Digital Insights

How To Dig Up the Best Content Topics for C-Suite Executives


Published: September 2, 2015

In order to select the most interesting and engaging topics for “C-suite” level executives, you’ve got to get inside their heads as much as possible. You will fail to attract the attention of corporate leaders with your content if you’re so busy promoting yourself that you don’t connect with their interests. Before doing anything else, you have to completely forget about what you’re trying to promote for a while so that you can really focus entirely on what matters to these entrepreneurs. Most importantly, you must select specific CEO personalities that you want to attract — and study them. No content-marketing strategy can work if it’s trying to pull in too many types of people from different industries all at the same time. That’s because too much topic diversity leads to a loss in your credibility as a valuable content source.

Roanne Neuwirth‘s article in Chief Content Officer explains the concept of building credibility in action by saying, “While companies can successfully use content to help build a presence in new market spaces or new practice areas, the leap has to be clear, believable and rooted in convincing research.”

How To Dig Up the Best Content Topics for C-Suite Executives

Start by researching your target executive audience using the following questions:

What news sources do your industry’s executives subscribe to, and what topics do they focus on?

    1. The point isn’t to copy them but to look for the holes — the gaps in information on their top stories that you could fill with your own innovative research. Then you can cite these top sources in your content to boost your own credibility and supplement their information with additional, valuable facts that you discover on your own by digging further into their stories.
    2. Where are the main sources of your director’s income, and how does he or she study them?Of utmost importance to a CEO is usually the main factors that directly affect their income — in other words, their clients. Therefore, look on forums for topics based on what people want from their products now or how their latest product launches went.
    3. Go to a CEO’s personal Twitter or other social-media account and see what they’re talking about.You can write about whatever topics they’ve posted that also tie in to your company and your personal knowledge base in order to spark their interest.
    4. Find out what books your favorite chief executives keep in their libraries for inspiration.Then you can quote their favorite authors and even create posts that comment on how these books influence the modern world.Harriet Rubin reported for “The New York Times” that “If there is a C.E.O. canon, its rule is this: ‘Don’t follow your mentors, follow your mentors’ mentors,’ suggests David Leach, chief executive of the American Medical Association’s accreditation division. Mr. Leach has stocked his cabin in the woods of North Carolina with the collected works of Aristotle. Forget finding the business best-seller list in these libraries.” For example, Steve Jobs reportedly kept a vast collection of the works of William Blake to motivate his creativity.
    5. Does your company have access to an inside source of information related to your CEO’s main interests?If so, then focus and expand on this type of content as your main strong point. If not, then find an inside source by networking with and following the right people on Twitter, LinkedIn and similar social websites


To show how these strategies work in action, let’s imagine that your company wants Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Inc., to read your posts. First, you could go to and type “Tim Cook” into the search bar. When you select his profile and click under his “following” header, you can see the only 42 profiles that Tim follows. Despite having more than a million followers, Tim has only selected these lucky people to include in his home Twitter feed because he values their insights most.

Tim Cook - Apple Keynote

Tim Cook – Apple Keynote

Scrolling down this list, you’ll find that the “Scientific American” is one of his favorite publications. That means you need to follow their latest news so that you can cite them in your posts, which should expand on the most interesting aspects of their hottest stories. Next, you could gauge the interests of Tim’s clients by using Google searches to find studies on the latest Apple sales reports, many of which Tim presents publicly in his keynote speeches. You can go to YouTube to watch all of the most recent keynote presentations and get ideas for new topics. You could write about which products are doing well and have a bright future or which products are sinking in popularity and may not receive updates. On the YouTube website, just type in “apple keynote Tim Cook 2015,” and you’ll see lots of excellent videos that are full of priceless knowledge about Apple’s latest development trends and the values of Tim.

Tim Cook's Twitter Profile

Tim Cook – Twitter Profile

Then you can create well-researched posts predicting the future of these products based on their current trends and any inside news you can find.

By now, you can see how the process works. As you continue down the numbered list we’ve mentioned above and keep applying it to Tim, you’ll easily start building content that is very likely to grab not only Tim’s attention but other information-technology giants as well.