Thought Leadership is not a qualification. It is not where you attended school. It is not even about having the largest following. Thought Leadership entails continuously delivering the foremost, in-depth solutions to your customer’s most pressing problems, in a form your audience enjoys. Being a thought leader entails developing and sharing material with the goal of being instructive and insightful, and adding overall value to not just prospective customers, but the industry as a whole. In short, it is quality content.
Thought leadership is important because it expands existing ideas beyond their conventional boundaries, resulting in new perspectives. According to the 2020 Thought Leadership report from SurveyMonkey , two-thirds of marketers (66%) consider thought leadership a high priority for their marketing team, yet just 26% believe their present program to be successful. This could be due to one of thought leadership’s many pitfalls, such as generic content, concepts lacking original insight, or overly promoting the advisor – rather than addressing the client’s needs.
Thought leadership is not the platform to market your company’s products and services, it serves to address challenges and provide solutions. Because the purchase cycle is lengthy and may involve many approvals, thought leadership provides a variety of benefits in most scenarios. Building a connection necessitates trust and respect, which can be instilled with suitable thought leadership content.
Leadership Is The Capacity To Translate Vision Into Reality
Brand affinity is the first reward of thought leadership. By communicating thought leadership and giving your audience the opportunity to get to know you, you become a part of the conversation early in the consumer journey. Thought Leadership is one of the outcomes of a solid content strategy. Showcase your thought leaders and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a socially responsible organisation with real people communicating with real buyers. According to a Marketing Insider Group poll, the benefits of thought leadership are vast. 71% of marketers report higher website traffic as a result of thought leadership, while 62% state improved lead generation and 56% testify to increased media mentions.
Being a thought leader, like having the right PR team, drives your prospects. When you are recognised as an expert in your field, the industry will look to you for direction. This can lead to increased exposure, especially if you are featured in reputable publications. A massive amount of information is published every day, and one of the most common channels for identifying new ideas and trends is through thought leaders. If other content creators mention your work, you will gain more exposure, and you may even receive offers for collaboration from other companies.
Providing individuals with valuable, factual information on a consistent basis earns you credibility and rapport. Your peers will appreciate it, and they will be motivated to aid you in any way they can. Your customers will also trust you because you have given them something of value, increasing the likelihood that they will choose your brand over a competitor. By providing a valuable funnel of free content, you can engage potential clients while converting them into paying customers down the road.
A Leader Is One Who Knows The Way, Goes The Way, And Shows The Way
While generating new leads and revenue is important, being a true expert in your field and giving back to the community is also extremely valuable. For many, this is one of the most important benefits – it simply feels good to share our knowledge and help others on their professional journeys. Two of the most important indicators of success as a thought leader are a passion for the field of research and a willingness to do the work.
Becoming a thought leader in your industry is a gratifying experience that will provide you with a dedicated audience and a strong network of influencers to help you grow your brand. It takes time and the necessary attitude, but with the right temperament and consistency, it can propel your organisation to new heights. Thought leaders are created by sweat, dedication, tenacity, and a commitment to learning. They approach their career with a genuine desire to make a positive impact in the world and contribute meaningfully to the important conversations that influence how we think and feel.
Jean-Henri Beukes – Group CEO