Thought leadership content is one of those terms thrown around by content marketers as a must-have part of your content strategy. However, many people are not sure what to do to elevate their content to the lofty heights of ‘thought leadership’.
That’s where we step in. Our aim is to use blogs and other online content to establish clients as thought leaders in their field. Now we’re going to help you do the same!
Here’s our quick guide to thought leadership content, and why premium brands need to get on board with it straightaway to make their brand more successful.
So what is a thought leader?
A thought leader is a recognised authority in a particular field. They are the go-to people for information and advice concerning their industry, thanks to their extensive knowledge and expertise. Trusted by customers, followers and the wider community, thought leaders can move and inspire people through their actions, ideas and commentary.
What is thought leadership content?
Thought leadership content is in-depth web content that is easily available to your target audience and focuses on the issues surrounding your product or service. One of the best ways to establish yourself or your company as a thought leader is to cultivate a variety of thought leadership content. Blogs are an ideal solution for this, but more on that later.
Premium brands, i.e. brands that see themselves as market leaders, can use thought leadership content to provide evidence for why they are the best in their field and persuade readers to engage with their product or service.
Why is thought leadership content important?
Thought leadership content brings with it a whole host of benefits and advantages. Here are just a few:
- Increases your strategic visibility whilst raising your profile.
- Gives you access to people who can implement change (e.g. influencers/other industry leaders).
- Provides your business with the power to persuade, and the the status and authority to move things in a new direction. This gives you the opportunity to implement real change within the industry.
- Promotes your business, your product and you as an individual.
- Establishes you as a trusted source. In an age where customers are conducting more and more research before making a transaction (78% of Internet users conduct product research online), they want to know that you are good at what you do.
- Makes you money – you will be recognised as the best answer to your problem, and therefore will receive better quality leads and more of them. You will also benefit from word-of-mouth advertising.
A great example of a thought leader is Rand Fishkin – the founder of Moz.com. He blogged for 80 hours a week for two years to establish Moz as THE inbound marketing thought leader. It definitely worked; Moz is now worth $20 million in annual revenue.
Becoming a thought leader requires commitment and willingness to speak out against certain issues within your industry. There are lots of wannabes out there, but by deploying thought leadership content, you will establish your brand as the real McCoy.
Using thought leadership content to become a thought leader
Becoming a thought leader is no easy task. However, with dedication and persistence you’ll be able to overcome any hurdles that are thrown at you.
If you have an existing product, service or company, it will be easier for you to launch yourself as a thought leader as that will provide you with a natural community and something to talk about. However, if you don’t have one, it does allow you to choose your niche and dominate that field.
You can’t become a thought leader overnight, just by implementing this process; but these methods will help build up your brand (and hopefully your sales figures!) as you evolve into this new position of expertise.
As we mentioned earlier, creating supportive and educational thought leadership content is an integral part of becoming a thought leader. You must publish regular, high-quality editorial content that successfully communicates the brand’s subject matter and expertise. This helps to build trust with your target demographic.
Five points to consider when creating thought leadership content
- Know your target market, and their place in the sales funnel.
- Prove that you are the best answer to your target market’s problem through creating in-depth content.
- Deliver content with the most value – how-to guides with actionable points are a great example. Make sure you send out content regularly to keep hold of your audience.
- Promote your content. No one will find your site by chance; promotion must be a key part of your content strategy.
- Listen to your readers. Check Google Analytics for bounce rates and average time on pages to work out which blogs are working best. Then take a look at any social media activity surrounding the blogs and react to any feedback given.
As a thought leader, you are the brand and this must come across in your writing. Keep a consistent voice that appeals to both emotion and logic, and you will begin to build up a loyal following who will regard you as the expert in your field.