In today’s world, thought leadership marketing has emerged as the leading method for brands to establish their authority and grow drastically. There are numerous marketers who have started using this strategy to expand their brand, boost brand awareness while also increasing market share.
If you’ve underestimated the value of thought leadership, you might be completely wrong.
A thought leader is someone who is experienced in his industry and is willing to share his thoughts and opinions with the world, to help people following similar paths realize their dream. People inherently take them seriously in matters related to their field of expertise. While becoming a thought leader helps you establish authority while also garnering a lot of attention, it also makes you more approachable from the point of view of bloggers and media persons.
Being a thought leader might initially seem quite intimidating but once you actually start practicing it, this might not be the case.
There are several ways of starting your thought leadership journey. While some use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram to express their thoughts, there are others who use specific communities like Intellectus, YEC, or EO.
While social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram are used to share a shorter version of thoughts and ideas, thought-leadership platforms like these, bring experts from different industries together to share full-fledged articles and insights based on their field of expertise on authoritative publications.
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has definitely been one of the most influential people of 2018, who has made an impact on millions of people. To begin with, Branson is an actual thought leader because his voice on social media is actually his own. Most business professionals and entrepreneurs want to be considered thought leaders but yet delegate their social media posts to someone else or have others write their LinkedIn articles for them. Branson on the other hand, is known to express his own thoughts, and while he also has millions of followers, if you follow him closely on Instagram, you’ll be surprised at how many people he actually responds to.
Raman Mehta, CIO at Visteon, a 3.5 billion automotive company has earned several leadership awards and has presented at several prominent IT conferences. He has also authored various white papers. Raman has chosen ‘Intellectus community’ to start his thought leadership journey.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX is another great example of a thought leader because of his futuristic ideas on hyperloop transportation and his ambitious plans of sending humans to Mars. His company, which is considered to be a pioneer in futuristic technologies, is where it is today because thought leadership marketing has played a key role in building their reputation and credibility. Elon Musk has admitted to using tweets to express himself.
Here’s why thought leadership is integral for brand strategies:
Helps in the decision-making process
Thought leadership is vital for both types of companies- B2B and B2C, but probably more important for B2B companies mainly because of the complexity and length of the decision-making process in B2B environments and the number of people involved. Generating thought leadership content can greatly help anyone involved in the business decision-making process gain some sort of clarity and alignment with regard to the problems the company is facing.
Redefining and Leading industries
You might have come across great examples of thought leadership- brands like Accenture, IBM and GE. These brands have a reputed name because they have one thing in common; they take ownership of issues that push their respective industries forward. By owning these issues as well as ideas, and also responding to marketplaces that are constantly evolving, these brands are in turn redefining and leading their industries.
Thought leadership helps build a good reputation for yourself and your brand. By sharing ideas and experiences with your peers, you can help them in time of need. By being authentic and genuine in your efforts, you can help build trust even though they might be your competitors. Thought leadership is undoubtedly a fast-moving part of the marketing mix and by getting it right huge gains can be made.
Changing people’s perceptions
You might be a data-rich organization or an organization that uses advanced technology to solve problems. Irrespective of what you do, it is important that you convey the right and accurate message to your audience, about your product or service. Sometimes, your target audience may have a different view altogether. Turning the thoughts or ideas of the company into informative and insightful communications can help establish your company by becoming a leading commentator on trends in the industry. It can change people’s perspectives and give them a clearer picture of who you are and what you do.
Creating a mark in the industry
If you want to create a separation in the marketplace, whether deepening a relationship you have with someone or just simply making them sit up and listen, thought leadership can be very crucial. Markets can be extremely competitive, especially when there are plenty of people out there doing the same thing. That being said, there can be a real dearth of actual and valuable insights. Trust can be an ongoing issue in several industries; you need to prove that you really know what you’re talking about. If you lose that trust, you might not be left with anything at all.