According to St. Joseph Communications, the return on investment of influencer marketing is 11 X higher than that of traditional forms of marketing such as print, TV, and desktop ads.
In fact, the numbers show that for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, a company will earn an astonishing $6.50 in return.
With the prospect of such high return on investment, it is little wonder that so many companies are using influencers as a part of their Content Marketing Strategy. If your company can afford an influencer popular among your target audience, then moving forward with that option is likely to be a rewarding and worthwhile.
However, for those looking to diversify their Content Marketing campaigns (or those who do not have the budget for a celebrity influencer), there is a more affordable option: Employee advocacy.
When it comes to Content Marketing, leveraging your company’s employees can be a very successful way of broadcasting your message to your target audience in a direct and personal manner. No longer are you a faceless corporation, hidden behind the walls of your office building. Your customers and target audience can see the names, faces, and most importantly, opinions of people who are actively involved in your company’s day-to-day operations.
Here are some of the key benefits to identifying internal ambassadors and transforming them into brand advocates:
1. Your employees represent your company and thus give your marketing efforts a personal touch
As a customer, there is nothing more infuriating than dealing with a faceless company. Larger corporations struggle to connect with their target audiences because the scale of operations makes doing so incredibly inefficient, and this ultimately leaves customers or potential customers feeling out of touch. If they call, they are put on hold at a call centre. If they try to go through email, they are often met with an unenthusiastic and unwelcoming contact form.
With a Content Marketing Strategy which focuses on publishing consistently high-quality, informative, and entertaining content, a company can connect with its target audience. By including guest posts written by employees, interviews with employees, or other forms of content created by or with your workforce, you are able to put a face to your company.
2. Be the source of information rather than someone else
When a customer searches online for the pros and cons of purchasing your product or service, what do you want them to see? It is crucial that your content is in front of them as they do their research, and rather than giving them nameless articles which read more like PRs than genuine reviews, why not give them the opinions of your staff who also use the product/service?
An employee influencer initiative could, for example, be incorporated into a bank’s Content Strategy when trying to reach young professionals and connect with them as they decide how to manage their money throughout the early stages of their careers. An interview with—or a blog post written by—an entry-mid level employee at the bank will resonate with those at a similar stage in their career in another industry. This blog post will personalise the bank’s content marketing efforts, and thus be more likely to successfully speak to the target audience, turning them from readers into customers.
3. Employee advocacy incentivises your workforce
In using your employees as advocates, you are telling them that they are worthy of representing the company. There is hardly a better way of boosting morale and creating a strong workforce than giving members of your team the opportunity to be the face of the company.
Allowing employees to write a blog post, share their thoughts on a product or service in a published interview, or connect with your target audience through social media gives them a chance to show the world that they are proud of their work.
While paying influencers is sometimes a necessary step in any content marketing strategy, it is important not to forget the valuable in-house assets at your disposal. Engage with your team in order to see how they would represent the company as influencers, and in doing so you will connect with your target audience on a far more personal level.
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