Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social media, emails, SMS – business owners are inundated with new marketing and sales ideas every day. One resource that can be overlooked, however, is already at your disposal, possibly sitting a few chairs down from you.
At the heart of your business and as the people who know it best, your employees are probably full of ideas and often hold a lot of power when it comes to retaining existing clients and getting new ones over the line.
Here’s how to make it happen:
1. Keep employees happy.
Your employees won’t have many nice things to say if they aren’t happy in their jobs. Your first port of call is to invest in a positive workplace environment where people feel listened to, respected and valued.
An open atmosphere with incentives for hard work, opportunities for personal growth, career progression and sharing of ideas can build a sense of investment in your success. Retention of happy staff not only saves money but enhances their depth of understanding and you gain the benefit of that experience.
2. Send them to networking and training events.
One effective way to promote your company is through informal connections between staff and potential clients at conferences, networking events and professional development courses. Make it a priority to send staff to these events as often as you can. Consider running training sessions to help them develop their networking skills before they go, to maximise return on your investment.
3. Get employees involved with marketing.
Because they know your business and your customers best, employees in all areas will have their own ideas about marketing strategies. Showing you value their input – whether or not they work in marketing – provides motivation to contribute ideas. Professional development can enhance their appreciation of what role they can play in promoting the business.
Here’s how to put that knowledge to use:
- Ask for feedback on current and future marketing strategies – for example, ask sales staff to let you know how customers respond to a promotion
- Encourage staff to share business updates and promotional materials on their social media
- Let your employees know that you’re open to their marketing ideas and feedback by making it easy for them to contribute. Create an email address, chat channel or other forum where they can share ideas and record positive feedback for marketing campaigns.
4. Promote your employees, promote yourself.
When your people speak openly about their own successes, inside and outside the business, it can only reflect positively on your business. Highlighting employee accomplishments provides a human face for clients to connect with. Turn staff achievements into marketing opportunities by:
- Profiling employees for your blog, podcast, or newsletter
- Providing a write-up for them to post on social media
- Encourage all staff to post about their successes.
5. Check-in regularly.
If you keep staff in the loop with what’s happening in your business, they’ll be able to spread the word. You can learn about their successes and capture opportunities to enhance the human element of your business’ image.
Gather the team monthly to ask for their input on what they would like to see in the business and gauge their ideas for marketing and promotion. This is a powerful way to make them feel involved and more motivated to promote your business.
Employees – your secret marketing weapon.
As a society, we’re bombarded with marketing material and it can be hard to know what to trust or buy into. That’s why genuine word-of-mouth recommendations and positive feedback are so powerful. As the people who know your business best, your staff can be a valuable asset when it comes to promotions.
The key is to create a positive work culture, leverage networking events and encourage them to get involved with your marketing efforts.
Want to know more about boosting your brand presence? Download our guide to social media advertising for small business.