Thought leadership marketing is the process of increasing the visibility of specialized expertise and accelerating market influence to accomplish marketing goals (like building brand strength or generating new business). It is accomplished by creating insightful analysis and content and making that thought leadership visible to your target markets.
Thought Leadership vs. Content Marketing
Thought leadership is often confused with content marketing, and for good reason! Content marketing is much broader. It involves using content to attract, educate and close new business. Thought leadership is a specific strategy within the broader concept of content marketing. It is mostly meant to inspire.
Thought Leadership Must Be Made Visible
Thought leadership involves more than expertise and an understanding of industry best practices.
It’s being the expert that brings a fresh, insightful perspective to a common problem or anticipates emerging trends. Often a thought leader’s perspective is at odds with traditional advice — even controversial. But this is what sets it apart.
How to Develop Your Thought Leadership Strategy
Developing your strategy for thought leadership is the best place to start. If you are confused, or are looking for a blueprint on how to begin, here is a great step-by-step list:
- Define Your Target
Who are you trying to reach? Is it a certain industry? A specific corporate role such as the CEO or CFO?
When you know who you are trying to reach a lot of other specifics start to fall into place. But, don’t be overly broad in your targeting.The more specific you can be the faster you will see success.
- Research Your Target
Pay special attention to their business challenges and important issues and concerns. These will ultimately influence how you position your expertise and what issues you create your thought leadership content around.
There are a variety of different research methods and strategies you can use to collect your information. The stronger your research, the more confidence you can have in your strategy.
- Specify Your Areas of Expertise
You can’t be an expert in everything. Instead, try to focus your area of expertise on as small a niche that seems promising. Look for an area where your natural interest and the important priorities of your target market overlap. You become a thought leader by offering insights into an area of importance to your target audience.
- Develop Your Digital Content Strategy
What will you write and speak about? What is your unique angle or insight that makes it thought provoking or practical? Your content needs to be valuable enough for people to use and recommend it. Where to post it is equally as important. Assessing all the viable platforms that your target reader visits is crucial.
When you have used the previous pieces of advice as a stepping stone for planning your thought-leadership content, the battle is almost over. Finding your positioning on a topic, or simply doing the market research to better educate yourself on it is grueling and hard work. At My Social Biz we help align our clients with topics that are adjacent to their industry, to help them stand out from the crowd. To learn how we can help you and your business, give us a call today!