Employee-Generated Content (EGC) is a powerful, but often under-used, tool within a business. EGC is content created by a company’s own employees, to be used either externally or internally and, when used correctly, it promotes a stronger corporate culture and encourages employee bonding, integration, and a more efficient team.
It is important to distinguish between external- and internal-facing EGC. External-facing EGC may include images, videos or posts for the company’s social media accounts, or blog articles and thought leadership pieces for the company website. In short, it’s any content made by employees used to promote the company, its products, values, or mission, all from someone with insider knowledge of the business.
An example of this is when General Electric (GE) launched a brand ambassador programme after it found that poor online perceptions of the brand were negatively affecting recruitment. Utilising its 350,000 employees within the brand ambassador programme, GE set up a LinkedIn targeted campaign which involved newsletters, blog posts an education portal and incentives. Within a month, there was an 800% increase in job applications. Through the campaign, GE humanised its brand, making it more attractive to both current and prospective employees.
Internal-facing EGC however, provides additional resource and information to fellow colleagues. It encourages two-way communication, promotes inclusivity and builds the company culture. Internal-facing EGC could include step-by-step guides to company procedures, a video series highlighting the company values or personal achievements, and case studies to bring a strategy to life. For the purpose of this blog, we will be focusing on internal-facing EGC and how you can encourage regular sharing among colleagues.
How do I encourage employees to share EGC?
Utilise your most engaged employees to create the early content. Encourage ‘champion’ teams or ambassador networks to share content. Brand ambassadors often have good communication and interpersonal skills, giving them the power to influencer others. Employees often respond well to seeing their peers take action as it encourages them to follow suit and provide further content.
How do I maintain momentum for sharing EGC?
Create a culture of trust, where employees feel comfortable sharing their work. If you have the right culture in place, employees will be more willing to share their stories and discuss their ideas. Creating this environment will help keep it at the front of your employees’ minds. Colleagues should feel able to share without fear of judgement. Recognising employees for regularly sharing content is vital to maintain momentum. Remind them that they never know how useful or inspiring a case study, story, asset, or template they’re working on could also be to someone else in the company.
How can I make it easy for employees to share EGC?
Use a specific platform for shared content, to distinguish against regular emails. The advantage of using a dedicated platform is that it clearly indicates the intention of the content; it’s an added resource for staff and a useful reference tool. Having content available on an ongoing basis means that employees can refer back to this at any point, should they need inspiration or information. Sharing content regularly also promotes a supportive culture and encourages two-way communication.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of strong team communication and being able to collaborate while working remotely. Employee engagement, and particularly EGC, is more important than ever, not only to boost team morale and keep employees connected but also to benefit the company, harness diversity amongst employees, and build pride within the organisation.
If you would like to talk to us about employee-generated content, drop us a line at InternalComms@RuderFinn.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you.