Everyone Is a Marketer — Especially Your Employees

December 11, 2017

By Jann Schwarz

Denis Cristo/Shutterstock.com


Not all marketing touchpoints are created equally, and it's not hard to make the case that employees are actually your single most valuable touchpoint. And that's because they are trusted.

The Edelman Trust Barometer shows that on any given topic, buyers trust people like themselves. They don't want to hear from faceless corporations, they want to hear from humans. Remember, it's Mary Meeker's Internet Trends Report, not Kleiner Perkins' Internet Trends Report, and that's not an accident. Because people are trusted, they can deliver outsized impact as a touchpoint. Your people, your employees, can provide massive reach and engagement for your brand, even more so than marketing that just comes from the brand itself.

LinkedIn data, for instance, shows that on average, employees have 10 times the reach of their employer's LinkedIn company page. It's not just about sheer volume of impressions either. Those impressions also generate better engagement. Our data shows that content shared by employees has two times the engagement rate of content shared by a company.

The lesson here is that you need a "people-first" strategy. That means your executives and subject-matter experts should be blogging about your thought leadership and driving referral traffic to your blockbuster content. It means your employees should host webinars to share your thought leadership. All great stories are character-driven, and B2B content marketing is not an exception.

For a very tactical example of a "people-first" strategy, let us tell you about a recent experience of ours. We wanted to promote a webinar version of our B2B trends eBook (extensibility!) and sent LinkedIn InMails to a list of senior B2B marketers. As you may know, InMails can come from a brand (in this case, LinkedIn) or from a person (in this case, Peter Weinberg). We tried both. In the end, the InMails that came from a person performed about five times better than the ones there were sent by the brand. In fact, InMail had the lowest CPL of any tactic we used ($0.60, which is pretty sweet). That's just one example of how leading with people on the "front end" drives business impact. On the "back end," your employees must push out your thought leadership to their networks, like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, in order to drive earned reach and enjoy those higher engagement rates.


Jann Schwarz is the global director of agency and channel strategy at LinkedIn.


The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

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