CEOs Don’t Care About Content

Hilary Marsh recently interviewed four CEOs to understand how they evaluate content strategy success. One of her final takeaways was this:

Content is something all CEOs should care about.

Hilary Marsh, How Does Your CEO Know Your Content Strategy Is Successful?

While I agree with Hilary, I’m not optimistic about CEOs caring about content. CEOs tend to think at a very high level, and concern themselves with success metrics. These might include ROI, CStat scores, or even the hated NPS. When it comes down to it, most CEOs don’t care about content.

So how do we make content something useful for CEOs?

Deliver Business Results

As Hilary says, “content supports measurable business results.” However, since many CEOs are too busy to notice the content itself, it’s our job to show the connection.

It’s up to us to track our initiatives, our goals, and the related business results. Then we can provide the results and share the initiatives.

In my experience, many content strategists think their job is simply to do the work. Someone else will measure it, or it will just be seen – right? Wrong. No one sees your work unless you track it.

Use Content Strategy to Be More Efficient

CEOs care about the bottom line. They have to – they’re held responsible for it. Again, quoting Hilary, “Organizations need content governance to support leadership decisions.” I would go a step farther – organizations need governance across all areas.

In addition to increasing the size or value of an audience, content strategy can decrease energy expended internally. Again, measurement is key. In addition, sometimes it is better to ask forgiveness than permission – and this is one of those times! Because content strategy can get pigeonholed as “content”, few CEOs (or even middle-managers) will approve a content strategy initiative to improve organizational efficiency. But the guidelines we follow in content governance are the same guidelines required to implement governance across an organization. It can start grassroots, and grow.

CEOs Don’t Care About Content

Will your CEO care about content? It’s unlikely. But Hilary’s advice is sound. By implementing strategies to make measurable improvements, you prove your work. Your CEO will care about you, and the impact you have. As a content strategy champion, you can then bring content needs to the forefront.

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