When it comes to marketing practices that help generate leads, there’s no doubt that content marketing is an important one. Content is a cost-effective marketing strategy that can help your brand hone its reputation and increase reach.
In theory, by creating and disseminating high-quality content, your business can attract the attention of potential customers, prove your value as a thought leader, and convince them they should do business with you.
In practice, however, utilizing content to grow your brand isn’t that simple. While you may be able to create awesome value-add content, you may also find it particularly difficult to get your content seen.
The Challenge of Making the Most of your Content
There are several reasons that it’s hard to get your content marketing efforts seen.
First, it can be challenging to get your branded content discovered organically. You need to optimize the content for search. This means that it should follow the most basic SEO rules:
- Optimize for the right keywords.
- Write a good headline.
- Provide useful information.
The media you include should also be optimized by including their titles, alt tags, and keywords.
Beyond organic reach, there are also challenges to getting your content out via traditional marketing techniques like email. The email addresses of followers and customers you’ve collected are subject to laws that regulate how you can email market to them. In addition, spam settings and double opt-ins also hurt your chances of recipients seeing the content, which means it’s not always the most effective tool for dissemination.
Finally, content marketing efforts can be promoted through PPC ads and content syndication. However smaller ad budgets can limit much of the exposure your content would receive.
Content marketing is supposed to be a budget-friendly, low-cost marketing technique, so it doesn’t make too much sense to spend a lot of money marketing it, especially if that money comes from a budget that could be used for other targeted paid campaigns.
How to Get Your Content Seen
Despite the challenges that exist for content marketers, there are several strategies that can help ensure branded content actually gets noticed. One of the best ways is running an employee advocacy program.
Employees are the people that know and love your company. They also have their own online networks and connections (LinkedIn Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). For that reason, it makes sense to have them sharing as advocates and helping to grow your brand.
Here is why an employee advocacy program is essential when it comes to a content marketing strategy that works.
The Benefits of an Employee Advocacy Program
If you want your content marketing strategy to have a strong ROI, it’s worth it to focus on building an employee advocacy program.
First, word of mouth marketing works. Studies show that 92% of people trust recommendations from people they know, which means when your employees promote your content, their followers are more likely to trust that it’s something worth checking out. Also, 76% of people say they trust content shared by regular people more than brands, so it helps to have the content coming from your team members instead of just from your company.
Next, an employee advocacy program boosts employee engagement and morale. Disengaged employees cost companies money. In fact, studies show that disengaged employees can cost companies more than $450 billion per year. However, employees who are active in promoting the brand and feel involved within the larger organization tend to happier, more engaged and productive.
Companies that directly involve employees in the promotion their messages have been shown to grow faster. In fact, 31% of all high growth firms have employee advocacy programs. Introducing an employee advocacy program won’t just result in a more engaged workplace, you’ll also have a company that’s doing better.
Finally, employee advocacy programs make sense financially. By having someone already on the payroll helping to promote the brand, you can save marketing dollars and see a greater return.
How to Start a Successful Employee Advocacy Program
If you want to start an employee advocacy program, you need to make sure it gives your content the reach, impressions and engagement it needs to convert leads and justify spending.
Before launching your program, develop a plan so that all execs and C-suite level members are onboard. The methodology, philosophy, and motivation behind the program should be understood throughout the whole organization.
Train your employees. You need to be clear about the rules and regulations on sharing content. Tell employees how often to post, how to write posts that adhere to the brand and what platforms work best. If you’re using a specific tool for social sharing, train them to use that tool.
Finally, monitor the results of employee advocacy efforts so you can tweak your strategy. Reward employees who get good results. You can give employees tangible items, like branded coffee mugs, sweatshirts and hats, or you can offer things like gift cards to restaurants or small lunch parties in the office.
Employee advocacy programs have multiple benefits, one of the most important being a strong channel to promote content and help generate brands awareness and leads.
Looking to implement an employee social media advocacy strategy for your enterprise? Download our 11 Step Guide to Employee Advocacy.