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As the world keeps spinning on the pin of change, businesses must remain informed. The post-Covid era is switching up the race tracks for business leaders, forcing everyone to think while trying to keep up. Our age of smart access to information might seem more liberating for businesses and customers. The benefits mean businesses can “affordably” gather market insights about buyers and even connect with them.

On the other hand, free information means customers are more informed than ever before because knowledge is indeed power. They are now aware of their purchasing power and are prepared to use it to drive marketing competition to their advantage. May the best business win.

Today’s customers demand everything from brands they patronize and hope to patronize, from intimacy to solidarity in social issues, and transparency.

Everything in marketing changes with an informed customer. Channels offering access to customers are raising advertisement costs while offering unpredictable returns. Businesses must be prepared to do more than just produce. They must play informant, thought leaders, and many roles while trying to reach the customers. Reading the customers is not enough. Getting them to buy and become loyal members is the goal. This is where Employee Advocacy comes in.

What is Employee Advocacy?

Employee Advocacy is an inclusive system where staff members are encouraged to promote the products, services, and culture of their companies. In this system of advocacy, marketing the company’s products and culture is “everybody’s business.” This culture multiplies the company’s average market reach and visibility both online and offline. And of course, it is a huge booster for the marketing team.

Being able to penetrate the worlds of employees and reaching the potential customers in them is one great benefit of Employee Advocacy. Another thing is it just feels organic when employees genuinely speak about why they love a product or service of their company especially when the CEO is not in the room.

Today’s marketing is rooted around the idea that it should be as “human” as it can be. It should be more conversational, relatable, and “unrehearsed.” Who else can deliver this besides an employee who happens to overhear a potential customer revealing his or her pain point at a regular event over the weekend?

While the prospects of this advocacy are bright, employee advocacy only feels natural and organic in work environments that promote engagement and a culture of inclusion. It should not be forced and employees should not be compelled to promote the brand of their employees.

 

Benefits of Employee Advocacy for Nigerian Businesses

  1. It actually costs nothing

Marketing budgets are raised each business year to pump more adverts which in most cases do not bring the desired ROI. Marketers are hitting hard at the wall trying to get through to the customers’ circle, expending a lot of cash in the process. More conversational approaches like influencer marketing have gone places regular marketing could barely think of. Employee Advocacy does not cost the company anything besides the time devoted to creating guidelines around the advocacy program. Yes, you want to be sure the right marketing messages are going out the right way. 

 

2. Marketing Reach

Utilizing “word of mouth marketing” has delivered more marketing results than any other marketing outreach. The advocacy system only stretches the band further. You have employees who can be anywhere in the world sharing your brand message. Such promotions do not feel forced as they are usually spoken in organic conversations at “human networking locations” like personal social media pages, hangouts, and more. Your marketing team can never beat that.  More often than not, customers skip traditional ads and detest its intrusion or the idea that it doesn’t serve them. Now you see why this method wins?

 

3. HR Success

No better way to bring fulfillment to the HR Team than seeing human resources maximized to their fullest. Employee Advocacy does not just spotlight the success of the brand. It also shines bright on the personality of the employee. The bond between Employer and Employee thickens when they see the success of their collaboration. The Inclusion in company processes, and engagement that E. A brings helps everyone feel like they are part of the visions and “the dream team.”

 

4. Employees Personal Branding

Employee Advocacy is not only out to promote the Employer. Having employees speak about brand cultures, visions, and showcasing the human benefits of products raise “HR awareness” about their own skills. Everyone gets to shine here. Helping the company achieve success through their advocacy also builds confidence and can create visibility for their own talents and even bridge prospects in careers they never knew they could pursue. Teaching, Influencer Marketing, and Brand influencing are careers that have made popular comebacks through advocacy.

 

5. Company’s Branding Credibility

In his Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe wrote about a proverbial lizard that praised itself for jumping from a high Iroko tree because no one else would. The thing is in business results are more revered and word of mouth holds more water.

 

Many times, employers have written the crispiest words about themselves on their company websites. They even go as far as running ad campaigns on their culture. Such values are more credible when they come from a random employee of the company. Yes, we know your company has the most conducive work environment in all of Nigeria. But it would be more believable if employees shared their experiences on social media.

 

Up next

Tools to Help Your Company Build its Own Employee Advocacy Program

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