Content Marketing: What is Thought Leadership? How Do You Do It, Exactly?

Content Marketing: What is Thought Leadership? How Do You Do It, Exactly?

We hear the words thought leadership all the time. However, when we think of what it means, there’s no one clear answer. It’s a skill, but can also be a type of content or a marketing strategy. For several years of providing content marketing services in the Philippines, thought leadership is something that we strive to practice for years. 

But, what is it exactly and how can this type of content marketing benefit you as a brand? Let’s start with its very definition. 

What’s in this article:

What is Thought Leadership? 

Thought leadership is the art of communicating ideas that demonstrate one’s expertise in a particular topic or field. A thought leader not only has a command of his subject area but is also passionate and eager to share his knowledge with others to benefit a community, an organization, or a cause. 

By publishing high-quality, in-depth content—articles, videos, research, case studies, infographics, etc.—they position themselves as a thought leader and people may start associating them with insight and authority. Industry members may look up to them for information and potential clients may recognize them as an expert they would want to work directly with.

Are You a Thought Leader? 

It used to be that when we think of a source of wisdom, we picture a guru—ancient and wizened—meditating on top of some distant mountain. But, today, a thought leader looks like someone with many social media followers, being invited to speak at conferences, and whose opinions challenge and sway our own. 

If you have quite a presence online and you’re passionate about what you do, you might be on your way to becoming a true thought leader yourself. 

1. Your community trusts you 

It’s one thing to be known within your industry and it’s another to be trusted by your community. When people listen to what you have to say and practice them, then you have reached a certain level of trust and influence in your niche. 

2. You are constantly learning 

Thought leaders make a conscious effort to update themselves on what’s happening in their respective fields. This is particularly essential in ever-evolving industries like digital marketing because it allows them to recognize patterns, trends, and opportunities. 

3. You are highly networked 

Are your social media accounts always blown up by follow requests? Are you always invited to speak at conferences and other events? These are some obvious signs that you are highly sought-after and people think that what you say adds value to them. 

4. You appear in Google search results 

At least at some point, you have Googled yourself and when you’re a thought leader, you’ll likely see articles you have written or some content that has quoted or cited you for opinion. It goes to show that as Google provides value to its users, it sees you as someone providing value and is ranking you highly in search results. 

How Do You Become a Thought Leader Through Content Marketing 

When you establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche, the opportunities abound with nearly endless ways to take advantage of them. But, the bottom line is that the more you build your following and credibility, the more people will want to work with you—the higher-paying clients included. 

All it takes to become a thought leader is a willingness to self-promote—educate and upskill yourself to provide value to others. People will be looking for content to find the best answers to their questions. You can be that source of information by consistently providing high-quality content covering topics and trends that shape your industry. 

• Identify your audience and continue learning about them

The key to succeeding with any marketing strategy is knowing your audience, and it’s no different with thought leadership. What are their pain points, what questions are they asking? To figure this out, you can conduct your research and create buyer personas that will allow you to segment your audiences and create customized solutions for each.

The work doesn’t end there, though, because it’s essential that you continuously re-evaluate their behavior. Are their problems still the same today as they were when you first started? Your audiences evolve, and so should your solutions.

• Produce in-depth content 

Many brands think that content marketing is an opportunity to promote yourself, talk about your products or services, and how they are better. But, in our experience, we know that the most effective approach in content creation is to provide relevant and consistent content that adds value to readers. 

Publish well-researched content with in-depth information that no one else has. Here, you don’t always have to differentiate your content from that of others, you just have to offer the best solutions to their problems. 

• Diversify your strategies 

The content formats people consume these days have exploded and so have the platforms where they engage with brands. It means for your content to be effective, it’s essential that you not only focus on the topics that will resonate most with your audience but also publish them where they are and in formats they share and consume. 

For good measure, throw in the occasional infographics and videos simultaneously with your written content. Your content doesn’t always have to be brand new, though. For example, you can repurpose an existing blog post into an infographic, video, or podcast. This can help you squeeze more ROI out of your existing content and maximize its potential to reach a wider audience. 

Takeaway

In summary, thought leadership is a strategy you can use as part of your content marketing to build brand awareness and establish credibility in your niche. Your objective is to become recognized as a go-to resource about topics that concern your profession, field, or business. To become a thought leader, you can provide insightful content and participate in your community where you can demonstrate your willingness to help and educate. 

When done successfully, you’ll increase awareness among your target audience, boost engagement, and generate more leads. Eventually, down the road, people will turn to you should the day come they’re seeking products or services similar to yours. 

Ready to become a thought leader? As a reliable content marketing service provider in the Philippines, we can help you execute this strategy with the end goal of improving your bottom line.