“In a world of infinite media choices, the best way to reach new buyers and recruits might be right under your nose. Your own employees represent the greatest opportunity to create meaningful marketing and to develop Human Resources programs that increase sales, while also finding and retaining top talent.”
HR departments are increasingly forced to expand their role to include marketing strategies that grow employer awareness and build the employer brand as a “great place to work,” in order to recruit and retain top talent. The most successful companies are tapping employees as a new marketing channel to achieve both HR and marketing goals.
The Link Between Employer Branding and Content Marketing
The opportunity to use employees to achieve marketing and HR objectives starts by creating entertaining, interesting, or helpful content that your staff members will want to share and that consumers will want to read.
In other words, your content shouldn’t be focused on product promotion. Instead, your employees could explore their professional or personal passions and interests. Showing people your company’s personality and culture is important in helping you attract top talent and build relationships with potential customers.
The trick to getting your employees to help you out is to explain what’s in it for them: by creating or sharing content they can help build more personal and company connections, establish relationships with other leaders in your industry, and grow their personal brand so they can achieve happiness in their careers.
You can also encourage your employees to participate by publicly recognizing their content contributions each week and highlighting top performers as their social connections and influence increases. This will help drive more employees to sign up for your cause.
While having fun expressing their passions and expertise to the world, and voluntarily sharing their content with their social connections, your employees are also helping you expand brand awareness beyond the traditional boundaries of your marketing department.
Why Using Your Employees as Brand Ambassadors Works So Well
You can create tremendous marketing momentum when you combine the needs of your customers, your employees, and your company based on THEIR own distinct interests suggests LinkedIn. Here’s why:
- Companies are looking for more loyal customers and talented employees.
- Employees crave purpose and meaningful work that will have a positive impact on their career and the world.
- Customers want to build relationships with brands based on their own terms and interests.
How to Use Your HR Department as a Key Player in Your Marketing Strategy
1. Create a Customer-focused Vision – Take a look at your organizational chart. Is the customer on there somewhere? Even if your company mission isn’t customer-centric, your marketing vision absolutely must be. Use the simple formula below to create one:
Become a sought-after destination for (enter your topic), in order to deliver (enter the customer value or impact you’re trying to achieve).
2. Take Advantage of Free Social Sharing Tools – According to LinkedIn, the combined connections of employees on the LinkedIn platform is 10 times larger than any company’s followers. And consider this: just 3% of company employees who share branded content generate 30% of the views and clicks on that content.
Programs such as LinkedIn Elevate and other social selling platforms and tools can significantly increase the reach of your content, expand your company’s social presence, and improve the effectiveness of your marketing objectives, without you having to pay a single dollar on paid media.
3. Measure The Results of Employee Advocacy Efforts – Have your HR department measure the impact of employee content sharing for your company. Demonstrate how it has benefited the employees and discuss ways to profile your best customers, too.
Partner with co-workers across HR, marketing, and sales to come up with the best ways to optimize the methods that are working for everyone involved.
“Marketing and human resources aren’t as separate as you might think,” says Chron. Just as your company needs to attract profitable customers to achieve decent sales numbers, you also need to attract top talent that will contribute to your company culture and business goals.
It’s time for your marketing and HR personnel to stop thinking of themselves in terms of separate departments and start thinking about how they can work together to help you increase employer and brand awareness that will drive the best talent and potential customers to your company.