Brand awareness is crucial to the success of your business whether it is driving sales or attracting talent. However, you don’t have to have a huge budget or years of experience under your belt to build a strong brand. All you need is right at your fingertips – your employees.

Your employees serve as brand ambassadors through the products they create, the services they deliver and the interactions they have with your customers. They know your business better than anyone and can be a strong asset in helping generate brand awareness and consideration of your company. If you give them the right structure and support, employees can be one of your most valuable resources.

Here are a few ways to turn your employees into your biggest cheerleaders:

Identifying your brand

Your brand identity defines what you stand for, the promise you make, and the personality you want to deliver. It simply can’t exist on your website’s ‘About us’ page and be effective. Your employees need to be living your brand daily. That means they need to have a clear understanding of what your mission, vision and core values are so that they can convey the message you want to spread. To put it simply, your employees should be able to explain who you are and what you do easily, consistently and from the same perspective. Once your employees understand the big picture, they will feel more invested in their work and are more likely to talk about it.

Employees become brand ambassadors when they genuinely feel like they are a part of the fabric of your business. Showing your employees they have a stake in your company by giving them the inside scoop – discussing the current status of your accounts, touching on where you stand financially, and sharing your business goals – will make them feel like they are making a difference in building your brand.

Creating a positive work environment and promoting teamwork

You want your employees to love coming into work every day and take pride in what they do. By creating a positive work environment, you are helping spark new ideas and collaboration amongst your employees. A great way to build a positive environment is helping your employees connect with one another and develop good relationships. Encourage your employees to actively participate at work to develop a sense of community within the workplace. Organize after-work hangouts or team-building events to mix work and fun while creating unforgettable memories together. The more your employees feel accepted and happy, the more motivated they will be to boast about your company.

Encouraging content creation and social sharing

Giving your brand’s entire team the task of helping curate content can make a big difference. When you engage employees in content creation, they have a vested interest in your success. They will be your most committed and enthusiastic ambassadors. Tap into their creativity by inviting them to write a blog post or take over your social media for a week. Providing them the opportunity and support to be visible spokespeople on behalf of your brand drives employee engagement, inspires collaboration and improves customer experiences. It also showcases your employee’s personality while highlighting a culture that values its people. Most importantly it provides them an incentive to share their work and be proud of their expertise. It might even end up launching creative avenues you never expected.

In addition to content creation, encourage your employees to actively share your content on social media and engage with your brand online. This a great way to get your brand promise spread further and build an emotional connection with customers. If customers see that your employee is personally recommending your company’s service or product to their direct network on social, they’ll be more apt to have confidence in your company and stand behind your brand.

Equipping your team with the right tools

In order to empower your employees to represent and promote your brand properly, make sure you provide them with all the tools they need to do the best job possible. Your employees are most likely familiar with the different channels you use to communicate with your customers, but it’s important you have the necessary training, guidelines and policies in place for them to follow. Not only will this ensure that the content your employees create and share are aligned with your overall goals, but also help them feel more confident about what kind of information and details they are allowed to share publicly as well as what kind of voice and tone they should use.

Along with training, guidelines and policies, make sure that your employees are equipped with useful materials and resources. Provide them with design templates, high quality photos, hashtags, brand logos, etc. This will enable them to promote your brand in a way that is authentic to them and beneficial to your company.

Recognizing a job well done

Recognition may seem like a small gesture, but it goes a long way with employees. If an employee has gone above and beyond, make sure to call it out or give them an award so they are reminded of their accomplishment and the impact they are having on your company’s overall success. Your employees will likely be motivated to contribute more to your brand’s success and inspire others to give their best.

Ultimately, your employees are the face of your company, and many times the first to come to mind when people think of your brand. When employees are proud of what they do and who they work for, they have the power to influence others to believe in your brand. By empowering them to spread the word, you’ll be mobilizing your most powerful resource.