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Five Ways To Add Thought Leadership to Your Content

The term "thought leadership" gets thrown around a lot when talking about marketing content. We all know that most content is not coming from thoughtful leaders sharing their wisdom with the world. And it's OK that not all of your marketing content is thought-provoking or industry-leading. As long as your content educates your audience and establishes your knowledge of the market, it's doing the intended job.

Content is the currency of marketing in today's buyer-driven sales process. Your prospects are doing their own research and your job is to help educate them. Whether you are reaching out to them through e-mail with whitepaper offers or building your online presence with a blog, educational content is marketing gold.

Taking Content to the Next Level
When you do want to take content to the next level, how can you create something that builds your reputation as an expert? Real "thought leadership" content -- in which you share the wisdom that you have accumulated as an advisor to businesses -- doesn't mean you have to take a month off to write a whitepaper. There are a variety of ways that you can share your knowledge and experience, including:

  • Create a series of videos. If writing is not your thing, try video. Create a series of short videos where you share insights into technology's impact on industry trends or market opportunities.

  • Hire a professional writer. Share your insights through interviews and let the writer compose your thoughts. To make it work, you must be prepared to invest the time and actively engage with the writer.

  • Partner with an industry expert. You can provide the platform for thought leadership through partnership with an industry expert. Consultants who have built their reputation as an industry leader are good candidates to write blog posts or whitepapers. They may be more affordable than you think, appreciating retainer arrangements. 

  • Collaborate with a complementary partner. Sharing the work and being accountable to someone else provides motivation to keep the whitepaper or e-book project moving forward.

  • Record your thoughts and have them transcribed. Use your drive time to record your thoughts. Use a transcription services, like SpeakWrite to turn those thoughts into written word that you or a writer can fine tune.

Make the Most of the Thought Leadership Pieces
When you put the effort into creating a true thought leadership piece, it makes sense to get the most mileage that you can out of it. After you've created your core whitepaper, e-book or video, break it into bite-sized pieces to spread the wealth. For example:    

  • Turn the whitepaper into a PowerPoint e-book by summarizing key points. Use the full whitepaper as your call to action at the end of the e-book.

  • Use the outline from the whitepaper to create a series of short videos.

  • Break up the key points into a series of blog posts -- you can hire an outside writer to craft the posts once you have the foundation.

Keeping up with a steady flow of content is hard enough without the pressure of creating thought leadership pieces. But creating a work that stands out from the rest will set you apart as an expert, establishing your credibility and unique value. Take it slow; just aim for one a quarter and build on your success.

How are you upping your content game? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 28, 2014 at 2:34 PM