Thought leadership can be hard to get right. I believe every article needs to be insightful, helpful and inline with your industry. Becoming a thought leader within your industry takes time and dedication, as well as ensuring you have an excellent schedule of content.
Related Post: Thought Leadership – Capitalising on Trending Topics
Light and Fluffy
One of the worse things you can do is a business is write thought Leadership which barely scrapes the sides, articles which have no impact or even a point to them. Think of thought leadership as a conversation you’d have with your peers, you are authentic and honest and have a point of view on a topic. Your readers should walk away feeling a level of emotion, from laughter, humour, agreement, or disagreement. But never, ever boredom or worse, just plain old forgetting the blog even existed!
94% B2B buyers poor content lowers their opinion of the firm - Bloomgroup
How do you do this? It’s not as difficult as it sounds, here are my top tips for starting an effective thought leadership programme:
ONE: Become the Go-To Place for your Industry
To be impactful aim to become the “go to” place for all insight on your industry. For example, a washing machine manufacturing business, Washing Machine Inc, becomes the go to place for everything to do with fabric, washing machines, clothes and the environment, with thought leadership subjects such as: Tips and tricks on washing whites, Cleaning your machine, Old wife’s tales v the truth and Honey I shrunk the tshirt - Washing fails.
The list goes on, thought leadership is not about your product or service, it’s about the experience you provide to your customers, from when the customer begins their research, during purchasing and aftercare. Keep your customers informed with insightful and helpful Information.
81% “said thought leadership has increased their trust in a vendor organisation” - B2C Marketing
TWO: Align with your content marketing strategy
Thought leadership needs to be aligned with your Content Marketing strategy to avoid your subject matters becoming random, going rouge or becoming repetitive. This strategy may have themes or keywords, for example, Washing Machine Inc. will have five themes “Technology”, “Solutions”, “Environment”, “Trends & Initiatives” and “Innovation”. Then allocate keywords to each of your main themes, this will make it easy and simple when you create any content for your business. As well as all your other digital content, Your Thought Leadership should then fit inside each of these Themes. If you don’t have a content marketing strategy, then I suggest creating themes for your thought leadership strategy.
70 percent of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy - Altimeter
THREE: Use all your Resources
You don’t need to rely on one person to produce all your thought leadership. Create a thought leadership programme across the business which uses the skills and resources of everyone in the team. Its easier than you think! There are always those who are willing to participate and those who are not so keen. Start by speaking to team members who want to boost their profiles, by discussing topics, and their personal expertise and experiences.
42.5% of companies are increasing their content marketing staff levels in 2016 - Curata
FOUR: Relating thought leadership to your existing content
This is good thing to do, but it needs to be done carefully. If you have a white paper or research document, fantastic, read it from cover to cover, understand the content and how relevant this is to your customer base and industry. Devise a content schedule which fits inside your themes, shares this with your customer facing teams, get their point of view, perhaps they have more topics to add, but most importantly they will be able to give you insight into what the customer is saying.
The top three things that make content effective: audience relevance (58%); engaging and compelling storytelling (57%); triggers a response/action (54%). - Curata