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Thought Leadership marketing is the art of establishing your business through conveying the latest information as a pioneer in your field. Potential customers and your industry members can begin to associate your brand with expertise by your regular publication of articles, videos, analysis, or any other form of original content. At the stage of hiring a company, yours will be at the top of their mind.
In another vein, thought leadership is a marketing method, which solidifies you as an expert and authority within your industry. The aim of thought leadership marketing is never to dish out heavy content for sales but to identify yourself as a professional to provide leverage for your company. There are always chances for highlighting your item or brand, but you wish your client to see you first and foremost as competent and eager to support.
Today, when the market is “noisier” than it has ever been, companies and corporates depend on thought leadership for their success. One might think of this as a modern word. However, as a business process, thought leadership has been happening for many generations. The best approach to understanding “thought leadership” is realizing that buyers aren’t paying for your product but your system to problem-solving.
Businesses looking to grow today can take several approaches. However, most companies still focus on the usual sales, finding new markets, bringing out new products, and participating in mergers and acquisitions. However, some businesses have understood the power of knowledge sharing, and these are among the top brands in the world today! Some of the best examples of thought leaders include Deloitte, IBM, McKinsey, and PwC. The practice requires an organization to share why and what it wants to be known for. They need to start thinking differently about the set industry standards and introduce new thinking processes.
ENGAGE YOUR CLIENTS AFTER ATTRACTING THEM
Now, how can you propagate your thought leadership strategies? Well, it is content again that will be able to capture the buyer’s attention. It’s disappointing to know that 87% of current brands/marketers still struggle to create enough engaging content. To bridge the gap, they come up with white papers and product brochures and thinly disguise it as ‘thought leadership content.’ But at the other end, buyers aren’t satisfied and look elsewhere.
To intercept this potential, thought leadership seems to be the only way to explore issues and give answers. Future-facing and provocative but compelling points will not just help gain attention but, more importantly, help start a healthy interaction.
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP SKILLS FOR BUSINESS EXECUTIVES
Thought leadership essentially requires that business executives must do the following:
Look back at the past and be ready for the future.
As Mark Twain rightly said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but rhymes.” Business processes and market trends seem to have a habit of repeating. Looking back, businesses can get a fair idea of how brands evolved. In the 20th century, Mr. Thomas Edison gave us the electric car concept. We are still working on the same lines in the present day, but with more sophisticated technologies. The history of a product line can offer a fair idea about how the industry has evolved. It also explains buyer expectations. With technology at your side, you can either choose to be ready and updated or go along the flow, leading to only a mediocre impact.
Try connecting the dots between your predictions and the current work process.
As with any other means to achieve success, businesses have been making repetitive failed attempts at thought leadership content. Most of these marketers can be categorized as “wannabes” who have little experience. However, these failures can suggest to you the paths that need not be taken. This experience makes you more comfortable in what you pitch, and there will be a ring of authenticity while at the stage of connecting the dots.
Investment in research
There is just ‘no’ alternative to useful information. Research earns you a rare understanding of the market at its core levels. It’s not sufficient to realize that people prefer tea over coffee. You need to get to the bottom of it and effect the change. Original research will always be an asset to a business.
Allow some time
Indeed, things change overnight. However, while considering your thought leadership content, it will take some time to be accessed, understood, and appreciated. It won’t be surprising if an excellent blog post is only fully understood a month after publication.
If you have a unique, groundbreaking point of view, it needs to be broken down into chunks that can be disseminated through multiple editorial venues. Even the title of a book can be repurposed for a particular blog environment. While pithy statements work in social channels like Twitter, your video advertisement might go beyond 30 seconds!
Be open to ghostwriting.
The audience must get an information-rich message in a digestible form. If you aren’t comfortable organizing your ideas, a good ghostwriter can always be an option. Of course, some of them are expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for!
Test upcoming technologies
Be informed about any technology that the market seems to be interested in. Do your research and pitch the discussion on your forums. In the internet space, it is essential to be up to date, and this comes by being selective in what you read and choose to learn about. Instead of pushing products and services, thought leadership marketing looks to solve unique problems and issues. Even if your audience doesn’t move on to become buyers, your brand receives the credibility of becoming a market leader.
Thought leadership should be thought of as your gift to the market without expecting immediate returns. If you are a communicator, work in public relations, marketing, or communications, you are bound to have heard of or are deeply involved in thought leadership marketing. Some people groan at the mention of the word probably because every opinion is labeled thought leadership. But if used strategically, marketers enjoy using it as a powerful communication tool in their daily tasks. Like any marketing discipline, however, some things work and others that don’t.
EXCELLENT THOUGHT LEADERSHIP TIPS FOR COMMUNICATORS
The following are the six major areas where thought leadership tips are needed for excellent communication.
Experienced thought leaders will tell you to ensure that your content is first and foremost client-centric and delivers new and relevant insights. Product-speak and brand centricity is the death knell of thought leadership.
Short content is good
People no longer want long reports. They want executive summaries highlighting the key points pertinent to them. Information is best presented using infographics because they are easy to digest and deliver your point of view visually.
Re-use and repurpose content
A lot of work, resources, time, and effort go into producing your material. Make sure you are leveraging it in every way possible. For example, if it is research or a report, ask if it can be segmented into mini-sector pieces or critical topic areas and release it over time. Also, think about if and how you can news-jack. This involves looking for opportunities in the daily media into which you can inject your point of view. Relevance is the key.
Never despise the little beginning, dream big, think new, adapt quickly
Don’t start with a massive production; you are probably biting off more than you can chew. Find something on which you can act nimbly, something relevant to your target audience’s challenges, and then deliver some new insights on these challenges. This is a long-term game. For thought leadership to be highly successful, it should at least run for five years or longer and must be adapted to change with the times.
Make it part of the business culture
Everyone from the CEO to the marketing and sales intern should pursue thought leadership enthusiastically. Real thought leadership is about empowering the business and all of those in it.
It is the sharpest tool in building eminence
Those who are using thought leadership well all agree that it is the best tool for building eminence for their brand, and it is the best brand differentiator they have. Critically, it enables you to have conversations and to engage with your audience in a way your competitors cannot. In the process, you build that all vital characteristic – trust.
Thought leadership marketing is another vital tool in the evolving digitalized world for young and emerging business executives. Achieving absolute success in any business in our world today has gone beyond just having talents and skills. You need to understand and get into your potential customers’ minds to register your business and services into their subconscious. The new mantra is to work smart, and the world has gone beyond working hard.