According to the thought leadership lab, thought leaders are “the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise.
They are trusted sources, who move and inspire people with innovative ideas. They turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success.”
To make it a bit more practical for us marcom and PR specialists, let’s view thought leadership as a type of content marketing where you tap into the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience, on a particular topic.
And, what are the benefits?
The benefits of Thought leadership start with brand affinity. By communicating thought leadership you become part of the conversation, early in the consumer journey. You allow your audience to get to know you. Expose your thought leaders and you begin the process of becoming a social business – real people with real faces talking to real customers and buyers.
So how do you do it?
Identify the topic that is closely associated with your brand.
When writing your content, you’ll want to narrow the focus to the specific areas that will grab the attention of your audience. Thought leadership is a true opportunity to establish authority for yourself as more than an expert, so make sure to produce thorough research and knowledge on the subject, something that no one else can present.
Show You Understand Your Audience
Understanding your audience will help you create content and materials that address their main concerns. It’s a good idea to define all of your customer’s challenges and define the best ways to overcome them. When your content resonates with your audience, they’re more likely to share your content.
Attract the Attention of Other Industry Experts
A great way to do this is by developing content centred around them. There exists a multitude of ways in which you can do this i.e. quoting them in your articles, talking about their strategy or even interviewing them directly.
Featuring them is placing them in your expert-sphere, it’s highly likely they’ll be honoured and may be inclined to return the favour. Beyond that, it gives you the opportunity to tap into their social media following by tagging them when sharing the article.A company doing this well is Argus de la Presse with their brilliant blog ‘Culture RP’, a blog (in French) dedicated to the world of public relations. In numerous articles, they make use of their expertise in measuring media and delivering media insights and combine this with the expertise in using media and PR of their clients.
Here you can find a great example of how they used the expertise of their client, Feat’R , a French PR agency selection company. They interviewed Bruno Langlade, the founder, and frankly delivered an insightful article. Check it out here.
Produce premium content
In addition to blog articles, you’ll want to create premium content. In other words, create content that goes a little above and beyond what is available on any other website.Create and publish whitepapers, webinars, checklists, videos, podcasts, and case studies that are worth filling out a form for. Your audience will not only learn more, but you’ll earn a contact off of it, and we all know the value of a contact.
Become a Guestblogger
Not only is guest blogging great for spreading your knowledge, but it can be used for building exposure, increasing your credibility, and generating inbound links. Who doesn’t want to increase their exposure? If you’re creating thought provoking and educational content that meets your audience’s needs, they’ll want to read more of your content. If you’re guest blogging for a publisher or company that has an extremely large reach, you have the opportunity to place your content in front of people who might not necessarily stumble across your content. Just remember to leave a great first impression. As well as a link to your company blog or website.
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