Employees posting brand recommendations on social media channels is the most important way to harness the power of influencer marketing campaigns, according to a survey from Sprout Social.
Known as employee advocacy, according to research, social marketers see this as a scalable alternative to influencer marketing – with 71% using employees as influencers or advocates, while only 19% had the budget for an influencer marketing program.
Meanwhile, consumers taste varied with 61% more likely to research a product or service from a friend recommendation on social media, compared with 36% for influencers or celebrities.
While influencer marketing continues to grow and more budgets are being invested in campaigns, there have been questions surrounding the transparency how brands use influencer to promote their products or services online.
In a separate study on 2,000 consumers in the UK, promotions agency Prizeology found that 88% would like to be notified or be made aware of when an influencer is being paid to promote branded products online while 57% want to understand how they are being influenced by brands and influencers.
So where does employee advocacy fit in? This could be a solution for more clarity in the relationship between brands and influencers – delivering the authenticity that consumers are seeking.
This may be done by enabling high-reach employees with quality content, allowing brands to expand their reach further online while staying to the brand message.