When we started working with a new partner in the financial software industry, the entire team was concerned with how we could possibly get our content in front of the C-suite crowd—the organization’s target audience. We needed to reach those who were responsible for profit and loss, but we knew there was a huge challenge standing in our way: these were busy people who actually hired people to guard their desks.
Think about it: If you were to call the CEO of an enterprise company, you’d likely need to get through at least one person (likely the executive assistant) before you could potentially speak directly with the person in charge. These gatekeepers may become more numerous as the size of the company grows.
Initially, we decided to focus on other, more approachable personas. But we quickly realized our campaigns and marketing efforts could never reach their full potential if we didn’t figure out how to reach this elusive bunch of professionals.
After a lot of strategy, content creation and ol’ fashion hard work, we are starting to see engagement from the C-suite. In fact, after receiving our last targeted email, the CEO of a target organization opened our email within minutes of it landing in his inbox, clicked through to our featured content and even requested a consultation. This is just one example of tangible success.
So how can we mere marketers convince executives to spend time with our content? Here are few ways to get the content and strategy you spend hours perfecting in front of its intended audience—the C-suite:
Newsletters admittedly seem a little old school, but the truth is they still work. According to the Quartz Insights Global Executives Study, 60 percent of executives read an email newsletter as one of their daily news sources.
In the tech world, specifically, nearly half of executives say they rely on email newsletters for industry specific news.
But like we said, executives are busy. This means your newsletters need to be worthwhile to these professionals if you expect them to subscribe. Here are a few guidelines for securing those leads:
Segment your audience and distribute targeted content: The information provided in your newsletters needs to be extremely relevant to your audiences. This is best achieved by implementing a sophisticated segmentation strategy and creating content driven by their pain points. Additionally, the content needs to include information not easily accessed elsewhere on the Internet. If you are just saying the same thing as everyone else, there is no way busy executives will stick around.
Make it mobile friendly: More than 60 percent of executives primarily use mobile devices to consume news. With the wide array of smartphone and tablet sizes, your newsletter should encompass a responsive design.
Send it in the early morning: While most executives admit to spending at least 30 minutes a day on news consumption, about 60 percent prefer to get their news in the morning, especially upon waking.
While it is difficult to imagine the CEO of a successful company sharing viral videos of cats and kids with the flyest moves you’ve ever seen (you’re welcome), they are willing to share content—if they find it valuable. More than 9 out of 10 tech executives would share useful content, preferably via their computers and mobile phones.
And their favorite platform for sharing? Email by a mile.
We all know word-of-mouth marketing is still extremely valuable, especially when it comes from a trusted executive. So if you want your audience members to share with their contacts, make sure your content can be forwarded with the click of a button, no matter the device.
According to Google, influencers in the B2B research process are increasingly becoming younger and found outside the C-suite. “While 64 percent of the C-suite have final sign off, so do almost a quarter (24 percent) of the non-C-suite. What's more, it's the latter that has the most influence; 81 percent of non-C-suiters have a say in purchase decisions.”
At Kuno, as we create user profiles, we always include primary personas as well as influencer personas. Don’t overlook this group of advocates—you may be giving up 81 percent of purchases.
Here are some stats marketers, especially those vying for time with organizations’ top dogs, can no longer ignore:
About 75 percent of executives said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly
More than half (52 percent to be exact) watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly
About 65 percent of all executives have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video. Younger executives, however, may be more fully engaged with this type of media, and appear more likely to make a purchase, call a vendor, or respond to an ad.
These stats were from a study conducted by Forbes back in 2010, and the use of video not only keeps growing but also continues to become more and more important. In fact, 61 percent of executives in 2013 said they would rely more heavily on business-class video in the next 5 to 10 years, according to Cisco. Imagine those numbers in a 2017 report or a 2020 report, which is less than five years away!
Major brands like Cisco, HubSpot and Intel have already begun producing video channels their customers have come to rely on. But you don’t need to spend a fortune with a professional production company to create your own. Here are some tips for kicking off video marketing for your company.
Executives are indeed busy people, but they are desperate for high quality, relevant information just as much as anyone else. By creating targeted, mobile-friendly newsletters that are easy to share, enlisting the help of those not in the C-suite and building a video library, you can expect to start seeing executive engagement with your content.