Marketing team member giving a presentation to gain executive content marketing buy-in.
July 11, 2023

How to Get Executive Buy-In for Content Marketing

by Michael Brenner

In today’s digital age, content marketing has become a vital strategy for businesses to establish their online presence, build brand authority, and attract and retain customers. But a robust content strategy requires the support of your leaders—and winning content marketing buy-in from your executive team can be a challenging task.

This article will explore effective strategies to get executive buy-in on the value and potential ROI of content marketing to pave the way for successful implementation.

Quick Takeaways:

  • More than 90% of companies use content as a central part of their marketing strategies, meaning content marketing has become competitively necessary.
  • You can make a compelling case for content marketing to executives by developing a clear business case with clear goals, KPIs, and a detailed strategic plan.
  • After gaining initial buy-in, it’s essential to communicate regularly and report on results to maintain continued support.

12 Steps for Winning Executive Content Marketing Buy-In

Understand Your Audience

To gain executive support, it is crucial to understand your audience—the decision-makers within your organization. Research and identify their priorities, pain points, and long-term goals. 

Executives typically focus on driving revenue, increasing market share, improving customer satisfaction, and staying ahead of competitors. Align your content marketing proposal with these objectives to make it more appealing to your executive team.

Develop a Clear Business Case

A compelling business case is essential to secure executive content marketing buy-in. Start by highlighting the potential benefits that content marketing can bring to the organization, such as increased brand awareness, customer engagement, lead generation, and thought leadership. 

Quantify these benefits whenever possible using metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, leads generated, and lead conversion rates to demonstrate the potential ROI.

Educate on Content Marketing Principles

Many executives don’t fully understand the concept and principles of content marketing. Take the time to educate them on the value and significance of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. Present case studies and success stories from other companies in your industry to illustrate how content marketing has positively impacted their business growth.

Further, it’s essential to drive home the competitive necessity of a strong content marketing strategy and plan—97% of companies now use content as a core part of their strategy and 72% of marketers say it increases engagement.

Graphic highlighting statistics about content marketing, including that more than 90% use it as an important part of their overall marketing strategy.

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Show Competitive Advantage

Along the same vein, highlight how content marketing can provide a competitive advantage for your organization. Present data and insights on how competitors are utilizing content marketing to engage customers, build credibility, and position themselves as industry leaders.

Emphasize that by embracing content marketing, your organization can differentiate itself from competitors, reach a wider audience, and establish thought leadership in the industry.

Set Clear Goals and KPIs

Develop a comprehensive content marketing plan with clear goals and KPIs that align with the organization’s overall objectives. Executives need to see a well-defined roadmap that outlines the specific outcomes content marketing will deliver. These goals can include:

  • Increasing website traffic
  • Improving search engine rankings
  • Generating leads
  • Boosting customer engagement
  • Driving revenue growth

These are just a few examples. By clearly articulating these goals, your executive team can better understand the expected outcomes and the metrics used to measure success.

Showcase Tangible Results

To build trust and gain executive buy-in, it’s crucial to demonstrate the potential return on investment of content marketing. Begin by piloting a small-scale content marketing campaign, and meticulously track and measure the results. 

This data can be presented to executives as evidence of the effectiveness of content marketing in achieving your goals. Highlight the positive impact on key metrics, such as increased website traffic, lead conversions, customer engagement, and revenue growth.

Develop a Realistic Budget

Executives are often concerned about the costs associated with content marketing. Prepare a realistic budget that outlines necessary resources, including staff, tools, and activities. 

Clearly articulate the expected costs and potential ROI, ensuring that the budget is aligned with the organization’s overall marketing and business objectives. Show executives how a well-executed content marketing strategy can lead to cost savings in other important areas, such as reducing reliance on traditional advertising.

Present a Long-Term Strategy

Executives are often concerned with the sustainability and long-term viability of any initiative. When seeking buy-in for content marketing, present a well-thought-out long-term strategy that outlines the roadmap for success.

Highlight the iterative nature of content marketing, where efforts build over time to generate compounding results. Emphasize the importance of consistency and continuity in content creation, distribution, and engagement to nurture customer relationships and drive long-term growth for your business.

Document your strategy so it can be presented in a tangible way. By doing so, you’ll also be putting your team a step ahead when it comes time to execute—companies with documented plans to support their content strategies are much more likely to be successful.

SEMRush statistics show that 80% of companies that are extremely successful in content marketing have a documented content strategy.

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Address Potential Challenges and Mitigation Plans

Executives may have concerns about implementing content marketing. Anticipate potential challenges and proactively address them in your proposal. Some common concerns may include resource allocation, skill gaps, performance reporting, or time required for content creation. 

Offer concrete solutions and mitigation plans to alleviate these concerns, such as outsourcing content creation, providing training, or leveraging automation tools to streamline processes.

Engage with Success Stories and Industry Experts

Executive content marketing buy-in can be won by showcasing success stories and examples from other organizations that have effectively implemented content marketing. Collect case studies, testimonials, and industry research that demonstrate the positive impact of content marketing on revenue growth and brand positioning.

Continuously Communicate and Update

Once you have gained executive content marketing buy-in, it is crucial to maintain open lines of communication and provide regular updates on progress. Establish a reporting cadence to share key marketing metrics, achievements, and any adjustments to the strategy. 

This ensures executives remain engaged and informed about the impact of content marketing on the organization’s overall goals. Regular communication also allows for adjustments and fine-tuning based on feedback and evolving market conditions.

Final Recap

To stay competitive and get noticed by your target customers in today’s crowded digital marketing landscape, you must create high-quality content and publish it regularly. But in order to access the resources needed to execute, you also need executive buy-in.

By understanding your audience, developing a clear business case, educating leaders on content marketing principles, and showcasing its competitive advantages, you can make a compelling case to executives for your content marketing strategy. 

Setting clear goals, showcasing tangible results, and presenting a realistic budget further strengthen your proposal. Collaborating with key stakeholders, presenting a long-term strategy, and addressing potential challenges ensure a comprehensive approach.

Engaging with success stories and maintaining regular communication solidifies executive support and paves the way for effective content marketing implementation.

With a strong content plan in place and executive buy-in to support it, your organization can unlock the full potential of content marketing and drive meaningful business growth.

Michael Brenner is a keynote speaker, author and CEO of Marketing Insider Group. Michael has written hundreds of articles on sites such as Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Guardian and he speaks at dozens of leadership conferences each year covering topics such as marketing, leadership, technology and business strategy.