Written by: Daniel Bakare
Effective thought leadership places your company at the forefront of the discussions dominating your industry. Let’s explore a few strategies to help you turn your readers into leads — and your leads into customers.
Thought leadership is a hot new term for a tried-and-true concept. Simply put, companies use great writing and unique perspectives to showcase their expertise to potential and existing clients. In doing so, they successfully establish credibility and authority to drive interest and ultimately generate quality leads.
It sounds simple, but how do you ensure your thought leadership does in fact translate into tangible marketing results? Let’s explore some common approaches, pitfalls, and best practices to help maximize your marketing impact.
What Can I Do with Thought Leadership?
In today’s marketing world, we often see thought leadership executed as long-form publishing. Think: blog posts, whitepapers, articles, and case studies. These long-form pieces offer more than just an SEO launchpad — they educate the public on your product and position you as the go-to source of information. In turn, customers who view you as an expert in the field will be more likely to invest in what you’re selling.
But blogs and articles aren’t the only sources of thought leadership. This is your chance to get creative with media formats! Great thought leadership content can come in all forms, from educational posts on social media to podcast appearances and in-person talks. And by leveraging mixed media, you can expand your reach in a fun and engaging way.
What Does Thought Leadership Have to Do With the Marketing Funnel?
Ah, the marketing funnel — one of the most heavily used and most important concepts in marketing. While it may seem like old news, the beauty of the marketing funnel is its intuitive design, which incorporates three core concepts: awareness, consideration, and conversion.
We all know that the end goal of any marketing program is to convert leads into loyal customers. To accomplish as much, you’ll need to understand how to identify the right leads before convincing them you have the right product or service to address their specific need or challenge. By breaking up this approach into three distinct steps that map to each stage of the funnel, you can market your product with incredible precision.
Perhaps at this point you’re wondering, “Sounds great, but where does thought leadership come into the picture?” The answer is: Everywhere! Here’s how:
- Awareness: Your prospects need to know who you are. What better way to introduce your brand than to be a well-known thought leader in your industry? With the help of your SEO or Editorial team, you can zero in on relevant publications, then pitch your thought leadership to the right editor(s).
- Consideration: This is where the aforementioned long-form content comes into play. You have a lead’s attention — now don’t lose it! Articles, blog posts, case studies, and targeted social media posts are all opportunities to engage, nurture, and communicate with your existing leads.
- Conversion: Converting leads into qualified sales opportunities is the funnel’s final (and possibly trickiest) step. Drive home why you’re the best solution for the job by sharing your most persuasive thought leadership and product- or service-oriented content with your warmest leads.
Maximize Your Investment in Thought Leadership
Admittedly, accomplishing all of this at once is easier said than done, but no one said you have to do it all alone.
If you feel like you or your team doesn’t have the capacity or experience to build thought leadership or run full-funnel marketing campaigns, don’t worry — Thunderfoot can help!