There is no doubt if you are not using thought leadership as a business tool you should be! If you are not familiar with this concept—let us enlighten you (get it?). Thought leadership is the practice of professionals in a particular field or industry to influence decisions and policies, which are related to their profession. It relies on communicating ideas and information in a way that will resonate with the audience. It is getting increasingly more important for companies and individuals to be able to communicate their ideas and products in an effective way. It helps them be successful and acquire new customers.
All great brands claim some form of thought leadership. Thought leadership as a business tool is the art of influencing, connecting, and talking to your customers before anyone else does. Thought leadership as a business tool is the art of influencing, connecting, and talking to your customers before anyone else does. And with the right amount of strategy and execution, thought leadership can be a formidable, easy to measure, and affordable marketing asset.
By doing this you can influence your customer’s purchasing decisions and learn what they really need to do their job better. In this article, we will provide insight on how to use thought leadership in business.
- Have a clear reason for the articles you write.
If every article you write is an iteration of an existing one, then your ability to rank new articles will be severely hampered. The ranking velocity of a website is more closely correlated to the number of unique articles on the page and less to the number of links on any individual article. If you are publishing unique articles on a regular basis, and they are generating traffic through your keyphrase, then you should expect a steady flow in organic traffic.
Writers who justify the existence of every article they write are better writers. This advice feels obvious, but we are so used to churning out content and publishing under tight deadlines that it is way easier to ignore than follow. Here’s the thing about writing great content: there’s nothing inherently magical or wonderful about it. It doesn’t have to be revolutionary or creative in an earth-shattering way. Rather, great content feels vital because it serves a purpose its readers care deeply about.
- Use your opinions as a business card.
In the past few years, we have seen a rise of thought leadership within the content marketing sphere. Thought leadership is simply a way to try and differentiate your brand from others. This is accomplished by speaking from your own experiences and sharing your knowledge with others. It’s important to note that this doesn’t just mean creating content about your business and/or industry. While this may be true, it is one kind of thought leadership content. There is another type of thought leadership content that isn’t focused on the company itself but instead focuses on addressing a possible decision-maker role or issue.
The best way to create thought leadership content is by speaking from your own experiences. You can also use data and information from other sources, but do not just make it about that source — make it about you and how you have experienced this information. You can use your opinions to build credibility and connect with others. Readers trust when they see a name attached to an opinion; it gives you a human voice in the sea of posts and articles. Sharing an opinion isn’t about gaining followers or likes — it’s about giving people a glimpse into who you are and what matters to you. This makes your opinion a way for people to learn about you: it's your business card. So make sure you get people's attention with your opinions.
- Draw in investors.
Why is growth so important to investors? After all, doesn’t it just depend on the nature of your business? The fact remains that providing business growth is an integral part of any business plan. Growth means more customers which bring in more revenue and higher profits for the business. Growth also allows businesses to expand. They need to expand when their product/service has a positive turnaround, when the market demands it, or if their operations are stagnant. The more traction you get, the more attention you will get from investors. But, getting traction is not just about revenue or acquiring customers — it’s also about recognition — public interest and hype around your brand.
If your numbers are looking good but you’re lacking in the hype department, that could be a red flag to investors, who may think you have low-quality products and service. But before delving into the financials, many investors will want to see that you are a leader in your industry with a strong brand and thought leadership to match. An easy way for startups to display this is by publishing blog posts on cracking industry problems or trends, highlighting past successes, allowing your team to take center stage, giving them a chance to feature their personality or knowledge—and sometimes even featuring various customer logos to show off your client roster.
Thought leadership will not only help you market your brand, but it is a great way to create sales opportunities. While there is no right or wrong way of going about this, we are certain that our three suggestions will help to pin down some clear ideas for effectiveness.