Why thought leadership is the ace in your content strategy pack
In poker, one card can make the difference between a winning flush or a losing hand. And it’s the same for marketing. One good brand differentiator is enough to give you a competitive edge. But with more traditional marketing techniques folding fast, how do you rise to the top of the pack?
In a game of poker, a single card can make the difference between a winning flush or a losing hand. Similarly, one good brand differentiator is often enough to give you the competitive edge in the high-stakes contest for customer engagement.
In a world where traditional marketing techniques are folding fast, content marketing offers the best opportunity to make your presence felt. However, with more and more businesses adopting it, how do you ensure you rise to the top of the pack? Thought leadership: the one piece of content that beats them all, hands down.
Knowing the tells
Thought leadership content is not just about showing off your expertise in your industry or a particular field. It helps to build your brand awareness and recognition, marking you as a company who knows their stuff.
And of course, if customers believe you’re an expert, they are more likely to trust and support you, and therefore purchase from you. At the very least, it opens up a conversation and a sales opportunity.
Recent Edelman–LinkedIn research highlighted that 47% of C-suite executives said they have shared their contact information after reading thought leadership content. The same research also showed that almost 60% of business decision makers said thought leadership directly led to them awarding business to a particular organisation.
Particularly good thought leadership content can set industry trends, significantly extending your reach, while creating better engagement with your existing customers.
Upping the ante
If you had to call it, thought leadership has the biggest impact on existing customer sales. The Edelman–LinkedIn survey demonstrated that 60% of decision makers were convinced by thought leadership to buy a previously unconsidered product or service.
Thought leadership boosts pricing power too, with 60% of C-suite executives willing to pay a premium for thought-leading company products and services.
Playing it out
So, how do you ensure your thought leadership content plays out the way you want? Here are a few pointers:
- Know your hand – First establish who you’re talking to and what matters to them
- See your opponents – Know what your competitors are saying and how are they saying it
- Make a game plan – Set measurable objectives on what the content should achieve
- Find an angle – It might not necessarily be unique, but make a point and own it
- Line up your message – Be consistent and single-minded, rather than generalising about multiple topics
- Know your numbers – Use stats to add credibility, ideally from your own research
- Don’t hustle – Refrain from sales patter or you will lose credibility
- Play your content – Create your content based on the above
- Time your move – Plan when to issue your content – periodically, not all at once
- Check your success – Evaluate the results in terms of follows, responses, or even leads.
Reaching the showdown
Creating winning thought leadership content can sometimes feel like a game of chance. However, there are a few tricks available to get the upper hand. You certainly don’t have to settle with the cards you’re dealt! By putting in the time now to develop the right strategy and content, you can start building a legacy for your brand, that, ultimately, no other business can trump.
Martin New is Senior Content Copywriter at Purple, responsible for developing copy for the agency’s B2B, B2C and healthcare clients. He has 20 years of professional writing experience under his belt, including 8 at Purple.