An Employee Influencer is one who creates, curates, and shares company-focused or company-related content on behalf of their organization.
If you’ve been reading trend prediction lists for marketing in 2020, you’ll have likely read about changing attitudes towards traditional marketing tactics, and buyers craving the humanization of/authenticity from brands. No doubt, you’ll have also seen one or two nods to the rise of User-Generated Content.
Well, coincidentally, these things are at the heart of why employee influencers are so in demand right now, and as a result, we couldn’t think of a better time to put together an all-encompassing guide.
#ICYMI Earlier this week, we released The Ultimate Guide to Employee Influencers by DSMN8. The Ultimate Guide is intended to serve as a comprehensive guide to employee influencers and employee influencer platforms alike. Giving you everything you need to know to turn your employees into content creators and brand advocates for your business.
The guide covers everything from the business case to walking you through the pre-launch, launch, and post-launch process of an employee influencer program, and is complete with cheat sheets, infographics, and free checklists.
The guide has this and so much more, as it outlines first the state of marketing in 2020, and the changing attitudes towards traditional marketing tactics, and why these trends have seen to the meteoric rise in demand for employee influencers.
You have probably heard of employee advocacy and employee communications, which have both rapidly become vital parts of employee influence and corporate strategy.
However, organizations seldom consider how they can leverage the power of employees’ to positively impact their employer brand, significantly increase sales opportunities, employee retention rates, and authentically showcase company culture, among many other benefits.
So, what is all the fuss about, and why should you read The Ultimate Guide? Here is a list of reasons why people are talking about employee influencer platforms, and the trends fuelling awareness. Is it time to take action?
Brands Need Authentic Content at Scale
If the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer told us one thing, it would be that trust among brands in 2020 is diminishing, while trust and authenticity are what Millennials and Gen Z value most in a brand.
This should come as no surprise, as it seems common knowledge that the public’s perception of traditional marketing/advertising tactics has changed for the worse. In the wake of Facebook’s embarrassing data management and the exposure of Cambridge Analytica‘s wrongdoings, buyers have become more switched on and technologically savvy, and thus nothing goes unnoticed.
Despite early calls to boycott social media and #deletefacebook, this does not mean that brands should be shying away from social media or trying to reinvent the wheel, rather they should harness the voices of reputable ambassadors, such as their employees, to restore tarnished relationships with the public. As the public calls for authenticity and operational transparency, social media remains the perfect platform for brands to showcase their efforts.
Authenticity is so much more than being operationally transparent. Brands must provide a service to match, putting people first and holding themselves accountable for their shortcomings.
But if people don’t trust brands, why should their social media accounts be any more reputable? We’re glad you asked! It brings us nicely onto our next point…
Your Company Needs Employee-Generated Content (EGC)
The demand for Employee-Generated Content has come about as a result of brand successes using User-Generated Content.
User-Generated Content (UGC) is any form of brand-related content that has been created by anyone not associated with the brand itself. UGC can be blog posts, images, videos… really just about any form of content.
Though marketers predict its rise, UGC is certainly no new idea. Cast your minds back to Coca-Cola’s now-infamous ‘Share a Coke‘ campaign, which saw roles reverse as customers became the brand’s biggest advocates and, subsequently, the advertisers. But why is everyone talking about it in 2020? Well, customers’ buying habits and changing attitudes to marketing may have something to do with it.
However, for many brands, sourcing UGC can be time-consuming and challenging to do, especially businesses that operate in a B2B environment. It is because of this that Employee UGC is on the rise, as brands attempt to source authentic content at scale.
Employee UGC can be created and sourced within an all-in-one employee influencer platform, which can be used to both source the content and incentivize the process. Tools such as Lens and Author offer leaderboards and rewards functions that give employees something to desire as a result of their hard efforts. Though typically, employees will be willing to create, whether through a want for recognition or to positively impact their employer brand, if the company culture is there, your employees will be happy to create content.
When a brand onboards an influencer for advertising purposes, an influencer will advocate for that brand and act as a brand ambassador to their respective audiences on social media. Well, what if an employee was able to do that for you? Spoiler alert: they can!
You Want Your Content to Be Seen
Of course, what would be the point in sourcing this level/quantity of authentic and quality content if it wasn’t going to get the reach it deserved? There’s no more disappointing feeling for a content creator than to see their efforts go unrecognized, and when brands are putting in the time and budget to source said content, they’d be equally frustrated to watch it go unnoticed. Doesn’t it make sense to give your content the reach it deserves?
Step in your employees once more. It’s one thing to get your employees creating for you, but a full-blown employee influencer is one who advocates for your brand as well by sharing the content with their audience and generating engagement.
Pushing paid content can be a costly process, and can quickly eat into the precious marketing budget. LinkedIn, for example, has an average cost-per-click between $4-7. The Employee Influencer alternative? The average cost-per-click ranges between $0.50 to $0.90.
An employee influencer program will allow you to tap into your organization’s most valuable asset – its employees – to harness greater reach engagement on your content in a more cost-effective way. LinkedIn reported that when employees share, they make double the impact of corporate content, with an average click-through rate that is twice that of their company!
A similar study from MSL Group found that branded content is shared 24x more frequently when it’s shared by employees, as opposed to corporate accounts. If trust and authenticity are what the people want, let them see the content from the people whose opinions they value. Studies show that 92% of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations, making it one of the most trustful forms of marketing.