Thought leadership is the lifeblood of any sound content marketing strategy. But, the thoughts you’re leading with need to address actual customer pain points. By definition, thought leadership is a method of marketing, which solidifies you as an expert and authority within your industry. The goal of thought-leadership marketing is not to create sales-heavy content, but to provide an entry point to your business by branding yourself as an expert. There are still opportunities to highlight your product or service, but first and foremost you want to be viewed as knowledgeable and willing to help.
Promotional Consultant Today shares these six tips for building a thought-leadership marketing strategy:
1. What questions are customers and potential customers asking?
First, identify the questions your target audience and current customers are asking—and build your thought-leadership marketing strategies around the answers to those questions. Consider how people search for things online. When you have a question about something, there’s a good chance you’ll type it into Google, right? By identifying the questions, and strings of words your customers type into search engines, you can create your content in a manner that will answer those questions.
2. Social media is a thought leader’s best friend.
As long as you are engaging and providing value on a given platform, it’s completely acceptable to direct people on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or a niche community to one of your well-written blog posts that answers a timely question. This is a way to show people your company is an industry expert, and there to help.
3. Display your thought leadership beyond your blog.
Your company blog should always be the hub of your audience-building efforts, but it’s critical to discover other audiences by posting your thought-leadership content on other platforms. Guest blogging is another great way to discover a relevant audience interested in your thought-leading commentary.
4. Revise your questions on a regular basis.
When your thought-leadership marketing strategy is built on a foundation of customer questions, you must revisit these questions frequently. As industry trends change, you develop new products and services, and as general business trends evolve—your answers to old and new questions need to evolve as well.
5. Use thought leadership marketing to brand your business. There are no second first impressions.
Since the goal of your thought-leadership marketing strategy is to create an entry point, it is the perfect opportunity to brand your business. You can do this through your writing style, the level of creativity in your videos and images, and by demonstrating how well you understand your B2B clients’ wants and needs. When creating new content, ensure that it supports how you want to be identified as a brand, especially since this may be an online reader’s first experience with you.
6. Don’t be afraid to copy what’s working.
Just because your competitors are killing it with thought leadership does not mean that you can’t do it better. But if their content has already touched a nerve on the inter-webs, demonstrated by those share buttons with big numbers on the top, bottom and side of their post, why not leverage that signal, by creating similar, better pieces of content?
Thought leadership is an educational and engaging strategy for gaining the attention of prospects.