C-level support: Gain it or you may have to say goodbye to your digital magazine

by ALENKA BESTER, ZAVAROVALNICA TRIGLAV D.D.

June 2016

As your digital magazine or any kind of content marketing initiative should be based on careful strategic planning, answering the basic question of 'Why?', should no longer be open to discussion. Equally important, however, is to have your magazine endorsed by the top levels of your organisation from the first day onwards. It can prevent unpleasant surprises, such as your budget being suddenly cut only a few months into the project.

Following these three steps will help you gain support from the top level that will not only make your life easier but will also benefit your project. Only with sustainable management backing will you be able to follow your editorial vision in the long run, creating consistency and value for the readers.

Think of your C-level as one of your audiences

If you’ve done your homework and analysed your audiences, you will be well aware of their needs and pain points.

You will also have a general idea of how to address them. In other words: You’re good at making your readers happy and you know it. So why don’t you try the same principles with your management?

Figure out the pain points of everyone your digital magazine depends on and show them how it will contribute to solving them. If you don’t report directly to the top management, go through the person above you first and help him or her sell your idea to their boss, and so on.

Perhaps your management is trying to cut customer service costs, while your boss wants to get more leads for a particular solution. Devise a tactic for how to address everyone in the decision making process while being fully aware that their needs will differ.

Big projects often get stuck somewhere between the approval process, due to the fact that people that should be pushing them through have trouble defending their costs. 

A digital magazine is more than “just a couple of articles” so it should not be judged by the same measure. 

So no, it will not be cheap to produce. And more importantly it will need long-term investment. Your C-level must be aware of that. If they can see how the magazine will solve their particular problems, it will be an investment they will be willing to take. 

Start small, scale later 

Diverse media-rich content, interactive stories, data visualization – of course you wouldn’t start a content marketing initiative if you didn’t have great ideas in mind. But in order to bring your programme to life, play it smart and keep your ambitious visions to yourself in the beginning. Otherwise you will be faced with a set of doubts and dilemmas, starting with: “Do we really need all this? Shouldn’t we focus more on our core business?” 

Instead, set realistic goals you can achieve with manageable effort. (There’s no such thing as minimal effort in content marketing!) 

There’s no such thing as minimal effort in content marketing.

This will save you energy to focus on distribution, measurement and optimisation, not solely on content production. Once your digital magazine starts reaping results it will be much easier to have all those additional features green-lighted. 

Negotiate a time frame that will yield results

You don’t want to have your programme cut before it starts yielding results.

Therefore, determine a long enough time frame in which you will be able to set it in motion without too much interference from above. Some kind of a “First 100 days in office” period, only that you will need more time.

Starting small with a limited initial budget will become even more crucial when you are negotiating this test period.

Also, clearly communicate what will be considered positive results.

Determine the metrics that your management understands and forget any fancy buzzwords. 

Don’t waste their time with open and bounce rates, time on page and similar KPIs which are important for your day-to-day planning and optimisation purposes.

To report to the C-suite, learn their language. For instance, show them how much money you’ve saved creating the same amount of customer attention with your program versus traditional advertising. Don’t forget to include the points you promised to solve in the first place.

To report to the C-suite learn their language.

As your digital magazine grows and flourishes, thus gaining external recognition, your top management will learn to appreciate it and will be happy to identify with it, even if at first they didn’t completely believe in it.