The game changer that is employee generated content (EGC)
Brands today are well aware of the power of social media and user generated content (UGC); it's a necessity when it comes to increasing awareness, bolstering sales, and building a community. Asking for and reposting UGC online is an effective way to showcase authentic social proof from end-users.
But what if we told you there was another type of content, just waiting to be collected and used? Enter EGC: employee generated content!
How EGC differs from UGC
EGC is similar to UGC, however, EGC stems from employees and, sometimes, brands themselves (brand-generated content needs to feel authentic and not corporate if it’s to fit under the EGC umbrella). If you think about it, it makes sense that those with the most knowledge of a company's product or services are able to recommend it. The employees may even be end-users themselves, and can therefore be trustworthy sources of information in terms of a product's function and use.
EGC, in the form of visual content like Instagram photos and videos, also gives other customers a more realistic approach to product usage rather than one constructed in a staged marketing campaign. Essentially, EGC is comparable to an in-house customer rep agent with great first-hand product experience. If those who know a product best incorporate it into their individual lives and are able to recommend it to others, brands will benefit from sharing and promoting this type of content.
Brands leading the way: Bik Bok increases brand awareness
The Norwegian fashion brand Bik Bok recently held a competition in which employees at each store uploaded images showing off the new denim collection for the chance to win a gift card. This competition encouraged staff at each location to get creative during photo shoots. All the images were shared on Instagram with the hashtag #egcjeans – organically boosting engagement. Combined with the increased brand awareness, the company gave off a vibe of inclusion and community, which positively resonated with customers.
The numbers behind the trend
By Post Beyond’s calculation, company employees usually have 10 times the follower base of a company’s main social channel. Additionally, interaction with individual employee content is 8 times larger than with original content posted by a brand. And finally, posts by employees are reshared up to 24 times more than branded original content. The content shared by employees has the potential to reach a greater audience and stir up more consumer attraction, and as we can see in the case of Bik Bok, bolster sales.
We see the usage of EGC as an important and fast-growing trend. It's a win-win for brands, since allowing employees to become brand ambassadors can have a positive impact on morale, as well as help inspire customers with more authentic content. PRovoke Media emphasizes that EGC can come in all forms, including "blogs, e-newsletters, social media posts, internal workflows, [and] training materials." Ultimately, it comes down to your brand, your audience and what kind of content your employees want to share.
We want to highlight some great examples of brands using EGC in their social channels and online. Fashion brand G-Star Raw was able to lift up and showcase their employees working from home in the midst of the global pandemic. Employees could share images of their home offices with the hashtag #StayRAWathome, and these were then shared on the brand’s main inspiration page onsite.
Monaco’s premier tourism firm Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer showcased their employees online during the pandemic through a movement designed to band together businesses in Monte-Carlo using the slogan “#StrongerTogether.” Businesses in Monte-Carlo united under one voice, increasing awareness and showing solidarity.
These examples show how effective using EGC can be, in terms of letting employees show off products, the real people behind a brand and as a way to bring everyone together. Overall, harnessing the manpower at homebase may be the missing piece in a company’s marketing strategy. Next month we’ll share some tips and tricks on how to get started with EGC.
A great way to incorporate individual employee voices is to showcase them on your website and/or social media channels. If you want to learn more about how to optimize the collection and distribution of EGC through a content handling platform like Flowbox, get in touch!
Madeleine Andersson, Marketing Intern, Flowbox