Thought Leadership is one of the strongest buzzwords in the content marketing. When someone is considered to be a thought leader in a specific field it means that this person is thought to have a body of knowledge and authority regarding certain topics. A blog written by such person will often become an “authority blog” and people will refer to it whenever they are looking for new information regarding the specific topic that blog, or that person covers.
In this day and age when “Content is King” and “Distribution is the Queen” creating content that is relevant and interesting to your readers and that has real added value for them is key to establishing you leadership and expertise and to market your service or product.
So how do you write to become a thought leader in your field?
Establishing thought leadership is not as hard as it sounds but it does require research, time and effort. Most of the experts in the field of content marketing and writing agree that there are some common considerations you must think of:
- Define your goals first. Do you want to encourage people to buy some products? Are you a non-profit organization? Do you want to get people to donate money to your organization?
- Free or limited access. Based on your answers to the goals question, you should decide whether the content you provide would be offered freely to everyone (more people would see the content but you won’t know who they are) or whether it should include some form of registration first (you’ll get much lower response rates but you will be able to monitor your reader database and build your own contact list).
- Don’t (over) sell! Try not to write about your own business, products or services. The concept of thought leadership is about solving a real issue for the potential customer or answer questions they may have, thus showing that you and your company are experts and worth doing business with.
- Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes. Think like a problem-solver. Think what challenges might your clients face, what questions are relevant to them and develop content that would meet these challenges and answer their questions.
- Make the content interesting! Think about what interests you. Write about what you would like to read. Genuine content is always better than something chewed over 1000 times and forced.
- Make yourself known. Do your best to get noticed by relevant reporters, bloggers, and analysts and as soon as you have good content make sure you use the viral marketing effects and let them know this content is available. If possible, send them the direct link.
- Listen to your community! Use the feedback you get from your community to understand their needs and interests. Develop new content based on that feedback.