EGC 101: How to Make the Most of Employee-Generated Content

When done right, employee-generated content (EGC) can convey a brand's authenticity to the audience while encouraging employee engagement as well.

Understanding EGC, or employee-generated content, is critical in determining if it’s the right strategy for your brand. 

According to Forbes, 90% of marketers these days include content creation in their marketing strategies, signaling that this has now become a norm. This, as Forbes notes, “reflects content marketing’s essential role in connecting with audiences, building brand identity, and enhancing online visibility.” There are different ways brands can go about creating content, and one of these is by using employee-generated content (EGC). In fact, Marketing Insider Group refers to this as the “grand daddy of all content creation techniques.” 

Marketing Insider even goes as far as to say that “EGC is many times more effective than branded content or influencer content.” So what exactly is EGC and how can it be effectively used as a marketing strategy for brands? 

What Is EGC? 

Let’s start by first defining exactly what EGC is. LinkedIn simply puts it as “any form of content that is created and distributed by your company’s internal workforce i.e. employees.” Examples of EGC include but are not limited to the following:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts 
  • Social media posts 
  • Videos

A notable example of a brand that has included EGC in its strategies is Starbucks. One of the company’s Instagram accounts, Starbucks Partners, highlights stories as well as photos of the employees, who Starbucks refers to as partners. 

Another example of a company that utilizes EGC is Cisco. Similar to Starbucks, the IT and networking giant runs an Instagram account called We Are Cisco. The account likewise highlights the stories and experiences of Cisco employees.

egc employee-generated content

Why It’s Worth Trying

Given the overwhelming amount of content available online, the audience is now looking for authenticity and credibility from brands. These are two things that EGC can deliver to your target audience. 

“Your company’s employees have the best insights into the organization, specific departments, and beyond,” LinkedIn says. “Audiences trust their thoughts and insights more than C-Suite messages, ads, or other generic forms of marketing.” 

EGC likewise allows for the creation of content coming from fresh perspectives outside of marketing. This includes sharing of events and projects from other departments, which allows the audience to have a better idea of the company culture of a brand. 

Within the company, allowing employees that take part in content generation boosts employee engagement as they are given a platform to express themselves and voice their opinions. Furthermore, EGC can help attract more talent to the company as the content produced by current employees can entice them to apply for vacant positions within the organization.

Why You Shouldn’t Do It Wrong 

However, as with many (if not all) strategies, EGC also comes with certain risks that can create problems should the strategy be implemented poorly. First, you risk having an inconsistent brand narrative across the content being produced by your employees. 

Without the proper guidance as well as training, particularly on social media, employees can end up posting content that does not align with the brand’s narrative. Giving employees the freedom to share whatever they want can also lead to disgruntled employees sharing negative aspects of the company with their audience. 

In order to avoid such concerns regarding EGC, your company should have a strict social media police in place, specifically when it comes to creating content to be shared. You should likewise train your employees when it comes to content generation as well as proper social media use and etiquette. 

What to Keep in Mind

In order for EGC to be effective, you need to encourage participation from different departments within the company. Similarly, employees at all levels should likewise be encouraged to participate. This ensures variety in perspectives and ideas, which will reflect in the types of content produced. 

Encouraging all employees to participate regardless of department and seniority will also foster a sense of community and belongingness among the employees. This can boost morale among employees, which can positively affect productivity at work. 

Keep in mind to also recognize and reward employees who contribute exemplary content as this can motivate them to continue positively advocating for the company. 

At the end of the day, EGC is an effective way for your brand to communicate authenticity and credibility to the audience through the content shared by your employees. It can likewise boost morale and engagement among your employees, and even encourage job seekers to apply to your company.