It’s one of the biggest challenges my clients face: how to get their c-level executives to buy into the value of content marketing.

Healthcare technology start-ups are more likely to be early adopters but for large hospitals, physician practices and health insurance plans, getting c-suite buy-in is still a challenge for many healthcare marketers.

Without your executives on board, you’ve got your hands tied when it comes to getting the budget approved, recruiting doctors and other key players to contribute and share content, and most importantly, meeting your sales goals.

Although selling your c-suite on content marketing may initially be an obstacle, there are several strategies you can use to get them to sign off in no time.

Pitch the “why”

In your initial meetings, think of yourself as a publicist pitching a story idea to the media. Just like journalists, editors and producers, your executives need to know why in order to say yes.
You must make a compelling business case for content marketing and list of all the reasons they need to start now. They must know why relevant, timely stories are vital for lead generation, acquisition and retention and why one-way marketing and advertising alone is no longer enough.

Use data

Do your own research and pull together surveys, white papers and special reports that point to the value of content marketing and how other businesses like yours get results.

Explain how you’ll do it

Once you have your content marketing strategy and buyer personas in place, share the tactics you plan to use to attract and retain customers. Make sure however, that each type of content you plan to create is connected with your company’s overall objectives to build brand awareness, strengthen credibility and grow revenue, for example.

Show them the competition

Your c-suite knows they must keep up with the ever-changing landscape of healthcare and one of their pain points is being left behind. To make your case even stronger, show them examples of how your competitors are using content marketing to get results.

Prove ROI

Before they make any business decision, your executives must know what their return on investment will be. When it comes to content marketing however, it’s not always so clear-cut. Unlike a one-time marketing campaign or an ad, content marketing is a long-term strategy that takes time to attract, convert and retain buyers.

Keep in mind that your executives also don’t care about page views, click rates or social shares, although they do pay attention to traffic.

According to a report by True North Custom, about 43 percent of healthcare executives said that measuring the effectiveness of their content was one of their most significant challenges and nearly 80 percent use website traffic to measure content marketing success. They also want to know how content marketing will engage their buyers, build brand awareness, forge relationships and foster loyalty.

Although it will probably take time to get a 100 percent buy-in from your executives, when they start to see results from your initial efforts, your business case will be even stronger and they’ll be more engaged than ever.