How to Use Your Company Culture as a Marketing Asset
Companies today shouldn’t always sit on the sidelines regarding both social and political issues. Consider that 66% of consumers believe it’s important for brands to “stand up” for what they believe in.
Although you shouldn’t needlessly delve into hot-button topics, businesses shouldn’t be afraid to embrace beliefs that might be considered controversial.
Remember: culture can be a powerful positioning tool. Companies that stay quiet are less likely to separate themselves from the noise. While brands are expected to put their products front and center, their principles shouldn’t be too far off, either.
2. Take Customers Behind the Scenes
Given customers’ desire for relationships and transparency, you can’t afford to hide behind the proverbial curtain.
As evidenced above, the beauty of social media for marketers today is that you can quite literally pull back that curtain on your business. Brands score massive social followers and engagement in part because of their products, but oftentimes because of their willingness to take people behind the scenes.
For example, Google loves to show off its epic office spaces and slice-of-life videos that are enough to make any fellow tech startup jealous. While companies shouldn’t put too much stake in being the sort of “cool” company on the block, this sort of content is compelling to prospective employees and competitors alike.
Businesses can likewise display their culture in action. For example, different companies stress the importance of employee recognition not only for other companies but also themselves. In other words, they practice exactly what they preach.
Even something as simple as an office snapshot or selfie can effectively signal business culture and serve as stellar social content.
What makes “behind the scenes” content so valuable is that it doesn’t have to feel like an in-your-face sales pitch. Instead of selling your product to followers, you’re selling your company culture in an authentic, personal way. This approach is the key to building those ever-so-important relationships.
Not to mention that such content is incredibly low-hanging fruit to fill up your social calendar. With a smartphone and a bit of creativity, you can take your followers and customers behind the scenes at a moment’s notice.
3. Encourage Employee Advocacy
A brilliant to way increase the reach of your content marketing campaigns, employee advocacy should be a top priority.
Consider that content coming from multiple employees does double duty of getting in front of more eyeballs while also feeling more authentic.
Rather than have all of your content come from a faceless corporate account, consider how you can tap into hundreds of Facebook or LinkedIn followers for each of your respective employees. Even a dozen workers sharing your content could increase the mileage out of a single piece tenfold.
Through online platforms, you can manage your employee advocacy efforts and ensure they’re both scalable and measurable This holds your team accountable and ultimately avoids haphazard posting to maximize the ROI of your company content.
Encouraging employees to share your business’ content likewise keeps your team loop in terms of breaking news, what your company is up to, and what your latest campaigns actually look like. In short, culture remains front and center as your team gives your content a much-needed boost.
4. Make Employees the Face of Your Campaigns
Getting employees involved is at the core of a culture-centric company.
In addition to sharing content, employees should also be the content themselves. We see this all the time in the form of social posts and videos like the ones highlighted above, but featuring your employees doesn’t have to stop there.
This is a brilliant move not only for the brand’s advocacy-centric product but also noting that upward mobility is more than possible in such a progressive company.
As noted earlier, there’s a reason why companies with strong cultures have more engaged employees. Employees can truly be your best billboards when you empower them to let their voices be heard.
Consider how else you can integrate your workers into any given campaign via interviews and testimonials via your site or blog.
5. Conduct a DIY Cultural Audit
Finally, bear in mind that you can’t effectively market your culture until you know what your culture looks like.
Laid back? Loud? Something more “suit and tie” or “traditional?”
There is no “right” answer to what your culture should be, as long as you and your company at large are on the same page.
If you’re not 100% sure, a DIY cultural audit might be in the cards.
Although some enterprises might go to massive lengths to define their cultures, most startups more than likely know where they stand with their values and beliefs. The trick is ensuring that those values are communicated to your team from the word “go.”
For example, have you discussed your company culture in face-to-face meetings? Do you talk about your principles during hiring? Something as simple as a company-wide survey and discussion could be a game-changer in aligning everyone to the same goals.
On that final note, company culture isn’t something that can be treated as a second thought. Considering that your culture has a direct impact on the direction of your company versus its competition, auditing where you stand today could be key to positioning yourself tomorrow.
How Can You Make Culture Part of Your Next Campaign?
The good news? Company culture exists in all businesses in some way, shape, or form.
And so if you have a company, you have culture.
Given what we know about its role in both employee and brand engagement, companies today can’t afford to squander that culture, though.
Whether it’s through giving your employees a sounding board or taking your customers behind the scenes, the small steps you wear your culture on your sleeve may very well represent your competitive edge moving forward.