How and why you should get your CEO invested in content marketing
One of the most common facts about content marketing that we keep coming back to on this blog is that while most marketing decision makers know that content marketing works, they don’t quite know how it works, or how to implement it. If this is a problem among communications specialists, just imagine how CEOs feel!
The truth is, most business leaders know very little about content marketing, which can make it challenging for in-house marketing specialists to convince them to invest in it. However, it’s critical for marketing departments to have CEOs buy into a content marketing strategy, and in this article we’ll look at how, and why.
The problem: “My CEO isn’t invested in content marketing”
Fixing this problem starts with understanding why your CEO isn’t interested in content marketing. In a lot of cases, this will be because they simply don’t understand the process, but in others, it may be because they don’t think it will produce the same results as traditional advertising.
Of course, results speak louder than words, and when you can show your CEO that the ROI from content marketing will be far greater than other forms of online marketing, and at a lower cost, it’s more than likely they’ll agree to give the process a go. This doesn’t always solve the problem of personal buy-in from the top, however, and if the only investment your CEO is willing to make comes from the budget, you’ll still be starting your content marketing campaign on the back foot.
This is a real problem because for content marketing to really be successful, all the different elements of your business need to work together. Whether that’s employees engaging with the content and supporting it online or simply making themselves available to provide expertise and feedback, it all starts from the top, and leadership teams should be setting a positive example.
The solution: Showing leadership the value of content marketing
The best way to get CEOs and other business leaders invested in content marketing is to show them the value of the process, and make sure they understand how it differs from other forms of traditional advertising. For example, one of the most common questions that we get about content marketing is how long it takes to work, and while you might know that the process takes time, without the right knowledge your CEO may be expecting a big increase in traffic or leads overnight.
It’s also important to understand what your CEO is looking to get out of any marketing spend. While you may be focused on metrics like the number of articles shared, or engagement levels on social media, these results aren’t always what holds the most interest to leadership.[/vc_column_text]
Instead, the Content Marketing Institute recommends focusing on “content marketing metrics that truly illustrate how your work is impacting the business.” “The first thing you need to think about is how to tie the impact of content marketing to business priorities. The C-suite doesn’t care about clicks and opens, they care about increasing revenue and decreasing costs.”
``The C-suite doesn’t care about clicks and opens, they care about increasing revenue and decreasing costs.``
Examples of these metrics include increases in sales-accepted leads, better brand recognition and customer sentiment, as well as a larger ‘share of voice’ within your industry. These are the things that will really get your CEO to start buying into a content marketing strategy, and that will then trickle down through the rest of your organisation. Overall though, it’s the promise of conversions that will really push CEOs to become excited about content marketing.
“Any other goal you think of (links, rankings, domain authority, etc.) will be a short-term checkpoint to reaching the end of the race and improving conversions. Your long-term goal should be the first thing you pitch: “I want to make us more money.” Perfect; you got their attention and are speaking in their terms,” explains Moz.
The why: Does buy-in really matter?
Yes! Quite aside from the example that leaders investing in content marketing sets for the rest of your organisation, having a leader in your corner who knows how content marketing works can make a huge difference to the overall success of your strategy, helping you achieve better results, drive more conversions, and stay on top within your industry.
An example that the Content Marketing Institute uses is the value of having an organisation’s sales team heavily invested in content marketing.
“Work together to forecast what the impact could be to revenue if salespeople are able to increase close rate by X per cent due to having more highly qualified leads.”
This sort of buy-in makes it possible to more precisely direct your content marketing strategy to the needs of your customers, So, not only will you have more people invested in and actively using the articles and assets you create, but they’ll also be of better quality thanks to more input from the people closest to your audience.
OneSpot points out that in the modern world, the E in CEO doesn’t just stand for executive. It also reflects the duty of leadership to engage, entertain and educate customers. Content marketing is a great tool for that, and it’s your job as an internal marketer to make sure everybody in your business knows exactly how powerful it can be.