LET’S GET STARTED
- 1 A Myth
- 2 Thought Leadership Approach
- 3 Need For Thought Leadership Marketing
- 4 Content Marketing V/S Thought Leadership
- 5 3 Elements For Thought Leadership Strategy
- 6 How To Develop A Great Strategy?
- 7 Bonus Tips
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 FAQs
Thought leadership has been around for a while and has made a major comeback in the last five years.
Almost every leader of their respective industry wants to market their product or services as per thought leadership and so do you. Right?
But, it’s not that easy.
Thought leadership marketing has the potential to influence the decisions of the audience. That’s why it is in high demand.
71% of the marketers are benefitting from website thought leadership content.
But, your thought leadership content will not boost overnight. It takes lots of hard work, effort, and sacrifices to put yourself in a position to get this much recognition.
So, here I have brought you a blog about how to get started with thought leadership.
Let’s get started!
Let me tell you something interesting before we proceed further.
Do you know, most people think that thought leadership and content marketing are the same!!
But the fact is, they are quite different from each other.
And this is not the only myth, there are plenty of them in the market.
Many marketers think that ‘a unique point of view’ should be there while working for thought leadership. But the fact is, the audience is not looking for unique or nice content, but they are looking for the best answer to their questions.
As Bryan Rhoads, formerly Head of Content at Intel says, “you have to win the internet every day.”
Wikipedia also calls thought leadership as “business jargon” and defines it as content recognized as innovative and covering topics that influence the industry.
In simple words, thought leadership is a type of content marketing that focuses on increasing the visibility of expertise and accelerating marketing influence to accomplish the marketing goals.
Thought Leadership Approach
Let’s understand this concept with an example.
Suppose you are an entrepreneur within the digital marketing industry and want to make your content stand as thought leadership content.
So, how will you do that? What techniques will you follow?
Such questions might roam in your mind.
But the solution is pretty simple!!! Just follow the thought leadership approach.
Now, we will understand what the thought leadership approach is and how to hold an upper hand in the market and influence your target audience.
Here’s how you can do it.
A) Deep Research: One of the best ways to establish your authority and influence the audience in the market is to conduct deep research in your niche. Then, you will have confidence in the subject you are talking about.
It will establish your brand as an expert in your respective industry. Research within your industry as much as possible.
B) Understand your customer’s pain points: Knowing your customers’ pain points will give you a deep understanding of the customers along with the market and will make you stand out for sure!
Also, it will give you a deep analysis of how your products or services are going to help your target customers and where they need improvement.
C) Active Interaction: Actively interacting with your target customers will give your brand a unique recognition within the industry.
Most thought leaders have the same style around the world including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and many other thought leaders of their respective industries.
Need For Thought Leadership Marketing
Thought leadership is important for building trust and influence. It is important for both B2B(business to business) and B2C(business to customers) companies.
Thought leadership can help anyone involved in business decisions to gain alignment.
Also, thought leadership can allow you to define the category of your product or service.
Let’s discuss how thought leadership works for B2B and B2C companies.
B2B company: A B2B company has different work tactics than B2C. It takes a lot of time in the decision-making process, budget preferences, and the number of departments involved.
In simple words, thought leadership helps in decision-making in B2B business.
B2C company: Thought leadership in B2C companies helps the marketers and sales executives define the category of the business solution and build your brand value before customers.
That’s how thought leadership can effectively support your business goals as everything depends on meeting the needs of the customers.
Content Marketing V/S Thought Leadership
Though most people consider content marketing & thought leadership to be the same but they are completely different from each other.
Content marketing can be well-written and informative. A high-quality content marketing can easily boost sales and generate traffic to your website whereas thought leadership is insightful and establishes your expertise in the market.
Also, it spotlights your company as a leader in your industry.
For a more clear understanding, I have shown the difference between content marketing and thought leadership through a table.
The reason why thought leadership is more effective than content marketing is because of ‘leadership’. In thought leadership, you provide the answer to the questions of the users. This will make the users come back to you.
Thought leadership works on building trust and this will also encourage the users to even share your product and services.
That’s the whole concept of thought leadership and content marketing.
To know more about content marketing you can watch the video on our youtube channel.
3 Elements For Thought Leadership Strategy
Unique Point Of View
Start by understanding the preferences, attitude, and behavior of the audience you want to resonate with.
A strong thought leadership point of view will only work if it is based on the understanding of your target audience.
You can consider the following questions about your target audience to help you develop a unique point of view.
A) Where do they access the content from?
B) What do they read online?
C) What are they engaging with?
D) What’s attracting views and engagement currently?
Keep asking these questions to yourself so you can better understand your audience
The Channels Of Engagement
You should prioritize your interaction channels based on the business objectives throughout the planning phase.
For better understanding let me explain this with an example.
Let’s say you have a SAAS(software as a service) business and want to build thought leadership content for your business.
So, now you need to select the right channel for the engagement of your software. You need to find out through which platform you can target your audience.
As you have a SAAS business, you may choose to work on website blog posts and off-site blog posts as most of the people search on Google for the software.
Lastly, you should be patient. Things don’t happen overnight.
Consistently follow your business objectives after deploying the business strategies and KPIs for the designated period of time.
It will definitely give you results. But here’s a thing that you should never forget: thought leadership will never show you results overnight. It takes continuous effort and time.
How To Develop A Great Strategy?
Define Your Target Audience
When you have a clear idea about whom you are trying to reach, everything will start falling into the line. That’s why it is important to understand your target audience.
And of course, it is one of the most important activities you should do before analyzing, strategizing, writing, or designing.
If your content is not written well, nobody will read it.
Knowing your audience will help you create the right questions for the right people.
And believe me, defining the target audience is not very difficult.
You can easily find your audience in just 5 simple steps:
1. Analyze your customer base.
2. Conduct market research.
3. Analyze your competitors.
4. Create a buyer persona.
5. Find your audience through Google Analytics.
By following these steps you will be able to define your target audience along with creating good content for them.
Read more: The Importance Of Target Audience And How To Find Them
Go On Deep Research
It is extremely important to conduct research before you start your thought leadership campaign.
Though you will not be able to do the whole research at once, there are a lot more things on which you should have a general understanding.
A) Research thoroughly about the topic online. Though competitors might also be talking about the same topic. Still, try to find other useful resources.
B) Find out the spots where the thought leaders have the same niche. So that, you can have an idea about the area of your target audience.
C) Check out all the social media platforms. One of the best platforms to do research for thought leadership campaigns is Linkedin. Check out the Linkedin groups and find the relevant topics that your audience might be interested in.
Determine Your Marketing Goals
John Bell, VP, Enterprise Digital Marketing, Travelers (via Perspectives from B2B Leaders) says,
“Specifically, the content we create to help business customers manage risk aims to be of use to those folks. We call that utility content, as it aims to empower – help them actually get something done that is important to them.”
The third step to develop a marketing strategy is to determine your marketing goals. You need to decide what you want, then only you will be able to set the right campaign for your marketing purpose.
Ultimately, the goal is to generate high revenue still, thought- leadership encompasses a wide range of objectives that contribute to these outcomes.
The objectives of your marketing goals can be anything like, brand awareness, engagement,, job applicants, and more.
In total, you first need to decide your marketing goal then only you will be able to set the right campaign to fulfill your respective goal.
Consider Thought Leadership Tactics
You should be strategic about your thought leadership tactics. Consider your audience’s context and thinking.
When I am talking about the tactics, consider blog posts, social media posts, video, white papers, infographics, public speaking sessions, and all other kinds of thought leadership marketing.
Whatever your leadership techniques are, just make sure your techniques and channels are linked to the objectives you’ve set.
Finally, your thought leadership marketing material should be truthful, consumable, shareable, actionable, and relevant to your target audience.
Develop Your Visibility
When you are working on thought leadership strategy, it is quite important to make your valuable content visible to your target audience.
So, how will you do that?
To make your thought leadership content visible to your audience, you first need to do some research by your side.
The things you can conduct research on: Where do new ideas and inspiration come from for your target audience? What magazines do they consume? Which blogs do they read? Who do they currently look to for thought leadership?
Each of the options above becomes a viable option for achieving your goal.
That’s how you will be able to develop the visibility of your thought leadership content.
In the bonus tip, I would like to share a piece of knowledge with you. Many people don’t know that content writing plays a very important role in developing thought leadership marketing.
So, here I would like to recommend you the services of content writing through incrementors.com.
Incrementors will definitely increase conversion by 15x & convert readers into customers with their content marketing strategy.
Just click on the anchor link of ‘content writing’ and you will reach the respective page.
I have discussed all the important tactics about thought leadership marketing along with the myths that are quite popular. So that you don’t get confused about content marketing and thought leadership marketing.
The tips and techniques I have described are practically applicable which will help you boost sales in no time.
Nobody goes with traditional marketing nowadays. Thought leadership has taken the place of traditional marketing and it is definitely showing results.
Till then, you can watch the 30 minute strategy session on our website.
Question.1 What are the types of thought leadership strategy?
There are several examples of thought leadership strategies like, blogs and articles, print magazine, podcasts, webinars etc.
Question.2 What are the six steps to becoming a thought leader?
Tips to Become a Thought Leader
Create a Robust Online Presence.
Flaunt High-Quality Affiliations.
Give Public Speeches.
Appear on TV.
Win Some Awards.
Publish a Book
Question.3 What it means to be a thought leader?
Thought leadership is the expression of ideas that demonstrate you have expertise in a particular field, area, or topic by Utilizing content marketing, social media, and other means to increase your authority and influence are key for successful thought leadership.
Question.4 Why is it important to be a thought leader?
Thought leadership impacts brand perception, compels decision makers to take action, and provides a basis for your target audience to determine your company’s trustworthiness, competence and credibility.
Question. 5 What is the purpose of thought leadership?
The purpose of thought leadership is to educate your audience, question the status quo, and become a trusted source for information.