The Latest from the ABM Experts
August 2, 2016
Build Employee Advocacy While Leveraging Employee Email as an Owned Channel
Written by Brad Beutler
As a team of digital marketing enthusiasts, we’re always on the hunt for great new content to share with our audience. One of the concepts that keeps resurfacing is the idea of “employee advocacy”. What exactly is it? Our friends at DynamicSignal define employee advocacy as:
“Employees sharing their support for a company’s brand, product or service, on their personal social networks. The goal is to inform, educate and engage the workforce, thus keeping them in the know, and allowing them to become brand ambassadors.”
Employee Email + Employee Advocacy = Opportunity
At Sigstr, we’re big believers in the power of employee email. You may have seen us share the statistic in previous posts that employees send an average of 10,000 emails to their most important contacts every single year. From customers to prospective customers, thought leaders and influencers to vendors and partners; employee email represents a personal communication method that reaches a vast audience. And when you combine the power of email and the audience that those emails reach, you have a pretty incredible marketing opportunity.
Employee Advocacy Starts with Engagement
In a recent DynamicSignal blog post entitled, “Effective Employee Advocacy Opens The Door For Influencer Engagement”, author Lionel Menchaca shared his perspective on the power of employee advocacy as an influencer engagement channel. We loved reading the article, so we’ll share a few key learnings and add-in a few thoughts of our own. Let’s get to it:
According to Menchaca’s post, “Brands understand that potential customers trust information from employees they know personally more than when it comes from executives or from the brand itself. But brands that focus on pushing content are missing the best part: developing and empowering the internal subject matter experts (SMEs).”
Your employee communications are an effective way to share important company or marketing information as these communications establish a trust that may not otherwise be present. Think about this from a personal perspective, would you be more trusting of a corporate marketing message, or a valuable resource sent along by a trusted peer?
Real Benefits Happen When Brands Identify Internal SMEs
The post goes on to explain, “Enlisting employee advocates to share content is a good first step. No question that it helps drive awareness and attention to content that brands produce. But in my experience, the real benefits happen when brands take the time to identify their own internal Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and empower them to connect to topic influencers outside the company. In other words, while all employee advocates are valuable, not all are created equal. No question sharers make up the biggest base of employee advocates. But, there is value in moving employee advocates up the hierarchy.”
In our experience at Sigstr, we couldn’t agree more. The concept of employee advocacy has become increasingly more important as a trusted avenue to help brands cut through the “marketing noise” while sharing important pieces of content or news. The power of employee advocacy through Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) – especially via the owned employee email channel from our perspective – can be an effective way to empower content creators and content sharers across the organization.
Menchaca shared a graphic we think effectively visualizes this idea of empowering employees to take an active role in marketing – regardless of their department, team or role.
The Power of Employee Email as an Owned Channel
The first step of creating content is a critical component, but how should your employees share it with their email recipients once it’s finalized? Will employees actually take the time to attach a PDF or an image to each email they send? Probably not – and they shouldn’t anyways. And even if they did, extra effort is also required for the recipient and can cause storage and virus concerns.
With Sigstr, every single employee email sent closes with a branded email signature and drives real marketing ROI. Easily add clickable call-to-action banners to your email signatures. After initial setup, these banners update automatically across your entire organization (or to a designated department or group) anytime a new campaign is activated.
Sigstr unlocks employee email as a new owned marketing channel. For marketers, that means promoting the newest piece of content, an upcoming webinar or important event, or a company initiative in a visually compelling way that’s displayed with every single employee email sent. Empower your SMEs to create incredible content, and allow your sharers to incorporate the latest marketing content into each email. Want to determine what content appears based on employee’s department, team or group? No problem! See for yourself in the below examples how the power of Sigstr can help build employee advocates and turn employee email into a valuable owned marketing channel:
Ready to start including compelling imagery through your employees’ html email signatures? Request a free demo today.