7 minute read
How to make your content marketing appeal to C-level executives
Updated on March 7, 2021 by Emily Johnson
If you run a B2B business, chances are you’ve tried to connect with C-suite executives.
You may dedicate months to research the most senior decision-makers within organizations to determine the best way to spark their interest. And you still might end up with very little success.
To get on the radar of the C-suite and to present them with effective marketing content is not an easy task.
So what exactly are marketers doing wrong when compelling this vital group to invest?
In this blog, we will cover what you need to know about C-suite marketing to help you develop the best content to grab even the busiest executive’s attention.
Before that, let’s discuss why a B2B content marketing strategy that targets this important group can be an effective and productive endeavor.
Why should you target C-suiters?
It’s not because they can help shorten the buyer’s journey. Rather, going directly for C-level officers with content marketing can help you reach specific marketing objectives.
Here are a few reasons why you may consider targeting C-suiters:
- Long-term business partnerships: If your company’s objective is to build a long-lasting, mutually beneficial alliance with a firm with complementary interests, then targeting the C-suite is generally the only way.
- Enterprise sales: This marketing endeavor could get you a 7-figure sales opportunity, which makes approaching this important group worthwhile.
- Thought leadership activation: C-level officers should be your priority if you want your marketing materials to reach influencers. This can help generate sales opportunities and spread your thought leadership across their networks.
Needless to say, you’ll have to be prepared if you wish to build better relationships with the C-suiters.
Your traditional marketing strategy simply won’t make the cut when approaching this highly selective, busy, and elusive group.
While getting through to them is hard, they aren’t surrounded by an impenetrable fortress. The key is to offer relevant content – something that will be valuable for their organization.
In fact, most CEOs are continually looking out for opportunities that will have a huge impact on their company. This means the best way to reach this elusive group is by offering valuable content.
Here are some ideas for content types that will resonate with them.
Top pain points of C-suiters
Providing C-level officers with content that addresses their top priorities is the most effective way to gain their attention.
- Launching new services or products
- Building deeper customer relationships
- Discovering new business models
- Creating deeper ecosystems
- Expanding geographically
- Pursuing innovation
Here’s how you can capitalize on the key pain points of C-suiters by using fresh, relevant content:
Finding opportunities for increased efficiency and growth
If there's one thing we all know about chief executives, it's that they give some serious attention to business growth.
Since growth is often the number one concern for C-level executives, it's worth paying attention to when you're developing your content marketing plan or email newsletters. As we dive deeper into each of these pain points, consider their overall impact on business growth while brainstorming content ideas.
84% of executives agree that innovation is important to their growth strategy.
CEOs are constantly making decisions on behalf of their company, which must be supported by data and research. An IBM Global study suggests that 58 percent of market-leading executives pursue groundbreaking innovation, not entirely incremental improvements. Rather than making adjustments to the available services and products, executives are searching for complete rethinking and reinvention.
Keeping this in mind, you can provide resources that inform them of the latest trends in their industry. With content, you need to be bold and take risks. Initiating a controversial communication can pay off, though you might ultimately learn something fresh and adjust your firm’s perspective.
Content that highlights innovation is sure to make an executive spend a few extra minutes reading your blog post. Executives often look to brands that are known for their innovation for ideas to grow their own company.
Take SpaceX, for example. Earlier this month, SpaceX's rocket launch failed. Although this individual mission was unsuccessful, the company's CEO Elon Musk referred to it as a successful failure, since the data gathered will be useful for future endeavors.
Here are a few topic ideas to start your next brainstorm sesh:
- Case studies on companies that are pushing the boundaries of innovation, like SpaceX
- Lessons learned from "failed" attempts at innovation
- Roundup articles on industry trends
A major part of business growth is expanding operations to different countries. This helps increase revenue and brand recognition.
The path from a local start-up to a multinational brand can look different for each company, but c-suite executives must stay tuned with their customers, wherever they are in the world.
Thus, their company must outreach to different customers in various geographical regions to increase revenue. Consider including regional trends in your content marketing to appeal to C-level executives interested in learning more about their global customer base.
Launching new services or products
If you don’t innovate, you die.
This statement by Gary Vaynerchuk, the American investor, aligns with the current market scenario.
Many organizations go through a phase where products that were once their star-performer are now the least performing ones.
So, why the downhill?
Brand tend to lose momentum because they fail to launch new products or services to keep customers hooked. Product launches are key to customer retention because they instill interest in the brand and ensure that its product always have the latest technology or features.
C-level executives are highly involved in new product launches. They understand that if they don’t have a regular launch schedule, they will lose out to their competitors.
Apple takes product launches very seriously. The American multinational company holds around three to four launch events a year. CEO Tim Cook kicks off most events. The "one more thing" virtual event in November 2020 was the company's latest launch event.
Building great customer relationships
Nurturing customer relationships is a huge concern for executives. Content that includes tips, tricks, and trends in this department is sure to reach a c-suite audience.
Discovering new business models
Sometimes the only thing holding a company back from success is its business model. Because of this, most executives are constantly researching the best business models and how to employ different tactics in their existing strategies.
The best example is of Kmart and Walmart. Both were launched in 1962. 15 years after launching, Kmart was 20 times the size of Walmart. By 1988, Kmart was in 50 states while its competitor, Walmart, was only in 20 states.
Later, when Walmart adopted a better business model, it accelerated its revenue and expansion to other geographical regions.
High-level executives are aware of this fact, and therefore they focus on discovering new models.
Growth is an appealing subject for C-level executives. As such, you’ll have a better chance of approaching these top decision-makers by sending content or email newsletters that address these facts.
Small-scale organizations can often operate without much technology. However, as companies expand and face more complexities, chief decision-makers rely on technology to make processes streamlined and effective.
If your company offers technological solutions that help make companies more efficient and generate more returns, this is a good opportunity for you. Executives are searching for your solution.
To ensure the marketing materials appeal to them, make sure the ROI proof points you include concerning your product are easily comprehensible and transparent.
If you aren’t in the technological sector, consider researching for such solutions regularly within the industry and offer executives with resources on the best in class technologies.
Content marketing tip: Do your research
Research is vital to enhance your content marketing strategy, especially when targeting C-suiters. You need to find out where and how these executives consume information.
Examine their organization’s own marketing content to understand their brand values and key messages. Also, analyze their social media accounts to have an idea of how they develop their thought leadership.
You’ll also be able to determine who they engage with publicly (and remember that chief officers are more likely to take the advice of their peers and from those who have shown expertise).
Additionally, use this research and build a buyer persona for this group that you’ll be targeting. By using this persona, you can curate new messages based on what resources they are lacking.
While you may have plenty of information to offer, remember that C-suiters don’t have much time to consume content. This means you need to express your message in the quickest way possible. While this includes offering content that is free of fluff and on point, it also means keeping your work channel engaging and appropriate.
C-level officers are hungry for valuable information. Content doesn’t take the place of traditional marketing channels. Instead, it plays a considerably critical part in any contemporary C-suite marketing plan.
If you can offer highly targeted information, the possibility of getting your services and products noticed by this critical yet elusive group are much higher.