Business is really a race. Every company has to keep up with so many different variables, such as competition, trends, supply, and demands. Staying put in this fast paced world can make the most promising startups and most successful industry leaders shrink and get left behind by the pack. It’s safe to say that running and maintaining a business nowadays is daunting.. This is especially so if you’re just starting out:how are you going to gain the trust of your target audiences, if they can just look at the brands and companies they’re already familiar with? How do you establish your own authority in an industry that is already home to seasoned veterans who know the business from front and back? The main answer to these is thought leadership.
There may be leaders in different industries when it comes to sales, market value, and all, but what matters when it comes to getting your audience’s attention and building credibility is thought leadership. This is the backbone of content marketing, as you build your company’s brand awareness. You showcase your company’s understanding by creating content revolving around expressing who your company is, what separates you from the rest, and answering the questions your audience is asking. To put it simply, with thought leadership, you build brand awareness with your content, and in turn, start out as a leader worthy of people’s attention.
Executing this strategy for your company’s digital brand awareness requires a sound content marketing strategy. Here’s a general idea of how it goes:
- Know your target audience
Think about who your product or service is catering to, and think of what’s lacking with your competition’s iterations. What is your audience asking for? What do they want out of a company like yours?
In content marketing however, your target audience of purchasing consumers is only a fraction of who you will be reaching. You should be looking to expand further from people buying your product. Aim for people who are interested in the industry you’re in, as you will be making content that will cater to them too. They may not necessarily purchase your product, but they will help you grow your following, and as a result, you will grow further, be more credible, and inevitably reach more people looking to buy.
- Create content
With your audience in mind, you can write blogs and articles, or record videos and podcasts to talk about new issues within your industry. You may even tap into media relations and get the help of leading journalists to help get your content to their audiences. Executing thought leadership is all about ingraining it into your content marketing strategies, as you have to not only talk about your leading qualities, but also to apply it into everything you show the public.
- Stay consistent, stay updated
Follow trends, keep a close eye on what’s going on in your industry, and make content revolving around these things. A true thought leader maintains their audience’s trust in the long term to continue their company’s growth. Keep looking for what’s being asked, and strive to answer them, provide deep insight, and continually prove that you are one of the best in the business.
Thought leadership is a huge part of the success of many companies today. Experts claim that over 58% of decision-makers choose brands and companies based on their thought leadership efforts. Over 60% of decision makers also stated that thought leadership strategies have led them to purchase products and services that they weren’t initially interested in. These particular statistics tell us exactly why this is effective, especially for companies in competitive industries and emerging markets.
Thought Leadership Leaders
Given how effective it is, there are a lot of great companies out there that have grown from their thought leadership efforts. One example is Monday.com, a now leading company in the HR tech business. They doubled down on their satire video ads on YouTube, and have a blog that goes beyond just selling their product. Their blog tackles topics such as project management terminology, productivity apps to use, and more. They even took it a step further by making a series of YouTube videos of companies that have grown thanks to Monday.com’s HR tech, building up their viewers’ trust in the service through testimonials. With thought leadership ingrained into their marketing strategies, Monday.com was worth over $550 million in 2018, and grew to over $7.5 billion in 2021.
Another good example is eToro, a leading social investment network. They have a strong online presence with their social media marketing and blog writing. But more notably in terms of thought leadership, they do a lot of great collaborations with the media. For instance, one of eToro’s analysts, Adam Vettese, provided insights in an article by MoneyWeek. This is a prime example of how thought leadership not only involves your independently created content, but also in your company’s media relations efforts. This allows eToro to help readers of MoneyWeek, and expand their audience in the process.
Given the sheer amount of competition in every industry, consumers need to be secure with whatever brand they’ll give their hard earned money to. No matter how revolutionary or game changing it may be, your product needs to be backed up by your company’s expertise and understanding of your audience’s needs. Thought leadership is integral to the growth of all businesses today, as it goes hand in hand with one of the foundations of content marketing: brand awareness. Young entrepreneurs and the biggest of billionaires know the importance of establishing authority in their markets, and businesses around the world continue to display the importance of thought leadership in marketing. Besides, what’s the point in starting a business, if you’re not looking to be the best at what you do? Keep up with the best of the best by planning your thought leadership strategies as soon as possible.
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Visual by: Carlos de Guzman