More companies are tuning in to the power and potential of thought leadership content.
It’s a great way to help your organisation:
- Stand out from the crowd.
- Demonstrate reliable authority.
- Create a strong industry brand.
By establishing a genuine thought leadership identity, you differentiate your organisation from your competitors, while gradually building a loyal audience.
If you do it well! The key is in choosing the right topics.
Thought leadership, not thought bubbles
In order to lead, the ‘thoughts’ you put out there must be inspiring, original, and be of value to the intended audience.
Companies who ‘get’ thought leadership know it’s essential to aim the right topic, at the right audience. They also recognise that content should always be aligned with the business solutions they offer.
So, when deciding on the subject, consider the variables in play.
When talking to other businesses, focus your content on specific areas of interest. Aim to inform and educate on a range of key subjects, including best practice, industry trends and current/emerging concerns.
Decision-makers in business always base their choices on hard evidence. That’s why it’s important to back up your content with statistics, research, analysis and balanced arguments.
Addressing a consumer audience, your thought leadership style and subjects will be different. Emotions play a bigger role in consumer decisions, so your content can reflect this.
Use a lighter touch. Focus on issues important to consumers’ lives and choices. Consider cultural, lifestyle, family, health and wellbeing topics, which address the issues consumers face in their everyday lives.
Ensure the content you put out is relevant to your audience, rather than being just a thought leader’s pet topic or generic idea. Your audience must care about what you say, if you want to have an impact.
Above all, your target audience is looking for answers to questions, and solutions for common problems. Help them resolve a genuine challenge, by aligning what you offer with what they really want.
Create informed content
Focus on areas of expertise your colleagues know better than your competitors. Choose topics where your thought leaders can demonstrate confidence and natural authority. Prove this authority with up-to-date research, data and industry insights. Dig deep into the issues, exploring all sides of the argument.
Mine all the subject expertise within your organisation and look past the obvious. Sometimes, the most unlikely people may prove to be interesting thought leaders! Leverage your resources, focusing on issues important to your sector and business community.
Make it interesting
Forget dry information that reads like a textbook. Tell stories to really hook in your audience. Bring the stories alive with input from your team, expert interviews, photos, direct quotes, intriguing case studies, unique points of view, and human interest topics.
Use skill, authority and the persuasiveness of your arguments to change minds. The most effective way to help your audience to think differently about something is to present subjects that interest them, then argue your case in an easy-to-understand and entertaining way.
Unearth hot topics
Never rely on your own judgement about topics of interest. Let your target audience guide you. Tune in to your social media channels and wider industry forums, to see for yourself what is pushing their buttons.
Check out your competitors’ social feeds, to be sure you’re not missing something important. Select topics where you can reasonably offer viable solutions to problems and challenges.
Look for gaps – what aren’t people talking about yet?
Can you see any gaps in topics under debate? Are your thought leaders aware of any up-and-coming changes due to impact businesses and/or consumers, that haven’t yet made it into the social discussions?
Talking points move on, so why not be the one to shift them? Read the tea leaves, putting new and significant topics out there for discussion. Frame your thought leadership content by staying one step ahead.
And when the hard work is done and your chosen topics are published, don’t forget to promote your thought leadership content!
If you need help to produce quality thought leadership content, speak to us about our content writing services. We’re accustomed to working with multiple stakeholders and with our clients’ internal topic experts to create thought leadership level articles and white papers.