The impact of thought leadership is often underestimated within a business on how significant it can unlock opportunities for a brand in many ways. Not only does it boost a brand’s credibility, but with careful planning, it can be an effective content marketing strategy that builds positive digital PR and drive unique engagement and leads.
According to a recent joint study of 1,200 business decision-makers by Edelman and LinkedIn, it was found that if thought leadership is done well, it has a tangible business impact, leading to real business results. This shows there is a continuous growth influence on a brand that marketers realise.
However, to create a strong thought leadership piece for a brand and having a significant representative who provides excellent expertise and research around current industry affairs allows building influence even further.
Finding the best authoritative voice
A good starting point is to utilise in-house data teamed up with insight at a time when the subject is at its most relevant in the media. Once that’s set, you are most likely to be in the position of creating effortless thought leadership content that boosts a brands authority within an industry.
Many B2B brands realise building an authoritative voice in their industry is an important aspect of connecting and providing value to their audience. However, finding a key spokesperson is a central step to the process, and it doesn’t have to be complicated at all.
For B2B brands who deal with more than a few services, finding the best authoritative voice can be a challenge. However, by analysing the latest industry trends, the right key speaker who is willing to be accessible and share their expertise on the subject will result in creating meaningful content with a steering opinion.
Once original content is created, seeding the content through outreach, paid social campaigns and for future opinionated press coverage becomes a likely possibility.
Research is Key
The research also showed that vision and substance mattered as most decision-makers have said they gained valuable insights only half of the time and are disappointed with a lack of quality on the research.
Often, we see many industries tend to regurgitate ideas, thoughts and statistics that many of us already know that it’s not a surprise the research reflects this.
30% of decision-makers report that they’ve decided not to do business with a company due to bad thought leadership. This shows the impact of bad thought leadership is likely to be detrimental to a brand’s image, leading to missed valuable opportunities.
By taking the time to do in-depth research, finding out what current engaging topics allow the opportunity to consider the spokesperson’s own niche and apply it.
For instance, if the spokesperson has a passion to talk all things AI, this is a perfect chance to get them to participate in a conversation around what impact of AI has within the industry they work in i.e., Retail and ask questions that may have not been answered before.
Other ways to keep up to date is being reactive on Twitter and LinkedIn. These are great platforms that will always be updated on the latest industry conversations where you are able to find and relay back to current data and tell a shareable story.
Ultimately, this will lead to creating a good piece of value-driven content that resonates with the audience while defining a challenge or opportunity, have backed up claims and potentially spark conversation.
This means thought leaders need to be careful as often it can be easy to make the mistakes of creating content that becomes too self-promotional. Without a good foundation, this can potentially be harmful to how far their content will travel in its promotional phase.
Once a strong thought leader is secured, this will put a brand in a position of being able to showcase their insights which can ultimately end up winning leads, opening the door to new possibilities and establish overall authority with the industry they operate in.
The more thought leadership is given by key speakers within a company, the more the brand is seen as an industry expert leading in their sector(s) the creates great online brand exposure amongst other measurables.
Based on these tips by LinkedIn’s Content Partner Manager, KL Daly, here’s a quick checklist on creating meaningful thought leadership for your brand:
- Know your audience
- Understand your place within the market
- Understand the right content type
- Take the time to find out the most engaging topics
- Find your niche
- Look for new angles