You’ve hired a top PR agency. You’ve poured your heart and soul into building a brand newsroom, spent six figures on company-sponsored videos, and have built systems to encourage on-the-job tweeting.
And yet, your employees are radio silent. They’re excited to help develop these campaigns but when it comes to sharing your company’s content online? For some reason, they’re hesitating.
The simple answer is that your team members have lives beyond the office. They’d rather be sharing family photos, articles that they’ve loved, and cat memes. Their content filters need to pass the following test — “would grandma understand and care about this?”
When it comes to employee advocacy, your employees shouldn’t be forced into sharing — they should feel inspired. Your brand can encourage sharing by producing the following types of content your employees want to share:
1. Employee-Generated Material
Employees will share what makes them proud. That’s why you should make content production a group effort. In addition to hiring expert writers, you can also encourage employees to share their own thoughts. Make blogging a fun exercise, and give your most articulate team members an opportunity to showcase their thoughts.
Marketing firm Onboardly is an example company that champions this practice. Check out this blog post from Crystal Richard, for instance, that explains how startups can be more efficient in getting PR. As Onboardly’s go-to PR strategist, Richard has a wealth of insight that Onboardly’s blog is promoting.
2. Powerful Human Stories
Work has value beyond what we sell. What we build at the office is often an extension of who we are as people. That’s why it’s so important for your company to showcase its extremely human side. Who are the minds before your brand, and what has been the emotional journey that has led you to where you are now?
Your employees are a part of these stories — they’ll want to tell them firsthand.
Clarity, a network that connects entrepreneurs with on-demand business advice makes humanity the heart and soul of its content program. The company’s blog features extremely personal stories from entrepreneurs on the network.
3. Content that Educates
Content consumers are hungry for knowledge. They’re looking to teach and to learn. If you create content — infographics, webinars, and blog posts — with strong educational value, your employees will notice. And they’ll be happy to help build traction.
Take a look at the company blog for Optimizely, a company that creates website optimization software. The company’s marketing and consultant team are regular blog contributors. The content that Optimizely creates, however, is far from a self-promotional sales pitch. Instead, the company strives to delight audiences with dedicated how-tos and strong thought leadership.
The goal is to walk away from every blog post with a set of clear and actionable takeaways — information that employees will want to share through their professional social networks.
Natural leaders want to be educators. Your company’s content can help your team’s star performers share valuable information.
Wondering what type of content to create? When in doubt, ask your employees for ideas. Don’t assume what your team members want. Ask for ideas at regular team meetings or via performance reviews. Send a company-wide survey for sample pitches. The most efficient way to get started is to ask thoughtful, focused questions.