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Participation Marketing: Mobilizing Employees to Participate and Become Brand Storytellers


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Participation Marketing will convince business leaders to think hard about employee advocacy as a business strategy that has many positive business outcomes. Internally, it will engage employees and make them feel part of something bigger, which will naturally result in employee engagement, retention, and increase in productivity. Externally, it will help brands reach new audiences with trusted and relevant brand stories.

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Participation Marketing: Mobilizing Employees to Participate and Become Brand Storytellers

  1. 1. PARTICIPATION MARKETING Unleashing employees to participate and become brand storytellers
  2. 2. 92%of consumers say peer recommendations are their most credible source of brand information of people find "people like yourself & employees of a company” credible and trustworthy when seeking information about a product 67% of business pros & ITDMS participate and engage with colleagues and peers within social media 65% SOURCE: Acquity Group, Boston Consulting Group, Edelman, SNCR of B2B business decision makers do research before buying, seeking colleagues POVs and making purchase decisions 94% EMPLOYEES (EXECS, SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS, AMBASSADORS) WHAT’S THE MARKET OPPORTUNITY FOR EMPLOYEE ADVOCACY? W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M If done right, employees can aid and influence their peers through the purchase funnel with their conversations 2
  3. 3. NEW BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS ARE FORCING BUSINESS TO CHANGE TODAY’SNEWENVIRONMENT BUSINESSREQUIREMENTS 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 – influencers, media and customers 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 empathy 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 W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M The evolution of digital transformation is forcing business to change at a rapid pace to keep up with competitive landscape 3
  6. 6. Defining The Value Proposition W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Doubling down on “what’s in it for employees” to increase participation is critical for long term growth What’s in it for the BRAND? Content creation Reach new audiences w/ trusted, branded content Trusted source for insights and feedback Promote / defend brand What’s in it for EMPLOYEES? Employee engagement Internal “rock star” recognition Access to exclusive content Platform for sharing thoughts with the wider audience Thought leadership 6
  7. 7. Two types of employee advocacy programs W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Most employee advocacy programs can be classified as either brand amplification or brand journalism BRAND AMPLIFICATION This program involves sharing “branded” messages and content with employees so they can “re- share” the content within their personal social media channels. Content can be customized and/or changed by participating advocates and is usually managed by a central marketing organization. These types of programs are more “entry level” and a starting point for most brands. BRAND JOURNALISM (CONTENT DRIVEN) This program involves mobilizing employees to tell stories (usually long & short form) that are published on a corporate site/blog, the LinkedIn blogging network or a media site. It can also involve employees sharing and amplifying other employee stories/content. Social Selling programs also fall into this category. 7
  8. 8. Brand amplification employee programs W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Most employee advocacy programs start with this method and scale once best practice and key learnings are met 8
  9. 9. Where does employee storytelling fit into brand marketing? W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Employee advocacy programs are just one component of how brands should tell stories online; data & insight-driven is the common denominator COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Build a social governance model to manage all the editorial, creative and content operations, listen & respond to relevant conversations, and deliver a KPI model that measures engagement, growth and business impact. AUDIENCE & MARKET INTELLIGENCE Prioritized media relations strategy based on what the audience is reading Targeted Media Relations Narrative & Channel Strategy Data-driven stories that break through the clutter with a unique social channel strategy Paid Social Activation Laser-focused targeting and segmentation based on audience interests and characteristics Stakeholder Activation Identify and activate the right influencers & employees that will deliver maximum business value 9
  10. 10. W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M HOW TO ACTIVATE EMPLOYEES TO BE BRAND STORYTELLERS A strategic guide that can help large and small brands – B2B, B2C, Healthcare, Education, Public Sector – plan, launch and optimize employee programs.
  11. 11. THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF EMPLOYEE PROGRAMS W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M 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 tell a good story 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 framework establishing what to measure and how to measure it. PLAN IDENTIFY AMPLIFY AMPLIFY PLAN IDENTIFY AMPLIFY ACTIVATE 11
  12. 12. PLANNING & OPERATIONS OF EMPLOYEE PROGRAMS W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M PROGRAM LOGISTICS How long will the program last? What do we call our program? STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION Are all of our internal stakeholders involved – legal, brand, IT, etc.? SELECTION CRITERIA Who do we want as our advocates? How do they join the program? Is there a criteria? BRANDED CONTENT What do we want our advocates to say and does it align with our content strategy? SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY Do we have a policy in place that protects the brand and empowers our employees? TECHNOLOGY SELECTION Do you have the right technology for our program? Can it scale long term as the program grows? GOALS & OBJECTIVES What exactly do we want to achieve with our program? Does it align to our marketing and business goals? 12
  13. 13. Mapping employees to content, outcomes and desired actions W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M EXECUTIVES SALES CHAMPIONS SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS (SME) CONTENT TYPES Industry & Thought Leadership Brand product and other IT related topics Social Selling, Thought Leadership Pre-created content from brand and marketing, thought leadership, cultural, job openings CHANNELS Executive branded Twitter handle, branded blogs, LinkedIn (blog/influencers) engagement in industry forums, bylines SME branded Twitter handle, community, engagement in industry forums Branded LinkedIn profile and/or personal social channels Personal social channels ACTION Content Creation Content Creation Shares Shares 13
  14. 14. Customize Training Curriculum Addressing Levels Of Participation & learning styles W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M CONTENT CREATORS CONTENT CREATORS CONTENT CREATORS CONTENT CREATORS CONVERSATIONALIST LISTENERS Low Participation High Participation Create a training curriculum with a focus on thought leadership, long-form content, blogging, videos, podcasting, webinars and events. Create a training curriculum with a focus on best practices of community engagement and provide value-add content for maximum participation. Create a training curriculum with a focus on how to use tools to listen to brand and industry related conversations. 5 min 15 min 30 min QUICK GUIDES What can you do in social if you only had: PLAYBOOK Step-by-step guide on how to build a brand online, engage with customers and deliver business value 14
  15. 15. Align Employee Narrative With Brand Story W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Insights from audience analysis Determine “winnable moment” – what’s the core idea? Employees are the hero of the story Employees are a character in a broader story Employees comment on a story Data and insights extracted from the analytics will be used to inform a strategic framework and social narrative. The strategic framework will inform all content creation and creative assets. An editorial and creative framework that categorizes content based on guidelines and the brand criteria. Content Narrative 15
  16. 16. ENSURE THAT EMPLOYEE-DRIVEN CONTENT ADDS VALUE W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M UTILITY Helps me “do” something or solves a problem EDUCATION Makes me smarter about a topic or subject ENTERTAINMENT Makes me laugh and inspires me to be happy ACCESS Connects me to others that share the same passions EMOTION Elicits a passionate reaction that empowers me EXCLUSIVITY Makes me feel special and emotionally vested INFORMATION Current news, views and insider information PROMOTIONS Give me rebates and product related promotions 16
  17. 17. Make it easy for employees to participate W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Your Company 17
  18. 18. Here’s how it works W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Mobile Notification Company News Feed Sharing Interface 18
  19. 19. Amplify Employee-generated Content Across All Media W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Integrate employee-generated stories and content across the broader digital eco-system. PAID: Syndicate employee driven long form/blog content to 3rd party, relevant sites (promoted content, content syndication) EARNED: Pitch thought leadership content to relevant media, bylines, etc. SHARED: Publish and promote content on branded social channels. Amplify w/ paid. OWNED: Build media site (content hub) that aggregates employee-generated and branded content. PAID MEDIA SHARED MEDIA OWNED MEDIA EARNED MEDIA 19
  20. 20. Activate Employees With Real-Time insights & CONTENT ACTIVATION W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Monitor audiences weekly for real-time insights based on what they are talking about, writing and sharing. Amplify employee content using paid social, custom audiences, paid search, or content distribution platforms. Provide weekly real-time insights – trending content, conversations, articles, competitive share of voice, topical share of conversation, etc. Use insights to brainstorm real-time engagement content for employee programs. Create shareable, employee-driven social content (blogs, images, posts) based on what’s trending within the audience conversation. MONITOR AUDIENCE REPORTING CONTENT ACTIVATION SHAREABLE CONTENT PAID MEDIA TARGETED MEDIA Pitch media stories based on thought leadership content written by employees, subject matter experts and executives. 1 2 3 4 5 6 20
  21. 21. Repetitive And Consistent Storytelling Is Critical before customers will believe W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M SUCCESSFUL ADVERTISING BYTHOMAS SMITH (SLIGHTLYMODIFIED) The 1st time people see the content, they don’t really see it. The 11th time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads. The 2nd time, they don’t even notice it. The 12th time, they start to think that it must be a good product. The 3rd time, they are aware that it is there. The 13th time, they start to feel the product has value. The 4th time, they content appears to be familiar. The 14th time, they start to feel like they’ve wanted a product like this for a long time. The 5th time, they actually read the content. The 15th time, they start to yearn for it because it’s not in the budget. The 6th time, they thumb their nose at it. The 16th time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future. The 7th time, they get a little irritated with it. The 17th time, they make a commitment to buy the product. The 8th time, they think, “Here’s that stupid ad again.” The 18th time, they curse their poverty because they can’t buy this terrific product. The 9th time, they wonder if they’re missing out on something. The 19th time, they count their money very carefully. The 10th time, they ask their friends or colleagues if they’ve tried it. The 20th time prospects see the ad, they buy what it is offering. 21
  22. 22. The Customer Journey: Where employees meet the customer W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M 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 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 and 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. CUSTOMER BEHAVIOR CONTENT TOPIC AREA EMPLOYEEINTERACTIONPURCHASEFUNNEL AWARENESS CONSIDERATION PURCHASE ADVOCACY 22
  23. 23. Determining The Right Measurement Framework W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Let proud employees endorse the company to build a great employer brand and help with recruiting HR & CompanyCulture Drive social selling, lead generation, and create more productive sales thought leaders Sales & Marketing Leads Inform and engage employees to become experts, advocates, and contributors EmployeeCommunications Humanize your brand and increase awareness through your employees’ authentic voice BrandAwareness Drive more registrants and attendees to webinars and events with real-time sharing EventPromotion Trackable metrics at every level, from impressions to engagement to clicks and sales. It’s critical to track sales & leads leads generated by employee sharing and content creation 23
  24. 24. W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Praise for the book A sincere thank you for the support, reviews, feedback and encouragement along the way. I am indebted and humbled by your gratitude.
  25. 25. Feelin’ the love W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Participation Marketing unequivocally puts the transformation back into digital transformation by focusing on the single most underplayed element of successfully re-imagining markets - our people. Brito offers a practical blueprint for how to put your employees at the tip of the spear of your transformation goals by first making them your biggest fans and then, your most genuine and loudest advocates. Sameer Patel CEO, Kahuna Michael does a brilliant job connecting the challenges of today's workforce with the promise of turning employees into advocates. It's a practical, step-by- step guide for how to launch great employee programs and how to earn the reward of making them succeed. KATY KEiM CEO, LQ DIGital Storytelling is a visceral part of human nature. I have observed that brands who tap into the employee voice to surround sound their customers with relevant, and trusted content, build longstanding and highly profitable customer relationships. Once again, Michael has written a book that delivers; this time it is one that provides an actionable playbook for companies of all sizes to launch and operationalize employee advocacy programs. LISA JOY ROSNER CMO, Otonomo Your business is already filled with promoters and every marketer needs to figure out how to unlock the power of employee advocacy. Michael shows you how to do this and then integrate that trusted employee-driven content into larger brand marketing initiatives.Lauren Vaccarello VP Marketing, Box Employees are the most valuable asset of any company. If you know how to unlock their passion, you can build an army of powerful advocates for your brand. It's not about training your employees to parrot your company's message. It's about building passion around your company's brand and its purpose - and shaping your company's culture such that it empowers your employees to advocate. Michael, a leader in the industry, helps you do just that. Maria Poveromo VP, COMMS Adobe If you're wondering how to inspire and mobilize your employees to be brand storytellers, ask Michael Brito. His book is an exceptionally thoughtful and actionable 'how to' guide and a journey through the learnings of courageous companies creating true engagement and informed, digitally connected brand advocates. Jerilan Greene CCO, Yum! Brands 25
  26. 26. Feelin’ the love W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Trust and authenticity are critical factors for marketers today. And there's nothing more trustworthy than employee voices. Michael builds a strong case for employee advocacy and shows marketers how to integrate trusted employee-driven content into broader marketing initiatives. Jackson Jeyanayagam, CMO Boxed With Participation Marketing, Michael has delivered the field manual for engaging today's workforce in telling your company's story. He has masterfully connected the nuts and bolts of orchestrating technology with advice for engaging employees at an authentic, human level. Mastering both of these areas is critical to driving value from employee advocacy programs - and Michael has delivered the road map. Jim Rudden CMO Spredfast It's widely known that employees are viewed as trusted and credible sources when others are seeking information about a company or brand. Michael delivers a very structured plan that guides large and small companies on how to truly activate employees to be storytellers and drive brand relevance. Jascha Kaykas-Wolff CMO Mozilla The key to successful digital transformation is building a culture of trust and transparency, starting with the employee experience. Michael does a fantastic job of bridging the gap between internal employee engagement and external customer relationships. The result being a powerful community of brand storytellers who are constantly engaged and adding value with customers, prospects and partners. Elise Steele, Former CEO, Jive Software 26
  27. 27. W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M About the author Michael Brito
  28. 28. About Michael Brito W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M I’ve been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. ! I am a digital strategist, published author, TEDx speaker, adjunct professor, and avid 49ers and Lakers fan with over 20+ years of experience helping organizations break through the clutter and reach their audience with game-changing marketing programs. As an Executive Vice President at Zeno Group, I am responsible for helping clients reach their target audience with laser-focused precision - the right story, at the right time, in the right channel and with the right media. This unique methodology requires a combination of audience intelligence, creative, editorial content and targeted paid media. Previously, I was the Head of Social Marketing at W2O Group, and Senior Vice President of Social Strategy at Edelman Digital where I consulted for Fortune 500 companies implementing integrated content and digital marketing programs, globally. I have been blessed to have worked for innovative Silicon Valley brands like Hewlett Packard, Yahoo, and Intel building online communities before social media was even a thing. I also served 8 years in the U.S. Marine Corps - Oorah! 28
  29. 29. A personal thank you W W W . P A R T I C I P A T I O N M A R K E T I N G B O O K . C O M Hello, I hope you are doing well and that 2018 is off to a great start. Last year was tough on me personally so I am looking forward to what this year will bring. ! I wanted to personally thank you for downloading these slides about my book. I hope that it gives you some value as you think about an employee program for your business. The book is now available for pre-order here. YAY! If you are interested in purchasing a copy or two, you can use my discount code for 20% off the original price (discount code: AMKPART20). URL: If you are interested in bulk order, please let me know and I’ll see about getting a larger discount. Plus, I’d be honored to spend some time with your team via a conference call or in-person visit. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing back from you. With gratitude, Michael Brito | @Britopian 29