Having a thought leader on your team is no longer a nice to have – it’s a must have. Thought leadership can boost the perception of your business and create a specific type of value that regular marketing tactics simply can’t. A thought leader is a person or expert that is well regarded in your industry and to whom others look for guidance. Having a person that can answer your industry’s or consumer’s major questions can be a big advantage to your company. Not only does it advance the reputation of your business, it can even help you get press coverage and put you at the forefront of the news with earned media.
Identify your thought leader
First things first, you must pick your business’ thought leader(s). Thought leaders can be anyone, as long as their role makes sense for the information being disseminated. The owner, founder or CEO of a company may be a good selection if they have the right background and knowledge, or maybe your top salesperson or leading engineer could be a better choice. In order to ensure that your thought leader is most effective, select someone that has the right depth and breadth of knowledge to guide forward-thinking conversations about your industry.
When clients or consumers are looking for guidance to help them make an informed decision, they’ll most likely search online for relevant data. Helpful blogs, articles, social content, white papers or interviews are a great way to engage with your audience. Setting the company up as a notable leader in the industry through these types of communications created by your thought leaders builds brand affinity and could eventually contribute to sales.
In the press
The PR world runs on news and content. The press is looking for noteworthy contributions, stories and experts. A thought leader could help your business capture these coveted earned media placements by being referenced in pieces, or even having articles written about the content they’ve created. SocialMediaToday.com notes, “When you’re seen as an expert in your field, more reporters, bloggers and influencers will get in touch, seeking your advice. This can lead to more publicity, especially if you’re featured in major publications.” Now, imagine what that exposure could do for your business. When your thought leader is featured in publications, so is your business by association!
Just a thought
There’s no way around it – in today’s business climate, having thought leadership as part of your PR strategy is a must. Someone with the right background and knowledge base that can push the envelope of your industry is an ideal candidate for this important role. Thought leadership can provide two very important avenues of reaching your customers: through their own content and postings, and through the press. As an expert, their thoughts and guidance will be sought after, not only bringing attention to them as people, but to your business as well through association. After all, the company that employs this forward-thinking individual must also be at the top of its game!
Want more information about becoming a thought leader? Check out our blog about Discovering Your Thought Leadership Topics.