You’ve just enrolled employees into your formal employee advocacy program — congratulations! You have hirelings who believe in your company’s vision and are willing to help spread your message through their networks.
So, what’s next?
Well, the next step is creating content — lots of it. Content really is king, and by consistently producing high-quality content, you elevate your employees and fuel their advocacy. This way, they gain the trust of your target audience and can influence them to see your brand positively.
But this is only possible with a content strategy. This is how you get a steady stream of employee advocacy content that impacts your bottom line.
In this post, we discuss how to build an employee advocacy content strategy that gains impressions, increases awareness, secures leads, and attracts top talent.
Content Ideas for an Effective Employee Advocacy Program
One of the main challenges for many companies implementing an employee advocacy program is…you guessed it right — content. Some are unsure what type of content to share apart from company news. Others have exhausted their content ideas.
These are legitimate concerns because the type of content you produce will impact the success or failure of your employee advocacy program.
So, to ease those fears, here are some content ideas to drive engagement:
- Company content: Most companies start with this type of content. After all, an employee advocacy program aims to increase awareness of your business. They typically include company news, new products, or features, awards, case studies, job posts, etc.
- Behind-the-scenes content: It is also called company culture content. With this one, you’re showing your audience what working in your company looks like. Team members will take people behind the scenes of a typical day, industry events, or volunteer opportunities. Think of anything that makes your brand seem more human.
- Educational content: Your employees will only reach and influence more people by building a following. How do you develop a following? By offering value. Sharing educational content like industry insights, tutorials, and thought leadership pieces helps them establish authority. Authority equals trust.
- Philanthropic announcements: Today, there’s more scrutiny for unethical and socially irresponsible companies. Stakeholders are watching to see if you fulfill your corporate social responsibilities. So, use your advocacy platform to showcase scholarships you fund and highlight community programs and charities.
- Employee-generated content: You can hit dry spells with these content ideas. This is where employee-generated content makes sense. Your target audience prefers to hear from people — your employees are people. By sharing insights, they can show their expertise and build their brand. And when potential hires research your company, they will see only positive things — which is a win-win for everyone.
Understand your audience, the social media platform, and find a balance between these content types.
Creating an Employee Advocacy Content Strategy
A successful content strategy for an employee advocacy program isn’t just about producing quality content. It is about consistently delivering valuable content geared toward business goals. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use existing resources and repurpose them for your employee advocacy program.
Use these tips to develop an employee advocacy content strategy that works:
1. Set Clear Objectives
Goals give your employee advocacy content strategy direction and purpose. Instead of telling employees to create content randomly and hope for the best, each piece of content will have a specific purpose.
Because you set goals, everything you and your staff publish will have a bigger picture contributing to the bottom line.
So, consider what the end goal is. Do you want to increase website traffic? Is there a new service you offer? Perhaps you want to attract a particular demographic to your workforce. Whatever the aim is, define it.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
It can be tempting to create content for everyone — don’t. If you create content for everybody, you will appeal to nobody. Identifying your target audience allows you to focus your content creation efforts on the group that’s more likely to engage. You also know what type of content interests them, when (at what time), and where (on which platform).
3. Get Employees Involved in Content Strategy
While your marketing or content team will do the heavy lifting, employee input is crucial. These are your advocates — they are the ones you want to share content. Moreover, people want to hear from people, not brands.
Content from marketing may come across as promotional. But when employees share their opinion, it is authentic and relatable. You can extract ideas from advocates through the following:
Employee-generated content (EGC)
We already discussed how EGC can be a great content idea. But it’s much more than that — it is the most authentic content. Employees speak from their minds and share genuine experiences and perspectives. Your target audience will connect well with this because authenticity is powerful.
It is as simple as asking employees to write their own social media posts — for instance, they can share their opinion rather than just sharing a blog post. You can also have them as guests on a podcast or position them as subject matter experts in a blog post.
Invest in solutions to enhance collaboration, like employee advocacy software. Assuming you have a remote team, you can increase efficiency with an online video calling platform to interact face-to-face, regardless of location.
Make employees the hero of your stories
The real heroes in your company’s story are your employees. They are the ones on the frontline and the face of your organization. Making them the heroes of your brand’s story shows you recognize their contribution to the bottom line.
So, whether you are writing a blog post or recording a video for TikTok, don’t look elsewhere for a protagonist. For example, in a blog post about ‘how X was achieved,’ say ‘how X employee achieved this outcome.’
4. Create an Advocacy Program Policy
Advocacy program policies outline employee behavior when advocating for the company. Employee advocacy is more than just the message — it’s about how and when it is communicated.
To keep everyone compliant, you need to establish two things:
- A brand style guide that outlines how employees should use company media assets like logos, color palettes, fonts, and imagery;
- And a social media policy that defines the dos and don’ts of representing the company online. For instance, topics to avoid and how to respond to comments.
But there must be a balance. Make them too complicated, and you can discourage an advocate, so you need a centralized system. Internal intranets or employee wikis are often created to be a hub for all your employee advocacy content. Host guidelines and resources here, making them accessible to advocates.
5. Make Content Accessible to Facilitate Sharing
Creating a strategy is only half the job. The other half is publishing it in a place or manner that makes it easy to share. If the time it takes them to share content affects their productivity, they will likely not engage next time.
Consider this scenario: a team member commits to sharing a video on one of their social channels. But in order to share the video, they first need to wait for a video to download. Then they have to watch it because there was no summary or transcript available with the video. Then they have to write up a summary to go along with the video post. Finally, they realize the video isn’t in the right format for the channel.
In the end, they give up and are questioned by the advocacy program manager. Do you think there will be any motivation to commit next time? The answer is no.
So you must make the sharing process seamless. The best way to do this is by using tech to streamline the process — technology like an employee advocacy platform and a Dialpad virtual phone that enables even remote teams to collaborate effortlessly.
6. Measure and Analyze
After implementing your employee advocacy content strategy, you need to assess the result. Review the goals you set at the start. For example, getting more website traffic or attracting a demographic to your workforce.
If you were able to achieve those goals, great! If you didn’t, analyze what went wrong and adjust. Monitor results with employee advocacy software, website analytics, social media analytics, etc.
If a blog post shared on LinkedIn helped the sales team generate more leads, flag and analyze the post. Learn how it was shared, the time, and the content that resonated with the audience. Then you can identify what worked well and replicate it.
Enhance Employee Advocacy with a Content Strategy
At a time when brands have little to no control over how consumers view them, employee advocacy gives them some power back. Companies control the message that they want to convey to their employees, and employees become an army that extends the brand’s reach.
But to avoid a scattergun approach, a content strategy is crucial. When you plan the content employees share about your company, you enhance their social media presence and ensure that the brand message is consistent.
Remember that employee advocacy must be authentic to have an impact. People prefer hearing from other people that brands. So, to motivate your employees, educate and incentivize them.
Explain how advocacy improves their social image and reputation. Not every team member will be motivated by growing their online presence, so other rewards should be considered. Incentives like gift cards, badges, early access, and development opportunities can be powerful motivators.
If you have admitted new advocates into your program, creating a content strategy is the next step. Create one with the tips above.
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