Marketers are looking for opportunities to expand the presence of their domains and solve problems that their industry usually faces. With so many people going for start-ups and ditching their 9-5 jobs, thought leadership has become a powerful strategy to increase your brand awareness.
So what is thought leadership? And how can it influence your business?
In simple words, thought leadership marketing is a blueprint to position your company as an influencer and leader in its niche. There are various ways to do that, such as publishing videos, research paper or factual findings or any other method that can help you increase your brand authority in the market.
Though leadership marketing usually has a very high ROI, sometimes even more than social media marketing or CPA campaigns. This is because its influence is long lasting and your publications change the way your consumers think about your company.
Also, the publications are long-lasting. If you have done research or fact-finding about your consumers’ interest, then it is likely that the results will get highlighted in several other articles, increasing your brand awareness and sales in the long run.
In general, a thought leader looks for new ideas rather than following traditional marketing practices. They come up with plans to increase the authority and influence of their organizations and create value for their products.
Leaders can be some of the most successful individuals when it comes to marketing. They can be a valuable asset for your business and its overall growth. They are not just marketers; rather experts who know how to exert influence and control by leveraging new techniques.
What does thought leadership marketing means for your business?
Thought leadership is a vital component for your content and digital marketing strategy. Further, companies are looking for such experts that can influence their business image and add value. Thought leadership can mean a lot for your short and long term business prospects.
Your audience is not going through your content just because they have stumbled upon it. Instead, they are there to find the best answers to their questions. In other words, you have to win your readers somehow. This gives rise to the demand for people who can effectively create content that can influence your readers within a short span of time.
You might think of thought leader as another content marketing term, but there is a lot of difference between the both. Of course, a content marketer can write influential and great content for your business. But this doesn’t mean that they can increase your authority on the niche you are focusing on.
In comparison, thought leaders are experts in a particular niche. It means they have to spend a lot of their time to understand the dynamics of an industry. They have credibility in their opinions and have a clear point of view for what they write or speak about. If you wish to represent your business in seminars or ceremonies, then these people are what you should be looking for to achieve success.
Thought leaders – The Engine for Your Sales and Brand
Thought leadership is becoming crucial for any online business to exercise command on their niche. In turn, this gives rise to thought leaders that are responsible for generating powerful marketing strategies. These people can come from many different sources. But they will have full background and knowledge of the industry.
These experts are usually asked to deliver speeches in public events and share their understanding of your brand. Steve Jobs, Peter Drucker, Bills Gates, and many other people are common examples of thought leaders in their industries.
These individuals are very beneficial for every business as they communicate your ideas, product or service features to the audience, so they get to know you. But the most important thing is that they speak about your brand to your targeted audience that significantly helps increase the trust score of your business.
As an example, a person with expertise in the field of textile manufacturing would likely speak to people with interest in clothes.
It won’t be wrong to say that these people are very strong personalities and can serve as crucial agents for the future of your business, especially in the long run.
So, what it takes to become a successful thought leader?
There are no pre-defined qualities for thought leaders. Industries are ever evolving, and people need time to learn new developments around their operations. It might mean that a person you think could be a thought leader might not be fruitful in the long run unless he keeps upgrading his knowledge and experience.
Well, below are some qualitative traits you can look for before hiring a leader for your thought leadership marketing campaigns.
People are keen to listen to influential personalities that have direct or indirect experience in an area. This means that your thought leader should be an expert in your niche and can deliver hours of engaging speeches and presentations if required. It means such people should have been working in a specific area for decades and absorb their job as a passion rather than a boring task.
Willingness to learn
If you find the correct person for the job, then it is also crucial to know their involvement in current business developments around your niche. Influential thought leaders always stay abreast of current changes to keep their competency level at par with new trends.
Clear cut explanations
This is very critical for every thought leader. Thought leaders should have a clear point of view to stand apart from other influencers. It means the individual should be able to provide definite and precise information to your audience. Thus, they will know what the audience is looking for in your content, videos, and other promotional materials.
For an effective thought leadership marketing campaign, credibility of your expert is a must. Of course, it is not something which anyone can gain by practicing some skill set. Rather, credibility comes from a combination of past experiences and current endorsements from key leaders in the industry.
You might come to know a person that has vast experience in the niche and can deliver clear cut explanations to your audience. But what about his credibility? In other words, if your thought leaders have no idea of their standing in their particular field, then no one will take them seriously!
As a side note, by working along with professionals and experts in an industry a person can automatically enhance their credibility with an audience.
A large but targeted fan following
You cannot be a thought leader if nobody follows you. In short, you must have a fan base and people willing to understand your ideas. This certainly means that you are someone with thousands of followers on social media and a known figure in your industry.
Creating the right thought leadership marketing strategies
A competitive thought leadership strategy can effectively help reduce your sales cycle and increase the credibility of your business. By developing effective leadership marketing content, you can effectively beat the competition and outperform a majority of your rivals. Below are some of the best thought leadership strategies a business can use for marketing.
Pay special consideration to your customers’ interest
This might sound something obvious, but it is often overlooked. Of course, targeting your audience is a vital component for any digital marketing campaign. But when it comes to thought leadership, the expert needs to brainstorm all the possible ideas people can search for to reach your business.
Let us suppose you have just launched a new startup that sells baby clothes in the market. What do you think your potential customers would Google which will relate your business? Further, what is your target audience? Well, you are not going to target babies here since they don’t use the internet!
You might want to focus on audience within 20-35 age groups as they are the individuals who are likely to have children and shop for newborn clothing. This sounds good but it certainly is not something you would hire a thought leader for.
In fact, your thought leader should be very picky in choosing the keywords and linking them with your product. Ideally, your thought leader would also be someone who has spent a lot of his time with newborns.
How about an individual with expertise in daycare management or an infant nutritionist? Of course, parents would love to hear such people and it is likely they will have a targeted fan following as well!
Strike with thorough research
In-depth research for your business is likely to shape your future business growth. It is very important for your thought leader to undergo extensive exploration and testing about your niche, before making an influencing marketing strategy.
In other words, it is not enough for your thought leader to just have a general understanding of basic concepts and ideas about your business. This means to create an effective thought leadership marketing strategy you need the following.
- To identify and pinpoint the ways and methods your competitors are using to influence their position in the industry by means, like facts findings or conducting surveys.
- Extensively research the topic from authoritative sources. This just does not include the online content on a website but also compromises books and research papers available on the market.
- Using social media to have an understanding of your users and link your product with their interests.
Don’t go with the flow
If you are copying the current thought leadership trends in your industry and integrating them in your marketing strategy, then don’t! In fact, there is no point in hiring thought leaders when anyone with knowledge in digital marketing can do that!
Instead, come up with smart and new marketing techniques. How about engaging your audience with online polls about your industry? In other words, come up with something compelling that your audience would love to be a part of.
Your thought leader should be able to integrate his vast experience and knowledge of the industry to make influential marketing tactics that your rivals lack. Hence, don’t integrate the ideas of your competitors in marketing campaign rather build something new that will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Will thought leadership work for you?
Thought leadership marketing is becoming critical for every small and large business. You might have acknowledged the influx of influencers on social media in multiple industries. This is because influencers are becoming a trending technique to reach your audience at just a fraction of the cost.
Large enterprises are constantly looking for personalities relevant to their business for gaining authority in the industry. Besides, hiring a thought leader can deliver your message more quickly and cheaply than social media marketing campaigns, which can be expensive if you don’t have the right company behind you.
For thought leaders, there are almost endless options to create entertaining and engaging content for your business. All thanks to their vast experience and knowledge in the field. Creating whitepapers, research magazines or writing daily publications is something they are usually fond of and you should make the most of it.
In short, thought leaders can be extremely important for new businesses. This is because they can help highlight your brand to masses without spending tons of money on marketing campaigns.
Wrapping up, your audience is looking for your assistance! Are you willing to give the answers to the question they are looking for by means of thought leadership marketing?
As significant players in the market, thought leaders can help increase your sales and are ready to provide influential ideas that can increase your authority and command.