What’s the best way to influence a C-level marketer? Given their creative predilections and busy schedules, strong content is a good bet. Here are five tips for doing so.

This post, 5 Tips to Make Sure Your Content Connects with the C-Suite, was first published on ClickZ.

Content is king: you’ve heard it before and you’re probably sick of hearing it now. It may be a cliché, it’s also correct. Content being so crucial, it’s clearly a good way to influence the C-suite.

But how can you go about doing that? Here are five tips:

1. Know Your Audience

Sam Slaughter, vice president of content at Contently, points out that given the nature of their positions, C-level marketers are more likely to be creative right-brain types, rather than analytical left-brains. All things data are all the rage in the industry, but data is also vast, overwhelming and not the way to get in good with a chief marketing officer.

“They don’t not want data, but they don’t want spreadsheets dumped on their desks,” Slaughter says. “Content and data aren’t mutually exclusive. Content is a way of presenting data that’s more easily digestible and scannable, as opposed to raw numbers. CMOs like trends and like to have an idea where things are going, but they also need data to back up the assertions they’re going to make.”

To put this tip into practice, Slaughter says it can be as simple as presenting a visual graph with bullet points, as opposed to a spreadsheet.

2. Think Outside the Box

A luxury car brand and a magazine isn’t the most obvious connection, but it’s one that Laura Rogers, group creative director of content development for Detroit agency Campbell Ewald, made for Cadillac. The automaker was looking for a way to be seen as a thought leader in the luxury space, but not in a typical brand awareness way. Hence, Cadillac Magazine, three-quarters of which is lifestyle content.

“The stories we put in there are the brand,” Rogers says. “The brand is all about being bold and being your own success story. We interview young business owners who have become very successful, so it is about the brand, but not directly about the product. It’s looking to build a relationship with people who are a part of the Cadillac lifestyle, as opposed to selling a car.”


3. Remember that C-Level Execs Are Just Like Us – Except, Busier

Management consulting firm Bain & Company estimates that a chief executive (CEO) spends two days of each week in meetings and another day reading and responding to emails, of which there are an average of 30,000 per year. If you’re able to catch one of these people, you have approximately 10 seconds because they’re supposed to be in a meeting six minutes ago.

“You may have a hard time getting them to watch an hour-long webinar or read a 35-page white paper, but you can certainly get initial interest and intrigue via social media, email marketing, even YouTube video shorts,” says Brooklyn Baggett, strategic marketing director at Cheyenne, Wyo., agency Warehouse Twenty One, whose clients include Toyota, Adobe and the University of Wyoming. “They consume online media like the rest of us. What makes them different, however, is that their time is extremely limited and every second you take from them must provide real value.”

Warehouse Twenty One designed Toyota’s Alabama engine manufacturing plant with busy schedules in mind. Toyota wanted its lobby to be educational and inspirational, but not extravagant. The agency created a chronological history wall with graphic panels depicting Toyota’s corporate story. The panels are attached with French cleats, so that each one can be removed and updated quickly, without requiring the brand to spend precious time redesigning the entire award-winning project.


4. Make It Actionable

Good content inspires action. Really good content makes it extremely easy to take action. In a blog post entitled, “The Nine Ingredients That Make Great Content,” customer intelligence platform Kissmetrics suggested writing blog posts complete with tips that readers can apply to their own marketing.

For B2C marketers, making something actionable can be as simple as including a link in a social post. During National Dog Day last month, every brand under the sun seemed to be on Twitter, posting pictures of cute dogs. Amazon took it one step further, tweeting a picture of a cute dog along with a link to buy the product featured in the Tweet. The e-commerce giant was also sure to follow up, immediately answering the questions that users had about its Tweet.

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5. Remember That Content Is a Broad Term

As Cadillac Magazine demonstrates, a lot of different things can be considered content. But at the same time, it doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a full out magazine.

“A Tweet is a piece of content. An infographic is a piece of content. A comment on YouTube content can also be content,” Contently’s Slaughter says. “I think when people talk about content now, what they mean is, quality, crafted stories, whether that be text or video or infographics. It’s this idea of crafting and storytelling that it’s becoming, rather than this firehose of data leaked out into the universe.”