It’s been shown that thought leadership can be a driving force for growth;
- 55% of business decision makers say that thought leadership increased their business’ growth
- 60% of decision makers said that thought leadership was a key factor in convincing them to purchase a product or service that they didn’t previously consider purchasing.
One of Daze’s signature offerings is our thought leadership service. This unique service is a great way to maximize the potential of social media to present a company’s executives as industry experts and leaders. Social media has transformed the marketing industry in recent years, and platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook have become essential areas for businesses to exploit. Personal social media profiles are perfect for enabling individuals to develop themselves as thought leaders within their given industry and therefore providing value to their organization.
What is Thought Leadership?
First, let’s make sure we understand what exactly thought leadership is by defining it. Thought leadership as defined by the Daze Marketing team is: a certain level of prestige and recognition that an individual or organization has accomplished through developing, delivering, and marketing a recognized level of authority on a subject or industry. In short, a thought leader is someone who is a recognized voice and knowledge base throughout their industry.
Subsequently, thought leaders need to stand out, be different, and be a source of knowledge within their respective sphere of influence. A significant following (social media fits that bill) and high quality content for followers to consume and to use to attract new followers are a prerequisite. In other words, a thought leader has a certain level of prestige, brand recognition, and influence with the power of a crowd to back it up.
How to Become a Thought Leader
Achieving thought leadership status isn’t easy and it certainly won’t happen overnight. Plenty of people are experts in their industry, but wouldn’t be considered thought leaders because nearly no one within their industry knows that they possess such a plethora of knowledge. The key is matching the right content with the right audience. This is how you build the foundation for thought leadership status. Social media, and LinkedIn in particular is the most effective avenue towards fast-tracking yourself to the level of a thought leader.
LinkedIn, being a social media platform geared towards professionals and businesses makes it the best starting point for professionals trying to build that credibility to establish themselves as thought leaders. High quality content is a must – and LinkedIn while a great tool for networking and finding jobs, is also a place where people go to be inspired, learn, and discuss industry trends, tips, and best practices. LinkedIn and Twitter are the most ideal social media channels for B2B marketing and sales efforts. Facebook is worth having, but it shouldn’t be your primary platform for generating content geared towards thought leadership.
Creating high quality and engaging content, and developing a well thought out strategy on how to get this content in front of the right people is the most effective way to become a recognized expert within any given industry today. Understanding which social media platforms are most appropriate for this objective is key.
What types of content are ideal for establishing thought leadership?
- Original articles
- Videos and pictures
- Sharing articles
- Personal stories or experiences
- Blog posts that provide solutions for problems
- Commentary on industry news and trends
- White papers
- Powerpoint presentations
- Speaking engagements
These are just several examples of types of content that thought leaders are able to leverage. In order to effectively leverage these different content formats a thought leader needs to use them to educate, inspire, or provide solutions to common industry problems.
Thought Leadership Service
Daze Marketing took the increasingly influential concept of thought leadership and customized a unique and flexible package of services geared towards enabling individual professionals and companies to achieve thought leadership. These services include profile optimizations, article creation, content generation, content planning and strategy, workshops, and more. By leveraging executive’s and ranking employee’s social media profiles, especially LinkedIn, Daze has been able to work with clients to create successful thought leadership campaigns that boost both the individual’s and company’s statuses through the use and creation of high quality content that is specifically curated for a highly targeted audience.
The goal of thought leadership campaigns are to increase and grow and individual employee’s personal brand by demonstrating his/her expertise in their field. This naturally will benefit both employee and employer. Having skilled and talented employees who people turn to for inspiration, education, and to solve problems, is a powerful marketing tool. By delivering high quality content including, articles, social media posts, and other forms of content, fitted towards driving engagement and interaction directly with the targeted audience, thought leadership status becomes attainable.
Daze Marketing has creatively designed data-driven methods to help companies improve their brand awareness and grow their credibility by leveraging the power of social media and the value of carefully crafted and highly targeted content.
Why Thought Leadership and Not Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is great. All businesses need to carefully craft and promote their brand in a strategic way to develop awareness to help grow their business. However, thought leadership, while a different type of growth strategy, represents a more powerful tool for corporations because it allows leaders to communicate directly with an audience. In general, people prefer to follow people over brands. People care more about what Bill Gates thinks or says then what Microsoft has to say. Thought leadership allows people to engage with a knowledgeable individual rather than a brand. This allows for strategic relationship building which can generate inbound leads for a business.
Thought leadership content differs greatly from brand awareness content. Thought leadership content, as mentioned earlier, needs to inspire, educate, or provide a solution to a problem or pain point. Brand awareness content tends to be more promotional and a means of communication, where thought leadership allows people to follow and engage with company representatives who through their strategic use of content provide true value.
To schedule a free consultation if thought leadership is right for your business, click here!
* findings from Edelman-Linkedin research.