Commentary

Creating Employee Brand Ambassadors For Video Campaigns

In this struggling economy, many brands are looking for new ways to build better relationships with customers and prospects while lowering their costs. Because they are measurable, engaging, and cost-effective (relative to traditional marketing), viral video campaigns provide brands with the right avenue for communicating and engaging with customers and opportunities.

More often than not, a key to building better relationships with your audiences requires that you connect them to a real person who can serve as a sincere face for -- a more humanized angle to -- your brand identity. Here, empowering your own employees to promote your viral campaigns can lower your acquisition/marketing costs, create a tangible brand experience for your audiences, and boost morale within your organization.

Why tap into this internal network? Well, in the first place, viral video campaigns need a committed set of brand influencers who will get the ball rolling by spreading your marketing messages far and wide. These influencers provide social proof that your campaign is active and generating interest, so those who follow feel more comfortable watching and sharing your content.

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Often, digital marketers will spend a lot of their time trying to find and motivate external evangelists to help out with this promotion. Unfortunately, these marketers will many times completely ignore a given company's employees: an existing base of support that is (more often than not) already highly engaged, deeply connected, and intimately knowledgeable of said brand's key selling points and honest differentiators.

It's very likely that your organization is full of potential ambassadors who can champion your brand to their friend networks via email and, given their meteoric growth over the past several years, social networks. Facebook, in particular, provides a number of compelling and effectively push-button ways to distribute your viral videos widely and continually. Among other things, it offers a number of built-in and optional viral channels (profile pages, news feeds, friend invites, branded video applications, etc.) that are not available on video sites like YouTube.

Given the mainstream proliferation of Facebook (the site has over 175 million users and is growing rapidly), and the fact that the median Facebook user has 132 friends (according to a recent study done by AgentWildfire), Facebook offers your internal ambassadors an optimal medium for propagating your latest (or first) video marketing campaign.

What about best practices? While there's a great chance that your employees will get a morale boost by being involved in your video campaign's success, you should make sure to offer clear incentives wherever possible. Whether this comes in the form of an internal contest, a promise of internal acknowledgement, or something else entirely, such recognition is vital to securing your employees' short-term and long-term commitment as brand ambassadors. They're the ones putting in the hard work, so make sure that this is well known amongst your employees. Ultimately, rewarding your best contributors (even if it's just with a public thank you) is one offline tactic for locking in online success

3 comments about "Creating Employee Brand Ambassadors For Video Campaigns ".
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  1. Dan Berger from WildPitch.TV, March 10, 2009 at 4:04 p.m.

    Great article! This is exactly what WildPitch.TV does, although we generally appoint brand ambassadors from your consumer/customer base. Our contest format fuels further viral distribution. Perhaps a brand could do a hybrid - run a employee contest to create the best video, and then let employees and/or consumers vote for the winner.

  2. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., March 10, 2009 at 4:47 p.m.

    Is the point of this article that you can find people who will email around some witty video that's really advertising in disguise and pretend it's content in YOUR OWN COMPANY? I want your job - oh wait, I guess I'd have to spend my life on Facebook instead of talking to real people. Nevermind.

  3. Spookydan Waker from Spookshow productions, March 18, 2009 at 7:06 a.m.

    The point you make here is to establish a REAL personality with a brand. Not unlike the weird chick on the Progressive Insurance ads, but a person who is relatable to the brand itself. I recently left my position as the "face" of a top Horror entertainment news website, and while I (personally) look like a gothic/metal horror fan, if any horror website/brand came out with a guy in a suit, or a Maxim supermodel, it would get about the same response as I would get walking into a Law firm trying to get a job.

    As an ambassador of a “brand” the one thing that I feel was overlooked by your great article was the fact that, It is a full time job and if done effectively should cross over outside of the workplace. This is a big commitment in energy and without a true devotion to the Brand (or in my case the horror genre), the person you connect with will quickly come across as a phony.

    Case in point, I filmed a 3 minute puppet version of the popular film Twilight, while I DID create it for the fans of the franchise, some of the comments left behind were that I was not true to the book series. The Twilight franchise is not MY personal passion, (but rather it is my wife’s) a few viewers were able to tell that I am not a “true” diehard (although I do like the film, I am not obsessed with it as many people are).With just under a half million Youtube views, I know that it does connect with most of the fans.

    All I suggest here is that, when a company decides to brand itself with a personality, make sure that the PERSON doing the legwork and becoming the mascot for the brand is appropriate and well versed in the brand.

    SpookyDan
    dan@macabresociety.com

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