Many professional services firms we speak to do not know where to start with their marketing, which is why they engage with us (and they do not typically have a dedicated marketing team). If you do have marketing resources and you are struggling or do not know where to start, often a great place is with your own employees. Provided your staff are happy, they are your best and most engaged audience. Hopefully, they are bursting with desire and ideas on how to share more about your firm.

Get your team involved with your marketing

When employees are highly engaged, they are also more likely to be brand advocates. They will engage in word-of-mouth marketing, share company content on social media, and improve your marketing reach and employer brand:

Engaged employees become brand advocates.

There are different ways to build employee engagement in your firm. Before you even start, you need to realise that happy employees will create engaged employees. Ask yourself, do you have strong and supportive leadership? Do you create a positive work environment? And do you foster a culture of trust? If you can answer yes to these questions, then creating staff engagement will be much easier.

An engaged team are more than likely to be full of new ideas and initiatives. These can really spark excitement in your employees, which in turn builds more engagement. Get everyone on board with your marketing efforts and stir up enthusiasm to promote your firm’s mission and values. It will make your team feel important and that they are a part of your firm’s success.

Here are 5 ways to trigger and channel your employees’ enthusiasm and get your team involved in your marketing campaigns:

1. Ask for help and identify activators/champions

A simple way to get non-marketing employees involved is to simply ask their opinions.

You can create regular marketing meetings or focus groups, send out staff surveys, or hold brainstorming sessions at team meetings. The most crucial thing is to record feedback. Explain the ideas it generated and how you are going to use their feedback. Besides the new ideas, using their feedback will build enthusiasm and create a sense of belonging. From this feedback, you can then identify your activators or champions.

Who or what are activators you ask? They are the people who can communicate with their team to make sure everyone is on board with marketing initiatives. They are happy to launch conversations, answer questions, offer help to other employees, and will elicit feedback.

Activators or champions will feel empowered to manage activation within their own team. They are usually the most engaged employees, who are great at communicating and who their team members consider ‘leaders’. They will be natural social media users who are already enthusiastic about your brand values and love working for your firm. Their enthusiasm will be contagious, so use them to encourage marketing buy-in across their teams and keep employee advocacy a long-term process rather than a one-off initiative.

2. Plan your internal campaign launch first

A great want to get support for your marketing campaign is to get your employees involved from the start. They will feel a sense of ownership and are more likely to be enthusiastic about promoting it.

If you launch your internal marketing campaign a few months before your external marketing campaign, you can gather feedback, and discover new opportunities and angles before going public. Harness your internal interest to get external interest once you launch. A word of caution, your internal launch is just as important as your external launch. Make launch day special to Get everyone involved and excited.

3. Foster social engagement

Internal social media and engagement tools like LinkedIn or Facebook Groups, specialised apps like Smarp or Simpplr and tools like Teams or Slack are really important to cultivate your employee community. According to research from Altimeter Group and LinkedIn, employees at socially engaged companies are 20% more likely to feel inspired, 27% more likely to feel optimistic about the future of their company, and 15% more likely to feel connected to co-workers beyond their core teams.

a graph demonstrating the results of socially engaged employees

Create a culture that makes your employees want to be involved. This will make them active parts of marketing and business growth. Your internal social engagement will become a perfect way to channel that positivity. Your employees naturally become advocates, which is one of the most effective ways to boost your public image and employee engagement. The natural progression from this internal advocacy and engagement is to encourage your advocates to participate in external social engagement. This allows your external brand ambassadors a voice to express their enthusiasm.

4. Encourage your employees to produce and share content

You can encourage your employees to write content in two ways:

  1. Share your marketing strategy with your employees. Invite them to create blogs, videos, podcasts, social media posts or other content. This will also help your employees to build their own personal brand as subject matter experts, which is vital for lawyers, accountants, and other professionals. Sharing their expertise, insights, and experiences with your audience, will help to make your brand more relatable, and more human. Whilst doing this they will build their own reputation as a thought leader, which benefits them professionally and reflects positively on your firm.
  2. Your champions can also be your content creators for your internal content. The rest of your staff will be more interested in, and more likely to trust, content created by their colleagues and friends.

Of course, your employees are more likely to create and share content of themselves representing your firm if you make it easy for them. A perfect place to do this is on your website. Either on their own bio or team profile page. If they create video content, you can add it to your YouTube channel and link it on your website.

When your employees have a place to share their own content, you are giving them the opportunity to be a part of the brand voice and industry conversation. It could be sharing their day-in-the-life, issues that are important to them, or topics that reflect their own expertise.

Once you have great content, you can help your employees to share it or engage with it on your firm’s social channels. According to a report by the Marketing Advisory Network, brand messages shared by employees have 561% more reach than messages shared solely on the brand’s social channels.

To encourage more employees to share your content, you have to share content that they want to post on their social channels. What better than content that either they or their colleagues have produced?

Other useful and creative content they are more likely to promote are infographics, videos and blog posts. The more interesting the content, the more likely they will be to share it with friends and followers. If your content aligns with their own values, they are more likely to share it on their social media. People stories, employee triumphs, both inside and outside of work, good news stories, achievements, charity, and CSR initiatives – these are all topics your employees are more likely to interact with content that puts a human face on a company.

5. Keep using feedback to improve

Once your employees are engaging with your marketing efforts and advocating for your firm externally, you want to be proactively collecting their feedback. You can then use that feedback to make further improvements. Of course, it is easier said than done. It takes hard work and ongoing effort and interaction with your employees and champions to see results and to keep our internal teams enthused about marketing. After all, they do have their own jobs to do.

Keep the conversations going to find out what you can do to better empower your employees. Is your firm large enough to create a knowledge base to help them share and create content? How can you inspire them to keep them involved? You can go one step further by creating webinars, setting up demos at sector events, or developing a blog or video series. Better still, get your senior leadership involved. If your employees see engagement from the top down, they are more likely to feel inspired to do the same. Always look for the best platforms for them to share their expertise, and do not always think digital. Sometimes engaging with one another internally and face-to-face creates the best and longest-lasting memories. The best way to keep your employees engaged is always to engage them in their own activation.

Highlights

Here is a summary of the things you can do quickly and easily to get engagement:

  • Get buy-in from senior leadership and from different departments. Encourage enthusiasm in individual employees or champions who are essential for successful branding.
  • Get your employees involved in marketing right from the get-go, from your initial marketing strategy to when you start conceptualising your campaigns. It will give them a sense of ownership.
  • If your employees are engaged with your marketing, they will find novel and effective ways to create content that will reach clients, build connections, and brand awareness

How can we help you?

If you would like help with your marketing strategy or marketing campaigns, or if you need help with your employee engagement to foster external engagement, then email Lara or call her on 01903 530787.

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