When you think of courage and vulnerability, who comes to mind? Brené Brown, perhaps. How about spirituality? Maybe Eckhart Tolle. And when it comes to entrepreneurship, Marie Forleo is the go-to expert.
What do Brown, Tolle and Forleo all have in common? They are all thought leaders. But you don’t have to be world famous to be a thought leader. You can be a thought leader in your own community, region or industry.
Thought leadership is a content marketing tactic used to build credibility and position company representatives as “go-to” experts in an industry or a subject matter expert. When done well, thought leadership will not only build trust in your products or services, but will also generate leads, boost engagement and enhance the overall perception of your brand.
Why is thought leadership important to B2B Marketing?
According to the 2021 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study by Edelman and LinkedIn, 54% of B2B decision makers say they spend more than an hour a week consuming thought leadership content and 54% say they purchased a new product or service from an organization they had not previously done business with after engaging with a thought leadership piece.
And with 64% of B2B buyers believing that thought leadership is more trustworthy for assessing a company’s capabilities than marketing materials, it just makes sense to add this expert content tactic to your marketing strategy.
However, thought leadership does not come without challenges. Typical thought leadership tactics are longer in format, and attention spans are short. Most buyers will move on within the first minute if their interest is not piqued. And a recent flood of low-quality thought leadership has diluted its perceived value.
So how can you cut through the clutter and offer thought leadership that your audience wants to consume and that brings you to the forefront of your industry?
Know your audience. Find out what questions they are asking, what they are searching for online and what they are discussing on social media. Develop a buyer persona to gain insight into their needs and desires.
Know your team. The thought leader doesn’t have to be the CEO or the owner. Look for members of your team who are exceptionally knowledgeable on any aspect of your business or industry. Ask them to create and present a webinar, speak at an industry event or write a white paper.
Build thought leadership through media relations and television interviews. Speak at industry or association conferences and events. Produce and present valuable webinars. Create video content that is educational and informative and share it all on your website and social media.
If you don’t already have a blog, start one. Share white papers, checklists, infographics and case studies on your website and social media. Identify publications your target audience is reading and submit op-eds, letters to the editor and articles. Better yet, get your own column.
Be a guest on industry or business podcasts or start your own podcast. Podcasts are great because they are portable and easy to consume anywhere, anytime. Create Alexa briefings for your industry, be a guest on a radio talk show or add voice-enabled Q&A to your website.
With all the clutter in thought leadership these days, it is crucial that your content is engaging. Keep a more human, personal tone in your content and presentations and don’t be overly salesy. Business leaders want new ideas and need your expertise to help put them in action.
If you want your brand to be seen as a leading authority in your industry — the “go to” expert for your audience, the media and the world — or if you want to help creating valuable resources for your clients and prospects, contact the experts at GREENCREST. We turn market players into industry leaders®.