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Thought Leadership: Who, What and Why

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Thought leadership has started to evolve, as most marketing and PR trends eventually do. Historically, thought leadership content encompassed any content put out by a company representative. However, today’s thought leaders need to be able to speak to more than just the company’s product and services and instead address the broader industry and even take a stand on current issues. As you dust off your 2022 PR plan, now is the time to also evaluate your thought leadership strategy to make sure you stand out from the competition.

Let’s dive in deeper!

Why: The need for thought leadership
Identifying a thought leader within your company can help keep your brand top-of-mind while leading the conversation in your industry. Thought leadership content can help you connect
with your customer and other industry professionals in a variety of outlets. It can be used by your salespeople to help sell your product or service or featured as owned media content on your website and social media channels. Additionally, thought leaders can also help fuel a media relations program as they can participate in interviews with journalists or provide articles on key industry topics.

Who: Identify a thought leader(s) at your company
The idea is to find a person or people that can authentically connect with your audience and speak to your industry. This person should have a deep breadth of knowledge and should be able to share their expertise in forward-thinking discussions that look to the future. This could be your CEO or it could be someone within the organization such as a salesperson, lead engineer or regional manager.

What: Determine what content they should share
The role of a thought leader is to be a relatable spokesperson for the brand. They should create content that sparks deeper thought and that speaks to your industry and shows that your brand is staying ahead of the curve. They’ll do this by selecting topics of discussion that directly relate to your industry. It can be hard to discover your thought leadership topics; we’ve talked about that too!

Strategically, if you have more than one thought leader, you can have each person own a pillar of content. This works well for a few reasons. First, it doesn’t put too much pressure on one person to cover the entirety of your business. Second, it can give the pieces by each thought leader some breathing room, so people don’t feel bombarded by content marketing from one individual. Finally, it shows that not one person is responsible for the success of your business,
but it’s an entire team working to make your brand the best it can be. What’s important in today’s thought leadership environment is that your brand isn’t putting out content for content’s sake. Pieces should truly add a unique perspective and provide innovative and actionable insights for readers.

Thought so!
Thought leadership is a vital addition to a brand’s marketing mix. In today’s thought leadership landscape, it’s important that the content moves beyond simply putting something out there and aims to inspire the audience and drive change in your industry.

Want to grow your brands thought leadership? Connect with one of our PR agency’s marketing experts at Beyond Fifteen to learn about our thought leadership programs.

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