Many CEOs contribute digital content to their marketing teams, in the form of blog posts, long-form white papers and guides, videos, webinars and even eBooks. Some even do so on a regular basis.

With the amount of quality content that modern digital marketers need in order to be successful today, having a CEO who contributes their knowledge and experience is an invaluable asset, especially when you consider how difficult it is to get non-marketers, at any level within an organization, to contribute content.

And yet, many CEOs and other members of the executive team are not active participants in content campaigns, despite the enormous dividends they can pay. Here are four reasons why CEOs should be the first team members to step up and contribute content regularly.

1. Leading by Example

Ask any content marketer what their biggest challenges are, and most will cite recruiting internal thought-leaders to write on the company blog. Assuming that he or she understand the important of online content and owned media, it seems as though the CEO should set the example to the rest of the company by getting involved in content creation. After all, if the CEO doesn’t think it’s important, why should anyone else?

2. Instant Content Credibility

When distributing and promoting content, it can be difficult to get the attention of readers and viewers. Since the CEO is likely highly visible and recognizable, having their name attached to a piece of content provides instant credibility. Their content can more easily cut through the volume of clutter that dominates the online content landscape.

When pitching content to publishers or attempting to generate earned media placements, being able to say that the CEO is the author can assist marketers and publicists in getting content published. It’s difficult to ignore or dismiss the thoughts of someone who leads a successful firm, large or small. Even CEOs who lead organizations that are struggling can provide valuable insights.

3. Additional (Free) Brand Exposure

As you think of those executives whose content you have read online, you were probably also reminded of their company’s products, services and brand. Their names are typically synonymous with the brand they represent, immediately bringing that brand to mind.

The added brand exposure generated by a CEO who publishes content regularly is extremely cost effective, especially if your marketing team is able to distribute it widely through owned channels like email and the corporate blog. Keep in mind that this type of brand exposure might also allow your business to reach totally different portions of your target market, or new target markets altogether. Can you ever have too much positive brand exposure?

4. Enhanced Personal Brand Authority

Any CEO, as well as any business executive, should strive to build a strong personal brand. That may sound self-serving, but the truth is that corporate brand authority rises with the authority of its CEO.

Content that establishes and proves a CEO’s expertise enhances their credibility, which in turn enhances the credibility of the company. As the credibility of both improves in the traditional marketplace, so too does it improve in the eyes of the social sphere, blogosphere and the search engines.

Other personal benefits include:

  • Increased respect by the board and shareholders
  • Increased respect among their employees
  • Increased confidence to speak at live events
  • The ability to keep up with industry trends
  • Transparency and authenticity

Of course, there are times when it is not ideal for a CEO to publish on behalf of your brand. Caution should be taken if any of the following factors are in play:

  • Your CEO is new or if the position is in flux
  • Your CEO carries a negative reputation
  • Your CEO is not particularly well-known or visible
  • Your CEO becomes embroiled in scandal
  • The musings of the CEO cause “bad vibrations” amongst your target market

These factors must always be in consideration and remain in the forefront of both the marketing team and the CEO. Obviously, the content marketing team shouldn’t approach a CEO who is or might become a lightning rod, and a CEO who has gained visibility by contributing content should be extra careful not to commit any gaffes. The benefits far outweigh the potential risks if proper evaluation and monitoring is enacted.

A CEOs primary role is to set the vision, rally the troops and lead. If your marketing team is struggling to solicit in-house content, a willing and enthusiastic CEO might be the key to opening the floodgates!