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Strategies for Success in Employee-Generated Content from Mars

Find out how to turn employees into advocates to feature them at the forefront of your Recruitment Marketing, with Chris Woods from Mars.

Krishan Patel image

Written by Krishan Patel

29 Nov, 2023  –  3 mins read

Key learnings from our webinar with Mars

Employees are the beating heart of any business. Yet, when it comes to promoting company culture or recruitment schemes, many companies find showcasing real colleagues challenging.

So how do you put employees at the forefront of your Recruitment Marketing strategy?

In our webinar with Mars, we heard from Chris Woods, Regional Recruitment Marketing and I&D lead, who shared his experience and best practices with Employee-Generated Content. Along with our CEO and Founder, Emily Forbes, he shared examples and actionable advice to turn employees into real advocates.

1. Building a humanistic and authentic brand

Individuals are 16x more likely to respond to a post from a friend about a brand than the same post from the brand instead. A challenge often faced by Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing teams, is highlighting what working at a company is really like in order to attract top talent. Mars faced this specific challenge as the connection between the Mars name and its brands isn’t well known. Telling a brand’s story in an authentic way is crucial, and this is where Employee-Generated Content comes in.

“EGC is essentially influencer marketing for your talent brand”

Chris woods, Regional Recruitment Marketing and I&D Lead at Mars

Like Mars, many companies include ‘people’ as a pillar of their Employee-Value Proposition. Chris pointed out the importance of featuring stories in the EVP for it to be authentic, so if you’re still using stock imagery, it’s time to reconsider.

“You can’t have people in your Employer Brand and your EVP without sharing their stories”

Chris woods, Regional Recruitment Marketing and I&D Lead at Mars

Remember to avoid any disparity between Employer Brand and Employee Experience. EGC can also be used to engage employees internally, so what candidates see before joining is representative after they’ve been hired.

2. Empowering employees to participate

A challenge that often comes up when talking about Employee-Generated Content, is participation. Chris covered common themes Mars encounters when asking employees to get involved. Employees often think they don’t have permission to speak on behalf of a brand or worry about the content not being approved. They also feel they don’t have the time or have previously created content that didn’t get high engagement.

The key to tackling these blockers is finding ambassadors. Those are the employees who are already vocal about the brand and are most likely to get involved. Building a network of those ambassadors, and asking them to advise their colleagues will be key to getting momentum. Chris calls this method ‘Crawl, Walk, Run’ in other words, starting with a small sample and expanding from there.

“Empowering employees to share their voice is so valuable.”

Chris woods, Regional Recruitment Marketing and I&D Lead at Mars

3. Turning employees into advocates

“Don’t make it a chore, don’t make it mandatory, it has to be a choice.”

Chris woods, Regional Recruitment Marketing and I&D Lead at Mars

A key to ensuring employee participation is making it clear, easy and fun. Mandating content creation for a brand will remove all authenticity for the content and will feel forced to employees. Chris highlighted the power of curating instead of creating. Meaning encouraging employees to tell their story by giving them tips, tools and templates or guidance but never telling them what to say.

Here are two examples of content created by Mars employees after being empowered to become advocates for the brand. The graduate scheme TikTok helped Mars rise in the Times 100 and their Field Sales video decreased their time-to-hire an apprentice for the role.

Employee-Generated Content should be foundational. It’s about telling employee stories to better represent the business and empowering colleagues to be authentic. EGC doesn’t always need to be ROI driven. It impacts all aspect of the business from reputation to referral. Other than the obvious impressions and engagement, Chris recommends tracking sentiment.

“As long as the sentiment of Mars is going up in that space, we’re doing our jobs”

Chris woods, Regional Recruitment Marketing and I&D Lead at Mars

Curious about how Employee-Generated Content can fit into your Employer Brand or Recruitment Marketing strategy? Watch the full webinar here or get in touch with a member of our team to find out more about Seenit, the employee-power video platform.

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