Unsure not unwilling – how Awin

uncovered its employee influencers



As leaders in affiliate marketing, Awin is passionate about helping to grow its clients’ businesses around the world. One area that helps to keep the company ahead of the market is through constant innovation. Both in terms of its service and also in its thinking.

It was this thinking and desire to keep moving forward that helped the company to identify employee influencers and the power of its employees’ networks. In essence, helping turn their employees into their own brand advocates.

However, the company quickly realised that with employees at differing levels of social confidence and willingness, a new approach would be required in order to succeed. Awin identified the DSMN8 platform as the ideal solution, before introducing the technology across multiple offices, departments and languages.

The impact? A more engaged workforce, greater brand awareness and a leading source of website traffic, making employee influencers work.

Founded in 2000, Awin (formerly Affiliate Window and zanox) are a global affiliate marketing network. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany part of Axel Springer, Europe’s largest digital publishing house.

The company consists of over 200,000 publishers and 15,500 advertisers, with over 1,000 employees split across 15 offices. In 2018, the company helped clients including ASOS, O2, HP, Business Insider and Marks & Spencer generate sales of over £11.3bn. The organisation is passionate about empowering publishers and advertisers of all sizes to grow their businesses online.




Berlin, Germany

Company Size

1,000 Employees

The challenge

Awin wanted to support and guide their employees to become more socially active and over time transform them into Awin brand influencers. Having been introduced to the topic of employee advocacy early on, they understood the benefits of such a program.

There was also a need to centralise content whilst maintaining local relevance and increasing reach. However, with multiple teams, differing levels of social activity and willingness to share, ensuring smooth integration and adoption was going to be vital to its success.

The challenge was set. How could Awin effectively launch an employee influencer program across markets, with different levels of enthusiasm and drive business results?

The solution

Having completed a review into employee advocacy, Awin selected DSMN8 as their platform of choice due to the innovative features and ease of use.

Awin’s biggest requirement was to provide a solution which would not only drive employee participation but also support employees. Developing their workforce to become more confident across social channels. Building employees personal brands as well as company exposure.

Key Fact: Typically less than 2% of employees share employer content across their social channels.

The key elements behind the success of the Awin employee influencer program are:

1. Segmentation and Personalisation
2. Gamification and Leaderboards
3. Authentic and Unique Post Copy
4. Strategic On-Boarding Strategy

Segmentation and Personalisation
DSMN8’s inbuilt segmentation and personalisation capabilities were critical to the success of the Awin program. The organisation was able to curate and serve the most relevant content to each employee. Combining this with the ability for employees to personalise the text accompanying the content proved a powerful approach. Increasing the authenticity, quality and impact of the content shared by employees.

Key Fact: Content shared by employees enjoys 2x engagement versus when distributed by a company page.

Gamification and Leaderboards
Another element that helped drive the effectiveness of the program was DSMN8’s gamification and leaderboards module. Awin was able to tap into the power of competitive employees keen to rank higher in the team tables through a points-based engagement system. Driven by the support and adoption of key senior leadership.

Key Fact: Launching gamification improved user engagement by over 3X.

The simple-to-use platform empowers Awin employees to share industry and Awin news to bolster their professional networks. DSMN8 has provided invaluable support from the beginning. From launching the tool across our teams around the world to helping us continue to grow our advocacy program to its full potential.

Lisa HammondGroup Marketing Director

Authentic and Unique Post Copy
DSMN8’s platform allows users the option to include variations of imagery and text for each piece of content. Meaning Awin can remove duplication across employee feeds by ensuring alternative post copy is shared. This provides a unique solution for scaling the syndication of content across multiple Awin employee profiles.

Key Fact: Adding just 5 alternatives for images, post text and preview title creates 125 unique content previews.

DSMN8 V2 Awin Feed

Strategic On-Boarding Strategy
One of the key elements of the program strategy was to really engage users of the platform. This is broken into specific tactics focusing on 3 key user groups:

1. New Joiners – Were provided a registration link in their ‘new joiner’ materials. As well as a DSMN8 welcome email, comprehensive induction and training session.
2. Key Senior Stakeholders – Initially engaging team leaders and senior staff in the tool encouraged wider adoption by the rest of the company. Leading by example and driving further interest.
3. Existing Users – Continuous engagement was achieved through a regular communication plan. Content update emails, performance updates and encouragement to use the mobile application increased regular user engagement. The admin team also received quarterly reviews and performance indicators with insight for improvements.

Key Fact: Engaging new joiners as part of the wider company on-boarding program increased active users by over 50%.

The results

Since implementing DSMN8 and the employee advocacy program, Awin has achieved huge success in bringing social selling and personal branding to the forefront of employees minds.

Employees are now more aware of the key messaging and content the company produces. The platform has made it easy for the organisation to communicate with its employees.

With 40% of employees now actively using the platform, Awin has tapped into the power of employee influencers to help boost its PR and social footprint. The company now sees a higher percentage of employees sharing on a monthly basis when compared to all industry competitors.

The impact

On average the program generates the following results each month:

Avg. items of content shared
Content clicks
Shares per content
Comparative cost per click

Employee shares on their personal social channels via DSMN8 has become one of the highest referrers of traffic to the AWIN site, securing employee advocacy as a core part of our marketing strategy. Seeing the results further motivates our teams to continue sharing company content.

Sarah RuzgarGlobal Communications Lead

Learn more

Interested to see how you could turn your employees into motivated social influencers like Awin and super-charge your content efforts?

We help brands empower their employees to Curate, Create and Share on-brand content. Your employees will have access to both a desktop and mobile application where they can effortlessly share your content across social, messenger, email and SMS, boosting your organic reach while keeping them up to date with company news and industry trends.

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