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June 17, 2021

215: The Unique Relationship between Employer Branding, Employee Advocacy, Personal Branding - and Almost Everything Else in Marketing

215: The Unique Relationship between Employer Branding, Employee Advocacy, Personal Branding - and Almost Everything Else in Marketing

The Age of Influence is on the horizon, and the entrepreneurial perspective starts to shift from traditional marketing to digital marketing. How do you apply a people-centric strategy to leverage the power of word of mouth at little to no cost? In this episode, I share my insights about employer branding, employee advocacy, personal branding, as well as digital and social media marketing in general.

Employer Branding


Employer branding is a crucial concept to understand if you work in human resources or a corporate executive. It is about branding your company as a place where people would love to work. With the economy starting to open up, the labor market will be as intense as before the pandemic began. 


You can say all the great things about your products and services, but when someone else has an opinion about you, as a company, that begins to have an impact. Companies like Google and Facebook already have tremendous brand equity where they don’t even need employer branding. 


To implement employer branding, I suggest having your employees tell stories about working at your company. That’s why LinkedIn company pages have their employees talk about the company in their career section. However, the videos looked lifeless.


I advise to leverage influencer marketing to amplify your employer branding and social media. Social media was made for people, not for business. Therefore, you can infer from it that you need a people-centric approach to social media and marketing for people to relate to your brand.


It’s about how you can get positive word of mouth about your brand. Whether you hire people or build trust with your community, it all comes down to the people being able to talk about you. Listen more to this part as I share in-depth on how my real estate client manifested employer branding!

Influencer Marketing


If you are a startup and nobody knows about you, it’s time for you to proactively collaborate and engage with influencers. I share how a member of my Digital First Group Coaching Membership Community sends bicycle parts to an influencer for them to try. Because the influencer was interested in the product, they showcased it to their audience. And then the product now gets into the limelight, without paying anything! That’s how far influencer marketing can take you if you provide value that people actually wanted.


When you find the right influencers for your product, it becomes a no-brainer for them to naturally take an interest in it because you did your research and your product provides value for the influencer and their audience. This is a mindset shift that allows you to see marketing from a people-centric perspective.

Social Media Ads


I share how my chiropractor leveraged paid media through Facebook ads to target veterans telling them about a free chiropractic service. They could have used influencers, but they found out that it is easier to target a niche nobody else targets through Facebook ads. They try to make friends with these veterans through the free service, and in turn, they can get great word of mouth from them.



Instead of investing in Google, Facebook, or other media platforms, why not invest in people. Whether it’s for employer branding, employee advocacy, or influence, train and teach them if you want them to become more active. Help them make better content.


You should strive to have a community inclusive to all, not just for influencers but also for your customers, employees, and everyone else. It’s a small price to pay for word of mouth that is challenging to get organically. Start realigning your ad and marketing spend with t


Neal Schaffer:

Employee advocacy, employer brand, personal branding. These are big buzzwords that a lot of people throw around. And believe it or not, these three words in particular have a lot more in common than you might think. Whether you work for a large enterprise, you work for HR, or you're a small business owner entrepreneur, I guarantee you that today's episode is going to give you one major takeaway that's going to help you maximize your social influence. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their businesses using innovative marketing techniques, leveraging the concept of digital influence throughout digital and social media. Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. How y'all doing today? Well, I am doing awesome if you ask me, because today, the day that I am recording this podcast, which is always a few days before it's actually published, is the day where in my State of California, the governor officially said, California is open. It's weird, because we've gotten so used to wearing masks, I don't know how I'm going to get used to not wearing a mask. And as I carpool with some other parents, for my kids summer camp, the parents were talking about their kids having to be re socialized or having to learn how to socialize again, having been online for the last year, and I wonder professionals, all of us as well, when we start seeing each other at conferences, if it's going to be natural to socialize again or not, I don't know, I don't have all the answers. And this podcast never promises to have all the answers. But it feels really good. It feels like we've turned the corner. And I hope wherever you are in the world, that you are getting closer to turning that corner as well. So today, I want to share with you a few anecdotes of recent happenings with my own business. And as I talked about in the teaser, I'm going to be throwing out these big keywords. But I also want to relate it to some other things that I've seen both from members of my digital first group coaching membership community, as well as just people that I've met locally. And the thing that ties all this together is going to be the main takeaway from today's episode. But hey, I can't get that out until I start telling you some stories. So let's begin with employer branding. Now, this is not something that I talk a lot about in this episode. But if you work in HR, or you are a corporate executive, employer branding is extremely critical. We talk about branding and marketing all the time. employer branding is his concept that, you know, in a very, very competitive market, not just for your products and services, but also for talent. And by the way, I am no employer branding expert by any means I do not have a background in HR or what have you. So this is just my own sort of perspective on the subject. But the thought is that equally, it is a competitive market for talent. And therefore we want to brand our company, as an employer as a place where other people would really like to work. Now we see this a lot in really, really competitive technology, industries, technology companies that you have in Silicon Valley, but it doesn't have to be limited to that it can really be anywhere. It could even be in smaller markets. We know that now that the economies are starting to open up again, that the labor market is going to be going back to that extremely competitive nature that it was right before the pandemic started. And this isn't just the United States. I know in Japan, the demand for digital marketers far outweighs the supply. For instance, for those of my friends listening from Japan, and maybe in other parts of the world, especially post coronavirus pandemic, there was a huge demand for digital marketers. And there just may not be enough that exists, right? So employer brand, we want to be able to attract the best people. Now I'm talking about this because I had someone reach out to me to speak at an event. And it's an event for recruiters. And the concept is we want recruiters to work on their personal brand. But as I engaged in the conversation, I realized that well, if we want the recruiters to talk about their personal brand, don't we also want them to talk about their employer, and how awesome of an employer that they are, and therefore employer branding. And when you think about it, it's the same with companies. You can say all the great things you want to say about your products or services, but it's When someone else says them about you that it begins to have impact. And it's the same thing, I would say. Now, some companies like you know, the Googles, and the Facebook's, they already have such tremendous brand equity, that they don't even need employer branding unless something bad happens. And different companies have gone through different crises, whether they're HR related or not. But really, if you want to do employer branding, the best way to do it is to have your employees tell the stories about working at your company. That's why you see like a LinkedIn company pages, a lot of companies have like a HR jobs or career section, and its employees talking about the company. Unfortunately, these videos have employees talking about the company looked like stock videos, they don't really have a lot of heart and soul to them. So as I'm preparing, you know, the content for this presentation, there is a direct relationship between your employees personal branding, and the employer brand when they talk about the company. And therefore, now I've talked about employee influencer programs before. And this is the new word that I would use for employee advocacy. But we begin to see a distinct connection. Because if we, from a marketing perspective, want to amplify our voice in social media, we want to leverage our employees. Well, that's for you know, marketing and branding in general. But employer branding is no different. If we want to amplify our employer branding and social media, we want to get our employees talking about us. And the key thing here is whether it's employee advocacy, or employee influencer or employer branding, it's the same concept, we need people to talk about us in social media. It's why influencer marketing exists. This is where it all comes together. It's really this concept that I've been saying for more than a decade. And I've said it on maybe a third, or maybe half of my podcast episodes, which man I forgot to even say the number this episode. But obviously, we're well over 200 is the fact that social media is made for people, right, not for businesses. And therefore, we need to have a people centric approach to it. And I'd say we need a people centric approach, not only to social media, but to marketing in general these days, how can people relate to your brand, this is something I want to give a shout out to Ted Schachter, who is one of our members of the digital first group coaching membership community. And he's helping a lot of members out with brand new, but also reminding us that brands have a more and more, and they always should have, but they have a responsibility to society. And the younger the generation, the more that they demand that from brands. So it all comes into how do we get positive word of mouth about our brand, whether it's to hire people, whether it's for products or services that we want to sell our market, or whether it's just to build trust with the community, it all comes down to people and being able to incentivize people in various ways. And well, I'm not just talking about money, but how do we get people to talk about us. And that's the key. And it really begins with a people centric approach. So I'll share with you a few few stories, right, of how this works in real life. And it can work in very, very different ways. So one of my clients, I've probably mentioned before, is in the real estate industry, one of the big players, and I'm working with a specific brokerage. Well, they're a certain company that owns 20 different offices. So it's a huge brokerage and in a certain party, United States. And so when we talk about, for instance, their their Instagram content strategy, it doesn't have to be about them. We don't have to post about what they're doing, or what a great company they are, we can repost content that all of our agents are posting, let them do the talking for us. They are our human face. We are lucky that we have others talking about us on social media, they're incentivized to do it, because if they sell real estate, they make a commission. But that is a very, very good situation where employee advocacy naturally works. Now not every agent is on every social network. And it's not just the agents, it could be people working in the offices as well, the back office or other people that they may not be agents, maybe their associates that also are customer facing. But we can literally have a content strategy that is people centric, because it's just content from people from people that work for us that's as authentic as it gets. I talked about how and I've been blogging about this more and more for people that have seen my content throughout the web, is we should try to shoot especially on visual social networks as much as possible for a 100% user. generated content strategy, like Disneyland, like Ritz Carlton like others, if we have lots of fans, if we have lots of employees posted, like in the real estate industry, it's a lot easier. When we don't have that or we're a startup or nobody knows about us. That's where we need to proactively collaborate and engage with influencers, right, but it's the same content, we're trying to get the same outcome. I'll give you another example. This is one of the newer members of to the digital first group coaching membership community, I hope to have more of these members actually appear on the podcast, interview them, because they are doing amazing things. But another gentleman who just joined, they manufacture a part for bicycles. And the price point for this part is $200. And it is happens to be something that's sustainable, and something that offers a better experience when you're riding a bike. So they have been able to launch their business. And I can't quote the gentlemen I'd like I said, I hope to have him on this podcast soon, but almost 100%, from just reaching out to influencers, and sending them a pair and having them use it and showcase it. And from that getting business I kid you not in the age of influence, there are some case studies as well. But that is how far influencer marketing can take you. If you provide something of value that people actually want. Okay, they repeat that provide something of value that people actually want. Now, this bicycle part manufacturer, had the luxury of being first to market of unique product that's also sustainable. So it taps into a lot of environmental and social trends, right becomes relatable, they are responsible brand, they check off those boxes I talked about. But it's also something of value because it has an amount of like $200. If it was something that was $5, or $10, it's one thing but when you provide a lot of value, when you reach out to influencers, you're gonna do a lot better. And I asked the gentleman He's like, yeah, you know, we were featured on a YouTube channel with 75,000 subscribers, and you know, all these Instagram accounts, I'm like, How much money did it cost you there's no, it didn't cost us money, we just sent them product. So when you find the right influencers for which your product is a no brainer that they would have a natural interest in because you've done your homework. But you also provide that value. Now, if your product isn't valuable enough, there's other value that you can provide. Like, you know, well, actually on upon airways brand ambassador program, they provided something of value, which was an airplane fly, that is something of value, but you begin to see what I'm talking about. And that is 100% people centric, just focused on let's get people talking about let's get relevant people with relevant audiences talking about our product. I'll give you another example. And I mean, I could go through these all day long. It is a it is a mindset shift, right? a shift in your mindset that allows you to see marketing completely different that I hope the age of influence for those that read it, got a preview to it, my next book, and my free eBook preview is coming out very soon. I guarantee you I'm just in the final proofreading. I know let's take it a little while. But it goes beyond that right to really make you look at digital marketing in a people centric relationship centric perspective. So this next one is very, very interesting. It's my chiropractor. Now, my chiropractor found that there is a program where I don't know if it's Medicare or Medicaid. Well, I don't know if it's if it's national or state, but they will actually fund a little bit of funding for veterans to get, you know, basically chiropractic care if they need it. So what did they do? Well, they didn't use influencers, they used another approach. They use paid media, they use Facebook ads, because they can hyper target, veterans, it just a lot easier to hyper target and find them now they could have worked with influencers, which might have required money, which might have required a lot more but with the Facebook ad, what they're finding is a niche that nobody else is targeting. So it's very inexpensive, and they're basically offering them a limited window of free chiropractic services. Now, true, they are getting reimbursed from the state or country. I don't know the details for some of that. But not for all of that. But they are building goodwill on a people centric marketing strategy where they are paying money to acquire these customers. They are giving free services these customers, but they also know that the community that they're serving is pretty tight knit. They are trying to make friends and they're hoping From their that they are going to get great word of mouth. And at a minimum, they are serving the people that serve our country. Well in the United States at least. So that once again, they're providing value, you could call it a lead magnet, right? You know, one week free chiropractic, two weeks free chiropractor, maximum month, I don't know what the details are. It is a lead magnet, it is providing value, and they're paying for the privilege, although it's very, very inexpensive, the cost per acquisition from what I hear, but it's all predicated on how can we provide people value. And if we provide them value, it's all going to come back to us in the future. Sometimes it comes back to us sooner, sometimes it comes back to us later. But look, I've used this quote in some of my presentations. I think it's from Henry Ford. And it's probably been said millions of times. It takes money to make money. So if you're gonna spend money, and I often end my recent presentations and influencer marketing, saying the same thing. Instead of investing in the Googles, and the Zuckerberg and all the other paid media platforms, why wouldn't you invest in people. And that's my message to you. Whether it's your employees, for employer branding, and or employee advocacy, employee influence, and if you want them to become more active, train them, teach them, hire a photographer to shadow them for a day, hire a videographer. help them make better content. And I would say the same for influencers. And that's why I preach and a type of influencer program and influencer community that's inclusive to all, not just influencers, but your customers, your fans, your employees help everybody. It's a small price to pay for the word of mouth that you're going to get that is so hard to come by organically. But it starts with providing value. It starts with making an investment in people, it starts with realigning your ad spend, the way you think about marketing spend with the reality of today. The age of influence was my beginning was my introduction. Looking through the lens of influencer marketing, and the concept of influence, I have just begun, there is so much to say about this. And there's so much I want to teach you about this, and train you about this, and share the stories that I am experiencing not only from my own clients, but from people in my community, as well as what I see around me in the world. So I'm going to leave you with those thoughts today. I've gotten into this cadence with my podcast, very, very strategically, every other episode, I do solo episodes. But I really because I only have a chance to talk to you directly twice a month, or only 24 times a year. So I really want to make each one of these times I have a chance to directly have a conversation with you. Although it's in a one to many format with podcasts, I really want to make it count. I want to make it impactful. I want to incite you to action. And if this incited you to action, I'd love to hear from you. If you want to hear me talk more like this, I'd love to hear from you. If you want me to go on the more tactical how tos, I'll do that as well. Let me know all of my content is based on your needs. This podcast is no different. I love to hear from you. Neal at Neal Schaffer calm, my email address will be in the show notes as well. Or you can go to a contact form on my website. Neal Schaffer calm. As always, I am appreciative of all of you that have subscribed to the podcast. We have some great as always interviews coming up next week. We have the one and only Tom Ogden thaller I hope I pronounced his last name right. And it's going to be all about influencer marketing. Really, from a b2b perspective. Tom is a great guy. He is an influencer marketing specialist. And we both found out that we both come from the semiconductor industry of all places. So what we talked about our vibes really matched, I think you're really going to enjoy that episode. Going forward, I am going to be inviting on not only members of my digital first group coaching membership community that have a lot of stories to share. It's not just me talking, but it's a variety of voices offering you advice, and inspiration and wisdom. But I'm also going to be inviting more of my technology partners on the show as well. To give you some advice as to what they see is working see technology companies serve many, they have many stories to share, because they know how their tool impacts so many businesses. I'm really excited that the next episode after the interview with Tom morgenthaler. I'm going to be interviewing someone from phrase one of my current favorite tools for SEO is AI generated content review content suggestions, content creation, and even going as far as having a completely automated Support widget on your website. So I'm really excited for that. Just please make sure you hit the subscribe button so that you do not miss out. As always those of you that continue to listen on the charts in the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland top 50 thank you so much Denmark, New Zealand, Portugal, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Slovakia top 10 and marketing today. Thank you so much, Croatia, Luxembourg, Belarus, Moldova. I want to thank you all. I also want to thank you all for your reviews on the various podcasts, apps and Apple podcasts. Nathan, Utah growing and leveraging influence is a tectonic shift. I love Neil's book, the age of influence, and this podcast about growing and leveraging influence. This is a huge tectonic shift that is transforming the business landscape. And Neil teaches it well, Nathan, thank you so much. Please make sure if you review this podcast to reach out to me with a screenshot so that I can include you on the monthly Ask me anything, q&a group coaching calls, that are just for the community of my podcast reviewers, it means that much to me, to help spread the word about the podcast, this is my own way of anxiety, word of mouth, and I want to offer you something of value, which is every month giving you access to me. So I hope you'll do that. Take a screenshot send it over to Neil Neal schaffer.com or fill out the contact form on my website. Let me know. Hey, it's been a fun episode. I really like diving in. I mean, I love the tactical episodes as well. But I also like going into the mindset and the mindset shifts because once you see that, it just opens up a plethora of opportunities that hopefully one or two of these stories I talked about today. help you discover. Alright everybody, I think it's a wrap. Thank you again, for your loyal listening to this podcast. And wherever we are in the world. Make it a great you know what, because we're opening up in California today. I'm not gonna say great virtual social day anymore. I'm just gonna say make a great social day like I used to. Okay, make it a great social day everybody. Bye bye. And SEO nada.