Let’s face it, traditional marketing is getting a bit stale. Today’s consumers don’t want generic marketing; they want brands to speak to them. In other words, they want a human connection. How can brands give customers the personal touch they crave? One solution is harnessing the power of your employees.
Employees know your customers better than anyone, and they know your company. So when they create and share content, they’re a great support for your marketing efforts. This employee-generated content helps to humanize your brand, which in turn builds trust. But what is it, and how can you create it? That’s what we’ll look at in this article.
What is employee-generated content?
Employee-generated content (EGC) is exactly that: content created by employees. It’s a form of user-generated content (UGC), which many brands are using as a more trusted form of marketing. Employee-generated content can be anything from social media posts to reviews on Glassdoor. But it’s always based on authentic employee ideas and beliefs.
Many brands now realize the potential of EGC to reach customers and employees. You can also use it in HR and marketing, or even on your Salesforce open CTI and CRM platform. For instance, 52% of communications and HR teams use EGC on internal channels. Why? Because employee content has many benefits over traditional marketing.
What are the benefits of employee-generated content?
1. It drives traffic to your site and pages
With so much competition, how can you make your website shine? Embedding employee-generated content in your web pages could be the answer. EGC can make your brand feel more authentic and relatable, which boosts customer engagement. After all, if your employees are happy, then chances are your customers will be too.
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2. It enhances employee advocacy
If employees see you sharing their content, they’ll be more likely to advocate your business. And employee advocacy builds consumer confidence. It also showcases each department’s strengths, from HR to retail management service. So it can boost innovation and collaboration. In fact, 31% of companies reported improved brand health due to employee advocacy.
3. It increases brand awareness
85% of consumers use social media to research new companies, so it’s vital for brand awareness. There’s no better way to build awareness than your employees. Employee social profiles enjoy 10x more followers, 24x more shares, and 8x the engagement of branded accounts. So sharing and promoting employee-generated content could be your secret marketing weapon.
4. It attracts top-class employees
Many jobseekers research employee reviews and posts before applying to a company. They’re more likely to trust what an employee says than what a brand account says. Using employee-generated content is a great way to attract top-class talent to your company. For instance, 11% of companies say employee advocacy improves recruitment.
You can share EGC on your social accounts and at recruitment fairs to showcase your company values and culture. Also, listening to what your employees are saying can improve employee retainment.
5. It can reduce marketing costs
Employee-generated content can increase brand awareness and save money at the same time. 28% of businesses say employee advocacy boosts social media reach without paid ads. So next time you’re thinking of spending money on influencers, think of your employees.
6. It boosts brand credibility
As we’ve discussed, customers are more likely to trust what employees say than a branded account. So instead of your marketing team posting about your amazing call center ASA, try reposting what your employees write about it. This improves your credibility with consumers and makes your employees feel valued. Win-win.
7. It can provide fresh content for your socials
You can use employee-generated content from any department, not just sales and marketing. Using a range of EGC on your social channels can give customers fresh perspectives and breathe new life into your campaigns. It also shows customers, and employees, you’re a company that values new ideas and innovation.
5 tips to effectively create employee-generated content
1. Align your EGC to your brand’s image
For EGC to be effective, you need a QA framework that guides employees without stifling their creativity. You could create a one-page document that includes:
- Your main business goals.
- Your ideal audience.
- Major brand policies.
- Any absolute no-no’s.
Your employees can then create content as part of your overarching brand story.
2. Choose the right employees to jumpstart your campaign
Next, you need to choose the right employees to jumpstart your campaign. Start with a small group of employees who are:
- Passionate about the brand.
- Active on social media.
- Open to learning.
- Motivated and curious.
These employees can then act as role models for interested colleagues.
3. Hold training and seminars for interested employees
It’s also important to provide training for interested employees. Training could include content best practices and processes, as well as brand guidelines. Training should be regular, such as monthly or quarterly, to cater for new employees.
4. Find the perfect timing
Another important factor is timing. This includes internal communications and employee content on social media and other channels. Try sending content at different times and measuring engagement with key performance indicators. This is particularly important if you have employees in different time zones.
Find out when public holidays or important dates are in each country, and make sure you avoid them. The same goes for sharing employee-generated content online. Also, ask employees to play around with different posting times to maximize engagement.
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5. Don’t force employee participation
The most important thing to remember with EGC is to let it happen naturally. Compulsory participation will result in content that’s forced and insincere. Instead, encourage employees to take part by making content creation fun, creative, and engaging.
Employee-generated content is a great way to build a positive workplace community. Done well, it can boost employee morale, attract top talent to your business, and boost your credibility with customers.
To make the most of EGC, you should encourage and guide your employees on their content creation journey. But don’t force them to take part. The best content is fun, engaging, and sincere, and that’s what consumers want.