You have an ironclad brand marketing strategy and your budget is flexible enough to create a real impact in a relatively short amount of time. Your senior partners are psyched and excited to witness the rise of a prolific brand. Things are looking great. But then the walls begin tumbling down internally – and you spend the rest of your time trying to pick up the broken pieces.  Why? Because your employees were never engaged – they could care less about your brand.

According to DeskAlerts, a massive 72 percent of all US workers are not engaged with their work and their employers. And in many cases, the 28 percent who are engaged are senior level executives who have a greater stake in the company. The result is a bigger problem facing the nation’s brands: up to $540 billion is lost as a direct result of employee disengagement every single year. That’s huge!

To combat this, a fast-growing marketing trend involves engaging employees – not only does it fuel a more productive workforce, but social media turns those engaged employees into brand ambassadors. There are ways brands can help drive employee engagement by creating opportunities, offering recognition, communicating successes, and building collaborative work processes.

While employee disengagement is largely a human resources issue, there is a role for content marketing. In fact, leaders must actively treat employees as they were customers. It’s imperative for them to win the trust of their employees and motivate them to take action on behalf of the brand.

Today, it’s up to the CMO and HR Director to have a meeting of the minds to determine what content will resonate with employees. The set-up couldn’t be better because HR has great intelligence on their employees. And the CMO has everything she needs to expand that targeted outreach to employees. Across the board, it’s a match made in heaven as HR acquires more content fodder to attract employees and CMOs gain a larger internal pool of brand ambassadors.

Still, the big challenge for brands will be convincing employees to be loyal “customers.” And there are too many factors, including brand quality, cost, niche characteristic and market perception, that play a hand in an employee’s decision on whether to buy-in. The stakes are huge – creating a brand culture that employees and customers alike can connect with needs to move up your priority list.