How Employee Advocacy Can Help You Build a Content Strategy

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Daniel Ku

Employee advocacy is not just another building block to push your content strategy forward — it is the rebar that makes your marketing stronger.

Employee shared posts drive your content forward for a number of reasons:

  • Boost organic reach
  • Improve brand credibility
  • Better qualified leads
  • Compelling talent recruitment

Beyond these benefits, employee posts on social networks can be tracked and measured. Which gives marketers key insights they need to refine their overall content marketing strategy. When marketers understand which keywords or topics capture their audience’s attention, they can create more content that builds up brand awareness and authority.

Whether your content strategy is in the early stages or more mature, you will always need new ideas. Winning ideas don’t come out of thin air — they are inspired by data and what has worked in the past.

A different look at sentiment analysis — measuring the keywords within employee posts

When marketers approach sentiment analysis — listening to attitudes and feelings towards a brand shared on social media — we usually think about monitoring customer feedback.

We don’t think about tracking reactions to employee shared posts.

But sentiment analysis is not limited to what your customers are saying on their own. Marketing managers can use employee advocacy tools to track KPIs on shared posts, including interactions to the content and caption.

One of our clients, a leading supply chain and logistics company, embraced an employee advocacy program when they noticed their customer demographics were changing. Customers were now younger and more active on social media.

This client set out to improve their social presence and to build their reputation as thought leaders.

As part of their strategy, the client tracked keyword phrases within the employee advocacy platform. They found that keyword phrases such as “supply chain,” “rental trucks” and “equipment confidence” generated the most engagement.

The team was able to develop and share more meaningful content for their audience because they knew what keywords grabbed customer attention.

What were this client’s results when they put strategic employee advocacy at the forefront of their social content strategy?

This client saw their total reach increase by 9,958% and their website’s clickthrough rate go up by 333%.

Why track keywords in employee posts to drive your content strategy?

Your employees are your greatest asset when it comes to social media. For many years, it has been known that social media users trust “average employees” more than the CEOs or marketing executives. Employees are seen as authentic while their combined social media reach extends far beyond your branded channels.

When you understand the audience that your employees are reaching, you can create more tailored, interesting and helpful content that will drive engagement.

Your digital marketing stack — your employee advocacy platform, Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, marketing automation platform and CRM — work together to assign attribution to successful content.

Within Google Analytics, you can tag employee advocacy content with a UTM code and set up customized dashboards to gather insights on the KPIs that matter most to your strategy.

Sometimes data doesn’t tell the whole story. Employees will notice what type of posts perform best in their own personal networks and will want to share more content that gets a reaction. In the employee advocacy platform, employees across all departments can give feedback and suggestions for new content.

When you have employees outside of marketing chiming in, you will have a much wider perspective on what type of content can build your brand’s authority, thought leadership or recruitment capabilities.

On top of attribution and employee feedback, a winning social content strategy requires craftful content recycling.

You want to maximize the most out of each blog, ebook, case study and infographic you have in your content library. Recycle successful content and update it for future purposes.

How to get started using sentiment analysis

Just like you use social listening tools to run public sentiment analysis, you can use your employee advocacy platform to track content performance.

To best measure posts, you should start with some questions that will guide your research and benefit your overall employee advocacy strategy.

Good starting questions to build your content strategy based on your employee advocacy include:

  • What type of content do we already have?
  • Which posts and topics are high performing?
  • What keywords do we want to position ourselves with?
  • What is our baseline — how many interactions, comments, and shares does an average performing post typically earn?
  • How can we recycle this content?
  • What do our employees organically like to share?
  • How can we get our employees to share more content and to make suggestions for future content?
  • What content is leading to more conversations?

Once you have answered key questions, you can start tracking the keywords that have succeeded in the past and experiment with aligned keywords moving forward.

How to use keywords from employee advocacy metrics to build future winning content

Once you have identified the keywords that get your employees pumping and your audience chattering then you are ready to curate new content.

Just like you use SEO keyword research to spark inspiration for your blog and other online content, the approach remains the same for building up approved content for your employees.

There is an overlap between SEO keyword research and employee advocacy keyword research.

The difference is that you are building content based on networks that you can already tap into.

Here are the first steps to get started with your employee advocacy content curation:

    1. Take a look at metrics from your employee advocacy analytics. Measure what content is generating the most engagement through employee advocacy. Identify which posts are yielding the best results given a timeframe. Take a look at the top 10 performing posts to see how many shares and interactions occurred. Now look at the data and see what these posts have in common.
    2. Gather insights from your customized dashboard in Google Analytics. Look at your KPIs from your current content to identify a baseline and create new goals. A customer success representative can help you set up your dashboard if you don’t already have one.
    3. Identify top-performing keywords. Spreadsheets are your friend here. Organize all your captions and keywords by traffic, clicks, shares, etc. You can create a separate list for a content planner.
    4. Come up with different ideas and topics around these keywords. The social media manager should also keep their eyes out for quality, third-party resources that employees can share. You don’t want to spam audiences with too much branded content. Sharing third-party thought leadership pieces, podcasts, or other content can keep things interesting.
    5. Create a content planner and assign projects to the marketing team. Within your team, you can set up team workflows to make sure no detail gets overlooked. Set up content feeds for different content creators so they know which content topics or keywords they should help curate.
    6. Get your employees to share new content. Whether you use gamification or other adoption strategies, engaged employees are the driving force behind a successful employee advocacy program. At the end of the day, you will need to build content that employees love to share.

You’re all set!

You’ve now created a list of winning ideas, topics and keywords that’ll help you create the right posts that will get employees to share and the most eyeballs on your content.

Don’t forget to be consistent. Ensure you are regularly evaluating the top-performing content and keywords that are generating interactions. We recommend reviewing your content monthly, however, we’ll sit down with our customers once a quarter to benchmark performance. As you learn more about how your content is resonating with your audience, you’ll realize that you’ll need to curate more content that’s similar. It can be from third-party sources which will help improve your employees’ thought leadership and social media presence.

Want to learn more about how employee advocacy drives a winning social content strategy? Read our Blueprint to Employee Advocacy.

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