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Activating Employees to be Brand Storytellers

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The "no-fluff" slide deck that show's "how" to launch employee advocacy networks and tell and share brand stories across their personal social media channels.

Published in: Marketing, Social Media
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Activating Employees to be Brand Storytellers

  1. 1. Activating employees to be brand storytellers. Michael Brito, Head of Social Marketing mbrito@w2ogroup.com @Britopian
  2. 2. Humans trust humans; and they spend a lot of time online talking about stuff EMPLOYEES (EXECS, SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS, AMBASSADORS) 92%of people say that peer recommendations are their most credible source of brand information of people find "people like yourself & employees of a company” credible and trust worthy when seeking information about a product or a brand 67%of business pros & ITDMS participate and engage with colleagues and peers within social media 65% Britopian
  3. 3. Innovative companies are activating their employees to be brand storytellers Smart brands are using these insights and turning employees into advocates through programs and empowering them to share and tell stories that deepen brand affinity, influence their peers and activate sales. Britopian
  4. 4. Why? Because there are new business requirements that brands must consider to stay relevant TODAY’SNEWENVIRONMENT REQUIREMENTS INTERNAL EXTERNAL MANAGE MORE EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT PROCESSES Harness the massive amount of available content and data to rethink and re- equip business operations. ENGAGE IN A MULTI- STAKEHOLDER CONVERSATION Use new mediums to communicate with a wider, multi-faced set of stakeholders INNOVATE AT FASTER SPEEDS Focus business efforts on innovation rather than continued improvement in order to stay relevant HUMANIZE YOUR BRAND In a world where marketing is driven by data and content, brands must learn to communicate with emotion EMPOWER EMPLOYEES Equip employees with the right content at the right time in order to increase brand impact EMBRACE THE RISE OF THE INDIVIDUAL Whether you are a B2B or B2C company it’s important to remember “people buy from people.” It’s vital to sync the internal with the external Britopian
  5. 5. Employee advocacy is critical for sales, marketing and overall business objectives DRIVE BRAND AWARENESS CHANGE BRAND PERCEPTION SOLVE CUSTOMER SUPPORT ISSUES EDUCATE EXISTING CUSTOMERS PROVIDE INSIGHTS FOR INNOVATION INFLUENCE PEERS TO BUY FILL THE SALES PIPELINE Britopian
  6. 6. There must be a two-way value proposition when building employee programs What’s in it for your BRAND? Content creation Reach new audiences w/trusted, branded content Trusted source for insights and feedback Promote / Defend Brand What’s in it for your EMPLOYEES? Employee engagement Internal “rock star” recognition Access to exclusive content Platform for sharing thoughts with the wider audience Thought leadership Britopian
  7. 7. Employee advocacy falls into two broader programmatic categories BRAND AMPLIFICATION (SHARE-DRIVEN) This program involves sharing “branded” messages and content with employees so that they can “re-share” the content within their personal social media channels. Content can be customized and/or changed by participating advocates and usually managed by a central marketing organization. BRAND JOURNALISM (CONTENT-DRIVEN) This program involves mobilizing employees to tell stories (usually long form) that are published on a corporate site/blog, the LinkedIn blogging network or a media site. It can also involves employees sharing and amplifying other employee stories/content. 1 2 Britopian
  8. 8. Best Buy employee brand amplification program The Tech Heroes program was designed for all employees with phase focusing solely on corporate employees. The WCG team assists in creating “employee campaigns” aligned to various marketing campaigns that live within the Best Buy intranet for external sharing. Britopian
  9. 9. Coca Cola employee-influencer brand journalism program The Coca Cola Journey site launched in 2013 with a focus on telling stories related to business, innovation, music, sustainability and other topics. Contributors to the site include employees, customers and influencers and it’s powered by the Contently platform. Conversations from Coca cola Journey are aggregated using the #CokeJourney hashtag. Britopian
  10. 10. Blended employee and customer programs can deliver maximum results within B2B communities Internal Internal Proactive employee advocacy community that shares and engages with external audiences Internal External Enabled employees communicate meaningful messages externally with customers and partners resulting in trustworthy relationships. Healthy and proactive communities create their own conversations resulting in advocacy. Internal External Britopian
  11. 11. Strategic Approach Britopian
  12. 12. Strategic approach for planning and deploying employee advocacy programs PLAN IDENTIFY AMPLIFY AMPLIFY PLAN IDENTIFY AMPLIFY ACTIVATE Plan and define programmatic elements of the program i.e. goals & objectives, selection criteria, stakeholder collaboration, technology selection. Identify and train employees based on specific job roles and/or varying levels of participation. Activate employees with strategic calls to action; and enable them to participate quickly and easy through smart technology deployment. Amplify employee-generated conversations to other participants; and also through various PESO (paid, earned, shared, owned) activations. Britopian
  13. 13. Define the guiding principles starting with the employee experience Delivering an amazing employee experience should be the focal point of all programs and activations. Making that experience memorable; and more importantly, convenient for employees to share content is critical. The content itself must not only focus on brand storytelling but also be relevant to the brand, product or business priority. It should resonate with what employees care about and align with their passions. In order to determine success of employee programs, there must be a measurement framework establishing what KPIs and what determine success. Hint. It’s not just about about relationships. employee experience brand storytelling measurement framework Britopian
  14. 14. Collaborate, plan and document an operational plan Goals & Objectives: What does the brand want to achieve? What business/marketing outcomes are expected? Program Logistics: Who owns the program and what dependencies are needed to ensure success? Selection Criteria: How are employees selected to participate? What’s the plan to scale participation? Where do they participate – owned channels, branded channels? Training: Is there training prepared for employees at different proficiency levels? What’s the plan to scale globally? Technology: What technology platform will be used to scale the program i.e. language translation, rewards/badging, mobile integration, ease of use functionality. Marketing: What’s the name for the program (internally & externally)? Will it be branded externally? Britopian
  15. 15. Find and recruit socially active employees and executives and build custom training for each group CONTENT CREATORS CONTENT CREATORS CONTENT CREATORS CONTENT CREATORS CONVERSATIONALIST LISTENERS Low Participation High Participation Create training curriculum with a focus on thought leadership, long-form content, blogging, videos, podcasting and webinars. Create training curriculum with a focus on best practices of community engagement and providing value-add content. Create training curriculum with a focus on how to use tools to listen to brand and industry related conversations. Britopian
  16. 16. Activate employees with strategic “calls to action” Ensure that employee content aligns (either directly or indirectly) with the broader brand story, industry topic discussion, event or initiative. Build editorial calendar so that content can be planned in advance and aligned with other initiatives in market. Content should be anchored in one or more of the following core values – utility, education, entertainment, access, emotion, exclusivity, information and promotions. Enable participation through smart technology deployments (make it EASY for employees to participate). Mobile integration is critical for adoption and growth. Britopian
  17. 17. Amplify employee-generated storyteling through converged media integration Sponsorships Display Advertising / Search Paid Social Media Content Syndication Publicity Influencer Marketing Blogger Engagement Media Relations Corporate Websites Blogs / Newsrooms Mobile Experience Webinars / Whitepapers Social Media Engagement Social “Creative” Content User Generated Content Community Management PAID MEDIA EARNED MEDIA SHARED MEDIA OWNED MEDIA Britopian
  18. 18. An example customer journey Customer Behavior Content Type Employee Interaction AWARENESS CONSIDERATION SALES LOYALTY Google Search (unbranded, industry term) Industry related technology discussion (i.e. data center, networking, servers) Technology discussion within the blog post comments between customer and blog post author. Follow each other on Twitter and continue the discussion there Frequent sharing, retweeting and commenting within various social networks. Subscribes to brand’s blog feed Branded white papers, blog posts and other forms of thought leadership Continued dialogue with employee about the benefits with of using brand’s technology solutions Seeks validation from other, 3rd party, sources before making purchase (i.e. asks colleagues, Google search for customer testimonials, etc.) Industry White papers & Research Reports. Customer related “guest” blog posts and/or customer testimonials. Brand’s thought leaders and subject matter experts continue to share content that adds value to the technology conversation; passes along conversation to sales Retweets and shares branded content; contributes to brand’s community and industry blog Branded white papers, blog posts and other forms of thought leadership to include support related material Employees Retweet and share content from customers; engage openly and in public about the brand’s technology solution Britopian
  19. 19. Let us help you activate your employees. Michael Brito, Head of Social Marketing mbrito@w2ogroup.com

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