Content marketing may be all the rage, but only thought leadership offers B2B brands an opportunity to create a long-term platform for owned, earned and paid media success. Linstock’s Simon Maule describes what it takes to be a thought leader and sets out the key steps.
A thought leadership approach works well for firms that have a difficult time differentiating themselves on the basis of their product or service. Financial, professional and related business services fit into this category. The essence of the services provided is largely the same. The real value comes from the collective insight and ideas of the people delivering those services. EY, Clifford Chance and Grant Thornton are just three firms seeking to exploit that value through their corporate communications.
To be effective, thought leadership needs to be:
Authentic: you must be able to walk the talk or disgruntled employees and sceptical customers will be quick to point out inconsistencies. Similarly, claims must be backed up by robust and reliable evidence.
Compelling: worthy research is all well and good, but it needs to be presented well. Good storytelling distinguishes a dusty old white paper from an effective sales and marketing tool, which could be a research report, video, infographic or interactive presentation.
Findable: thought leaders need followers, so your material must be easy to find. Creative distribution, good SEO and effective use of earned, owned and paid-for media all help you get the recognition you deserve.
To read the full article, visit Marketing Week here.