Make me into a "thought leader"

18/12/2014 11:16:59
There’s a real desire among business owners to be perceived as “thought leaders” – to become the trusted go to people or organisations for comment and insights on relevant events and issues. The aim is to help their organisations lead conversations, shape and influence perceptions and create an increasing number of stories in ever more places. This can drive SEO, create engagement, increase brand awareness and much more.

Finding the real ‘leaders’

There are real thought leaders out there who create, rather than simply share, the news. When companies execute the right content marketing strategy, it can do wonders for a brand – building an organisation’s profile in the media, amongst its peers and end users. In fact, there are a handful of companies whose spokespeople say something so big and bold, or so obviously true, that it can’t be ignored.
Just look at how much energy goes into Richard Branson’s personal profile and media activity. Marketing can be a driver for truly innovative thinking. And some brands are expressing genuinely compelling opinions. But few people and organisations do it consistently well and are truly thought leading.

Who cares?

If you are a client of Partners you’ll be familiar with the "so what" test.  It’s the test we ask you to apply whenever you think you have a story to tell
Your piece of thought leadership should clearly answer, almost immediately, why this subject matters to your chosen audience and share a completely fresh angle on the story that they haven’t heard a million times before. If you can’t come up with a unique take on a story (or if we can’t help you to tell a compelling story), then you probably need to rethink what you’re about to do.
Think quality not quantity. Some companies are still interested in achieving volumes of column inches, whereas our advice is often to have fewer of the right stories in front of the audiences that really matter. Quality over quantity wins out in the long-run every time - and that includes content on your own blog.

Your content strategy

Think about things differentlyIdentify the things that make a difference to your audience. List the questions your customers are asking and then prioritise them into categories that you really want to explore. These subjects could be simple, but they may just be the ones that gain you the most traction while also educating your audience.
It’s also important to remember that B2B does not mean boring. Entertain your reader. Like you, they’re real people who want to know something funny or interesting – we’d all rather spend 15 minutes reading an engaging columnist or something funny on social media than a self-serving marketing email.
You need to know how to create a hook. You need to know how to create suspense, lead with the news, build characters and flesh out the details your audience cares about. Whether your style is funny, analytical, satirical or super-serious, master that storytelling style and your audience will love it.
The bottom line is that you have to be a valuable asset to your audience. It’s only through understanding your audience that you will be able to formulate the right content strategy – and that could be your golden ticket to becoming a thought leader.

We can help you to create your personal brand, set up and write a blog, polish your media and presentation skills, find speaking opportunities, write white papers and lead discussions and make sure all of this helps you to win new business – or any other objectives you have.

Contact us