Have you ever actually stopped and asked yourself, "What’s driving my content?" It seems like an obvious question, but it’s easy for content marketing to become about production and output rather than lead generation and brand awareness. And while creating content is important, it’s more important to be creating the right content. After getting asked the same question multiple times, I decided to hone in on the secret ingredient to content marketing...thought leadership.
In a recent episode of our podcast, Ponderings from the Perch, Dan Leadbetter and I discussed the intricacies of thought leadership. A thought leader is an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in their field (think the go-to person for expertise). When you hear this term, pictures of Seth Godin, Ariana Huffington, or Elon Musk may flash through your head and while they have a lot in common, each one of them is pretty different. Thought leaders take all shapes and forms and are usually at the center of many successful companies. Whether or not you consider yourself to be a thought leader of your industry, it’s important for your business to strive to be such.
“Companies are built around thought leadership”
Understanding what type of thought leader you are is essential to creating exceptional content. To be honest, your thought leadership style dictates the type of content your brand is creating.
But, how do you know your thought leadership style? Don’t sweat it, we created this quiz to help you on your journey to discovery!
Still not convinced you can use thought leadership to your advantage? Behold these 3 ways thought leadership can improve your content marketing strategy:
1. STAND OUT: Thought leadership sets your company apart.
As a small business owner, I’m always looking for ways my business can stand out against our competition. Our thoughts, research, perspective, and resources do just that (hello thought leadership). If you think this is selfish, you’re doing it wrong. To clarify, you should be writing about your industry, not your company.
2. PUMP IT UP: Thought leadership amplifies your style.
Becoming a thought leader in your industry helps drive attention to your business. Speaking on your trade from a educated perspective gives you authority. You already know about your trade, industry and market— this should be easy for you!
3. STAY FOCUSED: Thought leadership gives you direction.
Looking at your content from the point of thought leadership clarifies goals, dictates direction and helps you decided which content you should be publishing. My number one rule in content marketing is- Always be helpful. Your content should be helping your your audience with their problems.
Now you're ready to write really awesome content. Go forth and create!