Video Insider: Creating Employee Brand Ambassadors For Video Campaigns
Creating Employee Brand Ambassadors For Video Campaigns by Tyler Willis , Tuesday, March 10, 2009
In this struggling economy, many brands are looking for new ways to build better relationships with customers and prospects while lowering their costs. Because they are measurable, engaging, and cost-effective (relative to traditional marketing), viral video campaigns provide brands with the right avenue for communicating and engaging with customers and opportunities.
More often than not, a key to building better relationships with your audiences requires that you connect them to a real person who can serve as a sincere face for -- a more humanized angle to -- your brand identity. Here, empowering your own employees to promote your viral campaigns can lower your acquisition/marketing costs, create a tangible brand experience for your audiences, and boost morale within your organization.
Why tap into this internal network? Well, in the first place, viral video campaigns need a committed set of brand influencers who will get the ball rolling by spreading your marketing messages far and wide. These influencers provide social proof that your campaign is active and generating interest, so those who follow feel more comfortable watching and sharing your content.
Often, digital marketers will spend a lot of their time trying to find and motivate external evangelists to help out with this promotion. Unfortunately, these marketers will many times completely ignore a given company's employees: an existing base of support that is (more often than not) already highly engaged, deeply connected, and intimately knowledgeable of said brand's key selling points and honest differentiators.
It's very likely that your organization is full of potential ambassadors who can champion your brand to their friend networks via email and, given their meteoric growth over the past several years, social networks. Facebook, in particular, provides a number of compelling and effectively push-button ways to distribute your viral videos widely and continually. Among other things, it offers a number of built-in and optional viral channels (profile pages, news feeds, friend invites, branded video applications, etc.) that are not available on video sites like YouTube.
Given the mainstream proliferation of Facebook (the site has over 175 million users and is growing rapidly), and the fact that the median Facebook user has 132 friends (according to a recent study done by AgentWildfire), Facebook offers your internal ambassadors an optimal medium for propagating your latest (or first) video marketing campaign.
What about best practices? While there's a great chance that your employees will get a morale boost by being involved in your video campaign's success, you should make sure to offer clear incentives wherever possible. Whether this comes in the form of an internal contest, a promise of internal acknowledgement, or something else entirely, such recognition is vital to securing your employees' short-term and long-term commitment as brand ambassadors. They're the ones putting in the hard work, so make sure that this is well known amongst your employees. Ultimately, rewarding your best contributors (even if it's just with a public thank you) is one offline tactic for locking in online success
Willis is the 22-year-old director of marketing for Involver, a technology company that help brands distribute, track and optimize video campaigns on social networks. Willis writes about virality, engagement and monetization at http://blog.involver.com and is @tylerwillis on twitter. He can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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