Imagine this familiar scene for B2B marketers: you’re obsessively tracking your web traffic, pleasantly surprised at the upward trend and increased engagement your content brings to your organization. You’re even hitting your lead numbers every month!
Yet, sales keeps rejecting your leads, and your nurture tracks aren’t yielding many results. Overall, the revenue from your organic leads is just not what you want.
Here’s what’s happening: you’re engaging the wrong people.
In B2B organizations, the buyer’s journey is complex, often involving multiple decision makers and complicated budgeting meetings, not to mention approval from executives that don’t have time to read a listicle about your product.
All too often, content isn’t properly targeted for the personas marketers are really trying to engage. And for B2B marketers, who’s the best person to engage? The busy executives, with all of the buying power and none of the free time to peruse blogs that aren’t perfectly curated for their interests.
Fortunately, your efforts to engage the C-level executives aren’t futile. Instead, content managers need to properly understand what executives value, and how to tailor content to best catch the eye of the elusive C-suite.
Top Priorities of C-Level Executives
Giving executives the content that addresses their top-of-mind concerns is the best way to hook their attention. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how to use content to capitalize on the top priorities of the C-suite.
Finding Opportunities for Growth and Increased Efficiency
The IBM Global C-Suite Study found that CEOs of successful organizations are highly focused on growth, including launching new products or services, cultivating deeper customer relationships, finding new business models, pursuing innovation as a long-term strategy, expanding geographically, and creating deeper ecosystems.
Content takeaway: Growth is a hugely appealing topic for your executive audience. Take advantage of this fact by creating content with a growth mindset.
Managing Organizational Changes
With a desire for growth often comes change—a scary word to many organizations. Executives are responsible for navigating the turmoil that commonly accompanies organizational shifts. This covers everything from initiating transitions to communicating reasoning to other executives and the employees affected by the change.
Content takeaway: Keep this in mind when suggesting large-scale strategic shifts. Always provide ample resources that support not only the need for the shift but also how to go about smoothly transitioning. For example, as we at Kapost push the need for advanced content operations and technology to support them, we also give you the tools you need to bring everyone on board.
Making Use of Technology
Small-scale operations can typically function without much technology, but as organizations grow and develop more complexities, executives turn to technology to make processes effective and streamlined.
Content takeaway: If you’re marketing technology to help make organizations more efficient and drive more revenue, this is good news for you. Executives are looking for your solution. To best appeal to them, make the ROI proof points of your technology easily digestible and undeniable. If you’re not in the technology sector, consider regularly evaluating technology in your industry and providing resources on what’s best in class and why.
Being at the Forefront of Innovation
Executives are constantly responsible for making cutting-edge decisions that are backed by research and data. The IBM study above found that 58% of market-leading CEOs pursue disruptive innovation, not purely incremental improvements. Instead of making adjustments to existing products and services, executives are looking for reinvention and total rethinking.
Content takeaway: Provide resources to inform them of trends and what’s on the horizon for their industry. Don’t be afraid to take risks with content. Starting a controversial conversation can pay off, even if you ultimately learn something new and adjust your company’s perspective.
Engage the Executive with Your Content
There’s one executive trait we haven’t talked about yet: they’re incredibly busy. Meetings can take the entire day, and the chance that they’re going to open a newsletter featuring your recently published blogs is slim—even if the subject line is stellar.
The key to getting content to an executive is not just creating great content—it’s creating content that inspires marketers under the executive to share it with leadership. Marketers continually sift through blogs, eBooks, webinars, and the like. A content manager’s goal is to create the asset that’s hand delivered to an executive by a trusted colleague.
So create content with these priorities in mind. Address the pain points you know executives have. But—and this is a key point—for every piece of content created for an executive persona, ensure there are entry points and sufficient explanation of high-level concepts to allow marketers under the executive level to engage with your content and, hopefully, pass it on to the targeted audience: their executive.