With the increasing SEO competition, changing social media algorithms, and rising digital advertising costs that marketers are facing now, it’s a real challenge for them to increase their content marketing ROI.
Creating customer-focused content is no longer the staple of a successful content marketing strategy. You need to be able to produce engaging content, find the right social media channels, and find ways to lower your content production costs in order to maximize your content marketing ROI.
Your company’s employees are among your strongest, yet often most underrated, assets when it comes to content production.
Here’s how engaging your employees through an employee advocacy program can increase your content marketing results and ROI:
Add in-House Members to Your Content Team with Employee Advocacy
Your marketing team works on several content marketing projects. In addition to producing content, your marketers are also curating industry-related content on a daily basis. As your content requirements are increasing, you may want to outsource a part of your content production strategy to freelance content writers or content marketing agencies.
However, a smarter strategy might be what marketing thought leader Marcus Sheridan calls insourcing, which is when content marketers “outsource” content creation to other employees inside your company.
With insourcing, your content marketing resources still increase to meet your marketing objectives. However, you get other internal resources involved in your content marketing strategy instead of working with external writers.
The process itself is already cost-effective and can lower your marketing investments, but the approach improves your content marketing ROI as well. By tapping into talents throughout your entire company, including sales reps and customer success managers, your marketing team can even better understand your target audience and create content that meets their needs.
Your marketing team is probably plenty versatile and great at wrapping its heads around your sales prospects’ pain points. But there’s nothing like the authenticity that experts who have discussions with leads or develop the product can provide. Sales reps are the ones who actually speak with prospects and need to field their objections day in, day out. And your product engineers are the people who actually roll up their sleeves and know what’s under the hood.
The more help you can get from your employees to create your brand’s media assets, the better position you’ll be in to create content that actually resonates with the buyers in your niche.
Whether they’re creating that content for your website or external content publishers, getting significant input from non-marketers at your company will pay off in your marketing ROI down the road.
Your Employees Can Increase Your Brand Awareness
In addition to helping your marketing team when it comes to content creation on topics related to their expertise, your employees can also support your brand awareness efforts.
By implementing an employee advocacy program, you encourage your employees to share content related to your brand and to their own expertise, grow their work-related online networks, and develop their personal brands.
All of those activities help you to make sure that more people – and more of the right people – know about your business. It generates conversations about your brand in an effective way.
The impact of earned media value can even surpass that of paid advertising like Google PPC or Facebook Ads. Prospects tend to be more responsive to reviews or recommendations from their networks than ads. Content shared by trustworthy contacts carries more implicit trust. Employee advocacy allows you to leverage that trust in order to bring prospects into your marketing funnel faster.
Employee Advocacy Drives Traffic to Your Website
Finally, in addition to increasing brand awareness at the top of the marketing funnel, employee advocacy can help drive direct traffic to your website at any stage of the buyer’s journey.
As previously discussed, a great employee advocacy program should include your whole team – not only marketers – to share content and engage with people on social media.
While content marketing used to be considered as an alternative to paid advertising, many marketers now have to use ads in order to succeed. Content Marketing Institute found that 66% of B2B marketers currently use paid advertising in their content marketing. Of these marketers, 65% said that one of the reasons why they decided to invest in paid ads was because organic reach isn’t producing the expected results.
But when your employees are engaged brand advocates, your marketing campaigns can reach their whole online networks as well. That increase in reach, coupled with your team’s ability to qualify leads better than any advertising algorithm, allows you to acquire new leads for much less than the industry average of nearly $200 per lead.
Your employees can help your marketing team to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and build trust. Implementing an employee advocacy program is a great way to improve your content marketing ROI by encouraging employees to create and share brand but also industry-related content with their own networks.
Feeling inspired? Check out our eBook "How Employee Advocacy Boosts Content Marketing" for additional tips!