When you’ve worked within an industry for an extended period of time, you not only have relevant work experience but you gain a plethora of knowledge in your industry, product and/or service.
Although you may not see it yourself, your experience combined with the knowledge you have makes you an expert (or thought leader) in your field. Thought leadership is a method of marketing, and not only can you leverage that expertise for your own professional growth, but you can use it to increase sales for your company as well. Keep reading to discover four ways a thought leadership marketing strategy can contribute to your lead generation initiatives.
First, find your niche. What are the key differentiators that help your company stand out against the competition? Once those are determined, think of who in your company is a subject matter expert in those categories. Whether it’s you, a top-performing employee or a team combined of both, recruit them to share their knowledge. Then, share that knowledge with the world digitally.
2. Knowledge Sharing
Now that you have determined your subject matter expert(s), employ them to share their expertise. They can share their expertise through videos, blog content or even through sharing relevant articles to your industry on their own personal LinkedIn accounts. The more content you and your team can generate, the better. Each piece of content should have at least a name and date tied to it to show its authenticity and timeliness.
If you are struggling with content topics, start with your customers’ most frequently asked questions and answer them. From there, other ideas will spiral, and soon you’ll have more than enough topics to lean on. If you’re having trouble getting started, here’s how to create a robust content marketing strategy.
Once you start publishing content to your company’s blog, adding videos to a YouTube or Wistia channel and being featured elsewhere online, leverage that content in your own digital marketing strategy. Key components of thought leadership in your digital strategy are:
Your team of subject matter experts should have robust personal LinkedIn profiles to share all relevant content related to their work on. Whether it’s a blog they wrote or a video shared on the company’s YouTube channel, sharing this content to their followers not only helps build brand awareness, it increases reach and positions you, your team and your company as thought leaders in the space. Here’s how to best leverage LinkedIn for your B2B marketing strategy.
Email marketing is a great way to get your content directly in front of your contacts. Whether they are prospects, customers or evangelists for your company, including content curated by your internal thought leaders further proves to them that your company is the best choice. Ways to easily send emails of this nature are through a newsletter, blog subscription notifications or even a drip campaign. Don’t forget that your contacts’ inboxes are sensitive. Here’s how to avoid common email marketing mistakes.
As long as the content you are creating is keyword- and persona-driven as well as optimized for search engines, it will begin to rank organically on the first search engine results page over time. Content written with your ideal customers and the terms they are searching for in mind helps your company appear when these people are looking for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems online.
Now that you have the foundation for a robust content generation rhythm and system, what do you do when people start to engage with you online? Or how do you increase your follower base? Through interacting with your followers and building a relationship with them online, you can further position yourself and your company as a go-to resource.
If they comment on one of your posts, respond to them. If you see something related to your industry or business that one of your followers posted, share it. This helps increase the reach of your content and further positions you and your teammates as thought leaders as your content will be put in front of more and more people.
When Do You Become a Thought Leader?
Once you have a steady content generation rhythm and system with faces and names tied to the content you’re producing, customers, website visitors, your social media followers and personas searching online will start seeing your content everywhere. Then, when they are ready to engage with a salesperson, you and your company will be top of mind.