Building thought leadership is a cornerstone of content marketing that businesses are using to improve their content marketing efforts and generate demand for their products and services. But showing your audience that your business has its own expert opinions and knowledge is often easier said than done. That’s why it’s helpful to have tried and true strategies to develop your thought leadership and better attract your target audience.
Why Is It Important To Build Thought Leadership?
Creating content that boosts your thought leadership can be very helpful in attracting more clients and customers to your business. In fact, according to a recent study, 54% of decision makers say they spend more than one hour per week reading thought-leadership content. But there are other reasons it’s helpful to prioritize building thought leadership in your content marketing campaign, including:
- Developing Authority: By demonstrating your knowledge and providing your audience with unique perspectives, you can develop authority in your industry. In turn, that can help you build your business’s influence with your audience and have your company be the first they turn to for assistance with their pain points or problems.
- Increasing Traffic: When you focus on building thought leadership, you develop content that your audience is more likely to share with their colleagues and friends. That can drive more traffic and engagement to your site and strengthen your SEO campaigns.
- Increasing Leads and Sales: When you demonstrate your authority and thought leadership, you can also create new opportunities for generating leads and sales. That’s because when your audience views you as a thought leader or authority figure in your industry, you can differentiate your company from the content of your competitors.
7 Strategies To Building Thought Leadership for B2B
Here are 7 strategies to help you build thought leadership during your content marketing campaign:
1. Conduct a Competitive Analysis
Starting with a competitive analysis is a great way to learn how your competitors are developing their content and how you can set yourself apart from them. For example, let’s say one of your competitors recently developed an article on finding a new brand for long-haul trucks when a business’s preferred brand isn’t available.
If you develop a similar piece of content, you want to ensure you’re not just providing the exact same information and tips, but that you’re offering a new perspective and unique advice to your audience. You could even approach the content from a completely different angle. For instance, you might write an article that talks about how often a business should replace long-haul trucks and when to start thinking about making large purchases. This can help demonstrate your own knowledge on the subject without copying the same strategies or information your competitors used.
2. Identify Your Expertise
Another great way to focus on building thought leadership is to identify the main areas of expertise your company or business can offer. Sometimes, this can go hand-in-hand with your business’s value proposition and which products or services you offer that your competitors don’t. For example, let’s say you’re a dealership that sells agricultural and construction equipment and you offer a special deal on upkeep and maintenance for businesses that purchase a certain number of equipment pieces.
With that in mind, you could develop content that focuses on why it’s important to have a maintenance plan to reduce unplanned downtime and revenue loss. This article or video can help demonstrate your unique perspective on maintenance and upkeep and also provide you with opportunities to mention your promotion for maintaining a business’s equipment.
3. Learn More About Your Audience
A great way to build stronger thought leadership is to understand what your audience wants from your content and the most common places they consume it. Understanding these two key points can help you focus your marketing efforts on channels that will be most effective in grabbing your audience’s attention and engaging with them.
This includes information like what formats of content they prefer, such as blogs and videos, to what they’re hoping to learn from your content. Start by looking at the most successful content you’ve created in the past. Was there a blog or video that received a lot more views than others? Take a look at the blog or videos topic and see if you can develop more content around it.
4. Engage on Social Media
Engaging with your audience on social media is a great way to demonstrate authority in your industry and show them you have a unique knowledge they can benefit from. Start by responding to comments on your posts. Engage in a conversation with your audience and show them that you care about what they have to say. You can even comment on posts yourself. This is a great way to get more exposure for your brand and to share your insight or thoughts on different industry topics.
Lastly, you can create social media engagement and thought leadership by creating your own unique posts. This might include sharing your thoughts on trending industry topics or asking your audience questions using polls or engaging images. Show your social media community that you’re present and that you have expert knowledge to share with them on your social media channels.
Whatever you decide to do to help build your social media thought leadership, it’s important to perform your strategy on a consistent basis. Posting content or engaging in conversations on a consistent basis can ensure that your audience sees your social media participation and boosts your business’s awareness most effectively.
5. Explore Other Content Channels
If you’re focusing your content creation efforts on one or two channels, it can be helpful to expand your marketing efforts to other areas. This can improve your outreach and help you demonstrate your thought leadership to a wider audience. For instance, let’s say your company’s main focus is developing blogs for your site. If that’s the case, it might be beneficial to try other content channels and mediums, like video creation where you can show your face and talk directly to your audience to deliver your expert knowledge and opinions.
6. Include Personal Experience
An excellent way to immediately make your content more engaging and establish your thought leadership is by providing your audience with real-life examples using your own experiences in the industry or using client and customer testimonials. Telling stories that relate to the topic of the content can help you explain why you believe the tips or information you’re giving them and also help you further solidify your experience in the industry. If you’re adding anecdotes to your recommendations or tips, it can also show people how those tips benefited real-life clients or customers in the past.
For example, let’s say you’re informing your audience on why it’s sometimes more cost effective to keep and repair a piece of equipment after its warranty expires instead of selling it. When explaining the benefits, using examples of how this tip actually benefited a past client or customer can help you establish its credibility and demonstrate your expertise in the matter.
7. Create a Style Guide
Thought leadership can be more than just the information you present to your audience, but also how you present it. A great way to do that is to present your thought-leadership content in a unique and consistent way. To accomplish this, a lot of businesses often develop a style guide, which is a document that lays out how to create content for their campaign. This guide includes information on the content’s topics, its tone of voice, what to include in the content’s copy and what to avoid saying or using, such as negative words or colloquial language.
When your content all follows the same style, tone, and format, it can help your audience recognize your brand and thought leadership without even reading the name of the content’s author. Creating and following a style guide can help you build thought leadership and develop a larger following and more engagement with the blogs, white papers, and videos you create.
You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
Whether you’re trying to establish thought leadership or simply enhance your marketing efforts, Randall Reilly currently offers long-term content marketing solutions that can help. Our team of content experts works with you and your business to create quality content that informs and engages with your audience while demonstrating your knowledge and expertise of the industry. Contact us today to learn more about our content marketing services and how we can strengthen and heighten your marketing campaigns.