Getting the word out about a new product or service is challenging when your audience is the public, but getting employee buy-in? Well, that can be a little bit trickier. Your employees have been entrenched in your brand from day one - they know what's worked, what hasn't, and likely have strong opinions formed before a product even hits the market.
That's precisely why their input is so valuable: they're arguably the most informed consumers your brand will ever encounter, and their gut feelings are based on years - perhaps even decades - of exposure to your brand's marketing campaign strategies. Consider them the ultimate litmus test, and use these steps to ethically sway their honest opinions in alignment with your goals:
1.) Let them use it for themselves
When you have a narrative built around your product, the natural inclination is to protect it, but that could easily - and incorrectly - influence the feedback you get from employees. Encourage them to use the product or service at home, away from the office, whenever possible. Ask for their opinions in a private, one-on-one meeting to avoid groupthink becoming an obstacle. Give them an opportunity to submit anonymous feedback, as well - they might feel uncomfortable delivering negative feedback directly to management team members.
2.) Ask them about their favorite product from your company
Your internal marketing campaign will reflect the truths already in play in your office; if an employee tells you that product X is their favorite because they believe in it, or that it's easy to sell, get to the bottom of why they feel that way. Does product X have any features in common with product Y? Is product X being sold in certain markets that product Y might also thrive in? When you ask questions like these, you tap into the rich, collective well of brand experience your employees have to offer.
3.) Involve employees at every level
This is a particularly important step for internal marketing campaign initiatives, such as employee benefit programs. While your staff looks to their management team for guidance, you'll get better marketing mileage by tapping into their peers as well. Find enthusiastic, outgoing employees from the offices to the warehouses, and get direct quotes, pictures, or even videos of them talking about the product or service. When your team sees a familiar face, they're more likely to trust the message - think of it as influencer marketing that never needs to leave the building.
4.) Use a low-barrier medium
If your employees need to travel outside of their normal work websites to view a video, or sign up and log in on a messaging site, they're less likely to see and digest your message. Instead, use email, monitors that already exist in common areas, and other mediums they naturally encounter every day. This willhelp you capture organic attention, which will in turn resonate more deeply throughout your campaign.
5.) Obtain consent for usage rights in videos, images, and quotes
If you don't already have a clause built into your employment contracts, be sure to secure legal permissions to capture and use employee likenesses. The small internal campaign you're running today could easily be a large potential investor presentation tomorrow - don't get blindsided by failing to get signed usage contracts from employees. Most of the time, these documents are very simple and templated, they'll only require an employees signature to ensure validity.
These five simple tips will keep your internal marketing efforts focused and sustainable, as well as setting them up to be a big hit with your employees. Get feedback, give valuable team members their fifteen minutes of fame, and strengthen brand buy-in and loyalty with employees at every level of your organization; it will ultimately make your company even stronger than it is already.