A common theme of AMPlify 2018, held in June, was how to involve employees in your content strategy.No matter what department they’re in, your employees have insights that you can use. People in forward-facing roles know what topics and angles best resonate with prospects and customers, while other employees are experts in your industry and have insights you could leverage in different ways.
“Employees are authentic, trusted and influential,” said Michelle LeBlanc, social media strategist at Fuseideas, during a session at AMPlify. “We can’t ignore that.”
Including your employees
LeBlanc explained that you can create content that features your employees and use their insights, while telling your brand’s story and mission. This could be done through videos, blogs or Q&As on industry trends and challenges, podcasts, quoting them in eBooks, and more.
By doing this, you present your employees as knowledgeable and credible in your industry, while also making them feel valuable to your organization. It shows off your company as a great place to work, and humanizes your brand by showing the faces behind the logo.
You can also use forward-facing employees to come up with topics and angles for content. Typically, sales and customer success teams know what common questions both prospects and customers have. They also know what challenges they face. This works for many different types of content, whether it’s blogs, podcasts, video testimonials, webinars, and more.
Employees can also suggest existing content to promote through employee advocacy, whether it’s from your website or from a third-party outlet, as long as it’s inline with your brand and your mission.
One of the main benefits of employee advocacy programs for employees is they can create their own brands and build up credibility in their industry.
When doing this, it allows them to build connections with peers and industry influencers. Your organization can use the credibility and recognition your employees build up in your industry by featuring them in content you create and promote.
If you’re worried about your employees representing your brand, you shouldn’t be, LeBlanc said.
“Ultimately, you hired them because you believe in them,” LeBlanc said. “So trust them to go out and share your messages.”
Front-facing employees tend to represent their brands really well, but you can take steps to better your employee representation through brand training sessions. This can be really useful for employees to better understand your messaging, LeBlanc said.
Things like implementing a branded social profile with the right type of image, and helping employees understand the company’s mission, can go a long way.
Sameena Kluck, strategic account executive at Thomson Reuters, is an example of an employee advocate for her company. As she explained during her session at AMPlify, Kluck was hesitant at first at the idea of employee advocacy, and did not want to mix her professional life with her personal social media accounts at all. But eventually, she realized the opportunity employee advocacy and social media created for her.
“I found that it’s really a great way to connect with people,” Kluck said.
Through social media, she has built new relationships with clients, and some of the top influencers in her industry. In addition to promoting Thomson Reuters and herself on social media, she’s created her own content on Thomson Reuters’ blog, which of course helps with the company’s content strategy, and adds a different authoritative voice representing the brand.
Kluck writes blog posts on anything she thinks her clients would be interested in, reactions and takeaways from events she went to, and more. Her readers appreciate this because they trust her insights from her over 15 years of experience. Because of this, Kluck has further developed her following, and been invited to speak at multiple events.
Steven Dickens, worldwide sales leader at IBM, also explained at AMPlify how being an advocate for an employee advocacy program has opened many doors for him as well. He’s become an influencer in the industry of mainframes and backend IT infrastructure, and has built a large following for himself.
Similar to Kluck, his organization features him in its content, and he writes his own blogs and appears in interviews with other outlets.
As you can see, there is an obvious benefit to feature your colleagues in your content strategy, and it’s also an avenue for them to build up their personal brands.