only do I get this cool cell phone charger for free, but when people ask me about it I tell them about the company I work for.
It’s also important to take care of your employees work needs. Will an extra monitor make it easier for your employees to switch between their respective task? Then give it to them. They’ll have a smoother workday, which in turn will mean they are more content. It also makes them feel taken care of.
Okay! So you’ve (hopefully) started the steps towards creating happier employees. There are many, many more things you can do to take your employees from “Meh” to “Woo!”
Why is this so important?
I work as a brand ambassador on and off for the past year or so as I was finishing up college. And there was one very important lesson that I have learned from that experience.
It’s way easier to promote a brand you actually like.
It was very difficult to stand there and get people interested in something that I wasn’t interested in. Sometimes it wouldn’t even be a product that I liked. But I started on with a company that shared a lot of my views when it came to health and food and I promote them occasionally to this day.
You want your employees to like talking about you, which is why I stressed the importance of happy employees in the short list above.
Now that you’ve gotten them happier (and likely more productive), it’s time to have them share all that good feeling they have for your brand on social media and beyond.
Let them spread that content that someone worked so hard to produce. Sure, it’s rather unlikely that your employees will have massive channels to broadcast to, but they are still spreading your content further than it would go on a single company channel. It should also be optional. That’s key here. There’s more about it below.
This will take some effort and you’ll need to make sure that your company has a social media that is in place and up-to-date. If you need help doing this, SproutSocial has a pretty awesome guide.
Most companies have people who contribute content as part of their day-to-day jobs. While this is all well and good, it is a good idea to have the rest of your employees contribute. This can come in many forms, from blog posts to just about anything. Consider the skillsets of each of your employees and see what they could contribute. By allowing these voices to mingle with the rest of your brand you help strengthen your brand’s overall voice with the added benefit of diversifying the audience that your brand reaches.
Even if one of your employees doesn’t want to write out a guest blog, there are a number of ways they can contribute, including Instagram-sized video clips, podcasts, etc. There is some sort of content for just about every type of employee, you just need to find it and encourage them to create it.
Make it easy
Send out emails with engagement reminders to your employees. Include links to the most recent content and encourage them to share, share, share! There are even programs designed to measure reach and drive the competitive aspect if that’s what you’re looking for.
The worst thing you can do is make employee brand engagement mandatory. While it might be tempting require your employees to engage with your content, this will only lead to unenthusiastic engagement. Better than nothing? I’m not so sure about that. It’s fairly easy to tell when someone is less than enthused about the new engagement policy. And so it’s better to reward rather than punish. This could come in the form of gift cards for the person who engaged the best or most or even just a shout out on social media. Maybe give them something with your brand logo on it. Make it worth their while. Even little things will make your employees more willing to engage with your brand.
So there you have it! With just a few cultural tweaks and some incentives, you will be well on your way to creating a team of brand ambassadors that you could have only dreamed about.
Do you encourage your employees to engage? Does it work? What strategies do you use? Tell us in the comments!