It’s October, and you know what that means! No, I’m not referring to how everything from pastries to Pringles is pumpkin flavored, although I do love a good latte. October is Employee Ownership Month!
This article isn’t intended to convince your organization to become employee-owned, although, as a 100% employee-owned company, we at Weidert Group think there are a lot of benefits. What we hope you take away from this is that creating an ownership mindset within your own company and carrying that throughout your organization will greatly impact the success of your inbound marketing efforts. Inbound marketing rarely, if ever, works as a “team of one” — it takes marketing, sales, leadership and staff buy-in to get the best results for your business.
Greater Alignment Brings Greater Results
In my opinion, a company that truly adopts what an inbound marketing methodology is supposed to be has a lot in common with employee-owned organizations. And it comes down to one word — alignment.
Alignment comes up frequently in inbound marketing. An inbound philosophy aligns your business objectives with your best prospects’ needs. It can also align the marketing and sales departments around the same goal: growing the business.
But if you’re a business owner, you want more than just your sales and marketing departments to be aligned. You want every single person on the team invested in the success of your company, whether they’re sitting in a corner office or cleaning it. Having a unified workforce that is aligned around achieving the same business growth goals and has the same driving motivation for company success is at the core of a truly effective inbound marketing strategy. It’s not just the marketing team’s responsibility!
Much like employee-owned companies, an inbound approach to marketing and sales aligns with the idea that each and every person in your company has an impact on — and a responsibility to help ensure — your company’s success. Because, after all, each of them stands to gain from that success as your company grows its profits.
Two Areas Employees Can Help with Your Inbound Efforts
Alignment translates to buy-in. Every one of your employees is poised to participate in two crucial areas of your inbound marketing efforts (even if they’re not on your marketing or sales team): inbound content development and content promotion. These are two crucial areas where buy-in is sometimes lacking in organizations, and can make or break your inbound marketing program.
While inbound utilizes marketing automation software, it’s in no way a “set-it-and-forget-it” tool. It’s critical to have buy-in among your leadership team, sales and marketing to help produce relevant content that attracts prospects by helping them solve problems. But don’t stop there. You’ll also need insights, input and technical content direction from your customer-facing team members. They’re the ones hearing the voice of your current and potential target customers on a daily basis. They know the pain points, objections, what works, what doesn’t, etc., and they generally have a deep understanding of the value and benefits of your company’s products and services. Make sure you involve them in your inbound strategy and give them a sense of ownership by empowering them to make an even bigger impact on company results.
There’s also much to gain from other employees who can contribute valuable content that helps establish your company as an authority in your industry. Consider tapping into R&D, production, procurement, HR, inventory and other departments for unique perspectives that can set you apart from your competition’s content.
Social Media Promotion
Social media is one of the key promotional channels for inbound marketing content, and your employees’ networks likely contain some of your best prospects. This is why employee participation in company social media efforts is so important — it gets your content and your brand in front of the right people. Think about it: if your company manufactures printed circuit boards for electronics, your engineers have a whole network of friends and professional peers who work for your prospects. In addition, when employees share company posts, it not only spreads your reach, it adds authenticity to your brand.
Let’s not forget the impact that social media and inbound marketing can have on potential recruits too. With today’s labor shortage, the appeal of a company’s culture is often a tipping point for an ideal candidate. When your employees are aligned toward a shared goal and your culture reflects an owner mentality, that attitude will be an outflow of your employee interactions online.
Sometimes complex industries, such as manufacturing or the financial sector discount the power of social media, believing it’s reserved for personal and entertainment use only. But when it comes to recruiting, 59% of candidates use social media to research companies they’re interested in, and 48% used social media in the search for their most recent job. If you’re not leveraging social media and encouraging your employees to share company news and content in a positive way, you’re likely missing some major recruiting opportunities on top of any missed sales opportunities.
Creating an owner mentality needs to be paired with creating a strong culture. The two must go hand-in-hand if you want to reap the full rewards of an inbound marketing program, and social media is the perfect place to demonstrate the strong bond your employees feel to each other and to their shared success. Using inbound marketing to promote your organization’s career opportunities is yet another way to gain a competitive advantage.
Leverage Employees to Drive Marketing Success
If you’ve fostered a vibrant culture with an owner mindset, very few employees will turn down an opportunity to help the company succeed. And in a company practicing inbound sales and marketing, that translates to an incredibly rich pool of content contributors and brand ambassadors, all willing to help make your marketing efforts a success
That’s the attitude of everyone here at Weidert Group. We know that we can’t succeed unless our clients do. That success is achieved by living out the values outlined in our culture code, which promotes accountability, respect, authenticity, collaboration, dedication, hard work and, yes, sometimes hard conversations. And don’t forget fun! We truly enjoy serving each other and our clients because we find purpose and great satisfaction in seeing everyone succeed.
Want your employees to have that kind of attitude? Then be sure to check out the link below for tips on Building a Team and Culture that Attracts Inbound Leads. We’d love to help you craft an engaging and effective inbound marketing strategy, and help empower your team to get it done. Reach out to us today to discuss your marketing and sales challenges and how an agency with an employee-ownership approach can make all the difference.
Posted by Kelly Wilhelme Kelly Wilhelme currently manages all of Weidert Group's marketing efforts. Through her past experience as an inbound marketing consultant on our client service team and, prior to that in financial services communication, she has a deep understanding of complex businesses and a desire to help them grow. Kelly has a passion for communication strategy, layout and design, as well as writing and content creation.