These 7 Steps Will Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors
Are you struggling to promote your brand or looking to take your branding to the next level?
Chances are, you’ve implemented a variety of strategies to market your brand to potential consumers.
Marketing costs time and money, things that are both precious to your business. But there’s a wildly valuable marketing tool that is hiding right under your nose.
These are the people who know your company the best and are some of the best people to help promote it.
They are the life of your company, why not take that and push it out into the world?
But before you send your employees to shout the merits of your company off of rooftops, it is necessary to do some preparation to make your employees ready for that role.
INFORM YOUR EMPLOYEES ABOUT YOUR BRAND AND THEIR ROLES IN IT
It is highly possible that while your workers understand their day-to-day jobs like the back of their hands, they are relatively unfamiliar with the way the rest of your organization works. For instance, you could have a data person who lays out who will be targeted for marketing efforts. He likely only has a cursory understanding of what the copywriter is doing. And that’s okay. But it’s also just as crucial that he knows why each role in your team is important.
Because to bolster and support the brand, your employees must strengthen and support each other. Often, a lack of understanding can cause negative feelings where none are necessary. Maybe your data guy changes something that your copywriter puts in every form, getting annoyed at the copywriter every time he has to do it. But since the copywriter doesn’t know it annoys the data guy, he keeps doing it. This type of thing is one of the small factors that can contribute to why some people don’t like their jobs. And an employee that isn’t happy at your company will be less likely to promote it.
BENEFITS AND PERKS
One key reason employees are drawn to full-time work is because of the benefits and perks that come along with giving away one’s free time. Benefits and perks make it worth their while and also have the added bonus of making your employees happy.
Benefits include the classic healthcare and retirement option, while perks are simpler. For example, at HIPB2B (when we work in the office), there is a fully stocked kitchen that we are encouraged to eat our breakfasts and lunches in. There are also company lunches on Fridays. Not only do these things make us more productive, since we never have to worry about food while we work, but it also makes us happier (full stomachs = happier people). The happier your employees, the more engaged they will be in your company and the more productive they will be.
GIVE THEM STUFF
Figure out some items that your employees need/use regularly, then have some of those things made with your logo on it. This can be anything from pens to tote bags, whatever you think your employees will get the most use from.
At HIPB2B, we are a company made up of mainly millennials and Gen X. On my first day(several years ago), I found a portable cell phone charger on my desk. I used that charger for many years until I lost it.
And it has the intended effect. Not only did I get a cool cell phone charger for free, but when people asked me about it, I told them about the company I work for.
It’s also essential to take care of your employees’ work needs. Will an extra monitor make it easier for your employees to switch between their respective tasks? Then give it to them. Be sure to make sure that their at-home setups are complete as well. They’ll have a smoother workday, which in turn means they are more content. It also makes them feel taken care of.
You’ve started the steps towards creating happier employees. There are many, many more things you can do to take your employees from “Meh” to “Woo!” Why is this so important?
I’ve worked as a brand ambassador on and off for the past 5 years or so. There has been one very important lesson I learned from that experience. It’s way easier to promote a brand you actually like.
It was very difficult to stand there and get people interested in something that I wasn’t interested in. Sometimes, it wouldn’t even be a product that I liked or could eat. Over the years, I’ve found that I needed to promote brands that align with my personal dietary choices and values to be the most successful.
You want your employees to like talking about your brand, which is why I stress the importance of happy employees in the list above. Now that you’ve gotten them happier (and likely more productive), it’s time to have them share all that good feeling they have for your brand on social media and beyond.
Let them spread the content that their coworkers worked so hard to produce. Sure, it’s rather unlikely that your employees will have massive channels to broadcast to, but they are still spreading your content further than it would go on a single company channel. Please note that sharing should be optional. That’s key here. Read more about that below.
Getting employee buy-in will take some effort, and you’ll need to make sure that your company has a social media that is in place and up-to-date. If you need help doing this, SproutSocial has a pretty useful guide.
Most companies have people who contribute content as part of their day-to-day jobs. While this is all well and good, it is a good idea to have the rest of your employees contribute. This can come in many forms, from blog posts to photos and more. Consider the skillsets of each of your employees and determine what they could contribute. By allowing these voices to mingle with the rest of your brand, you help strengthen your brand’s overall voice with the added benefit of diversifying the audience that your brand reaches.
Even if one of your employees doesn’t want to write out a guest blog, there are a number of ways they can contribute, including Instagram-sized photos, video clips, podcasts, etc. There is some sort of content for just about every type of employee, you just need to find it and encourage them to create it.
MAKE IT EASY
Send out emails with engagement reminders to your employees. Include links to the most recent content and encourage them to share, share, share! There are even programs designed to measure reach and drive the competitive aspect if that’s what you’re looking for.
The worst thing you can do is make employee brand engagement mandatory. While it might be tempting to require your employees to engage with your content, this will only lead to unenthusiastic engagement. Better than nothing? I’m not so sure about that.
It’s fairly easy to tell when someone is less than enthused about the new engagement policy. And so it’s better to reward rather than punish. This could come in the form of gift cards for the person who engaged the best or most. Maybe you just give them a shout out on social media or give them something with your brand logo on it. Make it worth their while. Even little things will make your employees more willing to engage with your brand.
There you have it! With just a few cultural tweaks and incentives, you will be well on your way to creating a team of employee brand ambassadors that promote your company better than you could have imagined.