How to Get Your CEO to Help in Content Marketing
CEOs don’t dig content.
Sure, there are few who write well (and are willing to do it) and understand the importance of content for business. However, most feel comfortable only in talking to other business people and talking business at that. Not to mention failing to realize how content helps in marketing the business.
The problem is though that most CEOs don’t want to join in your efforts.
This post will show you how you can change that.
As always, my posts are written from an in-house perspective. However, if you substitute the word CEO for client, most of the advice should still work.
Why Content From the CEO?
To begin at the beginning, why would you even bother approaching the top person in the company to contribute content to your marketing efforts?
Unless your CEO is one of those handful bosses who actively publish their content everywhere, their wisdom, thoughts and ideas are rarely made public.
You Need Unique Content
We live in the times of the content rat race. Every one is trying to produce content that’s better than everyone else’s. Yet, there are only so many ideas and topics that you have or might come up with. Not to mention that your authority might not be as high as your CEOs.
Getting the top person in your company to contribute can help you generate high quality, fresh and also hightly authoritative content. Simply.
It’s Highly Shareable
Content created by the CEOs can be highly shareable. Especially if it reveals some business wisdom, and let’s face it, every one likes to get advice from someone successful.
It Can Be Highly Linkable
For the reasons above, content from a CEO can be highly linkable. It is also easier to interest someone in linking or referencing such content than with the one you created yourself.
It Shows The Human Face Of People Behind The Company (Hint: Customers Love It)
I am a huge believer in SEO playing a part in a company’s overall branding activities rather than being only a sales channel (as it is often perceived). All the places where people find out about the brand, be it from a guest post signature, profile link, an infographic or anything contribute to the way they perceive the brand.
A content written by the very head of the company can create a very strong and positive impression, show the human face of the people behind the business.
Something like this can be a great benefit to your companys branding efforts.
CEOs and Content Marketing
Is it easy to get your CEO to contribute content?
From my experience, many CEOs don’t dig content marketing. Some even perceive it as an unnecessary and time wasting exercise that offers no real return on investment.
They Don’t Understand That It Can Help To Reach Company Goals
What matters most to the people at the top of the company are the ones directly related to achieving its goals, which in many cases means that they care only about their sales team. Even marketing folk are often neglected as to many C-Suite folk marketing is an expense not an investment.
They Don’t Realize How It Converts
In the eyes of many CEOs every action of the company should be aimed at converting a prospect into a client. However, branding or even link building don’t contribute to that, at least not directly and are often perceived as unnecessary activities (even though in reality content marketing can aid in generating leads for sales people).
They Don’t Understand Why It’s NOT About Your Brand
“If you write something for our blog, it should be about us.” – how often did you hear these words? To many CEOs if you spend time writing, it better be something about the company, not a post that is supposed to educate the audience.
They Don’t Think It’s Worth The Money, Effort or Time
For the reasons above, they don’t think content marketing is actually worth it. Of course, that’s usually until you educate your CEO in the benefits of content marketing, and show numbers to back your arguments.
Types of Content Your CEO Could Create
In my view, there are only certain types of content that a CEO could create for the company. Most CEOs don’t seem to be too keen on writing blog posts, nor they have the time to do so. Yet, they can still contribute to your content marketing strategy with the following few content types:
- Company Announcements
CEOs are involved in any new developement in the business. And often want to be at the forefront of any new developement in the business. Therefore getting them to write a short announcement, or even just have one published under their name shouldn’t be much of a problem.
- Facebook Posts or Tweets
Naturally they could also contribute to your social networking activities. You could mark their tweets or posts with a dedicated hashtag to make them stand out from everything else you post.
- Top Business Tips
CEOs know business best and have an extensive knowledge about it. It is also a topic they usually have no problems talking about. Therefore getting your CEO to contribute top tips on a specific business topic shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Sure, you might not be able to publish those on your company blog (unless you work for a business consultancy for instance) but these may make a great guest post on behalf of your CEO.
Setting up interviews for your CEO is from my experience one of the most effective ways to get very high quality links. Sure, you have to do most of the leg work whereas your CEO will only answer few questions but believe me, it’s well worth it.
- Quotes For Your Reports, Downloadable Pdfs Etc.
It might be difficult for you to get the CEO to write a whole chapter or a section for that downloadable PDF you are working on. However, it should be quite easy to get them to contribute with a quote. And that one thing alone will add value to the document straight away.
How to Get Your CEO to Write for You
Convince Them Of The Importance Of Doing So
There is no point in asking for content if you don’t have a full buy in from your CEO in relation to content marketing. Educate them first about the benefits of creating content for the company from time to time. It’s also a good idea to have some results from content marketing already before you approach your CEO to contribute.
Don’t ask your CEO to start writing blog posts when he or she hasn’t even fired off a single tweet yet. Start small, ask them to create the least time and effort consuming content. Set up interviews for them (believe me, it’s easier to get a CEO to talk to someone over Skype for 20 minutes than to respond to a 5 questions interview over email). You can even draft the content for them and let them edit it, that could work too. Press releases and statements are ideal for that. And of course, ask them to tweet from time to time. Use a hashtag like #fromaCEO to mark that it comes straight from the top.
Establish How You Are Going To Measure The Success Of The Content
C-Suite folk are all about numbers, remember? Therefore make sure that you have some way of measuring the success of such content. Remember this success doesn’t have to be monetary but work out at least some way of telling whether the content worked or not. Showing results is always the best encouragement for more content.
How about you? Do you include content from your CEO in your content marketing strategies?
Creative commons photo by: hikingartist.com through Flickr