Your employees have the potential to create major buzz about your business. Employee advocacy for your business can make your brand awareness, trust, reach, customer loyalty, and employee satisfaction soar.
Unfortunately, employee advocacy programs often feel forced and contrived, with businesses attempting to require employee participation rather than working to inspire it by cultivating a killer company culture and brand that employees are proud to be a part of. As a result, programs tend to go stale as employees choose not to engage and feel disconnected from or discontented with the company culture.
To tap into your company's most precious resource and leverage the brand-building machine of employee advocacy, you have to walk the talk. Use engagement marketing to take charge of your company culture, which ultimately generates your unique brand.
Why Loyal, Happy Employees Are Your Best Advocates
Employee Research from Gallup looked at 1.4 million employees in nearly 200 organizations and found that employee engagement is strongly connected to productivity, customer satisfaction, profitability, employee turnover, shrinkage, absenteeism, safety incidents, and quality problems. When comparing the top quarter of organizations (in terms of engagement) to the bottom quarter, the businesses with higher employee engagement experienced:
- 21% more productivity
- 22% more profitability
- 10% greater customer satisfaction
- 25% lower turnover (high-turnover industries) and 65% lower turnover (low-turnover industries)
- 28% less shrinkage
- 37% less absenteeism
- 48% fewer safety problems
- 41% fewer quality issues
When your employees are highly engaged, they’re happier and more satisfied with their jobs and the organization. As a result, they’re much more likely to advocate for your business.
How Engagement Marketing Creates Loyal Employees
Engagement marketing is a human-focused approach to all kinds of marketing, both external and internal. In external marketing, it focuses on empathizing with and understanding customers. With internal efforts, engagement marketing focuses on identifying the frustrations and experiences of your employees to:
- Create a flexible, forward-thinking, and open workplace where employee pain points are acknowledge and addressed
- Implement creative solutions to improve the office, policies and procedures, employee roles and responsibilities, and your workplace culture
- Transform employee work life into a positive, balanced, rewarding, and fulfilling experience filled with opportunities for personal development and professional advancement
- Increase employee satisfaction, engagement, loyalty, and productivity
Having happy employees improves employee retention as well. That's great news for your business since turnover costs are steep, and businesses everywhere are suffering all-time high employee churn rates.
7 Engagement Marketing Tactics To Encourage Loyalty
1. Open communication channels
This is the empathy component of engagement marketing, where you listen to your employees' frustrations and celebrations so you can focus on improving their experience by fixing what's broken and repeating what works.
To cultivate a positive workplace culture that encourages employee engagement, communication channels need to be open and unencumbered by the natural hierarchy within the business. Employees should feel safe to voice concerns and share ideas without fear of being punished or shamed whether they share positive or negative feedback.
They should also feel their ideas are heard. Use internal marketing, polling, meetings, and webinars to let your employees know you are listening and to advertise when positive changes are implemented.
2. Create brand ambassadors
Encourage your employees to be brand ambassadors by sharing your business's marketing materials and thought pieces within their networks and on their social media profiles. This could include sharing company articles on their LinkedIn pages, engaging with content on Twitter and Instagram, and sharing upcoming webinars with their networks.
3. Incentives, rewards, and public recognition
Mandatory employee advocacy programs are overreaching and an immediate turn-off for employees. Instead of mandating advocacy, request and encourage it with incentives, rewards, and recognition. Give shout-out coins that can be redeemed for rewards. Emphasize employees who are spreading your message. Provide training to your employees as well to ensure they know how to participate and are on the same page regarding your brand voice and messaging.
4. Employee-informed marketing
When departments don’t talk to each other, silos are created where information isn't shared freely. This means departments like marketing miss out on information that could be helpful to their strategies. Create opportunities for employees to help inform your company's marketing efforts. Not only will they have pride of ownership of their ideas, but they'll also be more likely to advocate on behalf of these ideas and share the campaigns they helped create on social media.
5. Personal brand and career development opportunities
You can also talk with your employees about how sharing and taking ownership of your organization's content will help them develop their personal brand, grow their network, become thought leaders, and continue to develop professionally.
6. Make recruitment social
Unless you're overwhelmed with applicants, we recommend making your hiring process social. Advertise your openings, benefits, brand, workplace culture, and the potential for success in your organization. Use employee advocacy to attract top talent, as potential advocates are more likely to believe it when a current employee says you're great to work for.
7. The give-back business model in marketing
The give-back business model involves businesses giving back. This can take the form of donating a percentage of every sale, running seasonal fundraisers, or providing employees with time to participate in volunteer opportunities in the community. However you give back, be sure to create marketing materials that your employees can share to show your company's positive impact on the community.
The Power of Engagement Marketing
At Banzai, we've watched countless organizations harness the power of engagement marketing to create positive workplace cultures, boost employee engagement, and power their employee advocacy programs. We can't wait to see how you’ll use it!