Enhance your industry credibility.
Raise your visibility, gain new business, and claim your place as a trusted, go-to resource within your target markets.
Generating new business opportunities is hard in a competitive environment where every product and service is perceived as a commodity. Ideally, you want to become a company that is so trusted and respected that it is easy for people to decide to work with you and refer others (as in the old adage “no one was ever fired for recommending IBM”).
Many companies mistake quantity for quality and adopt a superficial, sound bite approach to thought leadership on a scattershot range of issues that aren’t backed up by well-developed thoughts. With the sheer quantity of ideas, they can only afford the time and resources to market each as a one-off: an article on one idea, a conference presentation on the next, and a whitepaper on yet another.
It is important that you can communicate your thought leadership in a memorable, powerful way, but in order to distill it down into that pithy core you need to spend a lot of time really thinking about the issue, developing your ideas on it, and conducting research to support your position.
Some companies try to short circuit this necessary process by simply taking a “me too” stance on someone else’s ideas and don’t create or communicate anything new or interesting. All of these companies wonder why they never seem to achieve meaningful traction within target markets.
Focus on a few meaningful topics
Pick a narrow set of topics you want to own for the year. Develop your ideas and bring your point-of-view to the market through dedicated integrated campaigns. Start with articles on your site, then spread your ideas throughout your target audiences as guest articles on industry sites, published articles in respected journals, online webinars, conference presentations at key events, and so on.
Communicate as a real person, not a talking head
Present your ideas in an authentic, real voice. Storytelling matters in today’s market. Gone are the days when pretentious, overblown prose or ivory tower theoretical approaches are associated with true thought leadership.
Empower your subject matter experts
Train your subject matter experts to communicate effectively with your audiences online—don’t limit buyer interactions to just marketing and sales. Engage in dialogues through comments on your articles and blog posts on your site and on other sites. Continue your conference presentation conversations afterwards in communities on LinkedIn and other social media.