“Thought leadership content marketing is the most important element to include in a B2B marketing campaign.
WHAT IS IT?
First, let me ask you few questions.
● Do you search online for products, informations, solutions to your problems, relevant news, etc using what,who,why,which,where,when types of questions?
● Did you find satisfying answers to your queries and helped you in making a purchase decision, finding solution to a problem, finding a relevant, useful and educating information?
● Have you shared those search results(online content) to social media or other platforms because you really found it useful and relevant?
If answers to all is “YES“, then next time try to pay more attention to those contents.
Because such content is created by skilled professionals and experts.
And their job is to create and promote relevant, useful and educational content.
● Because it is part of their marketing strategy, aimed to build credibility and earn the recognition of an expert.
● To establish themselves or company as a brand and industry leader by creating valuable and resourceful information.
● To build a trusted audience around their businesses and create brand awareness by giving industry insights .
● Keeping updates of latest trends and be innovative in their approach.
And that is the THOUGHT LEADERSHIP CONTENT MARKETING.
As the title of this blog suggests, it’s an extensive approach and that’s where it is distinguished from content marketing.
Go through the link given below, you will see some statistics on how relevant the idea is. It’s an article on thought leadership by LinkedIn.
LinkedIn and Edelman conducted a survey of business decision makers about their views on thought leadership. And they found that,
● More than 55% decision makers considered thought leadership as significant strategy for marketing.
● 45% said that this idea motivated them to hire companies which were not considered by them before.
● And 57% said that thought leadership directly helped in benefitting businesses.
Creating content to Educate, to Inspire, to Innovate and to Resolve. These are the facets of thought leadership.
It is beyond sales and conversions, profits and losses.
Here I would like to take an example of David Ogilvy, known as father of advertising. Perfect example of thought leadership for marketing industry.
There are many quotes, articles, interviews and speeches published by him or about him.
They are still relevant, educating, useful, inspiring and innovative. And have set a benchmark for marketing world.
Almost each professional from advertising world would refer to his expertise to get some insights about the industry or try to resolve a problem.
What Approach Should Be Used To Create Thought Leadership Content
That’s right, it’s an approach and not just to create different types of contents.
There are no certain rules and you will find many formulas or suggestions while reading articles about it.
It is an extensive approach. And truth is, it requires innovative as well as empathetic thinking.
● Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience means getting idea of their likes and dislikes, problems they face, questions they ask, what are their requirements etc.
Exploring online market places is not as easy as physical places for them. So try to find out their pain points.
Identifying their social demographics and also career goals helps you to create content for them.
You can define your audience by many ways.
– Social media platforms can be leveraged to do surveys or polls.
– You can ask them directly or ask for reviews.
– Use keywords research tools to find out what are they looking for online using search engines.
– Try as many ways possible to engage with them. Again, social media is the best place. Especially LinkedIn, where you will find professionals and experts from businesses holding live webinars and group chats etc.
● Now Creating Content
Now that you have defined your audience extensively, plan out a content strategy targeted towards them. And create content that is,
- Valuable – Means it should provide good insights and more accurate information.
- Authentic – Because authenticity will help you build a brand and it will echo in your online space.
- Educating – You must have sufficient knowledge to share. And that is how you establish yourself as an expert. A thought leader.
- Inspiring – Remember, there is not only an audience who just wants to buy things but there are many b2b clients, new marketing aspirants who are looking for some inspiration. And you must guide them with your knowledge and expertise. Like David Ogilvy or Steve Jobs, right?
- Innovative – This will help you to reach out to your audience in different ways. And innovations bring ideas to create content that fulfills all the required elements of thought leadership.
- Resolute – That is what an expert or a leader would do. As I said earlier exploring online markets is not easy. It is your job to provide solutions to their problems and relieve their pain points. That is the most satisfying aspect of thought leadership content approach.
How To Do It
● If you are a freelancer then develop all the necessary skills and knowledge to become an expert. But it’s always a good practice to work mutually with other industry experts.
● And if you are a company then involve experts from all levels of your company and put them on front as thought leaders.
- Do lot of research before creating content.
- Publish on different online mediums.
- Do research about where could your audience be most active and create presence there.
- Create different types of content like blog posts, videos, webinars, podcasts and try to be more innovative.
- Probably you can create good content as you already are an expert or have an organization with experts working for you. But thinking should be EMPATHETIC and idea should be of MUTUAL GROWTH.
So, evolve into THOUGHT LEADERSHIP and develop as a successful achiever.