When a brand and those associated with it are considered a thought leader in their particular industry, there’s an air of authority that resonates to consumers.
But not all self-labeled or those marketed as thought leaders are seen as such. In an article for Forbes.com, John Hall, a content marketing expert and CEO of Influence & Co. stresses the need for credibility to be considered a thought leader.
“Thought leadership is more than an article, a book, a speaking gig, or an award: It’s truly leading a space in thought and serving as a resource for others in your area,” writes Hall.
How can you use a thought leadership campaign to your advantage? Follow these three tips.
Tip#1: Pick the Right People for Your Campaign
If you want to position yourself as an authority in your industry, a thought leadership campaign through content is one of the best ways to establish credibility. Choose great writers who are known to produce good articles and key opinion leaders who are able to communicate points clearly.
Whether it’s on your own web assets or through other media outlets that pick up the content you produce, it’s important that the message interests people. Another upside: The positive messages will drown out any negative thoughts about your company.
“If your employees are consistently positioning themselves as thought leaders, there will be so many positive awards, mentions, and pieces of content that negative things will be less likely to hurt you,” writes Hall.
Tip#2: Target a Specific Demographic for Your Content
If you want to be top of mind in a specific industry, your content must appeal specifically to those who work in it. “There is very little generic thought leadership that is useful,” writes Daniel Rasmus in his article The Golden Rules for Creating Thoughtful Thought Leadershipfor FastCompany.com.
“The best thought leadership helps people in an industry, or more likely, in a role within an industry, do something better or gain insight that helps them better understand their market, or their job,” stresses. Rasmus.
So during story conferences, weed out generic ideas and craft content that you feel will be beneficial for your target audience. This way, your brand recall will be higher because they’ll know you’re helpful to them.
Tip#3: Don’t be a Know-it-all
While you want to be authoritative, it’s also important that you’re not afraid to admit that you don’t have all the answers for your industry. It’s not going to making you look weak—it will actually show your target audience that you’re in the same boat as them in navigating your chosen field. “Thought leadership isn’t about making the bet early and hoping you’re not wrong; it’s about actively pursuing possibilities and sharing that enthusiasm for exploration with customers and partners,” writes Rasmus.
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