Do your co-workers hide when they see you coming? Put you off when you ask them to participate in your marketing?
Do they say they’re too busy to blog, share content or participate in webinars?
If you’re having trouble getting employees to advocate for you, it might be time to change your methods.
With an advocate marketing program, you won’t need to beg employees to help with your marketing. In fact, employees will be so engaged that they will WANT to advocate for you.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve been hosting our Summer Ad-Vacation Series to show you how you can take a vacation while advocates run your desk.
In the first video, we interviewed George Casey, CMO at Junction Solutions, along with his top employee advocate, Industry Principal Brion Reusche. They share ways you can boost employee advocacy without twisting any arms.
You can’t force employees to become advocates
Junction Solutions is an enterprise software company and Microsoft Dynamics Partner that serves the retail, food and beverage, consumer packaged goods and life sciences industries. They have 215 employees across the U.S. and El Salvador.
Prior to launching an advocate marketing program, George had a hard time engaging employee advocates. His marketing team begged employees to take time from their busy schedules to produce thought leadership content. When begging didn’t work, some marketers resorted to force and told employees that they had to advocate as part of their jobs.
These weren’t the best ways to boost employee engagement — or earn popularity points. “I felt like my arm was being twisted,” Brion said.
“While we got some content that way, it wasn’t engaging content,” explained George. “It wasn’t high quality and it lacked passion.”
Getting employees JUICED up about advocacy
George launched an advocate marketing program called JUICE, which stands for Junction Users, Influencers, Customers and Employees. The program allows Junction to build a community, engage its audiences and reward advocates. JUICE also plays a key role in customer satisfaction and retention.
“We need employee advocates, because they have deep knowledge of our industries,” said George.
“We want to share their knowledge, so customers see that we have interesting perspectives on their industries.”
As Junction’s top advocate, Brion tweets, writes blog posts, creates videos and posts demos. He has also invited others to join JUICE and posted reviews about Junction on Glassdoor, a career website.
“JUICE has allowed me to put my thoughts out there and build up my own content repository,” Brion said. “I’ve written blog posts on topics that I frequently talk about. If I don’t want to do a presentation, I point customers and prospects to my blog posts, so they can get answers and understand our value propositions.”
Here is an example of one of Brion’s recent blog posts: Overcoming the Zombie Mall Apocalypse
A little friendly competition goes a long way toward boosting employee engagement
“Our audience responds well to Brion’s content,” said George. “When he creates content, it’s really good for our business, so we want to make the experience good for Brion, too.”
One of Brion’s biggest motivators is competition.
“I’d love to be able to say that it was for altruistic reasons, that I wanted to help Junction get the word out about what we do and how we help customers, but for me it was all about competition,” explained Brion.
“The idea that I could kick other employees’ butts in this is enjoyable to me.”
Brion also appreciates that JUICE runs on Influitive’s user-friendly AdvocateHub. “We’re in the software industry, so it was interesting to see how intuitive the tool was,” he said. “I get very responsive feedback, which is good for what we’re trying to accomplish with an advocacy tool.”
The boost in employee engagement has helped Junction create buzz, bring more advocates into the program and build its list.
“People are really excited to do this,” George said. “By giving them recognition for helping, they’re giving us much higher-quality content.”
Check out the rest of the videos in the Summer Ad-Vacation Series to learn how to get marketers, sales professionals, IT professionals and product managers to advocate for you.