Becoming a thought leader with content marketing can be extremely beneficial to your business, as it turns you into a resource for others in your industry and customers alike. The process can be challenging, requiring a great deal of dedication to creating substantial content and getting it out there for others to see.
Use these 8 rules of becoming a thought leader with content marketing to get started:
- Go where the big shots are. How can you get seen or taken seriously if you’re new to content marketing or still not where you’d like to be in terms of thought leadership? One of the most important things you can do is to go where the big shots are. Identify the most important people in your circle or industry and get in touch with them. Ask to interview them and publish the content on your blog. Alternatively, you can ask to guest blog for industry leaders. This method will slowly build interest while also getting your name out there.
- Start a blog. A blog is a must for companies of all sizes, because it allows your customers and potential customers to engage with your website. Use your blog to share knowledge about industry issues, to answer common questions posed by customers, and to share news and company updates.
- Write a whitepaper. A whitepaper is an in-depth report or guide designed to help your customers understand an issue or make a decision about your products. The whitepaper should be of value to your audience, addressing an issue that matters to them. Whitepapers targeted to customers early in the sales funnel may provide more generalized information that doesn’t address specific products or services, but whitepapers designed to be downloaded by qualified leads may delve into your products more thoroughly.
- Write an ebook. An ebook is similar in length to a whitepaper but is designed specifically for digital use. Ebooks are highly visual, which makes them a great opportunity to use images and links to represent your brand.
- Make an infographic. Infographics are snappy, easy to digest, visual walk-throughs of an issue or product. For example, an attorney may publish an infographic walking potential clients through what to expect during divorce proceedings. Infographics satiate the need for basic information and engage readers, while leaving some room for readers who need more information to look for more in-depth content.
- Draw up case studies. Case studies provide an opportunity for you to showcase how your business was able to solve problems for specific clients. It’s a great way to draw attention to your tangible accomplishments. Case studies should go into detail regarding the problem and how you solve it. Case studies may be a key factor in generating new leads.
- Provide resources. Providing resources from your research can go a long way towards helping you become a thought leader. From industry publications to in-depth studies, you can share resources on social media, quote them in your blog posts, or develop and publish a comprehensive list of industry resources. You can also create your own resources, such as glossaries or guides.
- Publish your own research. Publishing your own research is a great way to become a thought leader, because you’re creating new information. For example, you could write a survey on a topic that hasn’t been studied and publish the results and analysis. The results can be used in blog posts, ebooks, white papers, infographics, videos, and more.
When you produce high quality content and continue to use these methods over time, the process of becoming a thought leader with content marketing slowly continues. As time goes on, you’ll build up a repertoire of great content that readers seek out as well as a dedicated audience who looks to you for industry thought leadership. The process won’t happen over night, but the above guidelines are the key to making it happen.
What do you think of these methods for becoming an industry leader with content? Are there any you would add? Share in the comments!