Thought leadership: The what, who, why and how
We previously discussed the rise of influencer marketing and how these influencers can help your company generate trust and brand visibility. However, there is also a way for the people within your business to become influencers for your brand. The answer? Thought leadership.
A thought leader is an individual who commands authority in a subject area and is therefore viewed as trustworthy both amongst their peers and colleagues. Although content marketing is great, if you are a new company or sit within a highly saturated market, sharing unprecedented information or a distinctively unique point of view can help your company jump leaps and bounds.
Ask yourself, does your company have a unique take on a topic, or more importantly, within your organisation are there specific experts in the nuances of your industry? Find out who that go-to person in your company is for innovative ideas, advice and opinions, and they could be your next thought leader.
In a digitalised world where content is being consumed on an enormous scale, you have to stand out from the crowd, or risk falling and blending in with the masses. So use those thought leaders within your organisation to open up new conversations and demonstrate your brand’s value and expertise in a specific area. But be careful with the controversial stances as these have the potential to either make or break your reputation. Although you don’t want to lose out and fall behind a topical issue, make sure you always keep your business in mind with your approach.
Become the leader of your industry and more people will get in touch seeking your advice and thoughts on topics of interest, which means you will begin to earn more press coverage and speaking opportunities – and visibility really is king. Businesses are deeply impacted by what Google has to say, and thought leadership can really help you on your SEO journey. It’s well documented that third party, impartial commentary – from the likes of an editor or news source – is highly regarded by Google. So, when potential customers do the standard Google search, this type of visibility will help build a positive brand image in their minds.
With trust a prerequisite for competitive advantage, people will begin to respect you more for your opinions, and your customers will also trust you more. Customers want to see the value in something they are investing in, and they like the idea that they are purchasing from a knowledgeable person or company. So be yourself and be authentic, as once you are recognised as an expert in your field you can have great influence in your industry.
Thought leadership isn’t just an overnight miracle. Unfortunately, you can’t just think that one piece of great content can follow you through the year; you have to constantly introduce new ideas in order to maintain your status. You can’t just chase the latest trends on Twitter, it is important to do your research and keep up to date on the latest industry articles and statistics. Regular brainstorming sessions within your company are a great way to come up with new thought leadership topics, as you never know who could be behind that lightbulb moment.
With so many thought leaders around, it is about standing out from the crowd. This is something that a PR agency like us can do for you by helping you deliver fresh, timely content that gets you noticed.