Whether you want to establish yourself as a leader or build your brand image, thought leadership is an effective strategy to successfully accomplish this.
What is Thought Leadership?
In business, thought leadership is considered as a type of content marketing. It is used to establish a brand as an industry leader. It taps talent, experience, and expertise to provide answers or solutions to issues that consumers face.
What differentiates it from traditional content marketing is its more targeted approach and focus on delivering value to its audience. It involves creating content that is educational and provocative instead of just fun and entertaining. It aims to lead conversations, spark interests, and start trends. It places an individual or a brand as the best source of knowledge in a particular field of interest.
Goals of Thought Leadership
There is no one specific goal for thought leadership. Most businesses have multiple objectives that are aligned to their business goals. However, there are certain goals that thought leadership aims to address whatever industry a business is in.
- To educate a specific audience.
Thought leadership focuses on a defined group of people with common pain points. Insightful topics and strategic publishing are used to provide them with the information they need to address their issues.
- To build a reputation.
Thought leadership positions an individual or a brand as an expert in a specific area. It establishes trust and bolsters credibility.
- To build meaningful relationships.
Thought leadership goes beyond brand awareness. It is about starting relationships and nurturing them.
- To create lead generation opportunities.
Because thought leadership establishes a brand as a reputable and reliable business, it indirectly creates leads that have higher potentials to convert.
8 Ways to Enhance Your Thought Leadership Strategy
- Clarify your area of expertise
Create a niche market or select a specific area of expertise. Instead of building a reputation in every area related to your industry, focus on what you know best. Be clear and consistent with this to build your credibility as a thought leader.
- Identify your target audience
Determine the audience you want to reach. This will help determine what types of content you should publish. Keep in mind that though leadership is about focusing on an area of expertise so narrow down your audience to those who can benefit from what you know.
- Know your industry
Study the market you occupy to know what your competitors are doing. Analyze industry trends to gain insights for new ideas you can develop. Look for untapped areas and use them as opportunities to differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Address pain points
Identify the pain points your audience face. Address these concerns and offer actionable steps they can take. While you may want to move them through your sales funnel, try to focus more on issues that impact your audience instead of your business agenda. Although offering advice, participating in interviews, and creating informative content have no immediate effect on your bottom line, they have long-term benefits that ultimately lead to business growth.
- Choose your medium
Find the outlets where your audience can be found. Aside from your website, create profiles on platforms where you can reach your audience. You can publish articles on your LinkedIn profile, air Podcasts, conduct webinars, or go on Facebook Live. Choose the platform where you can best share your expertise with your target market.
- Maintain consistency
Be consistent with everything. Use a tone that is unique to your brand in all your content. Publish them regularly and respond to your audience. Reach out to them and nurture relationships. Once your content is published, share and promote it on social media to expand readership. Create a schedule for this using an editorial calendar so your audience have something to look forward to on a regular basis.
- Analyze performance
Similar to content marketing, thought leadership performance can also be assessed using metrics and KPIs. Regularly audit your thought leadership performance to assess its effectiveness. Go over your website and social media analytics to gain better insights.