What is more credible to you: an insider’s opinion about a company or an ad on LinkedIn selling that company’s product? Our guess is that you probably answered the former. That is why employee engagement and a brand ambassador strategy is an essential part of content marketing.
Turning employees into brand ambassadors can bring more satisfying effects than any type of advertisement. That’s because your brand advocates share an honest review of your company that other people tend to trust more than any ad.
Take advantage of this opportunity to improve your brand's image, sales, and hiring by leveraging employee engagement and inspire them to become a brand ambassador.
What is a brand ambassador?
A brand ambassador is an individual who supports a brand, representing it offline and online, to support a positive image of the company.
A brand ambassador builds and nurtures relationships with customers that can potentially buy a company's products. They can also support your HR department by referring open positions to their friends and acquaintances.
Brand ambassadors use various channels — offline and online — to support a strong image of the company they represent and spread the information about it. They can write inspiring social media posts or go the extra mile to schedule recognizable guests for a company podcast.
Seeing the impact brand advocacy can have on a company's growth, some companies even hire for a position of a brand ambassador. However, you don’t have to do this to start with brand advocacy in your company. There are tried-and-tested techniques to help you turn your employees into brand ambassadors and amplify employee enagement.
Here is just one requirement to get started — your employees should have a positive experience working in your company and willing to support its endeavors. If that’s true about your company, let’s start!
How to turn your employees into brand ambassadors?
There are various ways you can train your employees to help them support and enhance your brand image. Let’s see a few.
1. Launch an internal marketing strategy
Kicking off your program on brand advocacy starts with defining your vision, key success metrics, and specific actions that your employees could take.
Explain what you expect from the team, how it will benefit everyone, and what incentives will be created. The "why" should be clear to your team, so they know what greater good they will be serving by posting about your company.
2. Share internal strategy with your employees
When you share your marketing strategy internally, explain it in simple words to avoid confusion. Define specific metrics that will help you measure success and make it clear for everyone what is expected from them.
Use real-life-situations to share your vision and try to refer to simple examples. All this will help your team get an idea on how to move forward. Let your employees share input and feedback on what they would need to improve your suggested brand ambassador program.
3. Provide your team with tools
When breaking your strategy down into tasks and assigning them to your team, think of the tools that can make completing these tasks easier, and who will manage them.
If you come to a consensus that your employees should create social media posts once per week, get them into using tools such as Storychief to simplify post creation and scheduling and minimize the amount of time they need to spend on this task.
StoryChief offer an employee engagement feature that helps employees create social media posts by offering a content dashboard with curated content for free use.
Once you get your team into posting useful content, it will also become important to track the success of your strategy. That’s why you have to explain to your team how they can track the success of each post and share the right tools with them to check on the progress.
Make sure they have good quality materials they can share online such as photos. This instantly increases your brand’s reputation and boosts a professional image.
4. Create guidelines on sharing content
People will always have more important tasks to do than writing a LinkedIn post about your product launch. Some will shy away from this idea to avoid writing something wrong about your company. Creating guidelines on sharing content about company news can help resolve this issue.
For example, you can create a weekly newsletter with all important news, articles, and other information to provide your employees with the ideas on what they can post. It’s always a good idea to include a call to action to remind your team that they are free to share the information with their circles.
5. Collect and implement employee feedback
Some employees will find the idea of sharing company content on their social media channels intimidating. Let’s face it — some people prefer to never post anything. Instead of pushing your vision on brand ambassadorship further, talk to your employees and discover what’s holding them back from posting online.
Once you know what doesn’t work for them, you can create a strategy to break through their hesitations or introduce the right incentives to encourage action. Holding a short session on brand advocacy with your team will also help you identify new ideas on improving your strategy.
6. Incentivize action with rewards
Employees can get many incentives from your brand ambassador program. They can strengthen their personal brand or learn new skills on social media management.
But some of your team members might want a different reward. The only way to learn about their wishlist is asking them directly.
Before you think of other incentives, ask your team how they would like to be rewarded for their effort. Make sure you structure your incentives based on achieving specific milestones. For example, if your employee has attracted a new hire that you have successfully employed, you can grant a specific referral bonus.
Wrapping up: Employee engagement and brand ambassador strategy
Turning employees into brand ambassadors can bring more satisfying effects than any type of advertisement. That’s because a brand ambassador shares an honest review of your company that other people tend to trust more than any ad.
However, not every company will benefit from a brand ambassador program. Adopting a brand ambassador program only makes sense if your employees have a positive working experience with your company.
Once you decide to implement a brand ambassador program, make sure you draft your strategy first and share it with your team so they can co-create it with you. When implementing your program, you should be clear on what success means for you — otherwise, how can you measure its effectiveness?