It's a competitive world out there, especially when it comes to content marketing. You've got major players like Google and Apple constantly vying for audience’s attention, with their newest models coming out faster than you can say “iPad”.
So how do you compete?
One way is to be seen as the thought leader in your industry.
But what exactly does that mean? And why should you care so much about it?
This is what we will uncover in this blog. Let’s dig in.
What is thought leadership content?
Thought leadership content is content, created by your organization, that stands out as an authoritative opinion on a given subject within your field.
It has to be deeply rooted in your unique perspective or experience or expertise.
For example, if you're an accounting firm who specializes in small businesses, then you might write articles about how to hire accountants and save money on taxes.
The biggest mistake brands make is thinking that thought leadership is just like any other kind of content. Like creating an interesting post telling people what to do on social media this week.
But while those pieces are helpful for companies trying to educate their audience, there are many steps that go into establishing yourself as "thought leaders."
Rather than a type of content, thought leadership is an approach to content.
But, what’s so cool about thought leadership content?
Thought leadership content is a powerful weapon in the marketing and sales arsenal.
It can compel the audience to take action. It builds your trustworthiness, competence and credibility - all while driving purchasing decisions.
A 2020 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study shows that almost 50% of the decision makers spend one hour or more consuming thought leadership every week.
The study also reveals that 89% of decision makers say that thought leadership can be effective in enhancing their perception of an organization.
Furthermore, 60% agree that thought leadership is a more trustworthy basis for assessing the capabilities and competencies of an organization than its marketing materials or product sheets.
Yet in spite of these compelling metrics, only 26% of content marketers believe that thought leadership leads directly to closing deals.
Specifically, here’s what thought leadership marketing can do for your business.
- Build Trust & Credibility
You can build credibility and trust with your audience by creating thought leadership content. When done right, it significantly boosts your reputation in the industry. This reputation boost can feed directly into your public relations activities. For example, Brian Dean is a thought leader in the SEO space. Most articles talking about SEO will quote Brian Dean at least a few times.
- Help Audience Make Decisions
A thought leadership piece does not only inform and educate its audience but also helps them in their decision making process. It will help your customers or clients identify or recognize their problem, needs or requirements, and point them toward a solution.
- Become a Champion of Customer Engagement
Thought leadership is a powerful tool in creating an engaged customer culture. By discussing sector-relevant trends, issues and solutions that are personal to their interests; thought leadership content acknowledges the needs of customers which creates positive engagement.
- Convert Leads to Customers
Successful thought leadership content always helps attract people who convert into customers. It helps them identify with your brand and its purpose. It builds their trust in you. Your expertise makes them want to be a part of your community.
In brief, thought leadership must be a part of your content marketing strategy if you want to build a brand that people trust and engage with.
So, how to create thought leadership content?
Now that we understand what thought leadership marketing can do to a business, the question is how to do it.
Thought leadership content should be authentic, helpful, and unique. It can come from any source - executives, customers, product managers, designers, customer service reps, sales people. We all have knowledge, experience, and a point of view to share.
Furthermore, it can be inspired from many things. A personal story, expertise in an area, research or data, and so on. Animalz, an agency that provides thought-leadership and content marketing solutions, shares 5 sources of thought-leadership content.
Like sources, thought leadership content can come in several formats - blogs, emails, social media, ebooks, and more. That’s because it’s an approach to content, rather than a type of content.
Here's a guide by Hubspot that takes a deep dive into how to create thought leadership content.
In conclusion, thought leadership content is great for your business. It is a content strategy that every marketer should be thinking about. Not only does it help your business, but also build your own personal brand. It sure does require commitment and authenticity, but is worth the effort. Let us know how you feel about creating thought leadership content. We are always here to help.
Scalenut has expert ghostwriters who can help you craft authentic thought leadership content. Try it today. Your first Piece is On Us.