“No matter how great an idea you may have, if you can’t present a convincing case, you can’t sell it.”
If you’ve looked through this website, you’ve found numerous resources, ideas, and tools to help convince your boss. The one thing left to do now is to pull it all together and actually meet with the decision maker! On this page, we’ll outline the 9 steps to getting your boss to go all in with content marketing:
- Personalize your pitch for the decision maker(s)
- Educate them on what content marketing is
- Prove the value of content marketing
- Face objections on budget, ROI, implementation, and more
- Identify gaps and opportunities based on your competition
- Lay out your plan, specific to your business and end goals
- Design and build out your presentation
- Ask for buy-in
- Convince Your Boss!
With all that you’ve learned so far, we have total trust that you can knock the socks of your boss and launch a content marketing pilot program or get buy-in for something more extensive. If you’re not there yet, make sure to read up on commonly faced objections , research the resources available to you, and find out stats that will support your case.
Ready to convince your boss? Let’s get started…
1. Know Your Audience
As with any sales pitch, convincing your boss means you have to think about your audience:
- What do they want?
- How can you most effectively reach them?
- What do you need to do to educate, inspire, and engage?
- How do you tip them over the edge from hesitant to interested?
- What will their most likely objections be?
Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to get personal. Think about your boss as a person (it’s sometimes hard, we know) and see what stands out to you in terms of their personal interests. Maybe they have a hobby like golf that you’ve noticed through their vacations, client outings, and that Golf Magazine sitting on their desk. Ask them about a recent article they read on golf, where they read it, why they chose the certain outlet, and if it has influenced any of their buying decisions when it comes to what clubs they buy, shirts they wear, trips they take, on and on… Take them on a journey that starts with content and ends with a sale, all within the realm of their personal experience.
To relate it specifically to business, maybe they were involved in your last major IT purchase. Did they do any research? How did they learn about the different options? Show them in real world ways how they used content to make their decisions. Who provided that content?
What Is Content Marketing?
If your boss doesn’t know what content marketing is, educate them.
If your boss is already familiar with content marketing, encourage them to dive deeper.
Nowadays, more and more C-level executives know that content marketing is “out there,” but haven’t yet experienced it within their own business, or they may have wrong perceptions. Illuminate their path to content marketing enlightenment and make sure you’re both talking about the same thing.
Here are a few points to make sure you hit.
- Content marketing is the art of providing relevant, useful content to your customers without selling or interrupting them.
- Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your customers more informed before they buy.
- If you deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to your customers, they ultimately reward you with their business and loyalty.
3. Prove Value
To prove value to someone on the fence, you have to know what they want. Here are common goals we’ve come across:
- More leads (quantity and/or higher qualified)
- More conversions (faster, better, stronger)
- Brand awareness
- Expertise and thought leadership
- Better customer service
- Customer loyalty, retention, and upsell
Show your boss the value of content marketing through packaging up statistics that support the goal that fits your business. If your marketing goal is to gain higher qualified leads, then tell your boss that people go through 57% buying process before even talking to a sales person. “So, boss, you want more qualified leads? Let’s give our future customers content that tells them what they need to know during that 57% and pave the way to reach out to us when the time is right.”
That being all said, don’t stop with what you think your boss wants. Go above and beyond and show them what they should want. If they’re focused on ROI, show them that becoming the expert in your field is the way towards more business. Distributing content across the web not only increases traffic and leads, it shapes your brand recognition. All paths lead to one another in content marketing, and the more you can show how one goal connects to another, the more holistic value your boss will understand.
4. Confront Objections
Here comes what is often the hardest part of your content marketing trek: confronting doubts. Companies both large and small are challenged with obstacles they face when forging ahead with content marketing. The more objections your boss has, the harder it will be to move forward. Many decision makers know the value and buy-in to the concept (since you so expertly convinced them on your stellar Golf personalization), but you may not hit a hole in one when it comes to budget, ROI and implementation.
They may say: “We don’t have money for this.” One of the most common objections that nags away at us eager convincers, budget, can really be a hard edge for your boss. But, you have tools in your pitching arsenal. Find the stats that ease their budgetary qualms — e.g. using inbound tactics saves an average of 13% in overall cost per lead according to Hubspot — and show how their objection is valid, but can be countered.
Same process goes for other objections, be it about implementation, ownership, ROI, etc. Follow this process to prepare and you’ll get past this hurdle without tripping up:
- Identify probable objections based on your business and boss
- Find supporting stats that prop up your point against the objection
- Create an explanation that not only confronts the objection, but educates your boss on the why’s and how’s
- Integrate your specific business’ data points (if available) that are relevant to your existing marketing or content efforts to show what has already worked for YOU
5. Show Them What Competitors Are Doing
Some bosses will be convinced by knowing the value and data of content marketing. But when it comes to other bosses, a little competition is needed to spark their fire. Is your boss in that bucket, always eager to outperform close competitors and find different marketing opportunities? Then use that as fuel for this part of your pitch:
- Find what your direct competitors are doing well with their content and what falls flat
- Identify gaps you can fill
- Build on their successful ideas and show how it can evolve and become your own
6. Lay Out Your Plan
Now that you’ve proved value and confronted any and all objections on the philosophy of content marketing, you need a well thought out plan to grab the serious attention of your boss. Flesh out these three items:
- How you will implement content marketing within your company
- What type of content will be created, promoted, distributed
- Set timelines and goals
- Who owns what on your team
- What internal resources need to be mined for content
- Day to day management needs
- How you will prove the return on investment
- What benchmarks you will hold your plan up to
- Timeline for testing and tracking reports
7. Craft Your Presentation
Create a dud of a presentation and your pitch will fall flat. Impress your boss with a stellar designed presentation (both visually and intellectually) and you will make great strides towards getting buy-in. Craft a presentation that highlights the main points you are trying to hit, with specific examples, stats and visuals.
8. Ask For Buy-In
Whether your company is large or small, your marketing budget miniscule or bottomless, you need money to make your plan come to life. Figure out a ballpark estimate of the costs involved, both in time and hard money spent. Pin down who will own what so your boss knows what internal resources will be used up. And most of all, ask for what you want! Be confident in what you’re requesting – you’ve already done the work to prove your case.
9. Convince Your Boss
You’ve done all the hard work, thought through every piece, and now it’s time to walk into the meeting with confidence and passion for your plan. Go for it champ… we’re rooting for you!