An audience turns to thought leaders because they want real answers from real people.
They mean you.
Leadership is a Share of Mind
If you’ve been doing your thing for a long time, your customers are thrilled, and your staff is always inspired by your ideas, then you, dear marketer, are a thought leader. At whatever your company size, specialty or mind share, there is an audience eager for your learned insight. Write thought leadership content from your unique point of view, addressing a target audience.
- Are you a technological innovator, a niche strategy consultant or a maverick disruptor?
- What is your breadth and depth of expertise?
- Who is your target audience and what are their large and small challenges?
Thought Leadership as Content
If you’re a software vendor or agency, your thought leadership content should never be an advertisement. Rather than promote your products and services, talk about the existing challenges faced by the people you had in mind when you designed your product. The best kind of thought leadership content should suggest trends, share observations, and identify shifting priorities.
When you say “content” people immediately think of articles and blogs. That’s great stuff serving your goal, which is to lead an audience back to you when they need answers. But you have options even more share-worthy.
- Make and post an Infographic.
- Conduct a poll or survey asking well-crafted questions about a specific topic, then present the results with your commentary.
- Create and share an explainer video that breaks down a complex industry challenge and suggests solutions.
- Post Q&A interviews with industry insiders.
- Use your analytics! What metrics are you capturing, what’s changing over time, and what’s your opinion about why these shifts are happening?
Timing Is Everything
With a nod to the real estate industry, here in the modern digital omnisphere the new catch phrase is “timing, timing, timing.” You know that you can generate great content all day long. But it’s not only about what you say to which audience, but when to deliver said content, and through what channels. For this, use analytics tools.
Through analytics you can see what time of day your newletters and emails get opened, by whom, when your blog gets the most hits, when your Tweets get the most likes and shares. You can perform any number of customized A/B tests, set daily and even hourly web traffic reports. Once you see the results, you and your content team can craft the right strategy based upon your exact audience media consumption habits. It’s kind of amazing, and can make you amazing, too.
Go forth and lead, Thought Leader.