Developing a well thought out content strategy is a key aspect of employee advocacy. Content is the match that lights the sharing fire, but this content needs certain attributes in order to be successfully shared.
This blog covers the top four aspects to consider when developing an employee advocacy content strategy.
Make it Easy …
Employees are busy! Most are happy to participate in employee advocacy, especially when they know What’s In It For Them, but admins must make programs as simple and straightforward as possible. MarTech, specifically employee advocacy platforms make social sharing easy. All content is available through one platform which is accessible on any device (mobile, desktop, tablet, etc.) Content is also sorted into content topics or further by location, department, seniority to give employees a customizable filtered view that is relevant to them. Martech also removes the effort by making sharing as simple as a few clicks. The main message here is content needs to be easy to consume and share if you want employees to adopt this behavior.
… And Fun
Sharing also needs to be fun. Yes, there is inherent value for sales and marketing to share, but what about other departments? An easy way to establish and promote a content sharing culture is to gamify it. Running contests and leveraging employee advocacy platform gamification features helps to create program buzz and foster friendly competition.
Deloitte’s training programs that are gamified took 50% less time to complete and massively improved long-term engagement. Looking to gamify your program? Here is a step-by-step guide from ideation through to program wrap up and review.
Here are some easy to implement contest ideas:
- Photo Competitions (encourage employees to share photos of them at events and outings)
- Team vs. Team Themed Competitions (departments that play together stay together)
- Share-a-thon (person or people with the most shares or engagement win a prize)
- Most improved Sharer
- Log-in Lotto (everyone who logins and engages with the platform during a set time frame will be entered into a draw)
In addition, providing employees with easy ways to share and making it fun, the content itself also has to be interesting. If the content has no value or is of no interest then most employees will not feel comfortable sharing it out to their networks. It is their personal brand reputation after all. Every company and industry will vary a bit in their ideal balance of content, but there are some aspects that remain the same. There needs to be a solid mix of third-party industry content, branded content and employer branding content. Why these three?
Know your personas and cater to them. The more relevant the content is to the industry the more potential customers will see themselves in it and the more it will resonate. The same goes for employees who are trying to build up their thought leadership presence. Having content written by third-parties adds credibility to your brand and industry while showcasing your employees as those in-the-know. Also, encourage employees to suggest content into an employee advocacy program that they find interesting. Teach them to use social media and engage with customers online. This will improve content engagement and help develop fresh, customer-centric content ideas.
What employee advocacy programs are all about – building brand awareness, credibility and generating leads based on the influence of your employees. In theory, all branded content does this but employees do not want to continually promote sales pieces. If they are supposed to share your content it needs to not only address a pain point in the market but also provide a way for their readers to solve their challenge. It needs to be compelling and interesting enough that employees are proud to put their name behind it.
Highlighting the real people who work within your organization fosters belonging and pride and gives your employees a massive reason to share. Encourage employees to participate in content creation.
Here are some examples of employer branding content:
- Inside the company spotlight pieces
- Job posts/referral programs
- Events (both internal and company sponsored)
- CSR (charity events, company lead initiatives)
- Internal Updates (not externally sharable, but helps to keep everyone informed and engaged)
Last but certainly not least is analytics. If you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, how can a program grow and improve? Feedback and meaningful analytics are key to long term success.
Who shares, when do they share, what content makes them share, what gets the most engagement once shared … these are all essential metrics that must be monitored to continually shape the content strategy for your employee advocacy program. In addition, using UTM codes and tracking inbound lead sourced from your employee advocacy program can justify the time and spend, and even additional investment to further scale your program.
Developing a content strategy to ensure employees are excited to share content with their networks can feel overwhelming, but breaking it down and focusing on these four categories (easy, fun, varied and data-driven) can help to ensure your advocacy program sees success.