Content auditing, creation, and software, oh my!
The sessions I attended here at Content Marketing World were packed with helpful tips. Rachel Lovinger, Content Strategy Director at Razorfish, revealed how the content audit helps brands find their own voice, repurpose existing assets and evaluate content quality. Jason Miller of LinkedIn talked us through a content pillar approach to marketing. Rebecca Lieb helped us navigate the tangled landscape of content marketing software. And (my personal favorite) Jonathon Coleman revealed how we to build better content experiences.
And in the rooms around me, many other talented speakers were sharing their own how-tos on creating great content and implementing successful strategies.
But I can’t help but notice…there’s one thing that not nearly enough people are talking about: How to get your organization’s leadership on board with all of these initiatives. If we’re going to be successful content marketers, we can’t just preach to the converted. We need to know how to pitch to our executives, who may not see the value of content.
The only session I attended that addressed this issue was yesterday’s “What Your CMO Thinks of Your Content Marketing.”
The panel, hosted by our very own Jesse Noyes, featured Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, CMO of BitTorrent, Brian Kardon, CMO of Lattice Engines and Carol Meyers, CMO of Rapid 7.
I knew that this was going to be different from any of the other session because of one of Carol’s opening statements. She said:
“I can’t imagine marketing without awesome content, but I’ve never heard of content marketing.”
Too often, marketers assume that everyone in their organization—CMO included—understands why we need to prioritize content. In reality, most people aren’t convinced.
Tuesday’s panel shed light on what CMOs are thinking and what factors go into pitching them successfully. Here are my favorite thoughts from all three marketers.
Carol rewards people who make a strong business case during their proposal. What’s the value of your content initiatives? If you can’t be specific about how your content marketing drives your business forward, you won’t get buy-in.
At BitTorrent, Jascha has a very product-first mentality. He starts by finding out the unique value of each product, then figures out how to drive awareness. If you’re a marketer trying to pitch him—or someone like him—you’re going to want to frame your argument with this in mind.
Jascha also agrees that asking for money is never the way to go. Instead, identify what organizational goals you’re trying to achieve with your content, and be specific. His greatest challenge as CMO is figuring out where to dedicate his resources, so it’s in your best interest to build a strong case by aligning your content initiatives to more overarching product and company goals.
One of Brian’s biggest concerns is how content serves (or doesn’t serve) his internal teams. He feels marketing should be developing assets that empower each team in their organization—and should educate these teams about the available assets. If there are multiple assets created for sales that sales isn’t using, for example, that wastes valuable time and resources. If you want to get your content initiative approved by Brian, you better be ready to have a plan for revealing who it’s for, why it’s important, and how you’ll communicate that value internally.
We always talk about the importance of our external audience in content marketing. We don’t spend nearly enough time figuring out how to appeal to our internal audiences. I hope to see more people talking about getting internal buy-in at CMW next year.