You've been working on this idea for months. You just know it'll make a huge difference if adopted by organizations. You believe in yourself and your idea, but do others? Do you know how to get it in front of decision makers like the C-Suite and in what format?
From our previous posts in this series, you've learned the C-Suite seeks out credible resources like the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Wired. In essence, your ideas will live and die based on your credibility. So, first thing's first. Let's make you credible!
Credibility and Influencers
Although you have a service that would be perfect for company x, you can't shove it in their face. You have to let them find you. To do that, you need to get your content out. Eventually, if your content really is king, you'll develop a base of followers who'll share your carefully constructed ideas. If all goes well, you'll get yourself earned media and influencers, meaning you're at the top of your niche field. Earned media will help get your content picked up by publications that the C-Suite references, maximizing your content outreach and increasing your credibility. An advantage of earned influence is that it has staying power. Articles and blogs written about your services can be Googled for years after their initial release. Earned influence can also influence buyers at any stage of their buyer's journey.
Networking online also does wonders for your credibility. In addition to publishing your content and having it picked up by other sites, consider guest blogging on credible sites related to your niche. These sites will already have an established fan base and a list of subscribers. Therefore, writing a guest blog will get your name out there. If your content is good, readers will be looking for more. If this sounds like a ton of work, you're right. Credibility doesn't happen overnight. Neither does a large fan base. Be prepared to be in this process for the long haul.
As you create content directed towards the C-Suite, you'll be creating what's called owned media. Owned media is original content that you have direct control over. Your website, blogs, podcasts, infographics, newsletters, and webinars would all be considered owned media. When creating this content, you need to keep in mind that it must speak to the pain points of the C-Suite at a certain stage of the buyer's journey.
To ensure this content is noticed, create information that follows the acronym CURVED:
- Engaging, and
Credible content gets you noticed. Providing peer-based case studies or independent empirical data that enhance your solution will increase the C-Suite's trust in your idea. The C-Suite wants unique ideas that will give them a one up in the market. Unless your content has that, you should go back to the drawing board. Additionally, your solution needs to be timely. If their pain point was addressed weeks ago, you're way behind. If you include statistics, ensure they are current and not from 10 years ago. If your solution provides some tangible value to company x, then you're still in business. Unless you're able to guarantee a strong ROI, your service isn't worth considering. The C-Suite doesn't like to waste time, so you shouldn't waste theirs. Don't create boring content like rambling white papers. Engage them! Create engaging videos or podcasts that keep them interested in you and your product. Lastly, distribute your content smart. The internet is full of great ideas, so you need to get yours noticed. Release your content in places where the C-Suite frequents.
Speaking of smart content distribution, the only way you can truly benefit from your killer content is if you distribute it properly. The strategic buyer insider report that you conducted will help you determine media outlets to target. Although C-Suite executives are different, there are a few outlets they tend to look at more.
Live Speaking Engagements: These events are full of C-Suite executives who are often guests or speakers. Capitalize on these events by making live presentations that showcase your forward thinking about industry issues.
Targeted Newsletters: According to a Quartz Insights Global Executive Study, "60 percent of executives read an email newsletter as one of their first three news sources they check daily." So contact that editor and let your business insights work their magic.
There's a number of ways in which your content can reach the C-Suite, but it has to be credible. Once that's established, followers will come, and you'll gain influencers. When creating more content, keep the acronym CURVED in mind, and don't forget to speak to pain points. Lastly, distribute smart, and remember your content is nothing without utilizing effective distribution channels.