How to Get Your Employees Involved in Your Brand Advertising Efforts
Running your company’s digital marketing efforts is no small task. With the growing complexities of advertising channels, the decline of organic reach, and the battle to find original content: it can be a challenge.
What can be even more challenging? Trying to get your employees or co-workers to take part in your digital marketing efforts.
Whether you’re looking for (free) employee-actors to be in your ads or social posts OR you’re looking for the added reach when an employee shares a post to their page: we’ve got you covered.
Employee Advocacy: Why it Matters
Employee Advocacy is a growing field of interest for marketers and business owners alike. In essence, it refers to the act of an employee promoting their employer, typically across social media or digital channels.
Taken a step further, ADvocacy is a term we made up which refers to employees assisting with your advertising efforts. These efforts may be aimed at driving more customers, or driving more employees (new hires).
Here’s why getting your employees involved in the advertising matters:
- People Trust Humans More Than Brands. Humanizing your business by having the real employees in your ads or sharing your ads helps build trust.
- It Helps Employees Have Vested Interest. 87.2% of employee advocates say that employee advocacy contributed to them expanding their professional network, and another 76% believe that it helped them keep up with trends.
- Employee Advocacy Expands Your Brand’s Reach. Brand messages are re-shared 24x more frequently when distributed by employees through employee advocacy vs. the brand directly.
Furthermore, for many employees: it can be extremely fun & enriching. The goal is to make your employees involved in a reasonable manner. Also, set ground rules that stave off the potential for their advocacy to “fail.”
Examples of Getting Your Employees Involved in Promotional Efforts
At AdShark, we are HUGE proponents of getting our team involved in our agency marketing. So much so that we have clients and community members who know our entire staff – as they’ve likely already gotten to know a bit about them on social media or email.
If you’re looking to boost your employee advocacy efforts, here are a few ways that you can get them involved in brand promotions.
#1 – Testimonial Videos
One of the easiest ways to get an employee involved is to ask them about their experience working for your company – and then document that. These are great when used for hiring purposes, as prospective employees will be curious to learn more about their soon-to-be co-workers.
Advice: make it easy for employees by providing them the questions beforehand so they can help prepare how they’d like to answer.
#2 – Employee Spotlights
We figured out pretty quickly that only posting about digital marketing on social media would make us seem robotic. Instead, we went the polar opposite route & started publishing spotlights on our employees.
Over the years, these have taken some unique approaches that have allowed us to improve our brand, while also highlighting the employees that help make our brand special. For example, running spotlights like “Netflix & Gills” that includes a slight nod to our Shark culture, while also highlighting the favorite shows of our staff members.
Advice: challenge yourself to think outside the box with these, and really highlight what makes your staff members unique – it will inspire them to more readily share the content, without it looking like brand propaganda.
#3: Actors in Advertisements
Looking to make an ad about your brand? Using your employees as actors can be a great way to get some low-cost actors involved. Plus: it will feel even more authentic than an actual actor to represent your brand. In every office, there should be at least 3-5 employees who are down to test out their acting chops.
Advice: make sure to provide the script beforehand – and direct ads in more short-form video style, to help it feel even more organic and easy for your new actors to master.
#4 – Sharing Your Ads and Posts
It’s no secret that organic reach is dropping on business pages with most social platforms. One way to curtail that trend? Getting more brand ambassadors (*cough cough* employee advocates) to share your ads and posts! This can be a low-commitment task that many employees would be happy to help with, once prompted.
Advice: encourage employees to add their own text onto a post share – not just repost it. It will help engagement numbers go even higher.
#5 – Building Your Employees a Branded Account
Consider launching a “social employee program” where you help your employees get set up with branded Twitter or Instagram accounts. Provide them the guidelines to follow (do’s, don’ts, ideas for content), and an example of how often they should be posting from their branded page. You’ll be surprised how quickly followings can grow on these branded accounts – as sometimes, social media communities care more about following real people than some random company’s page.
Advice: make sure to have a consistent approach here – both from the handles that are used & the content that is shared, while still leaving some room for flexibility and humanization of their content.
Looking for additional ways to get your employees involved in your advertising or social media posting? Consider doing an employee takeover where you give the keys to the ship to someone new to run your Facebook & IG for a day! Or, involve your team members in the ad planning process.
There are several great ways to increase your employee engagement – just give them the chance to impress you.
How to Incentivize Employees To Advocate on Behalf of Your Brand
Struggling to get your employees to willingly get involved in ads or social content sharing? Perhaps you need to up the stakes. Though we’d love to get all of our employees to agree to help with ads and social content: some may need a little extra motivation in order to do so.
Here are a few ways we’ve seen be successful:
- Award Your “Social Butterfly”: come up with a routine (monthly, quarterly, yearly) award that is passed around for the employee that helped the most with social media employee advocacy. Recognize this person at an all-staff event. Bonus points if you come up with a cool award that people actually want to have on their desks!
- Cash or Bonus Considerations: if an employee’s post helps drive a new customer OR a new employee: make sure to pay them accordingly! Consider a bonus or cash boost when a post share leads to a desired action that benefits your advertising efforts.
- Host a Contest: when we looked to boost AdShark’s page likes in 2022, we held an internal competition for advertising ideas. The ad ideas (entirely drafted by staff members) were voted on by all staff, and the ad that had the greatest engagement on social media was recognized. It was an easy, fun competition that got our team excited to ideate on behalf of the brand.
- Make Them an IMDb Page or Host an Internal “OSCAR Awards”: okay, we’re thinking outside the box here. But, if your employees are actors for your videos – why not have some fun with it? Host an internal event that plays the ads your employees were in, gives out awards (like “Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Role”) and have fun with it. OR, make a page on IMDb for them to help launch their acting career. Being playful about it can help make it less scary, too.
- Provide Them Some Brand Swag + Treats: when all else fails, people love a nice polo, t-shirt, or hoodie. And that pairs well with candies and sodas of their choosing. Gifting people with some of your own merchandise can be a low-cost, but highly-appreciated “thank you” gesture for getting involved in your ads.
If you’re in need of more support from your staff – consider starting an employee advocacy (or ADvocacy) system. Put the pieces in place to recognize and rewards individuals who have helped expand your brand messaging. In exchange? Not only will you receive expanded reach, but you’ll also have employees that are more bought-in on the growth your company is experiencing. For more ideas on how to get creative with your ads, contact our team today! Thank you.