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What is Employee Marketing?: A Comprehensive Guide

What is Employee Marketing?: A Comprehensive Guide

Transform your workforce into brand advocates with Employee Marketing. Uncover benefits, the marketing mix, and a step-by-step plan for implementation.

Employee Marketing is a strategic approach that turns your workforce into authentic brand advocates. In this blog, we'll break down the concept of employee marketing, exploring its benefits, marketing mix, and an easy-to-follow plan to get started.

Additionally, we'll delve into how marketing impacts employees and the challenges organizations may encounter along the way.

1. What is employee marketing?

Employee marketing, also known as employee branding, refers to a strategic approach in which a company leverages its employees as brand ambassadors in its marketing efforts. It involves encouraging and empowering employees to promote and represent the company's brand, values, and products internally and externally.

One of the fundamental principles of employee marketing is authenticity. Employees promoting the brand often convey a sense of genuineness and trustworthiness that surpasses traditional marketing efforts because they base it on their personal experiences and beliefs.

2. Importance of employee marketing

Employee marketing offers several compelling advantages for businesses looking to enhance their brand presence and credibility. Here are some key benefits:

Authenticity: When employees talk about their workplace and the products or services it offers, people often perceive their words as more genuine and trustworthy than traditional marketing messages. This is because employees have firsthand experience with the company, its culture, and its offerings.

Credibility: Employee advocates are seen as experts in their fields. When they share insights, testimonials, or recommendations related to their work, it carries more weight. According to a survey, employees are re-shared 24 times more often when distributing brand messages. This increased credibility can significantly impact how the audience perceives the brand.

Lower Advertising Costs: Employee marketing can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising campaigns. While advertising often requires significant financial investments, employee advocacy relies on the willingness of employees to share content and promote the brand organically. In fact, according to EveryoneSocial, an employee advocacy program comes at a cost of just 1/10 (or even less) of what paid advertising would typically require.

Wider Reach: Employees collectively have extensive social networks, both online and offline. By encouraging them to share brand-related content, you can tap into their networks, reaching a broader and more diverse audience without incurring additional advertising costs. Employees' content attracts 8x more engagement than the content shared through brand channels.

Professional Growth: Employee marketing programs can provide professional growth and development opportunities. Employees may develop skills in content creation, social media management, or public speaking, which can benefit both the employee and the company.

3. Employe marketing mix explained

Employee marketing mix, also known as the "4Ps of employee marketing," is a concept that draws parallels between traditional marketing and human resources practices. 

4Ps of Employee Marketing flowchart.

People (Employees): In the employee marketing mix, "People" refers to the workforce. This includes both current employees and potential candidates. HR professionals must focus on recruitment, selection, onboarding, training, development, and creating a diverse and inclusive workplace to manage this aspect effectively. 

Place (Work Environment): "Place" in employee marketing relates to the physical and cultural environment in which employees work. It includes aspects like the physical workspace, office culture, and flexibility.

Employers must create a work environment that benefits productivity and promotes employee well-being.  

Product (Job and Career Opportunities): In this context, "Product" represents the organization's job roles and career opportunities. HR professionals must ensure that job descriptions are accurate and career paths are well-defined.

Providing skill development and growth opportunities is essential to attract and retain top talent. In fact, according to a survey74% of employees expressed that having access to professional development opportunities would enhance their productivity while also leading to higher levels of employee engagement (72%) and overall happiness (69%).

Bar graph of increased investment in learning & development.

Promotion (Employer Branding): "Promotion" in the employee marketing mix focuses on how the organization markets itself as an employer. This includes employer branding efforts, employee value proposition (EVP) communication, and recruitment marketing.

Effective promotion involves showcasing the organization's culture, values, and benefits to prospective employees and maintaining a positive online and offline presence.

4. What is an employee marketing strategy?

An Employee Marketing strategy, also called Employer Branding, is a plan to attract, engage, and retain talented employees by presenting the organization as an appealing employer. Implementing a successful employee marketing strategy involves taking the following steps:

Employee marketing strategies headings in a diagram.

1. Building a Strong Employer Brand

Defining Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP): The EVP is a set of unique attributes and benefits an organization offers its employees. To build a strong employer brand, clearly defining your EVP is essential.

This involves understanding what makes your company an attractive place to work. Elements of EVP may include competitive compensation, career growth opportunities, work-life balance, and more. 

Aligning EVP with Corporate Brand: Your employer brand should align with your corporate brand. This ensures consistency in messaging and values. When your corporate and employer brands are aligned, it becomes easier to communicate your company's values, mission, and culture to employees and the public. This alignment can enhance trust and authenticity in your marketing efforts.

2. Employee Advocacy Programs

Encouraging Employee Advocacy on Social Media: Employee advocacy involves empowering and encouraging your employees to promote the company on their social media channels. It is essential to create a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing their experiences and achievements at work.

Providing guidelines and incentives can motivate employees to become advocates. The content they share should be authentic and aligned with your brand's messaging.

Training and Support for Advocacy: Effective employee advocacy programs require training and support. Offer social media training sessions to educate employees about best practices, including privacy considerations.

Provide them with resources such as pre-made social media posts, images, and articles to make advocacy easier. 

3. Content Creation by Employees

Leveraging Employee-Generated Content: Encourage employees to create content that showcases their expertise, experiences, and insights related to your industry. This content can take various forms, including articles, videos, infographics, live streaming, and more.

Employee-generated content adds a personal touch to your marketing efforts.

Employee Blogs and Personal Branding: Some employees may be interested in creating their own blogs or personal branding initiatives. Encourage and support these initiatives as long as they align with your company's values and don't create conflicts of interest.

Employee blogs can provide valuable insights into your industry while highlighting your company's expertise.

By implementing these strategies, you can leverage your employees as valuable assets in your marketing efforts. However, it's essential to maintain a balance between employee freedom and brand guidelines to ensure that your marketing efforts remain authentic and consistent with your corporate identity.

5. Difference between employee marketing and internal marketing

The main difference between employee and internal marketing lies in their focus and objectives. The following table describes the key differences between employee marketing and internal marketing in detail:

Aspect Employee Marketing Internal Marketing
Target Audience External: Focuses on potential job seekers and the general public interested in the company as an employer Internal: Focuses on existing employees within the organization.
Objective Attract and retain top talent, enhance the company's reputation, and build a strong employer brand. Enhance employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction, and foster a positive workplace culture.
Communication Channels Uses external marketing channels such as social media, job boards, career websites, and employer branding campaigns. Utilizes internal communication channels like company newsletters, team meetings, and training sessions.
Content Focus Emphasizes the company's unique selling points as an employer, including its culture, values, and opportunities for growth. Focuses on internal policies, procedures, values, and initiatives that impact the employee experience.
Primary Beneficiaries Potential and future employees who are considering joining the organization. Current employees already part of the organization play a role in its success.

6. How does marketing affect employees?

Marketing substantially impacts employees in various ways, affecting how they perceive their workplace and the organization's culture. Several vital aspects break down this influence:

Firstly, external marketing efforts significantly shape how potential employees view the company. When a company presents a positive and appealing image externally, it can attract a more significant number of talented job seekers.

This external image can also make current employees proud to be associated with a respected and successful organization. Moreover, marketing plays a crucial role in talent attraction and retention. For instance, effective social media marketing strategies can draw top-tier talent to the organization, which benefits existing employees by bringing in skilled colleagues.

Additionally, marketing can contribute to employee retention by enhancing the company's external reputation. Employees who perceive the company as valuable and meaningful are likelier to stay. Furthermore, marketing often emphasizes the importance of both customers and employees.

When employees see that their contributions are recognized and valued in marketing campaigns, it can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty. Trust-building is another significant aspect of marketing's impact on employees.

Transparent marketing practices, where the company is honest in its external communications, can also build trust among employees, strengthening their internal faith in the organization.

In summary, marketing shapes employees' perceptions of the company, influences recruitment and retention efforts, contributes to workplace culture, and encourages clear communication and trust within the organization. 

7. Challenges with employee marketing

Employee marketing comes with challenges that organizations must navigate to create a positive workplace environment. Here are some of the critical challenges associated with employee marketing:

  • Employee Resistance and Concerns: Some employees may resist participating in employee marketing efforts. They might have privacy concerns, the impact on their brand, or simply feel uncomfortable promoting their employer.

  • Balancing Employee Freedom with Brand Guidelines: Employee marketing initiatives should balance giving employees the freedom to express themselves authentically and following brand guidelines to ensure consistency.

  • Handling Negative Employee Feedback: In the course of employee marketing efforts, negative feedback or criticisms about the company may arise from employees themselves. These can be challenging to address without damaging morale.

  • Scaling Employee Marketing Efforts: As an organization grows, it can become challenging to scale employee marketing initiatives to reach all employees effectively.

  • Maintaining Consistency Across Employee Advocacy: Ensuring that multiple employees, each with their unique style, maintain consistency in messaging and branding can be challenging.

Conclusion 

In a time where trust and authenticity hold immense value, employee marketing emerges as a vital strategy. It allows your employees to promote your brand genuinely, lending credibility to your marketing efforts.

With the potential to reduce advertising costs and enhance employee engagement, employee marketing offers a powerful way to strengthen your brand presence in today's competitive landscape. If you're ready to utilize your workforce as brand advocates, explore the domain of employee marketing and witness the positive impact it can have on your organization.

Aditya is the head of content at Clearinfo and is responsible for improving the site's organic visibility. He is a certified SEO trainer and has worked with SaaS companies and startups to enhance their digital marketing presence. You can connect with him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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