Last week, I did a webinar with industry leading content marketing platform, Newscred. If you don’t use their platform for your content marketing efforts, you should consider doing so. Read this article about their capabilities from Fast Company to learn more.
The topic … Brand Storytelling.
Specifically, how brands (large and small) can and should mobilize their workforce and empower their employees to feed the content engine with relevant, game-changing and meaningful content.
In case you are too busy to register and listen to the webinar, here is a quick summary with the slides below.
I usually start off my presentations talking about the external market place. Slides 2 – 7 highlight 5 digital truths that brands must consider if they truly want to reach new audiences:
- There is a content and media surplus
- There is an attention deficit in the minds of consumers
- Consumer behavior is hard to predict. The way they consume content is dynamic
- Consumers have tunnel vision only have the capacity to consume highly relevant content
- All consumers are influential
And despite these external challenges, your core business objectives will always remain the same. They will never change, whatever they may be (customer acquisition, revenue, stock price, etc.)
I then discuss the four pillars of brand storytelling – brand goals, brand narrative, content operations and media distribution/integration. I spent some time on this slide explaining how employee advocacy (brand journalism) would fit strategically into the content operations pillar.
Slide 10 – 12 really dig into defining social business and how a strategic framework is needed to deploy brand storytelling programs. Slide 13 – 14 are industry data points from Edelman and the Society for New Communications Research that lay the foundation for employee empowerment and engagement. Slide 15 are six strategic reasons why employee brand advocacy is a smart thing to do because it can drive brand awareness, change brand perceptions, educate customers/prospects and influence their peers to buy, etc.
I conclude the presentation with an action plan on how to deploy an employee brand storytelling program; and it’s actually an intuitive process:
- Define the program: This is the most critical and it will take into consideration most of the operational elements to get the program launched and include the goals/objectives, program logistics (what do you call it?), the selection criteria, measurement, program management, etc.
- Identifying the right employees: My advice here is to start small. Choose a handful of employees (those who want to be involved or who are already socially proficient), establish some best practices/wins and then scale the program. Oh, and it’d be good to partner with Human Resources and/or Employee Communications too.
- Activate storytelling initiatives: Brand storytelling is so much more than employees retweeting, liking and commenting on branded updates. It requires strategic “calls to action” that fall within the brand’s overall content strategy. Many times, this will also require technology applications like Dynamic Signal, Branderati or Influitive that can help facilitate the content supply chain between employees.
- Amplify employee stories: Amplifying stories can be as simple as sharing employee content on branded channels or as complex as building out a portal of media that features content from employees, customers and branded content as well.
- Measure & Optimize: This is pretty straightforward. You first need to establish a set of KPIs when defining the program and then measure your success once the program launches.
Enjoy the slides.