Should you produce content for your owned outlets, such as blogs, or should you pitch your stories and content to news outlets and trade publications for greater earned media? The answer: YES.
Thought leadership is not about being known; it’s about being known for providing valuable insight that helps others. Regardless of industry, seniority or competition, you (and your brand) can become a thought leader by developing content that consistently benefits and educates others.
In today’s digital world, it may seem impossible to position yourself as a thought leader. There is an endless amount of content on the web – how can one source possibly stand out above the rest? The answer is simple: Engage your audience by sharing the right content, with the right audience, at the right time.
As a subject-matter expert in your field, you already hold an abundance of valuable insight and information. What makes you a thought leader is your ability and willingness to use that knowledge to benefit audiences across the globe and share it in a way that they can easily relate to and understand.
A thought leader is a reliable, credible source in a specific field or area and the sky is the limit when it comes to content development, so long as the information and insight you share satisfies these two questions:
1. Does the content align with your area of expertise?
2. Is the content relevant and timely?
Ensuring that the content you are developing and sharing is aligned with your brand strategy and area of expertise is critical. Your brand strategy is a long-term plan that outlines your specific brand goals and objectives, and defines what you stand for. It is through this specialized content that you will hook the attention of your target audience – and keep them coming back for more.
Trusted thought leaders develop thoughtful articles that are relevant and timely. To become a leading source of information, offer your target audience insight that is beneficial and relevant today. For example, if you are a financial advisor and the U.S. Department of Labor issues a new rule that affects investors, position yourself as a leader in the space by anticipating questions that an investor may have, and answer those questions in a detailed article. Share the content on social media, on your website or perhaps as a contributed article with a relevant news source.
Developing valuable content is only part of the process in becoming a thought leader. Sharing the content with the right audience at the right time is equally as important. This is where a healthy combination of content marketing and public relations is important.
With content marketing, content is published via owned outlets, like your blog, website or social media accounts. This is key for long-term thought leadership, increased website traffic and engaged social media accounts. To maximize content’s exposure, public relations leverages the power of local, regional and national trade media to secure publication of your content. This might mean a feature story in a sought-after publication or an opinion article in a local newspaper. This coverage could also be shared via social media to amplify the content.
If you wish to elevate your thought leadership presence and position yourself as a go-to source in your field of expertise, Chartwell Agency can help. As a fully-integrated marketing and communications agency, we assist clients in their brand-building journey.
-RoseAnn Haedt, Communications Strategist