In 2020, brands are waking up to the fact that consumer trust is disappearing. Consumers now rate trust and authenticity as being highly impactful on their purchasing decisions. As a result, marketers are frantically trying to regain the trust that has seemingly been broken.
Well, most marketers probably haven’t considered that their most reputable and cost-effective content creators are their employees.
Whether you like it or not, your employees are already creating an abundance of content. Granted, some may not be suitable for company use, but they are constantly creating written content, making presentations, documenting life at the company, and posting to social media.
What is Employee-Generated Content?
Employee-Generated Content (EGC) is any form of content that stems from your employees who are not directly involved in marketing/content creation.
It’s a form of User-Generated Content with a unique twist – they’re your company experts.
An example might be a salesperson writing a blog piece on social selling, or a new recruiting documenting their first day with a photograph.
Why Does EGC Work?
Employee-Generated Content Promotes Authenticity and Creates Trust
Authenticity is vital among modern buyers, so much so that 63% said they would sooner buy from a company they consider to be authentic over one of their competitors.
Consumers nowadays want to remain independent in their buying decisions, so consider trying to tell them why they should buy from you, rather than insist they should buy from you.
These buyers are most likely to buy from brands that connect with them personally, a brand that upholds the same values as they do, and what better way to showcase this than through real people?
Take a brand like rising footwear stars Veja, who famously insist they “don’t do marketing.” Veja’s brand image is one of sustainability, something that is very much on-trend in 2020. So naturally, buyers are gravitating to this minimalist sneaker based on their “green” brand mission, and organic marketing. Their steady rise over the past five years can be accredited almost entirely to word-of-mouth, and organic awareness.
Consumers Don’t Trust Marketers
A recent study found that 92% of people are more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family over any form of branded content, which in a time where fake news is rife, and seemingly anything and everything can be fabricated, should come as no surprise.
Consumers are more wary of advertising and marketing tactics, and as a result, trust in branded content is diminishing. In a bid to hear from those they trust, 74% of consumers turn to social networks for guidance on purchase decisions.
Buyers now crave stories and emotions from brands. Why does every sneakerhead seem to crave the coveted Chicago Air Jordan 1? It is not the style that spurs them to queue for hours to buy them, but the history behind that shoe in that particular colorway.
It Creates a Content Library
Creating content at scale is a challenge for organizations big and small. Incorporating EGC into your marketing plans gives your employees a chance to create for, feature on, and be credited on company pages. Effectively inundating your company with original and authentic content.
Most companies rely on their social media managers/team to create photo/video content, but naturally, they can’t be everywhere at once. Similarly, a company blog will typically be managed by a team of writers, whether freelance or in-house, there’s only so much content they can produce without losing that authentic touch.
Not only does the use of EGC inundate your company with original content, but it also has a touch of authenticity that freelance agencies may lack simply due to not knowing your business/industry well enough.
Best Practices for Employee-Generated Content
Of course, there needs to be a method to the madness here. Simply asking your employees to create content for you, or giving them free rein on social media (yikes!), is not enough.
Sure, you can ask them to share using a certain hashtag, meaning you can easily track it, but still, employees will remain apprehensive for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing on social.
For best practice with EGC, you’re going to need a platform.
DSMN8: The All-in-One Employee Influencer Platform
DSMN8 is an employee influencer platform that offers all the tools your need to get your employees creating content, and sharing, on your company’s behalf.
DSMN8 offers a core employee advocacy product, which incorporates an internal communications feature, and allows employees to submit content for admins to curate.
From an employee’s first day to team away day photos, leaning on your employees for photo and video content is a fantastic way to crowdsource company-based content for social media.
It’s no secret that top candidates will check your company out on social media before they consider you, and when they look, what will they see? Will they see anything at all? Will they see staged stock photography, or will they get a genuine window into what life at your company is really like?
Content agencies are often too expensive, and freelancers don’t know your business well enough to add real value. Well, have you ever thought that maybe your next superstar content contributor is already within your company just waiting to be discovered?
Isn’t it time that you considered your employees as your pool of eager content creators?