Get buy-in from the top for your SEO and content marketing

Making executives a fan of your SEO and content marketing
program

The most successful content marketers are the ones that have
executive buy-in for SEO and data sharing. Buy-in from your
leadership can mean financial investment in your content marketing
programs, but it can extend to your company’s culture and
priorities. Many SEOs and content marketers complain that their
company simply isn’t set up to support data-based marketing, but
that buy-in from the C-suite would foster better data-sharing and
communication across the organization.

Our executives are usually in busy positions that don’t get
into the weeds of how marketing — especially back-end
optimization marketing — works. Many execs know what they want
when it comes to the look of the website or the language of a TV
spot, but don’t have a grasp on why ensuring that SEO is part of
their content marketing – and vital to their marketing toolkit.
Luckily, a little discussion on impact usually goes a long way.

Lead with data

A good starting point to get the attention of the executive team
is to show data about the current state of your site, and to share
areas where you see room for measurable improvement. Your executive
team is focused on major goals and on your organization’s bottom
line, so be clear about what you want to accomplish and how they
can help. Execs tend to love data, so how can marketers use data to
show that content marketing is the best way to increase ROI and get
your product in front of new customers?

how is your content found

Before you ask your execs for help, ask yourself the following
questions:

  • What do you want to accomplish, and what do you need
    from your leadership?
    Think of action items and takeaways.
    Knocking on someone’s door just to tell them an idea isn’t
    useful — figure out what you need.
  • How will a focus on content marketing benefit the
    organization?
    Have a couple clear statements in mind
    identifying what your C-Suite’s buy-in will accomplish. Back it
    up with data and research that you’ve already collected.
  • Who else is Team Content? If you already have
    buy-in from lower-level managers, or the support of other execs,
    bring them into the conversation around your organization’s
    content plan.

Show that you know your weak points

There’s a lot of data going on in the content marketing world.
As we’ve mentioned in previous episodes, we need to know what
isn’t working about your current marketing strategy. Ideally,
you’ll be able to gather data about various deliverables to test
out medium, method, and
message.

  • Think about how the channels that you’re using to distribute
    your messaging — everything from Google Adwords to Pinterest to
    your own site. Which of these channels performs best for you?
  • The method pieces include the types of content that you’re
    creating: videos, white papers, blog posts. Don’t confuse
    channels with content type, either — you want to be able to
    measure the two independently. If YouTube videos don’t perform
    well, the answer may not be to pivot away from video, but to place
    your videos on your own landing pages, Vimeo, or somewhere
    else.
  • Finally, think about the message you’re creating. Consider
    the tone, appearance, and feel of each of your deliverables. Older
    forms of marketing, like email marketing, lend themselves quite
    well to A/B testing — which subject line gets the most clicks? If
    you are able to text your message in a way that finds a best
    performer, consider applying that messaging to other areas of your
    marketing materials.

Understanding your target audienceBring content marketing into the recruitment
conversation.

The primary goal of most content programs is to create new
customers — and your execs might think that possibilities in
content marketing stop there. But, consider an issue like talent
recruitment: many executives name recruiting and retaining top
employees as a top issue facing their firms.

Content marketing can help your organization win at employee
recruitment in two ways. First, the type and tone of content
suggests a lot about your company, brand, and culture. Great
branding helps potential recruits understand what your organization
is about — and whether they’re interested in being a part of
it. In addition, recruiters and HR pros often look at whether
employees have researched the company as they make hiring
decisions. So, giving interviewers something to research makes
their job easier.

Make education a priority among your content marketing
goals.

If you’ve decided to pick up the baton of organizational
education about content marketing, you may feel as though you
won’t be satisfied until you see massive change at your
organization. But, depending on your org and industry, change can
take time. If incremental change makes you crazy, re-educating your
executive team might make you crazy — and you might be in the
wrong organization. But, if you are willing to work through
whatever red tape your company throws at you, you can start by
setting goals to move the needle forward.

  • Set goals for your team — and for yourself.
    If you create benchmarks and meet them, that success reflects
    positively on your program.
  • Know what works for you personally! Whether
    you’re highly organized and create your content months in
    advance, or if you lean more towards in-the-moment, live-action
    tactics, know your strengths and share them with others.
  • Show how changes in data-sharing can benefit the entire
    organization and the bottom line.
    So: share your own data.
    If you have success stories, share those in your departmental
    presentations and staff-wide meetings.
  • Consider your competitors. Fear isn’t the
    best motivating tactic, so don’t bring a presentation to your
    execs on how your competitors’ great content will bring your
    company to bankruptcy. Instead, highlight ways that your content
    can be improved. However, there is space for competitor analysis!
    Say you’re losing to a certain competitor in SEO rankings: bring
    your execs some ideas on how to regain that footing.

Seem daunting? Don’t get discouraged,
take a look at how to build the right team to tackle your SEO and
content challenges
.

Talk about content marketing as it should be: a strategy
that exists throughout the marketing funnel.

Content marketing is not a tactic, but
a strategic layer that touches all of your existing marketing
.
Every piece of marketing, from emails to TV spots, gives users a
better picture of your brand, which is why a cohesive marketing
campaign is so important. Think of it this way: the success of
content is measurable — and everything is content.

Consider video as an example. Videos are often thought of as
being a “top-of-the-funnel” medium: we use attention-grabbing
videos to introduce a product to potential buyers. However, if
video works really well for you in that function, you could
introduce it throughout the traditional marketing funnel: from
intro to purchase to customer retention. You can use video for
instructional guides related to your products, on-boardng for new
customers, answers to frequently asked questions, and much more.
Video doesn’t have to remain at the top of the funnel: it can
work from awareness through lead nurturing through the purchase and
use of the product.

Highlight how better communication can lead to better
outcomes!

Many marketers feel as though they’re the last in their
organization to know about a new product, company development, or
piece of performance data. It’s true that marketing is sometimes
brought in as the finishing touch on a project, or might not be
kept abreast of sales numbers. In some industries, teams tend to
hoard information, either because there are structural incentives
for doing so, or because leadership simply doesn’t see how
purchasing, order fulfillment, or sales relate to content
marketing. Content marketing should, ideally, break those silos and
earn the support of other teams.

When you do content marketing research, you’re striving to
create real, quantifiable hypotheses about what might happen with
new campaigns based on the previous performance of campaigns that
used similar mediums, methods, and messages. The availability of
prior data might be hugely useful in both setting and reaching KPIs
— both for the marketing teams and for other groups within the
organization.

Share something with another team without expecting
reciprocation. If you have internal-search data that may help your
merchandising team, send that data to someone on the team! You may
get more input from that team that helps you — or you may not.
But, data sharing that helps one team can build the entire
organization.

Our takeaway? Start measuring now, and use your data to
prove content and SEO’s worth.

Depending on the level of autonomy, you can earn executive
buy-in for your content marketing program simply by getting started
and measuring the results. If you want your execs to approve the
design of new video content, measure the success of content that
you currently have — and if you don’t have any, look to how
well your competitors are performing on YouTube. Chart your ROI on
social media and email, and use that data to build support for
what’s working, and motivation to fix what isn’t working.

However, be sure to know how your data contributes to your KPI.
Showing that you have one million Instagram followers might not be
a goal for your organization if your company that contracts only
with governmental defense agencies! Often, we run into management
that isn’t on the same page regarding which metrics are
important. Sit down and discuss how each metric tracks back to your
organization’s goals, and make sure you’re on the same
page.

Remember: content is a tangible asset with measurable goals, and
your executive team should count content managers as an advantage.
It’s up to you to show that value!

If you’re looking for an SEO and content marketing solution
that will act as an extension of your team – specifically
tailored to your KPIs and unique needs – we’re here to help.

Start with a discovery call today.

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Get buy-in from the top for your SEO and content marketing

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Source: FS – _Marketing
Get buy-in from the top for your SEO and content marketing