Often, your employees can be your most authentic brand ambassadors. Working for your company every day means they have great inside knowledge of the best parts of the business, and if done so authentically, can really express why your company is a great place to work and be an effective part of your employer brand and wider marketing strategy.
Historically, being an ambassador for a brand was outsourced, for example to an influencer, but now more and more companies are taking this brand advocate role in house and making it part of their internal marketing strategy.
What is an employee brand ambassador?
They are people who promote your brand in a positive light to your customers, potential customers and employees and current staff. In doing this, they increase awareness of what you do.
Brand ambassadors not only promote your company values, but embody them. They have an excellent understanding of the organisation and are able to talk about what you do with ease and confidence. You don't need specific qualifications to be a brand ambassador – which makes it a cost-effective form of marketing to establish within your business.
Why are brand ambassadors important?
Many companies view having brand ambassadors as a ‘nice to have’ – viewing other areas as much more important. However, there are far-reaching benefits to embedding brand ambassadors into of your organisation as you would with all other processes.
Their reach is both internal and external, and they keep morale high.
One great aspect to brand ambassadorship is that these ambassadors are able to promote your brand in multiple ways. They act as advocates for your company internally, to other employees, and externally with, for example, each social media post.
With staff working in different locations, a brand representative can raise brand awareness, and motivate others to live brand values, keeping existing employees invested in your company and keen to stay on within the organisation. – according to LinkedIn, “Perhaps one of the best things your internal brand ambassador can do is inspire other employees to become brand ambassadors, both internally and externally”. Indeed, they “encourage collaboration and creativity. The internal brand ambassador also promotes growth by building bridges to connect your staff, customers and brand culture in a way that really brings the company vision and mission to life.”
They bring authenticity and honesty to your communications.
Forbes points out that “employee brand ambassadors are genuine, credible sources of information. The old days of automatic brand trust are changing with younger generations. Many Gen Zers and Millennials, especially, can be sceptical of brands but believe in the power of people.”
They already have the knowledge.
Unlike using someone external to be an advocate for your brand, employees already have a deep knowledge of your company, making brand advocacy more seamless.
In order to produce good employee brand ambassadors, you need a solid company culture that employees can genuinely buy into. If your workplace culture is not up to scratch, you're not going to create authentic ambassadors or have employees who want to represent the brand. A lot of this centres around having the right core values and attracting the right talent in the first place.
You also want to ensure that employees are given the opportunity to develop and feel prioritised and valued. “You should focus on individual talents and goals to keep employees happy and inspired,” says business.com. Strong mental wellbeing practices and support also show you're prioritising your staff. A strong, positive work culture will ensure employees feel valued, giving them a sense of belonging, which will foster a want to authentically promote the business, generating the ideal brand ambassador.
Providing them with the right training
While genuine interest and passion are important when it comes to being a successful brand ambassador, it’s important that they are also given the appropriate training so as to take on the brand ambassador role with confidence, in turn enabling them to reach your target audience more effectively.
Giving said employees the right training – through programmes or mentorship from other employees, will help ensure the messaging they are delivering is on brand and represents your brand’s values. For example, developing a social media guidelines toolkit with Legal and General provided their employees with the knowledge and practical tips to be effective social media influencers for followers of the company’s social channels.
Although anyone within the business can take on this role, according to EveryoneSocial, you would want to make sure those identified as brand ambassadors regularly communicate with people outside the organisation, as this is most likely to gather the best results.
How can employee ambassadors spread the word?
So, you have your potential brand ambassadors in mind – how should they actually go about marketing your company outwardly and inwardly?
A good brand ambassador might:
- Ghostwrite blogs for your site
- Reshare and talk about your company in a social media post and generally aid your marketing efforts
- Share images of the workplace and videos of the company on social networks in an authentic way – for example a work social or gathering
- Promote or showcase any benefits you have as an employer, or your standout flexible working arrangements
At Wardour, we have worked with many organisations to help them build successful brand ambassadors. For example, our work with Informa included a series of videos of colleagues from several of the company’s global offices sharing their ‘Life@Informa’ journeys, with a particular focus on how these embodied the company’s core values. Participants were identified by Wardour and Informa collectively through a pre-interview process to ensure they were the right brand ambassador for the company; this ensured colleagues would be comfortable telling their story (yielding a far more powerful result) and also provided them with the opportunity to help participants build their personal brand.
To find out how we can support with your employer brand, email us at email@example.com.
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