We all have that one person we know that is a true expert in their area, the one who’s on speed dial when we need their help. In what ways can you or your company be that person for your audience? The place they go to for wisdom and helpful information? You can become that resource with solid thought leadership.
What is thought leadership?
In marketing terms, thought leadership is a form of content produced by a person or company recognized as an authority within a specialized industry. Thought leadership pieces can include insights and predictions, solutions, experiences, or just overall ideas and information about the industry. This is a potential strategy within content marketing.
Thought leadership is especially important for B2B marketing due to the length of buying processes. According to the 2020 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, 88% of Decision-Makers say that thought leadership can be effective in enhancing their perceptions of an organization.
Thought leadership is a proven way to distinguish your company in a digital world for the audience of your choice. Here are three ways that thought leadership can help your marketing.
Increased Brand Equity
Brand equity is the perception the customer holds about a brand. A positive brand opinion is built from trust, and trust is built through organizational transparency and educating the audience. Education can, in turn, drive engagement. Transparency, education, and general sharing of brand or industry information can all be accomplished through thought leadership.
Another side of this is creating a social business. Thought leadership is a great opportunity to show that there are real people communicating to real customers. Tap into members of the team to share their expertise and knowledge to increase a great brand reputation. The more brands can present employees as trustworthy on communication channels, the more they can build a brand in a more human way.
Content, Content, Content
There are endless possibilities when it comes to the content you can create from thought leadership. Tried and true thought leadership content forms are blog posts, case studies, white papers, and ebooks. However, thought leadership is shifting into other digital mediums. This gives your company an opportunity to repurpose, or start from scratch, content in the form of video, audio, and graphics. Remember to be smart about what content goes on what channel—meet the audience where they are in the way they want to be communicated.
What better way to show you know your stuff than by being in the back pocket of a journalist as their go-to industry expert? Journalists are always looking for sources for various industries. Be sure to use relevant keywords so they can find you when they search for experts. Having your public relations or media team to pitch you as a source is a good idea, as well, giving your brand another positive boost.
The three above points are just a fraction of what thought leadership can do for your marketing. Ultimately, utilizing the experts in your company will position you as a resource, which will in turn power your business growth. If you want to learn more, LinkedIn has an extensive resource on impactful thought leadership marketing.