Building a team of in-house influencers – Homegrown brand ambassadors
Corporate branding with employees in English is Employee Advocacy. Employee Advocacy is one of the Branding strategies using the lowest cost but the highest efficiency in the market today.
To put it simply, Employee Advocacy is about mobilizing and encouraging employees to share the content of the business with their network of family, friends and acquaintances.
Through the sharing of employees, businesses can reach a wider audience at extremely low cost, or zero cost. Besides, businesses can also improve brand awareness. signal and enhance the credibility of your business in the eyes of customers, or potential candidates.
Business story in Vietnam
One of the businesses that has succeeded in turning employees into brand ambassadors for businesses is Shopee Vietnam.
In 2019, when Shopee started joining the Tiktok platform so far, the brand has more than 1.1 million followers and is constantly appearing on the platform’s trending page. This must include the hashtag #LifeAtShopee (Life at Shopee) created and shared by the employees of this business. These videos revolve around the environment, people, work, products, .. at Shopee.
Videos with these hashtags have received a lot of attention from Tiktok users. With more than 62 billion views on Tiktok, and constantly appearing on Trends, videos shared by employees themselves have brought this business growth in revenue and brand recognition.
Why do businesses need employees to participate in branding?
Employee Advocacy has bold human elements
Employee Advocacy, or corporate branding with employees is a relatively new term. However, in recent years, many large enterprises such as Genesys, DELL, Reebok, StarBucks, Unilever, .. have all put this program into application. And this investment has paid off.
In the current 4.0 era, every customer is surrounded and disturbed by many ads every day. Therefore, they begin to feel bored and offensive by the content that the brand offers, the blog posts with preaching content.
They crave that “human” feeling and that’s one of the reasons why content-dense 3,000-word blog posts are slowly losing ground. While video blogs, podcasts, and now influencer marketing, are slowly taking over the market.
The reason behind that is the human factor. They choose to believe in a voice, they believe in a face, they believe in a person, and so they make the buying decision! And the human element here can be an employee in your business!
Help reach a large audience at a cost of 0 VND
With the change of algorithms on social media platforms, reaching a business’s followers naturally has become a fantasy. According to a Social Flow report, organic follower reach in 2020 has decreased by at least 42% year-over-year. This has forced businesses to spend a lot of money on advertising campaigns while advertising costs are constantly increasing.
The average person has 400 friends on Facebook, if this employee shares business content and is seen by 50% of friends. So businesses can reach up to 200 potential customers without spending any money.
If a business had 100 employees willing to talk about it on social media, it could reach 20,000 people. According to a Cisco report , consumers trust content shared by employees eight times more than content produced by businesses.
Enhance corporate culture and employee commitment
Businesses spend a lot of effort and money to be able to recruit talented people to the company. Besides, businesses invest a lot in developing these talents and keeping them in the business.
If we go back 20 years, the term “Corporate Culture” is rarely mentioned. However, at the present time, corporate culture is one of the factors that determine the participation, departure or stay of many young workers. And 80% of businesses today have clear plans to improve corporate culture.
Increase business revenue
As mentioned above, employees have more relationships than businesses, and these relationships are often closer than the relationship a business has with its customers. This is an advantage that businesses cannot help but optimize.
In a study, Ogilvy – a leading advertising agency has shown that, among different touchpoints, word of mouth has the greatest influence on customers’ purchasing decisions. Employees know the business better than anyone else, and if they are willing to share this information with their friends, the business has a very effective word of mouth branding strategy.
Besides, when some employees start sharing about the business publicly, other employees in the business will also feel inspired. Create conditions for employees to talk about the business, and the whole organization will reap the rewards.
How do employees become the brand ambassador of the business?
Building a culture of transparency
One of the most important things to the success of #LifeAtCompany is the spontaneity and sincerity of these shares. These content are created and shared in the spirit of the employees’ spontaneity, so their comments will also feel more genuine and close to the readers.
However, businesses still need to ensure that the brand’s experience flows across all channels, including employees’ social media channels. To do this, businesses need to come up with policies on using images and logos of their businesses accordingly.
Therefore, businesses need to balance between content control (censorship) and letting employees feel comfortable in posting and sharing about the business. Limit regulations on article review, or make available articles for employees to post. Because of that, businesses are depriving them of the “human” element and using employees’ social networks as virtual accounts (clone accounts).
Clarify employee benefits
As a brand, businesses need to answer the question “Why should I talk about my business on my social networking sites?”
Employees will certainly not be satisfied with the answer that “Because this will help the business grow”.
Businesses can consider rewarding employees who are willing to share their content on their personal pages. Moreover, acknowledge and express gratitude to employees who are extremely enthusiastic and actively discuss the business on social networks. If there are employees Use small gifts, such as vouchers, gift certificates, .. to show respect for their employees.
- Career development possibilities:
Sharing information and experiences with products and services of the business will make the employee’s profile more trustworthy. Besides, when regularly sharing views and information about a service, employees themselves will become an expert in the eyes of the people around them. From there, opening up many opportunities to connect, and build a personal brand.
When it comes to building a personal brand from sharing corporate content, we can’t help but mention Michael Ngo – Country Director of ELSA Speak Vietnam. Mr. Michel Ngo is one of the most prominent “brand ambassadors” at ELSA Speak. With his sharing about the Education industry in general, and ELSA in particular, Mr. Michael has built his brand as an expert in the field of Education Technology in Vietnam, and as a wise and decisive leader. funny, and sincere.
Most importantly, make employees feel happy at work
All policies, all incentives of the business will not work if employees are not satisfied with their current job. Therefore, businesses need to remove physical, psychological and mental barriers so that employees can feel safe, comfortable and happy with the business.
Knowing what employees are looking for at work is part of a manager’s job. Finding out what they are missing, what they need, and enabling them to achieve their goals is a great way to make employees happy.
Don’t just focus on money. More money doesn’t guarantee a happier business “brand ambassador”.
Employee advocacy, or corporate branding with employees is one of the trends of the future. With low cost, high performance, this is definitely a Branding strategy that businesses should not ignore.
Besides, owning a team of in-house “brand ambassadors” will be a huge competitive advantage for businesses. Increasing brand awareness, increasing sales, increasing the ability to recruit talented candidates, and increasing the happiness of all employees in the business are the outstanding benefits of this strategy. Empowering employees and creating conditions for them to develop their careers is the perfect formula to create happiness for the team of “brand ambassadors” for the business.