Thought leadership is one way for brands and individuals to stand out. Not only that, but it’s one of the best ways for any brand to develop trust between themselves and their audience. Building thought leadership, however, can be confusing at first.
Clarify Your Brand’s Message
Before anything else, it’s essential to define the message you want to send. What is your brand’s unique position? What have you done in the past that really made an impact or received a strong, positive response from your customers?
By using digital marketing practices and tracking the response from your efforts, it’s a lot easier to narrow down what’s working and what isn’t. Once you’ve defined your message, you need to distribute it and build your audience.
Increase Your Social Media Presence
When it comes to demonstrating and distributing your message, you need an audience. There is no easier way to reach hundreds or even millions of people than by using social media.
Further, social media is an ideal platform for demonstrating thought leadership. These are potential consumers or brand advocates that crave authenticity. If you can get people to trust your brand through social media, then you can turn those contacts and followers into brand advocates. Those brand advocates can, in turn, become or lead you to high-value customer acquisition.
Create and Distribute Inspiring Content
41% of key decision makers believe that content demonstrating strong thought leadership is influential when it comes to making purchasing decisions. A digital marketing agency can help you develop the right material and get it posted in the proper channels to get in front of these key decision makers.
The content you create can be in nearly any format. You could create videos of things your brand is doing to go above and beyond. You could create and distribute research papers proving how effective techniques you have developed are or will be. You could write and publish a book.
The options for types of content and distribution channels are many. It may be worthwhile to go after a few. Identifying the best channels is something your marketing data may already be capable of. If it’s not, consulting an agency with experience in your industry may be your best bet.
Identify and Connect With the Right Causes
Thought leadership isn’t just about saying you’re going to do X thing. You need real, tangible examples of what your brand has done that show action behind your messaging.
One of the best ways to show action if you’re short on resources or want to make an impact right away is to join forces with an established cause. Either advocate for it, donate to it or find a way to partner with them. This shows that your brand is dedicated to some ideal, no matter what it is, and that you’re more than just empty promises.
As noted above, this builds trust with your audience. That trust leads to more business and your brand being seen as an inspiration and thought leader.