Why is thought leadership important, you ask? Thought leadership leverages key messages in a different way than other tactics such as product publicity or general brand awareness campaigns. It’s about offering your target audience non-commercial knowledge that you or your company have the authority to speak to, and the goal is to drive the audience to action. Thought Leadership introduces customers to your brand and gives them information to utilize and think about during the buying process. In turn, you and your brand become the trusted experts. In fact, today, two-thirds of business-to-business buyers specifically are looking to online sources and thought leaders to inform purchasing decisions, before even engaging with a supplier.
Thought leadership is a powerful vehicle that both business-to-consumer and business-to-business companies can use to amplify their experts, opinions and knowledge about any given topic. Content comes in several different formats, including:
- Long-format articles placed in trade or consumer publications
- LinkedIn posts on company or employee pages
- Speakerships, presentations and panels
- Blog posts on company websites
In business-to-consumer markets, thought leadership is another way to communicate the benefits of your products or services. For example, take a fitness product in a flooded market. Is there clinical research or researchers you can position to speak to a trend or use in creative storytelling to explain why your product is superior? Many times, when brands implement thought leadership programs, they find that their audiences value thought leadership content more than other brand-generated content.
Whether its building company reputation, increasing morale or communicating expertise, a thought leadership program can be one of the most strategic ways to achieve your business objectives.
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