Leveraging Thought Leadership – The Star of Your Marketing Strategy May Be the Person Down the Hall
TED Talks started in 1984 as a way for knowledgeable individuals with big ideas to communicate through short, powerful speeches. Since then, the platform has been recognized worldwide as a place where thought leaders share their expertise through videos, blogs and live events.
A recent analysis reveals that TED Talks are remarkably successful, with the most popular topic receiving more than 63 million views.
What is particularly interesting about the TED Talk approach is that it is replicable. Businesses of all sizes can use their own internal expertise to bring customers right to their doorstep. Here is how it is done.
What is Thought Leadership Marketing?
Regardless of your industry affiliation or business size, your company has internal leaders with expert insights to share. Putting the opinions and ideas of these thought leaders out for public consumption is one of the best ways to engage with new audiences and even nurture existing client relationships.
According to the 2020 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, 53 percent of decision makers spend an hour or more per week engaging with content produced by thought leaders. Eighty-eight percent say that thought leadership content enhances their view of an organization. Building on that understanding, nearly half consider thought leadership to be an important influence on their decision-making process.
With metrics like these, it is hard to ignore the impact of thought leadership content, but nurturing and developing internal thought leaders can take some time and effort. While every organization has powerful extroverts who enjoy publicly expressing their ideas, these individuals may not always be the right thought leader for your company.
Thought leaders have certain attributes that make them successful at engaging with your audience.
What is a Thought Leader?
A thought leader should be well-versed in the latest trends and events in their particular area of expertise and understand how customer pain points influence the buying journey.
For that reason, a thought leader usually holds a senior role and is someone with a unique perspective on the industry. With more than three-quarters of organizations using content marketing to nurture brand relationships and generate sales, according to Content Marketing Institute, new thoughts originating from a position of authority will more easily cut through the noise.
It’s also important to understand that a thought leader doesn’t have to be a great writer or author. As long as he or she can express their ideas in an understandable way, your organization can easily partner with an external writer or agency to turn his or her expertise into powerful content that engages audiences and draws business to your organization.
At FNBO, we regularly showcase the insights and wisdom of our internal thought leaders in areas such as agribusiness, healthcare banking, global trade, and transportation, to name just a few. By drawing on the extensive experience of our thought leaders, we can provide our business customers with timely and insightful information that helps them overcome industry challenges and grow their business. In the process, we are extending connections that either lead to new or strengthened relationships.
How to Build a Thought Leadership Content Strategy
Creating thought leadership content is an important part of any organization’s marketing efforts, but it is only half the battle. Getting your content into the hands of those who will benefit from it is equally as important.
At FNBO, we encourage our employees to share the content they help to create on their own social media channels. For example, some teams have a coordinated approach of sharing new content on their LinkedIn profiles, and they keep track of the customer and prospect calls they receive as a result of each piece of content.
Social media channels like LinkedIn are prime for promoting content since they encourage engagement. Readers can like, share, and comment, providing opportunities for the business to engage and start a discussion. However, it takes a broad strategy to get your content recognized, so consider using a variety of sources, including your website, emails and paid or earned media to share your thought leadership.
Once thought leadership content has been produced, it can be used in a variety of ways to promote the organization’s experience and knowledge. For example, our relationship managers share relevant articles with their clients when applicable or use the information in sales presentations and pitches to demonstrate our expertise.
Overall, showcasing your thought leaders’ expertise can boost your company’s brand reputation and increase awareness. However, the greatest benefit comes from sharing the knowledge you have with your customers and setting them up for success.
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