The strength of internal brand ambassadors (Employee Advocacy)

Are you one of those who looks at the whole ad unit in an intermission of a TV show? Wait for the you'll see the YouTube video ad you want to watch? Do you keep the volume of the radio when ads interrupt your favorite show? do you go into the movie theater before the hour to see all the ads? Do you open and read all the newsletters that come to your email?

If you have answered mostly NO to these questions, we can confirm the fact that advanced us Nielsen: traditional advertising (even if it's online) is in the ICU.

What's going on with communication “of a lifetime”?

The effectiveness of conventional communication formats (Advertising, Rr. Pp, Sponsorship, press releases...) has fallen into the same proportion as it has increased the effectiveness of recommendations that come to us through people like us.

What can brands do in the face of such a complex landscape?

  1. Stop interrupting, to pursue. And start attracting with content that has VALUE
  2. Changing the B2C (company-to-consumer) and B2B (company-to-business) by P2P (person-to-person)

For simplifying it, we could say that the content, the story, it's the message. and the way it comes to us is the platform, the middle, the vehicle. One and the other complement each other. If the story can't find a way to communicate, Exists, But it doesn't come to us. And on the contrary, if we get a junk message, even if I do it many times, will go into the trash can of our memory.

Valuable content

Value content attracts us. And it does because 1. is thought for us and 2. has prepared to provoke us a reaction and an emotion (Laugh, Cry, Reflect, Inspire, compassionate,...).

That content can be visual (Image, Infographic, Text, Gif...), Auditory (Podcast, Music, radio broadcast...), Audiovisual (Video, Tv, Film) or sensory (augmented reality, 3D simulation...). The format doesn't matter, can be direct (Tv) or deferred (Netflix), Analog (a book) or digital (an ebook).

The important thing is that this content provokes a reaction, creates us a need, solve it for us, warn us of a problem, solve it for us, open us up an opportunity. And that's not easy in an environment where the economy of attention leads us to stay only two or three of the 3.000 impacts we receive daily. This is paramount for brands to develop a proposal (Only) of value within a different narrative, relevant and transformative.

Content marketing or branded content?

There are similarities but also differences. The brand Michelin generates content marketing actions to sell their tires, with both actractive and informative actions on their products and brand. And on the other hand, this brand was a pioneer in branded content with the creation of the Michelin Guide, a benchmark of world cuisine. What will a tire have to do with a restaurant? More than we think, the guide was created for "on-the-road" drivers to identify good places to eat or dine. The branded content, as he explains Antevenio on his blog, has a more playful character.

P2P (person-to-person), the strength of internal brand ambassadors

When you talk about Brand ambassadors many of us think about influencers (confusing term), celebrities or fans of the brand (brand advocates). And that's because the classic resource of using famous people by brands eclipses other marketing actions. That's what you'd know as internal brand ambassadors Or employee advocacy.

Looking for easy examples, the great tennis player Rafa Nadal is a brand ambassador External, and so was the great golfer Tiger Woods. I think you've already sensed the pros and cons of all this..

The credibility and trust are within House

The programs Brand ambassadors Internal (employee advocacy, in its Anglo-Saxon version) pursue objectives similar to external ones, but they get different results... better? Depends on the variable we consider.

Humanization

If it's about humanizing the brand (P2P communication, person-to-person), both strategies can be effective. The brand ambassador can bring very fast brand awareness, because the brand relies on the big celebrity community. The in-house brand ambassador doesn't bring as much notoriety, but experience and knowledge about the product or service that flags the brand. Effective branding is human, Connector, empathetic and ethical. And if you don't, it's not branding.

To better understand the context of humanization in times of automation, I invite you to watch this video of Jeff Leonhard that I dared translate incorporating incorporating the voice of my personal brander colleague Helena Casas:

Is it clear to you of your absolutely vital role in this future that is already on top of us?

As Leonhard says, technology is the HOW of change, and humans are why.

Credibility and trust

Here the balance tips in favor of domestic ambassador. The annual report Edelman Trust has been confirming to us for years that those who build greater trust (and therefore credibility) are the technical experts of the organizations. Is it reasonable who knows more about a product or service than the person who has developed it?

Crisis management

You don't talk to a brand, nor with a company. Communication takes place person by person (the bots thing is another matter, it's not a dialogue, it's a scheduled conversation).

If you get mad at an airline because it delays your arrival four hours, you expect A P2P deal. If the company answers you (an abstraction) you know it's someone following a standard manual response. But if in a Crisis from a hospital, in addition to the brand answers a nurse or nurse with a first and last name, your reaction will be less angry, because that "someone" has taken off his mask.

Sincerely, I can't imagine a famous cook giving his face for a manufacturing error in a pressure cook that advertises in a cooking program.

Professional loyalty

Consciously act as Brand ambassadors Internal (unconsciously, everyone who works as an employee is) is so beneficial to the professional -- or even more- as for the organization:

They value your personal brand, acquire new communication and digital skills, act as informal leaders, as spokespersons... deep down, acquire a sense of belonging with the brand, become something like "emotional shareholders".

I don't like to talk about talent retention, it's about professionals feeling an active part of the brand.

Attracting new professionals

Also known as employer branding. What can attract us as a project has little to do with a foosball or that there is a celebrity who announces the virtues of the organization's brands. What attracts us is the purpose (Purpose), thinking that we can generate value for certain customers, and above all, knowing that those who already work in or for that organization are satisfied and show seamlessly that pride of belonging.

The employer branding will not attract external talent if the intern is not fit (well-paid, Integrated, with project, aligned with the corporate vision...). Let's not forget that today we are one click away from anyone, and it's easy to find someone and ask them about the organization they work for.

The results

This is the best news of a program Brand ambassadors Internal. It's measurable, no undue complications.

The multiplication of the scope of communication and engagement (interaction achieved with brand users) are just two factors. But there's more, as the greatest ease in converting contacts (Leads) obtained through professionals from the organization.

In the article The rise of the social employee in the company I published a lot of data on the effectiveness of such programs. Today there are also several platforms, that through a dashboard and a mobile app allow the organization to measure the return on investment in real time. That's for sure., prior training is necessary for all participants (always voluntarily) in the program. And for this I recommend having facilitators that:

  • Project a personal brand beyond doubt, both privately and publicly (Google…)
  • Have training experience in corporate personal branding and digital skills
  • Ideally, who have held management positions in companies

As a summary of results, The engagement professionals equals the engagement brand (Employee engagement - Brand engagement).

The infographic

You can see the infographic summarizing what was discussed so far. Clicking on this Slideshare link > Employee Advocacy: The strength of the Brand ambassadors Internal you can download it without problems. I hope the information has been helpful to you..

People illustration from shutterstock.com

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About me Guillem Recolons

Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (programs of branded internal ambassadors).

Soymimarca Partner, Integrates Personal Branding and The Human Branding, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting, AdQualis and QUIFER Consultants.

I participate in various programs at IESE, ISDI and EAE, UPF's Social Media Graduate and UVIC, among others. Collegiate advertising, Master in Marketing. Humanities Degree Student.

My advertising DNA comes from 20 years in agencies: Time/BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.

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