Helping some of the most well-known enterprise brands to maximize their internal communications and employee marketing programs is something I’ve been involved with for nearly 10 years.
With more and more enterprises leading the way in advancing customer experiences in targeting a new generation of younger customers, employee marketing strategies are playing a more significant role than ever in their overall strategy.
In this blog, we will define what employee marketing means, identify its benefits, and provide simple steps to enhance employee marketing in order to keep up with a fast-changing environment.
Defining Employee Marketing in 3 Sentences
More commonly known to some as internal marketing, employee marketing is the action of promoting a business or organization to its employees.
Employee marketing helps to ensure a workforce stays aligned around everything from the culture of the workplace to company mission statements and goals to advocating for the brand.
A business is healthier from every touchpoint when employees are passionate about and fully engaged with their day-to-day work and the company they represent.
💡Learn more about employee advocacy on social media and know the top tips to do it right.
Employee Marketing Is More Than Just Your Knowledge Base
In the past, employee marketing involved mainly corporate knowledge bases, which all-too-commonly held outdated material and was a platform for stale content. While there is certainly still a place and value for information storage like Sharepoint or Jive, they’re no longer the sole places where workforces should consume all of their company information. This especially includes marketing content.
Marketing to employees should be fresh, it should be fun to soak up, and it should be interactive — for example, an accompanying video, a photo gallery or a poll.
People’s stories are always interesting to highlight and showcase to the workforce what your employees are working on and their unique interests. These points help co-workers get to know one another a bit more by adding a personal touch to the brand, while also bringing out a sense of being a part of something bigger that’s important for the organization’s success.
When considering the types of content, be on the lookout for unique or exciting projects that specific teams are involved with in helping to fulfill your company’s mission in innovative ways. Is there any community work from your organization or particular special-interest employees that can be highlighted?
📹 Check out our webinar about how Saleforce is successfuly building its brand through employees!
Employee Marketing Is Not the Same as Internal Communications
Many consider internal communications as employee marketing. While employee marketing can be described as a type of internal communication, they aren’t the same. In fact, they’re quite different. Internal communication is typically a one-way street, with a top-level, one-way message funneling out to the workforce.
On the other hand, employee marketing considers the individuals receiving the content and how that content should be presented and consumed. This is where Haiilo’s solution is making a positive impact on our customers and our customers’ customers.
🎧Listen to our recent podcast: ROI in Employee Communications: Two Alternatives to Consider
The Benefits of Employee Marketing
So, what are some of the benefits of employee marketing? They are seemingly countless, but we’ve compiled the most influential ones for starters.
More Engaged Employees
For one, employee marketing helps to engage the workforce, creating a more knowledgeable staff that is more familiar both with the organization and the industry within which the organization sits. Engaged employees will also be more passionate about the brand, including its mission and customers.
Speaking of brand trust, did you know that employee marketing helps to improve the perception of an organization’s brand significantly? This internal marketing will create a whole new level of brand ambassadors who know the company inside and out when done correctly. These internal advocates will be promoting the brand both consciously and unconsciously to customers and even new potential hires.
And remember, as we’ve shown in previous blog entries, despite how popular or how many followers a brand’s social media channels have, the reach and impact of those channels are more often less than the collective reach and impact of that same brand’s total workforce.
In fact, according to Forbes, social media messages from employees reach an astounding 561% further than social media messages from a brand. Just a little something to keep in mind.
💡 Related: 8 Ways to Boost Brand Awareness
Enhanced Customer Experiences
Employee marketing means your workforce is being kept updated on all the latest around the company’s strategies and goals and providing them with the background and information that will help them succeed in their roles. As we know, successful employees in succeeding companies are typically more motivated and happy, which will have an impact on customer experiences.
Recruitment and Hiring
This brings us to the support that employee marketing has on an organization’s recruiting team. According to Forbes, studies show that 75% of all job candidates research a company’s reputation before applying. Consider the impact that an engaged and passionate employee will have on those around him or her. It’s an impact in helping to promote a brand’s character and reputation as a whole and as a great place to work.
Employees are also more likely to help in recruiting strong talent from their own networks, while advocating to new potential team members when fresh positions open up. This type of intended and unintended advocacy gives the hiring team members a head-start and helps them consider and hire new talent to grow their teams with like-minded people.
💡 Read more about using social media for recruitment and 5 best practices for doing so
Employee marketing funnels into conveying an organization’s intended values, strategy, and mission. This internal marketing is a way to organically formulate and develop the culture within the company, ensuring you get the buy-in from more of those working to help the organization succeed and putting it on a pedestal as a place employees want to work.
Is the company genuinely inclusive, and does it offer a feeling of belonging, regardless of employee race, age, gender or sexual preference? Is the company open to a hybrid or work-from-home format to help alleviate out-of-work pressures and a more stable life balance for employees? These are some of the elements that go into an organization’s culture. Remember, happy employees mean happier customers.
Employee Marketing with Impact
Some experts will argue that employee marketing is more important and more impactful than external marketing. Whether it is or isn’t, there’s no question that an organization’s internal marketing initiatives are as important as ever to its success.
Like anything else within a company, to influence employee marketing, having a strategy and planned approach is vital. Other questions an organization should ask of itself honestly and be ready to dive deeper into:
- Does the organization have a clear strategy that employees are familiar with?
- How trusting are employees of the company and, vice-versa, how trusting is the company of its employees?
- Are the organization’s internal communication initiatives considered a priority, especially by leaders and if so, is that communication shared often enough?
If the answer to any of these questions with your company or organization is “No” or if there’s any uncertainty, then it’s time to get these essential principles in order.
4 Steps to Master Employee Marketing
Not every company should follow the same steps to set up and manage their employee marketing initiatives. However, there are 4 steps that are absolutely necessary for doing employee marketing in a most efficient way.
1. Know your audience
Today’s workplaces are mostly multigenerational, Gen Zers and Millennials making the biggest percentage of the workforce. Knowing the differences, preferences, and workplace expectations of these different generations is a prerequsite for doing employee marketing right.
Before implementing any initiatives, create your employee personas and map their journeys. This exercise can help you understand your workforce better and make employee marketing more engaging.
2. Make content personalized
Once you know your employees and their preferences, it’s much easier to create and distribute content they will want to read and engage with.
Not every employee should get the same message or internal newsletter. Instead, you should use your employee insights to deliver the right message to the right employee at the right time.
3. Choose the right communication channels
Some of your employees may be on Slack, some on MS Teams, while others may mostly depend on email. When distributing your employee marketing content, it is critical that you consider all these communication channels.
Luckily, the world’s leading internal communication apps are integrated with the most popular internal channels, making content distribution much easier.
4. Measure the imapct and engagement
In order to improve your employee marketing, it is important to measure it. KPIs such as readership and engagement are a great way to start understanding whether your internal marketing works of not.
Next, connect your employee marketing KPIs with other company goals. For example, if your goal is to improve your employer brand recruitment marketing, or social recruiting efforts through employees, you could align your HR goals with the employee marketing KPIs.
Consider the Sectors of Your Workforce in Employee Marketing
A Communications Manager isn’t typically involved with an organization’s recruiting, while an HR Specialist won’t be developing the company’s new website infrastructure.
What’s the point? Businesses are made up of various functions. If you want to make a dent in your employee marketing strategy, you’ll need to consider the different individual roles and areas within the organization that keep the business running. Offer them suitable materials and appropriate information aligned with their specific roles.
Keeping this relevancy in mind helps to organically build up your employees’ engagement and increase the likelihood of ambition to want to advocate for your brand by sharing information about your brand with others.
Employee Marketing With Haiilo
Hybrid and remote work setups are seemingly here to stay for many employees as we head into the third year of a global pandemic where on-site work isn’t required to fulfill their tasks. With that being the case, employees working from home have a genuine desire to connect on a more personal level, and it’s a fitting time to market your brand and employees at every opportunity.
Haiilo is an employee experience platform that connects people and helps them communicate and collaborate virtualy. It enables employers to reach every employee with the right information at the right time, and it drives employees to become true brand ambassadors.
Book a Haiilo demo today and discover how our solutions are helping companies worldwide and learn how they can help with your organization’s employee marketing strategy.