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How to Use Visual Marketing for Employee Advocacy

By Ann Smarty, Jul 18, 2021

Updated July 18, 2023

Employee advocacy has become a buzzword in social media marketing. And yet, like with any other trend, not many businesses understand the concept.

It’s important to get a deep sense of what exactly employee advocacy is and how it can be utilized by your company.

It is a combination of a few different trends which have brought employee advocacy into its well-deserved spotlight:

  • The evolution of social media from a marketing function to that encompassing the entire enterprise, and thus the transition towards social business
  • The growing numbers of employees themselves becoming members of the various social networks
  • The growth in social selling programs and the need to “feed” content to aid in the personal branding of sales and business development executives
  • Social media agencies and others in the social media ecosystem looking for new ways to increase revenues (I even had one person tell me, “We now re-sell (employee advocacy platform name) so we can “do” employee advocacy now…)

This combination of events means that companies are now more than ever looking at how to either begin or optimize an employee advocacy program. Unfortunately for many marketers, employee advocacy is not a technical SEO project nor is it a matter of simply pre-scheduling a week’s worth of content on a weekly basis and managing engagement. 

Employee advocacy goes deep into the very internal culture of your company and requires an enterprise-wide effort to be successful, including buy-in from management. 

In other words, I always say that social media is part science and part art, and employee advocacy leans heavily on the “art” in that you are trying to enlist the collaboration, not of external influencers or current brand advocates, but of those sitting in the cubicles all around you who might want to keep their use of social media as private as possible.

Here’s a good place to start: Use visual marketing to launch your employee advocacy strategy. It is creative, exciting and pretty easy to accomplish.

Why Use Visual Marketing for Employee Advocacy?

Because it captures attention and makes everyone excited quicker than plain text.

Collaborating on creating and marketing visual assets will likely get all your employees excited.

As you craft images for your business, consider how they will best represent your brand. The goal of visually appealing images is to instantly attract people’s attention while creating a visual connector between your offline and online marketing.

Publish the Behind-the-Scenes Content on Social Media

And let your team come up with ideas and content! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

When it comes to engaging with your audience on social media, offering a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes action can be incredibly effective. Here are ten creative content ideas to share:

  1. Exclusive sneak peeks: Tease upcoming projects, products, or events by sharing sneak peeks with your followers, building anticipation and excitement.
  2. Day-in-the-life: Take your audience through a typical day in your business or personal life, showcasing the people and processes that make it all happen.
  3. Team introductions: Introduce your team members individually, highlighting their roles and unique personalities to foster a stronger connection with your audience.
  4. Behind-the-camera: Share bloopers, outtakes, and funny moments that occurred while creating your content, giving a human touch to your brand.
  5. Workspace tour: Take your followers on a virtual tour of your workspace, giving them an insight into where the magic happens.
  6. Product development journey: Document the journey of creating a new product, from ideation to testing and refinement, showing the dedication behind your brand.
  7. Community spotlights: Showcase your customers or followers by featuring their stories, experiences, and testimonials, demonstrating the value your brand brings to their lives.
  8. Collaboration preparations: Offer a behind-the-scenes look at the process of collaborating with another brand or influencer, generating excitement for the upcoming partnership.
  9. Event preparation: Before a big event or launch, share the preparation and setup process, making your audience feel like they are part of the event’s build-up.

By sharing behind-the-scenes content, you humanize your brand, foster transparency, and create a stronger sense of community, leading to increased engagement and loyalty from your employees.

This strategy is at the core of a strong employer brand as explained by Smart Dreamers, an AI-powered recruiting platform.

employer brand

Work with Different Teams on Visual Content Ideas

Executives and business owners need to work with different teams on visual content ideas to harness the power of diverse perspectives and expertise. Collaborating with various teams, such as marketing, design, and content creation, ensures a well-rounded approach to visual content that resonates with a broader audience. 

Each team brings unique insights and content marketing hints, enabling the creation of compelling visuals that align with the brand’s message, values, and target market. Additionally, this collaborative process encourages innovation, drives creativity, and enhances the overall quality of visual content, ultimately contributing to a more successful and impactful social media presence and marketing strategy.

Moreover, this collaborative effort fosters a sense of ownership and pride among team members, leading to higher motivation and creativity in producing compelling visual assets for the brand’s content marketing campaigns.

Encourage Them to Brainstorm and Create Together

Encouraging employees to brainstorm and create visual assets together is a powerful strategy that fosters a collaborative and creative work environment. By involving various team members in the process, you tap into a diverse pool of skills, perspectives, and ideas, leading to more innovative and impactful visual content. This collaborative approach not only strengthens team cohesion but also empowers individuals to contribute their unique talents, boosting their sense of ownership and pride in the final results.

When employees collaborate on visual content, they gain a deeper understanding of the brand’s values, goals, and target audience, resulting in visuals that align better with the company’s overall vision. The collective effort generates a range of fresh and compelling ideas, helping the business stand out in the competitive landscape of content marketing.

Involving employees in visual content creation instills a sense of trust and value, as they are recognized and engaged in important aspects of the company’s marketing strategy. This involvement can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation, ultimately benefiting productivity and overall employee happiness.

To facilitate this process, provide a platform for open communication and idea-sharing, and celebrate and reward creative contributions. Collecting insights from other teams (like customer support, sales and reporting teams), you can create an even more effective strategy. Email platforms, business phone apps, all-in-one marketing tools, CRM software, etc. – all of these have built-in notes and analytics allowing you to collect content ideas.

Emphasize that every team member’s input is valued and that their efforts collectively contribute to the success of the visual content initiatives. Through teamwork and creativity, the organization can unlock its full potential and deliver compelling and resonant visual assets that leave a lasting impression on the audience.

Text Optimizer is a great content ideation tool: It uses semantic analysis to cluster your target topic into related concepts allowing you to come up with (visual) content ideas and optimization tactics:

Text Optimizer

Venngage: A Perfect Visual Cross-Team Collaboration Platform

If you thought creating visual content was going to be expensive or hard, I’ve got some good news for you. It isn’t.

You don’t need to hire a graphics designer or buy an expensive copy of Photoshop for visual content marketing. You can get it done using Venngage, a free tool which also has Premium plans to get access to all features starting at $10/month.

Dubbed as the “Swiss Knife of Visual Content,” Venngage allows you to create eye-catching visuals in the form of infographics and presentations, all in one place and for free for up to three projects a month.

Virtually everyone needs to express their ideas in the form of content. And visual content in the form of presentations and infographics are highly engaging when compared to their textual counterparts.

Venngage

Venngage is a web-based app that is disrupting how content gets created. You can translate your ideas into visuals that pop and bring boring text to life.

Venngage can be used to create a range of visuals, such as:

  • Presentations
  • Infographics
  • Banner ads
  • Graphs and charts

To get started, you can do a 1-click login with Facebook/Google or create a Venngage account that only takes seconds. Once inside, you’re given a choice to create a new “Venngage” such as a presentation, infographic or a banner ad.

There are a lot more features inside – a choice of text styles, shapes, icons, infograph widgets, free images, and charts and graphs.

Every published project can be shared, embedded or downloaded on your computer in the form of an image, PDF or HTML page that retains all your interactivity. You can also password-protect your projects for offline use.

To get a better understanding of what the tool can do for you, check out the video below:

In short, you want to give this tool a try because:

  • It’s a multi-tool app which means you can create inforgraphics, presentations, aninations, banner ads all in one place
  • There’s no coding necessary, so every of your team can participate
  • You can animate individual objects on the canvas
  • You can download and password-protect your content

Once your assets are created, you can use tools like Vistaprint to turn your marketing offline. Here’s a Vistaprint promo code to help you out.

Conclusion

Leveraging visual marketing for employee advocacy can be a game-changer for businesses seeking to build a strong brand presence and amplify their reach. By empowering employees to become brand advocates and providing them with engaging visual content, companies can tap into the authentic and powerful voice of their workforce. 

Visuals possess the remarkable ability to convey emotions, stories, and messages in a compelling manner, making them the ideal tool to humanize brands and foster genuine connections with the audience.

Through the strategic use of visual content, companies can amplify their social media reach, enhance their credibility, and attract new customers. The synergy between employee advocacy and visual marketing creates a potent combination that not only strengthens brand loyalty but also cultivates a positive work culture. As employees become active participants in sharing their experiences and achievements through visual content, they feel more connected and invested in the success of the organization.

About Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the co-founder of Smarty Marketing as well as the founder of Viral Content Bee. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for over a decade, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of a regular Twitter chat #vcbuzz.