Updated: Sep 15, 2022
I have worked with many businesses of various sizes and scale and the majority of CEOs are lurkers on social media. They are likely to 'like' their own brand's marketing content, but rarely produce their own. What quick fixes are there for a CEO who wants to say something, but needs an idea of a brief for a B2B copywriter or for themselves as they face a blank sheet of paper?
As a CEO, you have a lot to do and a very broad view of the business. That means you likely don't have time to spill out 1000 words on the changing face of the widget industry. However, having a brand presence is important for businesses, and in B2B, your reputation really does matter far more than in B2C.
Here's what I do know when it comes to CEO content.
When I ghostwrite content for CEOs it might not get 6000 likes, especially in a niche, but what happens is that when the CEO picks up the phone or meets someone, the post is mentioned. I get told this time and time again. I am not saying this to promote my own content services, but as a statement of fact that people will be watching, and some of those people will be prospects, connections, or able to change your business. Don't leave opportunities on the table.
Employees also like to share CEO content over brand content. Brand content can feel advertising led and product heavy. I have seen teams get genuinely excited that they can get behind the company in a way that feels organic and natural by sharing a senior manager's post as opposed to the latest job advert.
CEOs don't have to say things that are ground breaking. It's like the magic cloak of CEO-ness. You don't have to be saying something novel, contrary, or to even come up with the ideas yourself. Simply being 'top of the chain' defaults you to having some authority on the topic, which is nice. In short, you have nothing to fear.
CEOs don't need a specific business Twitter account if they won't update it. A side note - what's worse than no twitter account? One that's updated as a broadcast medium once every 6 months. Commitment is easy to make and hard to follow through on. Start small with your content aims with some blogs, LinkedIn articles or even long updates.
So, what are some good content ideas for a CEO?
Trends and comparisons
You watch trends across longer timeframes than most people, and you are likely to have risen over years and seen the changes happen in tech, your sector, buying appetites and so on.
Differences in eCommerce - then and now
Things I miss about the internet boom in the early 90's
Changing appetites for a frictionless buying experience - a 15 year overview of lessons learned
Connecting the dots and speaking about leadership
As a leader, people can learn from you. Talking leadership can feel a bit cheesy, but only if you start adding quotes from Winston Churchill. There are likely to be many angles of insight you can speak on which will have broad appeal to a huge audience.
How we created our business mission
What was the vision for brand X - and how has that changed?
Meeting our brand values - lessons learned
Answering the big questions
These are likely to be sector based, and it's not even about being groundbreaking. 'I don't know' is a good answer if you justify it.
For a CEO recently I tried to define how a sector could be affected by the cost of living crisis. Yikes - that is a hard one. To make it work, it involved acknowledging it was a knotty problem, that there are various issues at play (explaining these) and suggesting one small way that would go towards making a positive change. I didn't suggest that the CEO was an oracle about to solve the fuel crisis.
So some ideas...
Why aren't estate agents seen as likeable anymore?
Does Gen Z trust financial organisations?
Will AI damage the copywriting sector?
What could the future be for the widget industry after the new legislation is set in?
How to get started
The key takeaway I would say is, whatever you want to say - don't worry if it’s been said before. Even if your prospects and website visitors have heard the message from someone else at a seminar, show or even another blog, hearing it from you will raise their opinion of your business and allow you to start to reveal your own brand voice.
If in doubt and you feel the titles above are too lofty, stick with 'self' titles...
What I learned from
My thoughts on
What I think
Ideas I have about.
Create a headline.
This then forms the basis of what you want to say.
For example: Does Gen Z trust financial organisations?
Introduce your stance
State the question again, and give a summary of the piece. Where do you stand? What is the overall conclusion, and what will you consider in the article?
Back it up
Then add research and content from experience, studies, or other areas. The article is now writing itself.
Talk about both sides of the story. Don't make your point of view on one topic a hill to die on.
Offer up alternatives. For example if you are suggesting that Gen Z can't trust financial organisations, reference instances where there is an appetite for more guidance on savings and investments. Mention the rise in new banking options, delve into these stats. Be fair as well. Even if you are a challenger brand, it doesn't look good for you to start to fire shots at institutions. Give credit where it is due and you will come across as impartial, calm and someone to be listened to.
1000 words on 'they bad, we good' doesn't add value for the reader, and without a heavy edit, could make you sound pushy or indeed a little bit mad.
I hope this helps!
Need anything? Just get in touch.