Internal brand messages are shared 24 times more frequently when advocated by employees. Just think about how much easier the job of internal comms would be with employee brand advocacy. It certainly doesn’t harm your external marketing either!
However, this is easier said than done. Employees see all inner workings and under the veneer of external marketing. To get brand advocacy you need employees to be engaged, aligned and generally feel positively about the company and their role.
In this blog we look at:
- What is Employee Brand Advocacy?
- Why is Brand Advocacy Important for Employee Engagement?
- How Can a Bespoke Intranet Platform Help with Brand Advocacy?
- How Can a Bespoke Intranet Platform Help with Brand Advocacy?
- Measuring Your Brand Advocacy Success
What is Employee Brand Advocacy?
Brand employee advocacy is a type of internal and external marketing through employees. They proactively support the organisation through word of mouth or share messages on their own accord. People who do this are often referred to as ‘brand ambassadors’ or ‘brand advocates’.
Employee brand advocates tend to feel passionate about the organisation and are happy to promote in a very genuine way. They’re influential to the workforce as they are often very visible on social platforms, discussing the business both internally and externally.
Why is Brand Advocacy Important for Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement has many benefits for a business, with 71% of executives saying it is critical to the company’s success. Brand advocacy can be a real boost to engagement in your workforce.
We have established how employee brand advocates can help create positivity around the brand and why employee engagement is important, but why is the former important for the latter…
Workers who feel a bigger connection and feel good about their employer are generally going to be more engaged and want to do a better job. Here’s why:
Recommended Reading 📖: Employee Engagement Guides for HR Experts
Builds employee trust
Nielsen reported that 92% of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations, showing how powerful it is. You can have all the fancy marketing in the world, nothing is as effective as individuals speaking or sharing positive things.
People trust the opinions of others, particularly colleagues or those in similar circles. As a result, the presence and positivity of brand advocates in your business will spread through the workforce.
Establish leadership and personal brand
A modern-day intranet helps employees to establish their own personal brand as content leaders in their own right. Through a range of mediums they can post regular and themed content, like videos, blogs and so much more.
As a hub for organisational updates, leadership will be more visible and post content of their own. Leaders can also make themself contactable via a staff directory, encouraging a more ‘open door’ policy. In a world where CEOs and directors may be hard to reach and relate to.
Improve actionability of messaging
When employees are more engaged they are more likely to take the desired action from internal communication. It is a two-way street and workers are more likely to be aligned to the organisation if they feel engaged with the messages you're sending out.
Oak’s AI Smart Content curates engaging content based on your requirements and other factors. It is complemented by Smart Delivery that surfaces and distributes content relevant to the individual. This demonstrates how engaging messaging empowers employees.
How Can a Bespoke Intranet Platform Help with Brand Advocacy?
Your intranet social feed is the perfect brand advocacy platform. Not only can brand advocates post and share content themselves they can also create more champions of the brand through engaging content to align employees.
Oak’s social feed facilitates multimedia content The ease of creating content means that content owners can easily keep newsfeeds fresh helping to align employees to brand messages than through intuitive social technology.
If you want your employees to be innovative, particularly when it comes to content, you need to provide them with spaces to be creative and bounce ideas off each other. Oak Engage’s solution does just that.
Not only do the social and content feeds allow employees to post multimedia content that’s on-brand, they can create groups through hubs to share ideas for content. Why not create a ‘Brand Advocates’ hub, where they can come up with ideas aligned to the brand, wherever they are.
Oak’s AI Curated Content streamlines communication by ensuring that employees only receive relevant and targeted information.
Smart Delivery surfaces content for the individual by taking many factors into consideration and building up knowledge all the time. Feeds and newsletters are curated based on the needs and wants of employees.
Users are more likely to engage with brand-related content that they want to see. When employees only see content they enjoy, they're more likely to be enthused by the brand.
Recognition and Celebration
A Great Place to Work survey found that recognition was the biggest driver in great work, with 37% of respondents saying this. With recognition held in high regard, celebration of employees creates goodwill in the workforce and with it, brand advocates.
A recognition and reward programme is costly though, right? The fact is it doesn’t have to cost money or even time.
Recognition can be as simple as a post the company timeline or a message. Oak Engage facilitates simple recognition that will be seen by the whole business. The recognition feature will show the appreciation of efforts or work and help to develop a culture of recognition throughout the whole business.
You may not think that brand advocacy is measurable, but there are several metrics that can evaluate if you have the right technology. It is also very important in measuring engagement and effectiveness of the content you’re posting.
With Oak Engage, your analytics dashboard shows you the reach and engagement of your content so you can visualise the success of your internal campaigns.
We will take a closer look at measuring brand advocacy later in the blog..
How to Ensure Employee Brand Advocacy
An effective strategy is absolutely essential to promoting brand advocacy in the workforce.
Here are some practices that can help you ensure effective brand advocacy:
Identify Your Advocates
There are different things you need to consider when it comes to brand advocates. You can delegate this to specific employees or it can be more organic, where an employee will take the role on themselves. If it is the former, consider who will be a trustworthy source and who will have the influence to amplify your message.
Make Your Intranet User-Friendly
What is the point of revolving your brand advocacy strategy around your intranet if no one wants to use it? Even if they use it out of compulsion, they won't engage with what’s on it if usability is poor.
Oak’s design team will create homepages aligned to your brand and specification. The easy-to-use drag and drop functionality also means you can customise homepages to include the applets your employees want and need, without the need to involve IT. A mobile app will also encourage deskless workers to get involved..
Targeted & Relevant Communications
Employees are not going to engage with content that isn’t relevant to them. When your communications resonate and engage, advocacy in the workforce is far more likely.
Ensure employees receive targeted and relevant information in a way that they like to access it.
Oak’s Smart Content to curate messages for you for any audience and Smart Delivery works out how to get it to the employee. By taking the leg-work out of internal communication you can be far more strategic with it.
Listen to Your Employees
Employee feedback is essential to them feeling valued as an individual and loyal to the brand. Involving them in the conversation makes them feel more part of it and more likely to champion the business.
Through Pulse Surveys and polls, you give employees the avenue to feedback and make their voice heard. Not only this, you can view employee data through the analytics dashboards to change aspects of the employee experience to create more brand advocates.
Measuring Your Brand Advocacy Success
You understand the benefits and have put these practices in place, great!
But how do you measure the success of your brand advocacy practices and where you can improve, without the proper metrics? The truth is you can’t. It’s like buying a house and not maintaining it.
Here are things you need to consider how you can measure brand advocacy success.
Are You Meeting Your Goals?
When possible, you should always set objectives to measure success in any area of the business and brand advocacy is no exception. Set SMART objectives that you can monitor throughout your timeline, making changes if necessary.
SMART objectives are the most effective way of measuring whether or not goals are being met.
Your Bespoke Platform
If you have invested in a bespoke intranet designed with your brand at the forefront, you’re on your way to better brand awareness. If this solution is Oak Engage, your platform is equipped with the tools to measure how the intranet and content itself is working towards brand advocacy!
Real-time analytics allow you to measure content reach and engagement, platform usage data and Pulse Survey feedback on your platform! Your Oak Engage intranet is key to measuring advocacy.
Are You Improving?
Comparative data is key to brand advocacy. Through your Oak analytics you can track and prove that the right message reaches the right people.
For example, measuring content engagement on comparative posts from brand advocates can help you to measure improvements within your desired time frame. Particularly when you’re implementing a long term strategy, it's vital that you look back and compare.