Experts, no matter the industry, provide credibility that can rarely be beaten. In our latest BG Summit, Account Executive Shannon Light, explored how to develop thought leadership content and leverage it to grow a brand.
What is thought leadership content and why do we need it?
Let’s first start with what a thought leader is. A thought leader is a person whose views are taken to be authoritative and influential. Most of their content includes research, opinions, and future predictions. It also may reference current events, and industry trends or spark a debate among other thought leaders.
Thought leadership content is any content that these thought leaders produce. For example, your thought leadership content could be in the form of webinars, podcasts, or blog posts.
Thought leadership is also a powerful tool for building a brand and really the important reason we use thought leadership content is because these pieces increase awareness among your target audience, generates more leads, and improves social and online engagement.
How do you develop thought leadership content?
The first step is to do your research. Finding the right topic to focus on is the most important. Focus on relevant topics to your industry that your target audience would be interested in.
Next is to find the right thought leader. When looking for the right thought leader it’s important and helpful to do your research on their previous publications, research, or interviews. Diving deeper into their backgrounds ensures that their area of expertise aligns with the topic.
Once you’ve done your outreach and received feedback from the thought leader it’s then time to secure the piece. This is done by presenting relevant questions around the topic to make as little work for your thought leader as possible. This is also when you should determine the type of piece this will ultimately be. Will it be a Q&A? A blog post? A video interview? Or an audio interview?
Lastly, promote your thought leadership content to your target audience. This includes sharing on social media, emailing it to your subscribers, and bringing in other thought leaders, if possible, to share on their own platforms.
There are several steps that go into thought leadership marketing.
Key factors to think about when generating thought leadership pieces are:
- Understanding those who are viewing your content to get a sense of the type of content you should be generating
- Differentiating your content
For example, if you’re targeting students you may want to tailor your content to include programs and activities they can do on campus. And incorporating new and exciting topics as well as having a combination of video and audio content helps to keep your viewers more engaged.
Once you’ve understood your audience and differentiated your content you need to make sure that you’re putting it out there to reach your audiences and that can be done through social media.
Social media is a great tool for you to stay active and engage with a community. You can use it to comment on news or join in on conversations, and it also helps promote thought leadership content by recirculating the content to reach a broader audience.
Selecting the right topics and producing high-quality content while maintaining a consistent publishing schedule and promoting your material will ensure your thought leadership content meets and reaches the right audiences.