Employee advocacy programme

How to build a great employee advocacy programme

  • Tapping into the power of your employees to share company content
  • Building an employee advocacy programme strategy
  • Step-by-step guidance

Gaining consumer trust should be the priority of every brand. A way of increasing consumer trust is putting together a well thought out and strategic employee advocacy programme.

The power of an employee advocacy programme

The Edelman Trust Barometer has revealed that people are three times more likely to trust company information shared by an employee of that company over the CEO. LinkedIn network activity can back this up even further as the click-through rate (CTR) on a piece of content is twice as high when shared by an employee vs. a generic company account.

Tapping into the power of your employees to share company content should be next on your to-do list! But first you need to empower them, you need to cultivate the right climate for them to feel confident enough to share quality content with their own social networks. Because on average, employee networks have ten times more connections than a company has followers. Now that’s going to expand your reach if you encouraged every employee to share content.

Your employee advocacy programme strategy

Bear in mind that when you first start employee advocacy, your people will be reluctant to dive in. It’s not because they don’t want to be a part of it. It’s more likely that they feel their contribution will be insignificant. Therefore, training is important. People can’t appreciate how a tiny ‘like’ or ‘share’ can really impact the grand scheme of marketing your brand. Also, people are worried about what they can and can’t share about work. Educate, train, give them confidence and before you know it you’ll have an army of brand ambassadors!

So, assuming you’ve got your army out on the front line – here’s what you need to do to build a great employee advocacy programme.

Step 1: Create a solid content strategy

Before you ask your people to advocate for your brand, you should do so with a stash of content behind you – ready to go. This is an obvious one, but we’ve included some tweaks.

Two things really matter here – subject and format:

  • Subject
    Try to create exciting or thought-provoking content that employees will want to share. You could aim for a mix of company related, industry related and general content. It’s a little bit salesy if all people ever share is company specific articles, not to mention drab. Sure, you might get lots of likes and shares this way, but once their peers start noticing a robotic pattern your engagement numbers could drop. Your goal here is to drive engagement with employees and their networks, so match the content with their interests for better results.
  • Format
    Your employees will need a variety of content to post to keep things fun and easy and different formats serve different audiences. Videos are best shared on Instagram, blog posts on LinkedIn and news on Twitter. Social media is for quick snackable content on the go, so try not to flood feeds with 1000-word blogs, instead use social media to hook new audiences, and reel them back to your blog or website for further info.

Step 2: Identify your digital avatar

To get true engagement from your employees you must understand them as social media users. That way you can target them with certain pieces of content for massive impact. We’ve deciphered six types of users that are worth knowing about.

The Ghost: Randomly appears to scatter a few likes here and there, is an avid social media user but keeps a low profile. Target this user with photos and quick links. Or encourage them to simply ‘like’ content.

The Activist: Understands the power of social media and uses it as a weapon to change the world. Target them with newsworthy topics from your company.

The Bleeding Heart: Writes long poetic captions beneath their posts, using their profile as an emotional outlet. This user loves sharing an emotional connection with their followers. Flush them with inspirational content to start the conversation.

The Social Butterfly: Has 3000 friends on Facebook and a dazzling Instagram account. Loves social media and knows just about everyone. (This person is probably already sharing your content.)

The Early Adopter: They did everything before it was ‘cool’. Their pure iciness however is contagious. People look to them for all that is shiny, new and worth talking about. New launch? This person has an army of fans waiting for the down-low.

The Family Man: Bound to have a loyal band of devoted family and friends, this person uses social media to keep in touch with close ones around the world. Their peers are interested in what they have to say so bear this in mind when you want instant engagement with your content.

Step 3: Educate and train

Hold 101 trainings, such as lunch-and-learns and webinars to train employees on how to use social media for work. That way you let them know what’s in it for them:

Being an employee advocate can boost their professional reputations as well as impact the business. In fact, people who share consistently always end up being positioned as thought leaders in the industry, gaining a significant following. The business will also gain traction and start to gain more awareness, boosting sales and attracting top quality hires.

Step 4: Launch your programme

You’ve set your goals, you’ve prepared enough content and you’re ready to launch! Remember the following when your mid-air:

Exploit the channels you already have available, that way you can guarantee a captive audience. And always get leadership involved whenever you can. Arm senior executives, CEOs and MDs with material to share – so they can set a solid example.

Keep momentum

Employee advocacy is another way of engaging with your customers, but remember, like any other content strategy, it requires consistency. It’s paramount to return every so often to your advocates with new insights into how well they’re doing.

Mobilising your workforce to become brand advocates takes a lot of dedication and a positive mindset to get going. But with careful planning you can place your content strategically in the right hands, to be deployed at the right time. This will give you maximum impact, and you’ll boost employee engagement while you’re at it. Not too shabby.

 


For more advice on marketing your brand, contact Fifty Five and Five today or read our case studies to learn how we’ve helped tech companies around the world boost sales and get better ROI from their marketing.

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Nintex case study

Nintex Content creation for the leading workflow brand

Nintex is the recognized global leader in workflow and content automation technology. The company’s easy to use technology solutions support the efficient management of processes at thousands of enterprise organisations worldwide, allowing users to tackle anything from basic business functions like document approval to sophisticated company-wide and even intra-company processes. Nintex solutions allow information workers to quickly and easily build on-prem to cloud-based workflows in a few clicks as no coding is required.

Engaging content that drives traffic

Nintex wanted to build market awareness and drive more traffic to its website, www.nintex.com, through content marketing. However, to produce the kind of consistent, high quality content which would lead to an uptick in traffic, time on site and, ultimately, leads, Nintex knew this would require a lot of time and dedication from internal staff.

The initial engagement with Fifty Five and Five was to produce a couple of blogs and a whitepaper. Over time, this relationship has evolved. Today, we are a strategic communications partner for Nintex who produces weekly blog posts, as well as regular in-depth whitepapers, design work, eBooks and interactive blogs.

Besides content relating to the Nintex Workflow platform, we have also interviewed senior staff at the business to produce thought leadership articles on topics as diverse as the future workplace and guidance on new regulations. We have also interviewed independent experts on how workflow automation could be applied in different industries for the Nintex blog.

Nintex case study

Goals achieved

Nintex's goal with its content marketing campaign was to generate more market awareness and boost traffic to its website. The initial targets have been surpassed. After just a few months of working with Fifty Five and Five, sessions on the Nintex blog had doubled on the previous year, bounce rates had dropped significantly and users heading to Nintex's main website from the blog had grown by 50%.

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proserveit case study

ProServeIT Helping a leading Microsoft Partner stand out online

ProServeIT is a multi-award-winning Microsoft Canada Gold Partner and Citrix Partner. Offering managed services, customer software development, IT service desk, and technology consulting services, they were one of the first Canadian companies to spearhead cloud computing and they have migrated over 200,000 users to the cloud.

ProServeIT had won a steady stream of work via referral. However, they wanted to gain more work organically through their website, and so turned to Fifty Five and Five to help develop a consistent SEO strategy that would help them reach new audiences and win more leads.

A close partnership for successful SEO

Our SEO experts worked closely with ProServeIT's in-house marketing team to help develop an SEO strategy that would help them achieve their goals. We have developed a close relationship where we regularly provide advice and guidance on changes and improvements ProServeIT can make, as well as carrying out optimisation of their website.

ProserveIT case study

Success with SEO is about long term, incremental improvement. Every month, we carry out regular work on ProServeIT's website to help shift individual pages, and the website as a whole, up the search rankings for their target keywords. We also produce a detailed monthly report where ProServeIT can monitor the work we have been doing and the results of that work. This report includes:

  • Data on search traffic
  • An update on unique users
  • Reviewing time spent on the website and user journeys
  • Checking keyword rankings
  • Monitoring leads

We also provide additional advice and guidance for ProServeIT's marketing team, keeping them up to date in latest SEO trends and updates.

A steady rise in traffic, time spent on page and leads

Success with organic SEO is something of a 'long game', yet the results of Fifty Five and Five's work with ProServeIT demonstrate how much impact a consistent strategy can have. For instance, one metric our reports cover is unique website users. 10 months after beginning our engagement with ProServeIT, the number of unique monthly users increased by 58%.

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how to get a featured snippet

How to get a featured snippet for your website

  • What are featured snippets?
  • How can you get your content in a Google featured snippet? 
  • How tech companies can benefit from getting content into featured snippets

A featured snippet is coveted by content writers and web developers alike, across almost all industries and disciplines. That’s because, when your content is featured as a ‘snippet’ in Google search engine results, you can expect a lot more traffic to come through to your site. Even if your blog isn’t the number one search result, if the result is framed by a box, it is more likely to draw the user’s attention. That should mean it will be read and clicked on by a lot of people who are in the market for what you are selling.

What is a featured snippet?

It is simply a featured section of content from a web page that is relevant to the terms or phrase searched for. Usually, it appears at the top of the search results page, highlighted in a text box. If you use Google (and really, who doesn’t!) you’ve seen them. If you haven’t, ask your search engine a question: “how to write a tech blog?” for example. The results will likely contain a featured snippet in a text box giving you a quick answer to your query.

The goal or purpose of a featured snippet is to provide the user with a quick answer to their question, saving them having to read through many different webpages.

According to reports, about 12.29% of search results have featured snippets on the results page. If you can optimise your content so that your search engine will decide it answers a question, you massively boost your chances of readers visiting your website.

how to get a featured snippet

 

Most featured snippets serve to answer public queries quickly in as few words as possible, by search engines extracting related information from all online content. Therefore, tailoring your content to answer a specific question will massively boost your chances of readers visiting your website.

Getting your content into a featured snippet?

There is no exact formula for guaranteeing a featured snippet of your content, especially as Google’s search algorithm continues to evolve. However, there are certain measures you can take to give yourself the best chance.

  • Find keywords you’re currently ranking highly for
  • Choose a page to optimise for an answer box
  • Choose the kind of answer box you want to rank for
  • Edit the copy to be ‘answer box- friendly

4 tips on how to get a featured snippet in Google for your content:

1. Find keywords you’re currently ranking on page 1

Search engines like Google will extract its featured snippets from the top ten ranked web pages. You don’t have to be the first ranked page to get a featured snippet. It can extract answers from any of the ten organic results on page one. So, even if your page is at the bottom of the first page, with the right optimisation Google is still likely to extract your information and turn it into a featured snippet.

Choose blogs or web pages you currently rank on the top page for. To do this use an analytics software site like Moz. If you don’t rank on the top page, you need to get there first. Do this by optimising your content. See our other posts to help you with this.

2. Select a page to optimise for a snippet

A blog on company news, or an update to your product, probably won’t be right for answer box optimisation. You will likely need a page that answers a question. Choose a page and tweak if necessary to improve its SEO optimisation.

3. Change the copy to be more appropriate for a featured snippet

The most important thing to know about optimising content to be answer box-friendly is that, at present, the featured snippet algorithm seems to be less sophisticated than Google’s more general search algorithm. Using specific formatting headers like H2 and H3 can help Google to see your information as a featured snippet.

So, make your content as simple as possible for the best chance at netting a featured snippet. For relevant content to be extracted, it’s a good idea to state what the content on the page is about in a way that is understandable. This especially goes for technical content that can sometimes be difficult to grasp. Turning a piece of content from a detailed review of a work process that contains all the right information into a ‘Top 5 process best practice’ article is a good example. By using a list format to simplify your content, you are making the content more snippet-optimal.

4. Optimise your current content

  • Rename your blog titles to include words like ‘how to’
  • Use numbered lists
  • Write copy which clearly shows that the content is an answer to something. For example: “how to” or “easy ways to”
  • Write a short title or introductory sentence which includes your keyword, immediately before the content you wish to be in the featured snippet – that could be a list, a paragraph or a table.

The featured snippet bump

A featured snippet for your keywords could be a serious boost to your page visits, which directly correlates to the number of leads you can expect to receive. Our clients are tech organisations, who are predominantly part of the Microsoft Partner Network and we believe that these companies are really missing out on the huge ROI that featured snippets can offer them.

So if you think your company could do more to optimise its search results and get a greater return from its marketing, get in touch and see how we can help.

 


Fifty Five and Five are a full-service digital marketing agency, guiding clients through the entirety of the content process—from ideation and creation to distribution and analytics. For more information, get in touch with us today.

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prosymmetry case study

ProSymmetry A sleek and modern website for a leading ISV.

A cool vendor for 2016

ProSymmetry are the people behind Tempus Resource, a resource management tool that helps Project Managers model their project data. Identified as a ‘Cool Vendor’ by analyst Gartner, ProSymmetry enables companies of any size to make data-driven resource decisions.

prosymmetry case study

Web, social campaigns and content

We began working with ProSymmetry to modernise their website, and our relationship has developed to the point that we provide them with the ‘full works’ of our digital marketing offering. Since we upgraded their website, we now maintain it and keep it fresh with regular blogging and SEO management. We also help them tell their story with high value content in the form of whitepapers and eBooks, along with lead nurturing email and social campaigns. Our monthly reports and site performance analysis mean they can see the impact of the work we're doing.

ProSymmetry target the niche field of Resource Management, so they needed an agency that can understand the complexities of this specialism, and produce content that feels authoritative and relevant for a very specific audience. We know how to speak to that audience in a way that engages them and our marketing has helped grow traffic to ProSymmetry's website and the number of leads acquired through their digital channels.

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Why attending Microsoft Inspire Conference 2018 might be the best thing you do all year – thoughts from Jennifer Tomlinson

  • Discover why the Inspire Conference 2018 is better than ever
  • Find out how attending Inspire will benefit your business
  • Discover the top reasons why you should be attending 

This guest post is authored by Jennifer Tomlinson, Channel Marketing Evangelist, and Senior Manager for Global Partner Channels and Programs for the Microsoft Partner Network. We wanted to hear her thoughts on the upcoming Microsoft Inspire Conference 2018 and top tips for partners looking to get the most out of the event.

[mks_dropcap style="letter" size="52" bg_color="#ffffff" txt_color="#20a1d6"]T[/mks_dropcap]here are so many ways we can gain access to information these days; so many great ways to sharpen our skills. We can read blogs, watch "TED Talks", listen to podcasts or sit in on live webinars without ever having to leave our desk (or even home). So, with such a rich vein of information and communication constantly at hand, and with it taking less time to do everything we want to do these days, why would we incur the time and expense of attending a conference, and in person at that?

Well actually, there are many reasons. In fact, attending conferences may be one of the best things you do all year, for yourself and for your business.

What is Microsoft Inspire Conference 2018?

Formerly the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft Inspire Conference 2018 is the biggest event of the year for Microsoft Partners. It has previously hosted 16,000-plus attendees from over 130 countries and is a week packed full of networking, learning and ideas. This year’s event will be hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 15th–19th and is sure to be action-packed with all kinds of resources, all with the goal of enabling Microsoft partners to accelerate business and increase profitability.

Conferences are a great way of meeting people that can be of benefit to your business

It should probably go without saying that if you are considering attending a conference, it should be the right one. You wouldn’t attend a conference for physicians if you weren’t a doctor. So, it’s obviously important to choose an event that will cater to your field of interest. And if you’re a Microsoft Partner (or someone thinking of becoming one) there’s no place quite like Microsoft Inspire. Let’s look at some of the key reasons you, and your business, should attend Microsoft Inspire Conference 2018:

Creating leads and partnerships

Networking is one of the most obvious goals for a lot of people when they register for a conference like Inspire Conference 2018. And it makes sense: for all that social networking and great communication solutions give us for connecting with each other during the year, there’s nothing quite like the opportunity to meet existing customers and clients and potential customers in person. The Inspire Conference 2018 gives you the chance to swap ideas (and contact details) and turn leads into sales, sales into returning customers and early-stage meetings into firm partnerships.

It’s not just potential customers that you’ll be meeting at Inspire, either. The event is also full of other Microsoft partners that bring with them in-depth learning on business-building strategies across multiple industries. It’s a hotbed of ideas and inspiration (hence the name) and could well prove to be just what you need to stimulate the next great solution for your organisation or a face-to-face conversation that can lead to your company’s next big opportunity.

Strengthen partnership with Microsoft

Kicking off with a keynote from Satya Nadella, or an event hosted by Gavriella Schuster, and many more events by leading figures in the Microsoft family and across the tech industry is just the beginning. In addition to the keynotes, you’ll have the chance to meet and connect with plenty of Microsoft contacts. You never know who you will run into at a partner party or in the lunch line on the expo floor. This is true for all conferences but is especially true at Inspire, where you’ll be sharing floor space with industry experts and a huge contingent from Microsoft themselves. You might not bump into Satya himself, but there are ample opportunities to build some great contacts with Microsoft representatives.

Keynotes, workshops and interactive presentations

Inspire is known for its sessions and 2018 it’s set to be better than ever, and there will be plenty of seminars that you’re not going to want to miss. A full schedule will be out soon: keep up with the latest information on the Inspire homepage or follow on Twitter.

Inspire Conference 2018 is about learning, improving and developing sales, marketing and leadership strategies while increasing technical and business acumen on Microsoft products and solutions. It’s where you and thousands of other partners get to meet to exchange ideas and transform business. Mingle with fellow partners and attend keynotes with Microsoft leaders and breakout sessions with industry experts.

So, if you want a conference that focuses on marketing, customer experience, social media and content, as well as all the other benefits I’ve mentioned above, then come to Las Vegas on July 15th and take part in a week full of festivities and see how your organisation can benefit most from the partner gathering of 2018. It might take some planning to make the most of your trip, but Inspire Conference 2018 has the potential to give your business a boost that will last for the rest of the year and beyond—and you can’t say that for a podcast or an informational video!

If you haven't already, don't forget to register for Inspire Conference 2018. We'll see you in July!

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We want to thank Jennifer for her time discussing Microsoft Inspire Conference 2018 and all the things that partners have to look forward to this year! Don't forget to check back with us for the latest updates in coming months.

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Want to register for Microsoft Inspire 2018?

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