10 Step Guide: Pitching Your Social Media Strategy To a CMO
*GULP* If put on the spot, could you impress someone with your social media campaign idea? While they may sympathize with the benefits of creative flair and imaginative campaigns, CMOs still have a board to satisfy who are demanding record-breaking results... and they were demanding them yesterday. You need to speak their language and present a campaign idea that will tick all the boxes.
The precise way you go about pitching an idea to your CMO, or other higher-up, will depend on both the company and your position within it. Keeping these key points in your head will give you a fighting chance of getting the green light for your golden idea.
1. Schedule a meeting in advance
CMOs (like most C-level professionals) are often time-poor. The last thing you want to do is pitch your brilliant campaign idea when they have to dash off somewhere else. Scheduling a meeting lets them know that you’re serious about what you’re pitching, and that your idea deserves more than just an email or an impromptu chat.
2. Prepare your presentation
It’s all well and good telling people the bones of your grand idea, but a full slideshow or document is a lot more convincing than some rough ideas on the back of a napkin. A presentation with the strategy outlined will show what you’ve thought about and guide the discussion. You can demonstrate how the campaign ties into the company’s marketing objectives, show examples of how your campaign posts will look, and how your wording ties in with the company messages. Demonstrating these aspects effectively will not only help to bring the campaign to life, but also show that you’ve invested serious time into planning and know what you’re talking about. It could also help if you create a mockup of what your profiles will look like during the campaign, so prepare a cover image, bio, and background to go along with it.
3. Address the integration suitation
Your CMO is leading a marketing team working hard on a multi-channel campaign, and if they’re spending more of the budget on social media it means they’re spending less elsewhere. You won’t have many allies if you come up with an idea that’s totally at odds with everything they’re trying to achieve. Show them where your social campaign will fit into wider marketing objectives, how it complements them, and explain why spending money on it is such a good idea. It could be by involving influencers in the creation of content to be shared on your social channels. You could dramatically increase awareness of branded events before, during, and after they occur. You could even suggest a way of curating sharable user-generated content based on the company’s latest TV advert. Whatever it is, streamlining it with the overall marketing strategy will benefit everyone.
4. Define your goals clearly
Next you need to come up with some concrete goals that will assist in achieving your marketing teams’ targets. What measurable results are you aiming for, and how will you track them? This proves you’ve thought about how your social media strategy will contribute to the bigger picture with measurable goals and ROI (where applicable, of course), and you have a tangible way of showing the impact and success of your campaign afterward. We recently looked at the importance of setting SMART goals, they’re Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-restricted. Some examples of goals your campaign could be aiming to achieve are:
- Social media traffic to our campaign landing page will yield 5,000 new leads by March 1st.
- The promoted Tweets from this targeted campaign will increase our followers in India by 200% over the next three weeks.
- The social media campaign will triple our social traffic to the site compared with the same period last year.
5. Get out your calculator
Work out the budget you’ll need for the campaign, itemizing your proposed spending so that your CMO knows exactly where the money will going. Then, using your proposed goals, give an estimate of the ROI from this campaign. You could either look at your CMO’s marketing report to see their estimates for the percentage of leads they’re converting, or look at the average income you’d expect from a certain discount code and work out how many sales from them you’d have to make to make a good ROI. If your estimate shows that your campaign won’t bring in much profit, or worse, would lead to a loss, it may need some tweaking to make it a better investment.
6. Use research to back up your strategy
Give credibility to your plan with evidence of how it can work and why it needs to be done. Use stats and examples from similar campaigns to give your boss confidence in your strategy. Sentiment or keyword analysis of your current product can be used to support certain angles or messages in your campaign. It shows you’ve thought about it from a business perspective and are keen to drive the hard metrics that the CMO is asked to deliver. Here are some examples of handy stats you could use:
- People are willing to pay up to 400% more for a brand that intrigues them over an identical competitor, so there’s a benefit to curating a desirable brand using social media.
- For every £1 spent on a Twitter promotional campaign, it can yield £3.28 return on investment.
- 95% of millennials wants brands to actively court them, so if they’re in your target market it’s worth having a social strategy that reflects that desire.
7. Real time space
88% of marketers consider real time to be a critical part of their marketing plan, with good reason, as 22% of people are more likely to consider a brand that engages in real time marketing opportunities. If your brand suits real-time marketing, show how your strategy can be flexible to accommodate real-time opportunities. This lets them know you still have one eye on the outside world and how you can fit in with whatever is going on. If possible, you could highlight certain upcoming events that would be suitable for your brand to get involved with.
8. Know the campaign inside-out and back-to-front
A busy boss might not need to know every last detail of the social strategy, but they need to know that you do. Have a clear reason for every facet of your campaign to avoid stumbling if your CMO prods you on a particular point. Anticipate the questions they might ask that go deeper than your initial pitch. Answering potentially difficult questions with aplomb will demonstrate that you’re capable of nuanced understanding and not just flashy ideas.
9. Point out SEO benefits
If planned correctly, your social strategy can have a positive impact on your SEO. With over 2.5 million searches on Google every minute, a good search ranking will lead to a flood of site traffic. A campaign that drives social awareness can lead to more people searching for you, giving you a better SEO score. If your campaign links to website content, it may lead to link backs. For more advice on how social media can help your SEO, we picked the brains of some experts a few months ago.
10. Manage expectations
You want everyone to believe in the incredible possibilities of this social campaign, but a key component in a strong social media strategy - or any strategy really - is to manage expectations. Don’t promise the moon and offer a rock, ensure that what you’re promising to achieve is realistic and deliverable. Don’t oversell it and jeopardize your future pitches by falling short of your overly ambitious predictions. The last thing you want is your CMO to remember you as the person that fails to deliver.
Hopefully these tips will help your campaign idea get the seal of approval. If your idea doesn’t get picked up, make sure you listen to the reasons why as they could hold clues as to what you need to think about next time. How did you pitch your social plan to your CMO? Or if you are one, what do you look for? Let us know in the comments.