In this blog, Aaron Carpenter, Senior Editor at Huble Digital, explains why using your CEO as a mouthpiece to amplify your content is crucial for your business being heard.
We’re all familiar with the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Intel. After all, they’re household names we’ve grown up with and their CEOs are regularly spoken about.
But how is it that these companies (and several others), decades after their formation and “glory years”, remain at the forefront of the technology industry?
It’s strange because the competition never stops in the technology space; new businesses are created every day, each one hoping to deliver something truly innovative and life-changing.
And yet, most of us will never hear of them or their CEOs. It isn’t until these businesses “step into the spotlight”, so to speak, that we become aware of their existence.
For example, businesses like Darktrace and Babylon Health, are some of the most prolific in the technology space right now, but few know of them. The irony is that they are redefining how we do things:
Darktrace has developed a cyber AI, based on our immune system, that autonomously responds to cyber attacks in seconds
Babylon Health allows people to see qualified doctors in minutes via their mobile phone – whether at work or home – and get prescriptions, referral letters and sick notes.
Sure, it’s difficult to compare these businesses to Microsoft, Apple and Intel (after all, they are 3 of the 10 most valuable technology companies in the world and have far greater wealth), but the reality is that these new businesses and their CEOs are laying the foundation for the future. They’re innovating in a world that has become somewhat stagnant.
So why do we continue to hear about Microsoft, Apple and Intel?
The answer: they continue to produce quality content and use their CEOs as a mouthpiece to amplify it.
No content, no opinion
Microsoft, Apple and Intel recognise the importance of content creation and keep their CEOs (and by extension their business) in the public eye, signing them up to do interviews, conferences, seminars, classes, blogs, videos. You name it, they’ve done it.
As a result, when someone mentions Microsoft, Apple or Intel, it’s incredibly easy to put a face to the business name. We feel like we know these people and the businesses they represent. Also, because we’re hearing from the business’ most senior member of staff, we get a unique insight into how these businesses operate and the level of expertise they have, all of which builds trust!
There are also “smaller” (when compared to the big 10) companies with CEOs who are just as famous as the big boys, precisely because they consistently produce content and partake in other activities. The CEOs of businesses like HubSpot, Moz and Salesforce, for example, have achieved worldwide recognition due to the content they produce.
For businesses to be seen and heard, they need to be producing content and using their most senior members of staff to amplify the reach of that content – and the CEO is no exception.
Read out list of go-to marketing podcasts you can listen to on your lunch break here.
Of course, you can’t just tell your CEO to go out and produce content, especially if they’ve never done it before. You have to start small and choose formats that make it easy for them to showcase their knowledge and expertise to a wider audience.
At Huble Digital, a format that we find works well (and is accessible to a wider audience) is a podcast – and in this blog, I’m going to share 5 reasons why you need to get your CEO on one.
1. Brand awareness and thought leadership
When your CEO goes on a podcast, they’re not being interviewed by just anyone, but by someone who has an intricate understanding of your industry.
As a result, the host will ask questions that pull out the best of guests, questions about their background, their company, their mission, their business and industry challenges and their expectations for the future, for example.
By having your CEO participate and answer these questions, you not only provide transparency about your business and what you do (which helps to build brand awareness and trust), you also demonstrate your business’ expertise as a whole. After all, your CEO will know every aspect of your business inside out as it’s their job!
And the best part? Your CEO is talking directly to your target audience!
More opportunities and partnerships
As you continue to sign your CEO up for podcasts and they become more recognised in the industry, more opportunities will come your way. You’ll find that other podcast hosts are keen to speak to your CEO to get his/her thoughts on specific topics – so make sure you sign him or her up to them!
The idea here is to build relationships with podcast hosts and potentially partnerships where your CEO participates on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It may be that instead of being the interviewee, your CEO becomes an interviewer of other industry experts as well. They may even be invited to join a panel of experts on a podcast – which would be the absolute cherry on top!
There’s another subtle benefit to all of this: as your CEO is talking directly to your target audience, interested prospects will gradually reach out to your business – either citing they heard about you via a podcast or actively follow your CEO. It’s another avenue for lead generation and one which can sell your business to potential customers.
3. Build trust and attract new audiences
Having your CEO actively participate in podcasts enables audiences to learn more about him/her – their values, their mission, their challenges, their struggles – all of which builds trust. Podcasts are inherently disarming because they are, at their core, conversations. They may differ in terms of seriousness, length or expertise, but at the end of the day, they are ultimately one-to-one or many-to-many discussions.
Because of this, it will be so much easier for your CEO to talk freely and prepare for it. It may even be better to have minimal preparation, purely because the questions will never truly be “to script” and instead aimed to get your CEO talking!
Additionally, podcasts will expose your CEO (and business) to new audiences. These will undoubtedly be people interested in what you can do – but you may not have been aware of them or considered them previously. Every new podcast your CEO features on is an opportunity to be found online or offline by different audiences, and as people often like to share their favourite podcasts with colleagues and friends, your reach is arguably limitless.
4. Remain part of the wider conversation
As mentioned earlier, if you have no content you have no opinion. Your CEO could be brilliant – a genius, even – but if their expertise is confined to the four walls of your office or email server, what use is it to your business?
There’s a whole world out there that could benefit from the knowledge and experience your CEO can provide, and if they’re not part of the conversation (with your target audience and the other CEOs), how can they help your prospects or improve their understanding of the industry’s challenges?
When your thoughts exist in an echo chamber, that becomes your narrative. You subscribe to your beliefs and them alone. Your ideas never grow or evolve into something new.
But by having your CEO participate in podcasts, they enter a much wider conversation and can share what they have learned, as well as learn from others in the process. Over time, as they build their reputation and “go a few rounds” with other CEOs in the industry, they’ll be more recognisable and part of something much larger than themselves.
5. Develop a repository of online content
As people’s preferences for content consumption change – particularly in response to lockdown – how you develop your content repository needs to change, too.
In the past, blogs would have been the go-to, but nowadays people want the content to be much more accessible and easy to consume.
Over the last 5 months, we’ve seen businesses branch out and consistently create video content, host webinars and deliver podcasts for their audiences. Why? Because it’s much easier to do and consume.
If anything, right now is the best time for your CEO to be participating in podcasts – not just for his or her benefit, but because it’s a content format people are engaging with right now more than many of the others.
Furthermore, every podcast your CEO participates in is an opportunity to be found online via search engines for specific search queries, and the podcast content itself can be repurposed to create blogs, social media posts, quotes and potentially be used in videos.
Podcasts are easy and deliver an amazing return on investment
Unlike formal interviews, speeches or conferences, podcasts are relaxed and much more conversational. Your CEO will already be accustomed to speaking to prospects and clients, so they’ve already developed the necessary skills to speak to people about what it is they do and why they do it.
But most importantly, as an easy format to get into – wherever, whenever – podcasts will drastically increase your business’ exposure, raise your CEO’s profile, showcase your expertise and enable you to be found by interested parties online.
All of this for a short session on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.