by Michael Idinopulos
on October 15, 2013

Marketers Should Look to their Employees

Digital marketing is moving from a game of broadcast to one of orchestration.

Broadcast is Past

Digital marketing used to be a game of broadcast. Marketers built web content and pushed it out as best they could to the marketplace. It was their content, their real estate, their voice. They used advertising, paid search, and SEO to drive traffic to it.

Social changes all of that, and it’s a radical disruption.

Your employees are on social. They’re on Twitter, they’re on Facebook, they’re on LinkedIn. Each employee operates multiple websites–their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles. Each profile gets hits every week. Add them all up, and your employees are getting thousands or hundreds of thousands of hits every week. Maybe even more than your corporate website.

Most of the traffic is free. You didn’t pay your employees to be on social. Even if you’re buying social advertising, the traffic is going to your corporate site not to your employees’ pages. Your employee-generated traffic is free.

With all that free traffic comes a loss of control. Eyeballs are going to employee profiles–personal websites–that you don’t manage. You didn’t write the content. Your design firm didn’t select the visuals. Nobody A/B tested your employees’ LinkedIn profiles. You didn’t hold a focus group.

Marketing as Orchestration

That loss of corporate control is pushing digital marketing to a game of orchestration.

Employee-led marketing only works when employees are putting out content that helps. It needs to be accurate, high-quality, and on-message.

Many, perhaps most, employees on social aren’t doing your company any favors. Their profiles aren’t good. They haven’t built up relevant professional networks. They don’t actively engage their networks with frequent updates.

It’s not that employees don’t want to contribute to your marketing. They don’t know what they’re doing. They haven’t given it a lot of thought. They’re not professional marketers. They need help.

As a digital marketer in the age of social, you need to make sure the content that is “out there” for the market to see is content that helps your company.

That’s a game of orchestration. Without controlling your employees’ profiles, you want them to reflect positively on your brand and company. You want them to reinforce your messages.

The best way to do that is simply to tell employees what you’d like them to share. What are the messages and images your employees can get excited about sharing that will also benefit the company? Without mandating, simply tell them what you’d like them to share. Good employees want to help the company, and they’re happy to use social tools to do that.

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