You’ve likely heard the buzzword phrase “thought leadership” floating around marketing and SEO spaces. In this article, Project 320’s marketing experts tell you everything you need to know about thought leadership and leveraging it to add value to your brand.
What is Thought Leadership
Thought leadership defines a topic and presents a unique view of that topic based on experience and data. Thought leaders have authority in their field, and other experts and novices alike look to these individuals for specific topics.
Thought leadership goes hand-in-hand with content marketing. By tapping into your company’s talent, experience, passion, and expertise, you can establish yourself or your brand as an authoritative voice in your market or industry.
But cultivating trust and authority doesn’t happen overnight. Thought leadership is established through consistent content creation and engagement with other industry leaders. Over time, you build a following and reputation by producing data-driven content that provides value to the user.
Thought Leadership and Content Strategy
Your content strategy contributes significantly to your SEO success, resulting in better outcomes for your marketing strategies. To see results from your online marketing efforts, you must prioritize SEO. Publishing thought leadership content drives SEO, bringing more traffic and quality leads to your site.
Thought leadership articles should contribute to your overall content strategy and SEO goals. Approximately 30 percent of your content should be thought leadership articles when published consistently; professional, quality thought leadership articles and blogs aid in establishing your brand as an authority that users can trust.
Types of Thought Leadership Content
Since thought leadership content should make up roughly a third of your content, you should be aware of the different avenues by which you can establish yourself as a thought leader.
Below are the most common types of thought leadership content:
- Industry trends
- Industry analysis
- Interviews with other thought leaders
- Data storytelling
Perhaps the most sincere and effective way to establish yourself as a thought leader is to identify a topic pertinent to your user then provide your insights based on your experience. True thought leaders want others to succeed. Therefore, they provide the information and insight that empowers the user to win. Do this time and again, and you will boost your authority as an expert in your field.
You can present thought leadership content through a variety of means, including
- Blog posts
- Guest Articles
- Conference Presentations
Benefits of Thought Leadership Content
Whether they’re an individual looking for advice or a professional seeking out specific expertise from their industry, today’s users look to thought leaders for solutions to their searches. Thought leadership content, if done well, offers advantages to your business that helps you meet your marketing, engagement, and sales goals.
The benefits of thought leadership content include
- Greater user trust
- Higher perceived value
- Landing interviews
- Building inbound links to your site
- Increased credibility within your industry
How to Create a Thought Leadership Strategy
You will never stumble into the role of a thought leader. However, positioning yourself as a trusted authority requires intentional, strategic planning. As you’ll see below, Project 320’s marketing experts have outlined how to create a thought leadership strategy for your brand or business.
1. Define Goals
Before you make any moves, you must understand your brand’s goals. Next, identify what you want to achieve through prioritizing thought leadership content.
2. Identify Your Area of Expertise
Focus on the topics you’re going to expound upon. Narrow down your area of expertise so you can confidently create helpful, accurate, and innovative content.
3. Create Your Brand Story
Your brand story connects and endears consumers to your brand. Weave in your brand story throughout your content to remind users that your brand is the source of this content. If they can trust you, they can trust your brand and the goods or services you provide.
4. Identify Your Values
Consumers want to spend their dollars with brands that stand for something. Identify and express your values, so users will know who you are and what you care about.
5. Find Thought Leaders within Your Company
You’re likely not the only source of expertise within your company. Identify other thought leaders and allow them to share their knowledge on your platform. Having a variety of voices and perspectives attracts a broader audience to your brand.
6. Stay Abreast of Trends
Thought leaders don’t exist in a vacuum. Read, listen to, and learn from other experts in your industry to stay on top of trends.
7. Have a Content Creation Strategy
When creating thought leadership content, you must have a plan. Work with your team to organize a content creation strategy to help you churn out content that earns the ideal traffic for your brand.
8. Know-How to Promote
After you’ve created content, you want it read, seen, or heard. Strategize promotion techniques to get your content in front of your target audience.
9. Measure Your Performance
Finally, measure your content’s performance. Thought leadership content is only valuable for your brand if you measure its success.
Look again at step one. Does your content help you reach your goals? If so, keep creating and evaluating your content creation process so you enjoy continued success.
As a thought leader, users look to your expertise to provide the solutions they’re looking for. By understanding the components, expectations, and strategies surrounding thought leadership, you can better position yourself as an authority in your industry.x