The phrase ‘Thought Leadership’ has been floating around in the tech-business space for quite a while without a clear-cut understanding of the same. Thought leadership for some is about advertising a product while for others it is about building a brand; Both of which is incorrect! So, what exactly is thought-leadership, and how can one move towards this? – Is the trending question in the marketeer’s space. In this blog, we try to highlight pointers and finesse an understanding of what thought-leadership actually promotes and its contribution to the business spectrum.
Thought-leadership is simply a vision created around the growth of an idea. In the tech space, this idea can be a new technology or something an existing technology can do. This concept isn’t alien to other parallels either. It could be used in retail, publishing, data-driven industries, advertising, creatives sector, technology arena, consulting, management and any other major section you can think of. Therefore, thought leadership isn’t about who writes it first, rather about who researches about something in-depth to give out something useful.
Content Marketing in Thought-Leadership
Content creation, management, and marketing in thought-leadership are extremely important. Content lives in B2B and B2C trade space and has been an integral part of the decision-making process. The duration of time and effort it takes to make a long-standing decision and the number of people involved in it is what makes content marketing in thought-leadership a complex process.
Thought leadership and related content and collaterals can bring about the following:
- It allows anyone involved in the business decision to simply alignment among peers
- It allows marketers to define a solution and address challenges in a unique way
- Allows exceptional and forward thinking in branding
- You promote a thought through which you build a brand; therefore, optimizing your solutions and approach.
Traditional content focusses on customer/market problems and the solutions business can offer. Here the content helps sellers understand the buying personas and it confronts a problem over a quarter at most.
Thought-leadership, on the other hand, defines the entire perception of doing things. It is what makes peers and executive leaders connect and align themselves with a vision. Objectives of a company become clearer and the business will understand where to be heading in the long run. It is never about dealing with one problem-one solution or an immediate problem, it is rather a part of broader industry conversation.
There are two things a business leader can do here. One, starting a strong position on a meaningful topic and two, to host ideation sessions to brainstorm on the same. The content discussed should be relevant on whatever you are currently working on, and rather add nuanced topics and dialogues to the field.
Rework on your release schedule
Ideally, it is customary to schedule content release around a product launch. This is to keep the content relevant to the industry norms and ideas per se. Also, when one releases content that is relevant as said, one expects to leverage outside events that are powered by content on business blogs. By this, we mean, content helps promote and advertise better.
The flip question is, was anyone on the receiving end ready for the product? Simply put, did the audience expect the kind of change the product seeks to introduce. Also, what is the adaptation rate of the audience towards a new trend that promises to dawn with time? These questions have vague answers until they are led with thought leadership principles.
To witness this in reality, you need to check your calendar releases around a topic. While milestones are valuable and that it is used to decide further releases, it is also important to plan on releasing content way ahead of a product/brand launch. This will allow you to nest the entire process such that you can pre-define your parameters first to make a big difference.
Assigning and delegating tasks that catalyze productivity
Getting people or your team aboard is the hardest thing to turn around in a business environment. It is hard because, on the business front, different people expect different things and contribute in a variety of ways. One way to fix this and align their thought process with the thought leadership you seek is by delegating and assigning tasks to them.
Some roles may include training writers with the information they need to churn content in a compelling way. Optimizing this with editors will help the design teams design eBooks and publishing matter with just enough attention that it should be ideally seeking. This will, in a huge way help community managers and analysts to pitch the right kind of idea in the right way to the curated audience to help them strategize and prepare analytics report.
Bringing data to life
Transforming data in a way that looks and reads interesting can be hard work. Infographics and videos that help in understanding data in a better way have seemingly taken popularity. Although it promotes raw-data understanding, allowing thought leadership to take shape in this eco-system may prove to be a bad move.
Therefore, imbibing the CEO’s interview along with a webinar session or say, supporting an eBook material with the same will add weight to promote thought-leadership. Another way is to follow-up on a whitepaper as releases through presentations, repository update, or maybe for a knowledge transfer session.
A company’s voice to the outside world is important; the flagship message that your company stands for is what you should root for in thought-leadership. Clarity in messages and ideating content will have its impact to reframe industry discussions in terms that support your market executives.