“Success in employee advocacy starts with delivering a relevant and valuable content experience for your employees.”
The 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmark Survey published by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs discovered 53% of the most effective marketers have a documented strategy. As you move through the analysis, you quickly realize successful content marketing companies take the time to develop a strategy.
This is no different for employee advocacy programs. All we have to do is change the laslibels:
- Potential customers and buyer personas become an organizational chart of employees.
- The buying journey becomes employee engagement.
- Email segments become cohorts and departments.
Bottom line: without a content strategy to connect with such a diverse audience, you can’t expect sustained participation in your employee advocacy program.
If you’re thinking you might need a content strategy, but don’t know where to start–you’re in luck.
The Bambu Services team recently hosted a webinar called “How to Create a Content Strategy for Your Employee Advocacy Platform”. Below is a recap of highlights, slides and a free content strategy worksheet for you to download:
For a more in-depth look at building a content strategy, listen to the complete webinar here.
There are four parts of content marketing within employee advocacy: types, channels, segments and sources.
Types & Channels
Try to mix and match content types for your employees when they log in to an employee advocacy program. Ensure you have a variety of sources and then your content feed won’t feel repetitive or boring. The variety of content makes employees more comfortable sharing, instead of feeling like a company “parrot.”
- #BambuWebinar on Twitter is Recognition + Social
- Including Bambu in a round-up about employee advocacy tools is Recognition + third party
A healthy breakdown of industry content complements brand and brand-related content:
- Learn what’s going on in the industry
- Help them do their job better
- Create a halo effect for the brand
- Increase stature for them among their networks
- Keep them engaged as it relates to being content they want to read
- Break up the velocity of brand-centric content shared to social compared to total social sharing activity
Segment to tailor and personalize content for specific audiences:
- By department (most common)
- Local vs. hyperlocal
- Program ambassadors
- Subject matter experts
As your segmentation increases, you will have to manage a need to increase content volume. Do this with distributed administration:
- Avoid feeling overwhelmed with curating all content into your employee advocacy program.
- Look to people throughout your organization who already source content for their own teams. Now you aren’t a bottleneck and you can get more people invested in the success of your program’s content.
Finding content for your employee advocacy program is easier than you think. This is especially true when you bring in multiple content sources. Remember to source content that doesn’t need to be shared. Not all content needs to be promoted from your brand such as competitor insight and other internal communications.
Here are two more time-saving tips:
- Triage outside your employee advocacy platform for noisy feeds.
- Automate the less noisy feeds directly into your employee advocacy platform.
Don’t forget the importance of analytics and tracking your most important metrics. Increase your tracking by:
- Adding campaign tagging to any owned URL’s so you can attribute inbound web traffic from social as coming from your employee advocacy efforts (our default recommendation for Bambu and Google Analytics is ?utm_source=bambu&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=advocacy).
- Look at metrics in your reports like volume targets, which networks are performing best and which teams of users have the highest participation (or that might need a nudge).
Questions & Answers
We talk a lot about different content types, for someone just starting out, what tends to be the best-performing type of content?
- Start with everything you’re creating yourself: This is a natural reaction because one of the big selling points for employee advocacy is amplification. But as we covered, that’s not where you want to stop.
- Third-party content: The type of content that motivates and keeps employees engaged is when it makes your employees look as smart as you know they are.
- Competitor and Industry content: Learn what topics and discussions are happening in your industry and share it with your team to stay informed.
What is one of the things you need to do to get that buy-in, so your employee advocacy program can come to life?
- Marketing: Your current marketing spend is most likely paid advertising. You measure that in impressions (CPM). Compare impressions you can generate via the employee advocacy program with what you can achieve through paid advertising. They aren’t exactly the same targeting, but it’s a great starting point; where you are getting more targeted with paid advertising, you are getting more trusted and organic impressions through employee advocacy.
- HR: What is your cost per hire? Employee advocacy can help you lower it.
- Sales: It will help your social selling program.
Also get an executive sponsor who can champion the program’s merits internally and who will lead by example as a participant.
Do you have any favorite resources for content sourcing?
Start with a quick internal survey to find what your employees actually read. Don’t look to replace what they’re doing to source their own content. Instead, use keywords to find diamonds in the rough like authors vs. websites, or content creators in different distribution channels (podcasters, YouTubers, etc.).
What are the top benefits for focusing on employee advocacy?
- Increase in brand awareness: Employee advocacy drives brand awareness and consideration.
- Reach a high-value trusted community: Unlike paid reach, where you’re buying impressions based on intent, employee advocacy helps you reach a high-value trusted community.
- Lower cost per hire: Employee advocacy also helps you reach high quality candidates and lower the cost per hire.
- Strengthening employee engagement: Creating informed employees who feel more connected to the company, which makes employees more productive and fun to work with. This will improve culture overall.
What to Do Next
Now you have everything you need to create an effective content strategy for your employee advocacy program. Don’t forget to download the free content strategy worksheet below, and reach out to myself or any member of the Bambu team with your questions.
Free Content Strategy Worksheet
Need help getting your content strategy started? Here’s a helpful guide to document the content strategy for your employee advocacy program. Share this with your team of content curators and keep it updated as needs change or expand.
These steps and suggestions have been compiled and optimized by our own Services team based on countless customer launches. We know what works and what is most important to long-term growth and success of your employee advocacy program. Remember while we happily pass this knowledge onto you, we are always available to answer your questions!
Stephan Hovnanian is a content solutions architect at Bambu, an advocacy platform by Sprout Social. He has spent most of his professional career as an email marketer and business owner focused on helping companies build stronger relationships with their audiences.Find Stephan Hovnanian on Twitter @stephanhov.
Webinar Recap: Employee Advocacy Content Strategy Tips
Written by Stephan Hovnanian on November 02, 2016