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What is Employee-Generated Content? Do I Need It?

By Lewis Gray22/02/2024June 21st, 2024No Comments7 min read
what is employee generated content and why do I need it

Brands are waking up to the fact that consumer trust is disappearing.

As a result, marketers are frantically trying to regain the trust that has seemingly been broken.

And it’s essential to do so: consumers now rate trust and authenticity as ‘highly impactful’ on their purchasing decisions.

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 your company, and posting to social media.

What is Employee-Generated Content?

Employee-Generated Content (or EGC) is any form of content created by employees. This content isn’t professionally created by a marketing or design team – it’s original content created by individual contributors.

Simply put, Employee-Generated Content is a form of User-Generated Content with a unique twist: your employees are your company experts.

An example could be a salesperson writing a blog post about social selling, an engineer sharing their thoughts on latest industry technology, or a new recruit documenting their first day with a photo on LinkedIn.

Why Does EGC Work?

It Promotes Authenticity and Builds 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 at the moment.

So naturally, buyers are gravitating to this minimalist sneaker based on their “green” brand mission, and organic marketing. Their steady rise over the past few years can be accredited almost entirely to word-of-mouth marketing, and organic awareness.

Consumers Don't Trust Marketers

A study found that 92% of people are more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family over any form of branded content.

In a time where fake news is rife, and seemingly anything and everything can be fabricated, this 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 color-way.

Best Practices for Encouraging and Using Employee-Generated Content

Of course, there needs to be a method to the madness here.

Simply asking your employees to create content for you 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.

Start by creating a clear set of social media guidelines, and a social media policy. This will alleviate employee fears, while ensuring that they understand what they can and can’t say.

For more insights on ensuring quality when it comes to employee-generated content, have a read of our guide.

Use Bradley Keenan’s Employee-Generated Content Framework and you’re all set!

Create a Content Library

Creating content at scale is a challenge for organizations big and small.

Incorporating EGC into your marketing strategy gives employees a chance to get creative and be recognized for their contributions.

In turn, your company receives original and authentic content that resonates with your target audience and future recruits. A win-win.

Most companies rely on their social media managers to create photo and 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 or industry well enough.

Creating a library of all this content will come in handy, whether for future company page LinkedIn posts, or for recruitment marketing and employer branding campaigns.

How DSMN8 Helps Manage and Encourage Employee-Generated Content

For best results with employee-generated content, you’re going to need an employee advocacy platform.

DSMN8 offers all the tools you need to get your employees creating and sharing content on social media.

Employees can submit content for admins to curate, and find fresh content ready to share with their networks.

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 you considered your employees as a pool of eager content creators?

Additional Resources

Ready to get started with employee advocacy?

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Lewis Gray

Senior Marketing Manager and Employee Advocacy Program Manager at DSMN8. Lewis specialises in content strategy, growing brand visibility and generating inbound leads. His background in Sales lends itself well to demand generation in the B2B niche.