There are probably no two terms more overused in marketing today than “content marketing” and “thought leadership.” That’s not to say they are not important concepts or that they should be ignored; quite the opposite. Done well, each strategy feeds the other and fuels engagement. But let’s not add to the deception and confusion by calling data collection and rambling posts content, or worse, thought leadership.
Are you ready to be a thought leader in your industry? Ask yourself four questions.
- Do you have a POV? Thought leadership isn’t about reiterating statistics from eMarketer’s latest study or reporting on a recent event. The world doesn’t need another echo chamber. Having a point of view requires thought, analysis, originality and relevance.
- Does it matter? Great thought leadership offers insights and perspective, not only into present happenings, but how those present happenings will affect the industry one week from now, one month from now, six months from now, etc. Share your insights and make sure you demonstrate how those insights could affect the future of the subject/industry at hand.
- Is it timely? It’s not thought leadership, if you’re not leading. So you’ve got to offer your POV on news and events quickly and concisely. Stay current and respond to relevant industry happenings quickly and intelligently. It’s good for your leadership reputation and it helps boost your search rankings, too.
- Are you committed? It’s not enough to release one brilliant piece of content every six months. It’s the production of ongoing, consistently valuable content that establishes someone as a thought leader. Create a calendar, corral the subject matter experts in your company, and develop a plan to ensure content is being produced on a consistent and ongoing basis.