“I wish I could get buy in for content here.”
If I had a nickel for every time I heard some variation of this sentence from a marketer…
Usually, this theme emerges from defeated marketers who insist they’ve made a case for content to their VP, CMO, or even a director of marketing to no avail. Their boss just doesn’t care about content, they reason.
Maybe. Maybe your CMO honestly doesn’t care about creating compelling content, about enticing and enthralling customers with a rewarding, valuable experience.
Or maybe you’re not selling it well.
In many cases, the reason we can’t convince the CMO of the need for content marketing is because we’ve failed to put together a solid pitch. It requires doing homework, collaborating with colleagues across departments, understanding motivations, and demonstrating a holistic – rather than a piecemeal – approach to content.
Here are some of the reasons why your case for content marketing is failing to inspire the head of marketing.
You Haven’t Done Your Homework
Quick, what is the number one concern of your CMO; the thing that keeps her awake, staring up at the ceiling, at night?
If you don’t know, it’s going to be damn hard to explain how content marketing is going to address the biggest challenges. You can’t assume the issues you’re sure content will help overcome are the same as what’s nagging the head of marketing.
You need to investigate and identify the chief concerns of your CMO — is it lead generation? customer satisfaction? revenue growth? — Then consider how resourcing, developing, and executing a content strategy will aid in meeting goals against those concerns.
You Can’t Say How It Will Work
I’m going to make the prediction that your chief marketer hears more half-baked than fully-baked ideas every day. She doesn’t need another one from you.
But that’s often how marketers approach content — without a real plan. It’s not enough to identify the need for content, or even the benefits of content marketing. You have to explain how you’re going to do it. Among the questions you should be able to answer:
- Who are the key players in our content and what role will they play?
- How will we prioritize topics or themes our content should address?
- What resources do we have to create content? What resources will we need to add?
- How will we keep track all the tasks and steps required to get content out the door?
- What can we do to ensure our content gets seen externally and internally?
- How do measure the return on this investment?
These are just a few of questions you’ll likely be asked. The main thing is to sit down and think through the entire strategy and various processes you’ll need to put in place before pushing send on that spiffy memo.
You’re Already Doing Content Marketing
“We’re already making content. How is this different?”
– Your Boss
Good question. It’s likely true that content is being created, to suit all sorts of needs, across the organization. Nearly half of marketers create content just to fill up channels. And then 60-70% of content doesn’t get used.
Your plan shouldn’t be about creating more content; it should be about creating better, more useful, more buyer-centric content. In other words, it’s about establishing a content marketing operation so content that gets produced is done so in a visible, unified way. An operation ensures you’re getting the maximum return on every asset and campaign, and deploying across a variety of functions.
A CMO wants to invest in enduring structure, not just another tactic.
You Don’t Have a Script
Yup. A script. All the prep work I’ve been discussing up until now are meant to lead to an actual conversation.
Don’t go into that conversation unprepared. Why? Because, well, just look at this slide I made for an upcoming CMO panel.
As you can see, CMOs are getting accustomed to hearing about how their job has utterly changed. They’ve got a lot on their mind. Your pitch needs to be succinct and to the point.
It pays to have a script in place beforehand. That’s not to say you should read off of one. Just imagine how the conversation might go, and be ready to improvise. But putting it all together will make you seem poised and prepared.
By the way, if you happen to be going to Content Marketing World, join me and the CMOs of bitTorrent, Rapid7 and Lattice Engines for a panel about what they think of content.