Semalt Guide: What Is Thought Leadership And How To Use It
Thought leadership isn't something you hear at the same frequency as keywords in SEO. However, it can mean a great deal if used wisely. Mastering the secrets of thought leadership can help you earn customer loyalty and authority.
A key part of being "relevant" is becoming a thought leader, and every brand wants or should aspire to become one. When a brand is able to share its insights and secrets through marketing insights, they've created a "thought." for your thoughts to become a force; they must earn their place in the minds of your audience.
This SEO strategy rests on the authority of your brand, its success, reputation, perspectives, and innovations to back up your claim. If your brand has what it takes, then this article is for you.
Here is how you can create thought-leading content.
What is Thought Leadership?
A thought leader is a person or an entity people look up to for insights.
Thought leadership content is documented opinions, personal notes, research, or future predictions of leaders in an industry.
They can take any form, such as:
- Original research
- And more!
Most of the content we see online today are clones of each other. What really distinguishes leadership content is that they have brand-specific insights with the authority to shape the larger conversation in the industry.
Who Should Create Leadership Content?
New businesses and brands shouldn't spend time or resources trying to create leadership content. Why? Because other entities in the industry are less likely to trust whatever insight they create when there is not enough experience to back it.
Creating strong and influential thought leadership content requires a strong foundation in content marketing. Your marketing and content teams should have a good understanding of public relations, social media marketing, and reputation management.
If your brand is strong in all the activities mentioned above, then leadership content is something you should consider.
What Are The Benefits of Leadership Content?
Creates a Strong Sense Of Customer Loyalty
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of leading content is its ability to strengthen the bond brands share with their audience. Because they've earned their customers' trust, they can win over more loyal fans, especially when the leading content goes in line with the thoughts and ideology of their audience.
In Edelman and LinkedIn's study, nearly 60% of participants said they found leadership content to be more trustworthy than traditional marketing materials. The impact of leadership content doesn't end with the audience.
It also helps influencers, journalists, and anyone who researches your industry to see your brand as an authority in that industry.
Contribute SEO Value
Leadership content is also used as an evergreen field on which you can optimize for relevant keywords and drive organic traffic. Content also carries backlinks to your website, therefore sending link equity across your web pages. With more inflowing traffic, you improve your domain authority, brand awareness, and your overall ranking potential.
You can also acquire new backlinks from authoritative domains that find your content helpful.
B2B brands, in particular, can secure quality leads when they use leadership content. Most B2B customers are very familiar and well-read on issues in the industry. They stay regularly updated to catch the latest trends and innovations. What better place to find quality content?
When customers find your content informative and useful, they are more likely to view your brand as a solution or service provider.
How To Create Leadership Content
To create thought-leading content, you need a foundation of vast experience and knowledge. These two factors are what pull the audience and deliver value that no one else can replicate.
Identify Your Area of Expertise
To develop a thought-leading content strategy, it is important that you figure out what makes your brand unique. You need to find unique perspectives and ideas your brand can leverage to set your content apart from other thought leaders.
Questions you should ask yourself include:
- Do I have a unique product or technology?
- What do I do differently from other businesses in the industry?
- Have I published any original research or reports in the industry?
- What challenges and setbacks has the brand overcome
- What new solutions have I found to a significant industry problem?
These are only a few questions, but you should get the idea.
What matters the most is that you are able to answer these questions truthfully. Remember that your perspectives aren't restricted to the products or services you offer. They also include values, strategy, culture, or anything that can be leveraged to create impactful content.
Choose The Thought Leaders
Your leadership content needs the effort of one or more knowledgable persons in the company with the experience and expertise to speak with authority. Most often, you will have to contact the founders, key stakeholders, team leaders, and other executives of the business or organization.
Your audience should be confident in the quality of your content as a result of the personalities associated with it.
Determine Where To Publish Your Thought Leadership Content
Thought leadership content can be a valuable asset to post on your website, use in email marketing, lead generation, or any other part of your customer's journey.
Like guest posting, leadership content can be sent to other publications for publishing. You can find publications that want to feature industry experts and make a list of the best. Reach out to content managers or editors to discuss a partnership.
Create High-Quality Content
The most time-consuming part of any content-making strategy is the time and effort it takes to create high-quality content. Nevertheless, leadership content takes high quality to a whole new level.
To create content that actually qualifies as thought leadership content, it must meet certain prestige and quality requirements. To start off, you will need:
Because thought leadership is about your opinions and experience, the support of your claim must be drawn from experiences you've had. Your audiences should be able to see under the hood with the examples you give.
Although leadership content can be carried by the brand name, it is best you find a genuine, personable identity behind it. You want your audience to feel like they are reading the unscripted memoir of important decision-makers in your business or organization.
Because leadership content requires so much effort to create, they are made in such a way that it can actively engage with what's happening right now but also have evergreen elements.
Combining both short and long-term value gives your marketing team enough resources to market for more than a few weeks.
Focus on your products or services
Ultimately, your goal should be to earn new leads, so your products or services should be interwoven with the content you create. This doesn't mean you make your thought leadership content a sales pitch.
Promote Your Content and Thought Leaders
Chances are that your thought leaders have social media accounts (most of which have earned verified badges) and websites that they have used to accumulate a large audience.
Journalists and other professionals in your space also follow thought leaders to provide expert advice or insight when giving their opinions on industry news.
You can use the fame of thought leaders to enhance your PR outreach to their audience, as most people prefer to quote facts from prominent thought leaders.
Growth is a steady and continuous process that is best enjoyed when we don't rush it. Creating content that is considered to be a thought leader takes time and repeatedly proves your success. This process can be gruesome, but it is worth it at the end of the day.
Once earned, thought leadership marketing can become the most effective way to drive attention to other areas of your digital strategy.
Semalt can help you optimize your brand and website so you, too, can start enjoying the benefits of being an authority in your industry.