Thought Leadership for Marketing
Companies are always looking for new ways to reach their audiences in engaging and meaningful ways. Today’s brands must create content for their customers that will help them establish connections and credibility with people in
addition to their normal sales campaigns. Consumers want to identify with the companies they buy from not just because they have a great product, but also because the company is interesting and has a unique personality that consumers can identify with. In this article, we’ll discuss what it means to be a thought leader, and how playing that role can greatly expand your audience and establish yourself in the forefront in any industry.
What is a Thought Leader?
Somewhat of a subjective definition, but in general, a thought leader is one who can establish themselves as a go-to in their field of expertise. They are informed and willing to share their ideas with their colleagues, company, and the world. When a thought leader has an idea, they have the audacity to translate that idea into action. They are on the cutting edge of the knowledge in their industry, and forever working to gain more knowledge and expertise. They have established themselves as a trustworthy source of information in a certain area, and work hard to maintain their reputations as the go-to person in their field.
How to become a Thought Leader?
The notion of becoming a thought leader in your industry seems like an impossible standard for most of us to hit, but in reality, you do not need to be the smartest person in the world or have your Ph.D. in thermonuclear physics to reach this level. There are many different levels of thought leadership, and it takes a level of dedication and work, but anyone can become a thought leader in their company, or niche industry. Becoming a thought leader is not a title to be won or achieved, but an ongoing process that can be built slowly and to varying degrees. So basically if you have the desire and the dedication to learn your industry and build your credibility, you can become a thought leader.
Thought Leadership and Your Company
A thought leader can be a person, or it can also be a brand. By establishing your brand, whether you have a multimillion dollar enterprise or a small photography business, you can increase your credibility within your industry. By becoming an authority figure through thought leadership, you have the power to shape the landscape of your industry and turn it in your favor. It is also incredibly important because people will not buy from people or companies that they believe are not credible. By becoming a thought leader, your company and its products will be much more trusted by consumers, which will certainly turn into more sales.
Leading for Attention
Establishing credibility is extremely important, but another benefit of thought leadership is the increased exposure that it can gain your company. In today’s world of social media and social sharing, an idea that has significant merit and is new is likely to be spread throughout that industry and its consumers. People like sharing good ideas, especially when those ideas apply to something they care about. An article on how cryptocurrencies are going to change the world could be a great way for a bitcoin exchange platform to spread the word, while simultaneously convincing people that buying bitcoin is a good idea. If it is an informed and well-written article, it has the potential to make its rounds through thousands if not millions of people if it is shared enough times, giving instant exposure and free advertising for the writers.
Putting it All Together
Using your position as a thought leader to increase exposure for your company and increase its credibility can have a significant impact on your ability to gain sales and generate revenue. Mixing thought leadership in with your overall content strategy is a great positioning move for almost any company. The type of content you will put out will vary based on your industry and individual expertise, but anything from articles, to videos, or other creative forms of content are all fair game, the most important part is just that you’re putting it out there. Listen to your customers and see how they are responding to your content, and engaging with your customers is another way to establish yourself as a trusted authority in your space. Using thought leadership for marketing purposes will have far reaching benefits for your company and even keep you up to date and involved in your industry, which can have benefits in itself.
Feel free to leave comments about what you feel it means to be a thought leader, and ways to go about doing this. For more information on building a content strategy for your company, visit some of our other posts.