Align Your Thought Leadership and Content Marketing Strategy with these Tips
The goal of content marketing is to quench readers’ thirst for information, motivating them to click, read, download an informational piece and eventually become a customer. In order to be effective in your content marketing efforts, you need to have a clear understanding of your target audience. Positioning your brand as an expert in your respective domain highlights how thought leadership is a natural extension of content marketing.
While thought leadership and content marketing are each useful on their own, combining these makes for a powerful force for improving not only brand awareness, but also demand for your products.
Know Your Audience
Demonstrated expertise in your domain is great, but it also needs to be offered to those who need your expertise. Hence, content that doesn’t reach the right audience will likely get lost among the masses. Consider what makes your audience tick? What are their needs, interests or motivations? The best way to go about it is to create an ideal buyer profile. Specify what challenges they might be facing, how your product solves them, where would they go to inform themselves about the challenge and what kind of content would perfectly appeal to them. This is the sweet spot of both your thought leadership and content marketing strategies.
Having devised a clear buyer profile, you are in a great position to deliver exactly the type of content your audience is looking for. Another thing to keep in mind is that people no longer make buying decisions solely based on the products you offer, but also look to buy into ideas from brands they identify with. Likewise, thought leadership content doesn’t actually sell anything. More than anything, it answers questions and identifies untapped opportunities for prospective customers.
Communicate with your audience, the way they would expect it from you. Offer insightful information, share your opinion and back all of your statements with facts. That way you can establish an authentic image of expertise in your domain. Your audience will slowly start to turn to your brand for guidance whenever they face a challenge your product can solve. As such, this will influence prospects’ opinion and bring them close to the buying decision. A little humour now and then doesn’t hurt either.
Build a System
Upon identifying a well structured system that brings results, it’s time to rinse and repeat in an efficient rhythm. By now, you will know what needs to be done and you will be able to assemble the necessary personnel to bring the strategy at speed. Set regular connection points with your primary thought leaders to gather first-hand insight on issues and solutions. In order to maintain control of your content output, map out a content calendar and set deadlines to publish consistently. Finally, test formats, publish on different days of the week and times of day to maximize exposure and optimize conversion.