You've been hearing about content marketing for years now. You've attended several webinars and read countless blog posts and even a few books on the topic. You know content marketing can do big things for your brand. The only problem is: The powers that be may not know enough about content.

It is up to you to get your senior team on board and excited about a content initiative. The importance of your senior team cannot be overstated. They set the tone for your entire organization, and without their support, you will be hard pressed to get company-wide support for things like a corporate blogging initiative. While it may seem like a daunting and slightly terrifying task, going to your senior team sets your program up for success long term and it helps you to stand out as a leader in your organization.

So, what is the first step to getting the big dogs on your side? Do your homework. This is more important now than ever. While you may have done some casual reading before, now is the time to really dive in. Become a sponge, and absorb all you can on the topic. If you are in a B2B marketing role, make sure you find information specific to your sector in order to make the strongest case possible. We have countless content marketing resources on our site that will assist you in getting a deeper and broader knowledge of the topic.

Next, you’ll need to create your strongest possible argument for the new strategy. While I’m sure you could list 30+ reasons why content would work for your firm, going to the senior team with the top three reasons will make your case far more convincing.

Your top three reasons should really resonate as they are your soundest arguments. And it keeps your meeting short and to the point---a major plus when speaking to a time-pressed audience like the senior leaders of your organization. The reasons content will work for your company will vary. Just make sure you have really thought them through, and they align with the marketing strategy of your organization.

You will want to show the senior team how a content marketing strategy will tie in with your current marketing efforts. The last thing you want them to think is that you are scrapping all the work you and the marketing team have done thus far. A content strategy is a true complement---be sure to explain it as such.

Like any good marketing presentation, you’ll want to share competitive information. If you competitors are participating in content marketing, show how, and if they aren’t, explain the advantage. If content marketing could be a differentiator in your competitive landscape, be sure to make that clear. This is the type of information that will really resonate with the senior team.

Assuming your meeting went well, you will also want to take this time to discuss goals and next steps. While you and the marketing team can do specific goal setting at a later date, your senior team should approve your objectives and high-level goals. For example, what is the outcome you hope to achieve through content marketing efforts? Is it more leads to the sales team? More traffic on your website? Increased brand loyalty? You will want clarity on this before leaving the room. And thinking in this way will surely get you noticed by senior leaders. This is exactly the kind of strategic thinking they hope to see from their marketing team.

Lastly, you should address next steps. Once they understand the what content marketing is and the impact it could make for your brand, you’ll want to explain that over the course of the next few days or weeks, you will need to spend time setting SMART goals, planning your channels and your editorial calendar, and finding a team of content creators ready and willing to create content for your brand. I know it seems like you should have done all of this before meeting with your leadership team, but this shows them that you haven’t wasted time planning for an initiative they hadn't yet approved.

To learn more about implementing a content program that is sure to get you noticed and drive meaningful results for your brand, be sure to join us for our free virtual conference Digital Marketing World: Smarter Marketer. I am presenting for a half hour on launching a successful content initiative, and my wonderfully smart counterpart Megan Leap is presenting an equally great session on social media, 10 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing Today. I hope you will join us!

For a deep dive on Content Marketing taught by the world’s leading content experts (like Ann Handley, Jay Baer, Joe Pulizzi, Mack Collier and many more), join us in November for MarketingProfs University: Content Marketing Crash Course. I’ll be there, and I really can’t wait!

Good luck, future content marketers! I know you can do it!

Want to learn how to improve your social media and content marketing? Join us this Friday, September 9, for our FREE virtual conference, Digital Marketing World: Smarter Marketer.

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Corey O'Loughlin is a marketing manager at MarketingProfs. Reach her via Twitter.