Employee Communications

5 Steps to Showcase your Thought Leadership

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In today’s volatile business climate, competition is fierce. To be truly adaptive, the world of B2B must maintain a successful, seamless strategy that covers both the physical and digital world. To secure their future success, progressive companies are looking to gain a ‘win’ in the social world. Today’s savvy consumers demand more; they need a higher-quality, personalized digital experience.

With the era of digital transformation, where individual behavior is radically changing, it’s now crucial that C-level executives reinvent themselves as thought leaders and embrace new perspectives to answer to their clients’ most pressing challenges, instead of looking at them through the lens of sales targets. Creating and incorporating a culture of thought leadership to grow perceived trust, wisdom and transparency can be an enormous catalyst for growth – and a true competitive differentiator. As Martin Rowinski (CEO of Boardsi) says in Forbes, “Becoming a thought leader is the key to shifting your business from maintenance mode to a thriving success”

Thought leadership is a key component of content marketing that improves your company’s value. The tactic is used to build credibility and it helps Leaders to be recognized as experts in their field. It is a powerful tool when leveraged correctly, as it encourages the development of an audience’s trust. Although there are some steps that need to be carried out for a successful project.

Establishing credibility and trust can be quite the challenge for leaders in organizations. Amping up content production might seem like an adequate response, but it can backfire and leave the audience feeling overwhelmed. The right solution can be found in understanding and mastering the power of thought leadership. Here are five steps to create impactful thought leadership content:

1) Find motivation
Finding motivation is an important starting point when leveraging thought leadership. Start with setting one specific goal and think about how to include that goal in your daily professional life. What do you need to make this happen? Put a timeframe on it! Regularly review your goals and processes, while continuing to set new realistic and achievable goals.

Example: You commit to authoring and posting one thought leadership article a month on Medium, and gaining 100 new followers on Twitter. As your follower base grows, expand your goals.

2) Create your personal brand
Defining your expertise to your audience can help to establish credibility. Being too promotional does not connect with your audience. The purpose should be concise and understandable. Producing content that is genuine, authentic, and based on market research should take you a long way.

Example: Build a strong social media profile with a professional headshot and insightful bio. Commit to sharing content that is actually relevant and helpful for your audience, not just articles that might promote your company or product. Share honest opinions on industry developments in an authentic but polite way.

3) Be consistent
Consistency is key for building trustworthy relationships with your audience. A solid social media strategy will help create more brand awareness, emphasizing the importance of scheduling time in your calendar dedicated to social media efforts. Set goals that are achievable – even committing 10-15 minutes a week to update yourself on new trends can help to accomplish better thought leadership content.

Example: Create a social media calendar, and set aside three 15-minute blocks on your schedule each week to commit to posting and sharing content. Set notifications on your calendar to remind you.

4) Share high-quality content
The aim of thought leadership is not to produce sales-focused content, but rather to provide a point of entry to your business by showing your innovation and expertise. Staying on top of news and new trends in your industry is of great importance in finding the best possible high-quality content to share. Find relevant information through the use of hashtags, or join groups and research what other thought leaders are saying.

Example: Make a list of 25 influential leaders in your industry and follow them. Make a list of 10 publications that write about your industry and follow them as well. Begin each social media session by searching out 5 hashtags that are useful for finding content, and then share the best pieces.

 

 

5) Listen to other’s opinions and engage with them
Knowing your audience is the key to succeeding with any marketing strategy, thought leadership being no different. Listening to your audience can give greater insights and understanding on their most urgent business needs. A great activity for tracking, analyzing, and starting conversations on social media, is social listening. With the help of social listening, you can retrieve beneficial insights that will optimize engagement with your audience.
Example: Using a social listening tool, you notice a journalist just wrote an article that mentions a new feature of your product. Respond to the mention explaining why your company decided to incorporate the new feature, and the benefit it provides consumers.

What´s in it for your team?

From a branding perspective, thought leadership can guide your team, as the leaders of your company, towards developing expertise and giving your potential customers reasons to trust you. The image of your firm can be optimized through social platforms, especially LinkedIn, where you can offer handy insights to your audience by personalizing the content that reflects your knowledge around the industry, for example, by providing them with tips and solutions.

A branding strategy that is linked to the company content, can support your marketing strategy by bringing organic impressions to the organization’s content marketing, whether they are events, one pagers, reports, news or any other marketing engine that needs to boost its reach.

From a connectivity point of view, listening, sharing and engaging on shared content and staying up to date with your network to build a steady online relationship with your key audience. It’s important to note that building a relationship doesn’t only come from being informed: remember it’s always a two-way street. Your prospects also want to know who they are dealing with. So use your thought leadership strategy to build your authority and let your network get to know you.

Therefore, thought leadership can even help to support your sales approach of attracting leads, based on the development of your network and credibility, as a trusted industry professional.
Lastly, all these benefits help achieve one of the most (if not the most) important factor in a company: ROI.

You can measure thought leadership impact in ROI in 3 different pillars:

1) Visualizations: Thought leaders can boost visualizations around content as much as a paid media campaign. Investing in thought leadership is investing in long-term free reach and visualizations around your organization’s marketing materials.
2) Lead generation: While expanding their network and becoming a trustworthy advisor, thought leaders can generate new qualified leads for the marketing team to nurture.
3) Increasing pipeline: The result of the creation of new contacts, you will generate qualified and nurtured leads arriving from your trusted content sources, thereby enabling new sales pipelines to arise from your social channels.

Measuring the success of all these 3 pillars will reflect a quantifiable return of investment to support your thought leadership strategy!

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Authored by Javier Ortiz Garcia.

Partnerships Manager

Tricycle Europe

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