by Brittney Borowicz | Featured Contributor
The intent of thought leadership is to become a trusted source of information for your audience so that they view you and your company as an authority in your industry. Not only does thought leadership position you and your company as the go-to for specific information in your industry, but it also helps to build trust with your audience in both you and your products/services. It is therefore one of the most (if not, the most) important element of your content marketing strategy.
Here are five simple and effective ways to work thought leadership into your content marketing strategy.
1. Be Specific
When I first introduce the concept of “thought leadership” to a client or company, they often run into the problem of trying to tackle a very broad topic. Although you want your audience to know you have a wealth of knowledge, broad topics such as customer service, technology, marketing, etc. are very crowded and make it hard to stand out in your industry.
Breaking that broad topic down into one, two, or ever three smaller topics is a much more effective method of working thought leadership into your content marketing strategy. To do this, you must know and understand your customer. What is valuable to them? What matters to them? What are their pain points? Once you know these things about your audience and can prioritize them, you can create content on specific topics that will build their trust in you as well as make you an authority in your industry.
2. Stand Out from the Crowd
It’s one thing to be able to pick a few topics that will really resonate with your audience. It is another thing to be able to be unique and stand out from all of the other people and companies who are talking about the same topics.
For each topic you choose to focus on, find your own unique angle. What are others saying about this topic? Don’t repeat what everyone else is saying. Find some part of that topic that hasn’t been talked about yet and don’t be afraid to disagree with everyone else as long as you have something valuable to say. Some things to think about are what makes you different and what is something that only your company can say? Maybe your company offers something in your product/service that nobody else does that can help alleviate some of your customers’ pain points or maybe you have some statistics that nobody else can share that will bring more insight to your topic.
3. Thought Leadership is a Team Sport
Being a thought leader doesn’t have to be an individual effort and in fact, having a team of supporting players can bring even more success to you and your business. The more people that can support your position on a topic, the stronger your position becomes.
The best people to have on your team are those who have a grasp of what your stance is on a specific topic and then can effectively communicate it. Start by getting the CEO and executives in your company involved. Make sure you all have a consistent message when writing about a specific topic or speaking about it at conferences. Next, make sure your marketing team is putting the word out there about your areas of expertise. Finally, get the rest of your company involved in that messaging! Start by having employees share your content and then have them create content of their own that supports your stance. Another route to consider is outsourcing some of your content. As with your other teammates, be careful with this and make sure any outsourced content that is being created supports your position.
4. Variety is the Spice of Life
If you are ONLY blogging, you are doing content marketing wrong. Mix things up! From the type of content to distribution channels, thought leadership knows no bounds.
All people digest information differently. Some people just need text, while others are more visual or need an auditory element to truly understand your information. Obviously, blogging is one of the most well-known types of content out there. Some other types of content that thought leaders should invest their time in include social media, infographics, public speaking, videos and more. While your company’s blog may be a great start to get your content distributed, don’t be afraid to venture out into conducting webinars, writing ebooks, or even writing guest posts for OTHER peoples’ blogs.
5. Connect with Other Thought Leaders in Your Industry
Engaging with other thought leaders in your industry and building a relationship with them is mutually beneficial. This goes back to the point about thought leadership being a team sport. Having someone else in your industry supporting your stance further builds trust with your audience. In addition, when they share your information, it is being disseminated to a different audience and platform than the one you already have established. Work together with these thought leaders to exchange information and ideas, share each other’s thoughts with your audiences, and even contribute to each other’s content!
Brittney Borowicz is an integrated marketing professional with a strong communications background specializing in journalism, public relations and social media. Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Brittney has spent the past few years working with entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Chicagoland area to enhance their marketing and social media efforts.
Prior to her current role as the Marketing Manager for an embedded networking company, Brittney realized her affinity for all things media and marketing while working in radio and television and as a professional presenter. Later, she began working at a couple of small marketing agencies in Chicago as a Public Relations and Sales Director and Account Manager, which required her to be well-versed in coordinating specialized public and media relations strategies, creative marketing initiatives and cohesive sales process implementations.
As a strong believer in intimate consumer/brand involvement, Brittney helps her clients create content that engages and educates brand audiences while establishing each individual or company as a thought leader in their industry.