Content Marketing and Unwilling Executives

Battlefield One: “Why should I invest in content marketing?”

They can explicitly ask or dance about it, but “why should I invest?” is the #1 question that every driver has in mind when faced with a new program. For content marketers, the following three steps will help convey the true value of your proposition, which will attract senior leadership.

1. Give the facts

Content marketing works, but you need to back it up with real numbers. Fortunately, there are plenty of them. Search and find numbers that might appeal to your team, but stats like these are the most compelling:

Customers who receive email newsletters spend 82% more than they buy from the company. (I get in touch)

2. Take a trip

This is a revealing exercise: guide the executive team through a typical customer journey as it is today. Put your drivers directly in the figurative place of today’s consumers and show how customers interact with your company and brands, what touchpoints they experience, and how they navigate the funnel. Show current gaps in lighting and customer engagement so managers can easily see a shortcut to improvement.

3. Sell a vision

Use the inside of your Martin Luther King Jr. and create a vivid picture of what it would be like to run your campaign. Explain how the customer journey would improve if your content marketing strategy filled all the gaps you identified. Tell a compelling story and sell your dream of perfect engagement with your company’s brand and how each CEO can play a leadership role in making it happen.

Battlefield Two: “Why should I post, tweet, share or like?”

Your executive team’s use of social media likely ranges from casual to “I never touched that.” If one of them is a power user, consider yourself very lucky.

They will likely have to be convinced of the importance of embracing this channel. It will likely require a multifaceted strategy that alleviates anxiety, fuels the ego, and raises concerns about deprivation.

  • Competitive analysis. Show what your competitors are doing at the executive level. Even if your team isn’t active on social media, there’s a good chance you’ll participate. By analyzing what is happening in the competitive market, managers can show that, if they do not work on social channels, they are less visible and possibly lose their relevance.
  • Conversation perspectives. Talk about some of the conversations going on in the industry on social media. Your managers probably have an opinion on everyone; but if they don’t express it, does their perspective matter? Even if they agree with the information that already exists, why shouldn’t they be the ones who provide it and conform to the winning perceptions?
  • Offer help. Regularly thinking about what to say is daunting, even for industry veterans. Reassure the team by noting that you will provide suggested text and links to the appropriate content. However, be careful not to promise to be involved on your behalf, as each manager must maintain ownership of their brand at all times. However, let them know you’re providing information and don’t leave it blank in the social media ecosystem.
  • Arrange the reinforcement. Most executives understand they are setting the tone for corporate culture and innovative leadership, and this is evident in social media. The amplification of your shared messages comes from internal and external stakeholders. Demystify how the reinforcement process works so they understand how powerful what they say can be and will be repeated by many others.

The merits of content marketing are well known to marketers, and purchasing executives rely heavily on what you already know.

Exactly what will resonate with an executive team varies by industry, personality, risk tolerance, workload, etc. However, the success of any senior leader is directly related to the success of the company itself, and content marketing can play an important role in any senior leader’s success.

If the team is still hesitant after playing the game, try to convince them to start slowly. Once you see the first results of your efforts, you’ll be in a good position to support a full content marketing implementation.