Employees on Camera: Exploring an Overlooked Asset
For many companies, marketing campaigns can be a daunting undertaking. Developing content that resonates with a target audience is no easy task, especially given our minimal attention spans. Nevertheless, a powerful yet often-overlooked marketing resource might be right in front of your eyes.
Featuring employees in promotional media is an intriguing strategy for jump-starting marketing campaigns, as well as providing compelling narratives for a brand. Four primary benefits characterize this approach. First, featuring employees in marketing videos conveys an internal investment in a product, service, or initiative. The people working every day to deliver something can be some of its most compelling champions. Especially when leadership is involved, this endorsement provides an implicit level of accountability that helps viewers feel more secure in taking action.
Second, media with employees can serve as a powerful recruiting tool. A diverse marketing approach might both advertise a product or service, as well as the organizational culture that lies behind its development. Many new companies looking to hire young talent have adopted this two-sided advertising strategy. For instance, the travel app company Hopper produced the video “Life at Hopper,” in which Hopper employees provide testimonials of why they enjoy their jobs and Hopper as a company, as well as why they love working with each other. The video touches upon the geography of the company, the culture, the values, the product, and the people; this provides a unique perspective for potential employees, as well as a behind the scenes view for consumers.
Third, featuring employees can serve to promote deeper brand connections among customers and other stakeholders. Prospective employees aside, showcasing an innovative and attractive workplace culture can influence the ways in which customers, the media, and the public at large view an organization. Notoriously, the workplace culture at Google has shaped societal views and assumptions about what the company represents. At a smaller scale, media featuring employees may result in meaningful and memorable brand experiences that influence consumer understandings and behaviors.
Fourth, featuring employees in promotional videos reduces the costs associated with casting and talent acquisition. While professional actors may have more experience, this approach comes with an added cost. There’s also no guarantee that the actors will provide the right fit for the video, even with a dedicated casting process. Why hire a paid spokesperson to say a line that an employee could deliver candidly from first-hand experience? By showcasing actual employees, a video can leverage authenticity while simultaneously reducing costs.
While many companies are implementing strategies such as putting their CEO on camera, employees are a largely untapped resource for marketing campaigns, especially startups, mid-size businesses, non-profits, and global brands. For all of these reasons, look out for more promotional videos, commercials, and branded content featuring employees in 2019 and beyond.