Employees are much more than people you employ — they can be your best brand ambassadors.
There are many benefits to having employee brand ambassadors, and one of the biggest is the rise in peer influence in B2B buying. But the benefits don’t stop there. There are the increased social media reach, growth in brand engagement, and elevated employee performances.
But companies can’t force their employees to become brand ambassadors. To be truly effective, the shift from employee to brand ambassador must happen organically. But there are ways to help. Here are 3 ways to use your employees as your greatest marketing tool.
3 ways to cultivate brand ambassadors
1. Create a work environment people enjoy coming to.
One of the best ways to get employees to speak honestly and positively about your brand is to have employees that enjoy coming to work. Make sure that your office is an environment that promotes a positive culture. Being flexible, recognizing a job well done, and offering opportunities for professional growth are ways to cultivate satisfied, productive employees.
When an employee feels valued, s/he is more likely to promote your brand. Opportunities for professional development and recognition for hard work may seem like small gestures, but they contribute to happy employees. This breeds the most effective brand ambassadors.
2. Improve employee engagement.
The more excited your employees are about their jobs, the more engaged they will be. And what’s more, companies with highly engaged employees see a 20% increase in sales and a 10% in customer ratings.
Improve engagement by encouraging open lines of communication with your employees. Make sure they are in-the-know with company happenings. Encourage their feedback. Work to implement suggestions employees make to improve processes. If you want employees to invest in your brand, you must build the bridge between being an employee and feeling like a part of the team. When employees feel like an insider, they are engaged with your brand and will naturally want to promote it.
3. Provide incentives.
When you have employees that are passionate about your brand, it’s important to find ways to recognize the work they’re doing as brand ambassadors. The obvious incentive is money, but that’s not always the best way to encourage your employees.
Ever heard of motivation crowding theory? This theory states that extrinsic motivators, such as monetary incentives, can undermine intrinsic motivation. If you have happy, productive employees that want to rave about your company, don’t squash their excitement by throwing money at them. This could turn their passion into more work.
There are lots of other incentives that will keep your employees dedicated to being brand ambassadors. One of the easiest to implement is recognition. A shout out on your social media pages or recognition in a staff meeting can go a long way. Other options include product giveaways or discounts with your vendors. Get creative! The incentives don’t have to be expensive, but a little motivation can go a long way.
Don’t miss out on one of your brand’s greatest marketing opportunities — your own employees! Help your team make the leap from employee to brand ambassador, and watch how the shift benefits everyone in your office, including you.
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