The term “thought leadership” is more than just a buzzword in the world of content marketing. It is now a vital component of every business that wants to succeed and thrive in the 21st century and beyond. Once you have a firm understanding of exactly why thought leadership is so vital, then you’ve passed the first hurdle, and are well on your way to implementing it into your marketing, sales, and content strategy.
Thought Leadership: A Nutshell
What is thought leadership? If you’re new to the concept, have a scroll through our previous post on the definition of thought leadership to learn more about where the term originates and what it refers to. We’ve also outlined several real-life examples of thought leadership content, to inspire and kick-start your own content marketing strategy.
Thought Leadership in Business
Achieve Your Business Goals
So now that you understand what thought leadership is, you might be wondering – how and why is this important to my business? Surely I can continue as normal, working hard on my sales and marketing efforts, and watch my profits soar without any thought leadership content? You might be thinking that content creation is not a priority right now, and that while it might be a nice perk to have a blog post published a few times a year, ultimately it couldn’t possibly generate any traffic or ROI in itself.
Well, the proof is in the pudding, and as you are about to find out, thought leadership and successful business growth go hand in hand! Whether you run a brand, a service, a consultancy, or a product, thought leadership can help you to achieve several measurable business goals:
- Attract customers
- Increase website traffic
- Encourage customer conversion
- Promote customer loyalty
- Improve brand image and referral
Why Customers Love Thought Leadership
As we have seen, the concept behind thought leadership in content marketing is very simple. Provide free, valuable advice and information to customers. That’s it. There’s no catch. Create content that your audience would not only love and choose to consume, but need to consume.
Why does it work? Because it’s simple, and free. And this is why customers love it, and will be attracted to your website and your brand as a reputable, trustworthy source of information.
Who doesn’t love free information? From downloadable whitepapers to live webinars, in exchange for a mere email address, your customers will jump on board. Once they’re on board, you can further wow them with your expertise, so that they realise your business is the go-to expert in your area.
Also, building your email list through thought leadership content is a great way to reach out to potential customers in the future. This data will guide your marketing efforts, and help you to meet the customer at whatever stage of the buyer funnel they may find themselves. Not only do customers love expertise, but they love personalisation!
The Best Thought Leadership in 2019
While every business is beginning to jump on the thought leadership bandwagon, some are definitely doing it better than others. We’ve pulled together a few of our favourites from different industries, to help inspire your own thought leadership content creation!
Buffer may seem like just a simple social media scheduling tool, but the truth is that these guys built their whole business on thought leadership content. They were determined to grow their audience and customer base through valuable, free articles and content, all of which educate readers on social media marketing and other similar topics. And it’s working – Buffer has firmly established itself as the go-to social media scheduling tool!
Hubspot are the kings of content marketing and thought leadership. A truly valuable resource for any sales and marketing team, it’s no surprise that readers turn to the actual software and packages which the company offers, when it comes to implementing the advice and techniques they have learned on the company’s content hub.
From case studies and whitepapers to articles and blog posts, Degreed provides thought leadership content on their website to help users make the most out of their product and service. The power of learning is more than just a tool!
In a similar way to Hubspot, Pipedrive is a CRM tool which uses their blog to educate both potential and dedicated users. They not only provide content on how to make the most of the product, but include other useful business scaling tips and advice, to show that they really care about and are interested in their field, and in helping others succeed in it too.
Getting started with Thought Leadership
Ready to jump on the bandwagon? We recommend putting together a content strategy, tailored specifically to your business goals and target market. A great place to start is creating a sustainable content calendar, and going from there.
Don’t forget to have fun with it – thought leadership is as much about creativity as it is about information!