06 October 2015
Thought leadership is a powerful method of content marketing yet up to 98% of content on the web follows the competition rather than takes the lead.
At its most basic level thought leadership provides you with the opportunity to create fresh and interesting content for your website, blogs and social media profiles. It can help your profile and keep you and your organisation front of mind and front of thought amongst your customers and peers.
More than that, however, it can contribute, lead and influence discussion and debate in your industry and truly original thought can showcase your expertise to your customers. And yet, statistics suggest that only 2-4% of content on the web is original (depending on which research statistics you use). The rest is simply shared and regurgitated again and again. Sharing good content demonstrates that you can be current, up-to-date and aware of the latest news and trends. It has its uses. It doesn’t demonstrate that you can differentiate yourself and step out from what the crowd does/says.
If you create original content, which demonstrates your expertise and is valued by your customers and by your industry you become useful. Your content is shared and it helps you to be seen as the authoritative voice on your chosen subject. Customers like experts. They like to feel like they’re buying from the best.
To be truly effective as a marketing vehicle your content needs to be relevant to what you and your organisation does.
It needs to be interesting. Don’t state facts alone. Tell a story. Engage the reader/listener and create a hook – something at the start of your piece that raises an eyebrow amongst your audience. Good hooks challenge the status quo, surprise or encourage the reader to read on for verification.
If you do use stats they have to be credible and you have to be able to verify them. If you can’t, your audience will read it but won’t share it for fear of being caught out by fiction and myth.
Ultimately, if done properly thought leadership enhances your profile and either generates enquiries or makes it easier to covert enquiries through selling you as the expert in your field. Now that’s worth an original thought.