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Thought leadership: putting your team’s expertise on your clients’ radars

A step-by-step guide to turning your team into thought leaders on LinkedIn, your site, and elsewhere, and how it can meet your goals.

“Thought leadership” has become an essential part of B2B marketing. With Google’s helpful content update, it’s more important than ever for your organisation’s team members to be producing high-quality, informed content in their areas of expertise. 

Articles, LinkedIn posts, blogs, videos – all of this comes under the umbrella of thought leadership. Thought leadership can help your organisation strengthen its relationships with existing clients, connect with strategic partners, and demonstrate value to potential new business.   

“Alright,” you might be thinking, “but my team members are too busy to become thought leaders online.” Not only is thought leadership worth the effort however, but with the right process you can reap the benefits without taking up too much of your team’s time.

Here’s why Base Creative incorporates thought leadership into our marketing strategy, how we do it, and how you can too. 

Why do we create thought leadership posts?

Thought leadership allows us to strengthen our relationships with our target audience, build further awareness of Base Creative, and increase engagement on our social media platforms.

Here are some more benefits of thought leadership, and the goals it can help you work towards:

Improve your brand reputation

Show the world who you are, why you exist, and what you do.

Generate demand

Introduce potential clients into the sales cycle.

Engage employees

Help teams and talent stay plugged into your organisation.

Gain market consideration

Help audiences see why they should be listening to you with unique perspectives and expertise from your organisation. 

Attract and acquire talent

Find and recruit talent, showing them why you’re the best fit for them.

The different types of thought leadership

Here are some of the different types of thought leadership you can create, how it relates to your audience, and some content prompts you can use to get started. 

TypeWhat your audience is thinkingContent prompts
Industry (visionary)“Challenge me”Points of view on news, trends, and the futureNew opportunities for your audience, adding a fresh perspective
Service (guide)“Teach me” How tos, best practices, FAQs, strategyEngagement and new businessCase studies
People (mentor)“Advise me”Career adviceLeadership in businessTalent advicePersonal growth
Brand (evangelist)“Inspire me” Company culture & valuesTrends & innovations

How do we do it?

1. The foundation

Identify your niche. Consider:

  • Timely industry trends
  • Customer pain points
  • Company’s growth priorities
  • Take an unexpected angle
  • Use bold, imaginative storytelling techniques

This applies to your organisation as a whole, but individual team members will also need to identify their specific areas of expertise once they start creating thought leadership content.

2. Relevance

Map to customer needs:

  • Be specific to your niche audience
  • Use website content to back up your point

3. Vision

Chart a path in your industry and take your audience with you:

  • Tie business challenges to underlying causes
  • Paint a realistic picture of what’s to come
  • Help business leaders anticipate their own customers’ expectations
  • Stay ahead of the competition
  • Don’t just explain what’s happening. Explain why it’s happening

4. Trust

Become a go-to source. Remember, you have the knowledge, so share your expertise!

  • Put a human face on content (video, audio snippet, talks)
  • Create journalistic content
  • Demonstrate consistency and longevity to establish yourself as a reliable go-to source

5. Brevity

Keep it concise:

  • Keep it brief and rapidly digestible
  • Get to the point

6. Attribution

Measure accurately:

Primary KPIsSecondary KPIs
CommentsEngagement
Average # of commentsAverage word count per commentQualitative feedbackViews in the feedLikes/sharesFollower growth

What content types should you be using?

Short-form text posts

Great for real-time thoughts, sharp insights, or words of wisdom.

Documents

Share downloadable or longer-form content.

Videos

LinkedIn (and most social media platforms now!) are really pushing video. It’s time to get in front of the camera!

Polls

Get feedback from your audience and prompt discussion.

Articles

Great for sharing longer-form insights, and can be repurposed from the website.

Setting up your LinkedIn for thought leadership

Step 1Step 2Step 3
Measure your current and website performanceOptimise your profileCollate ideas based on your audience and content niche. These will form the basis of your content. Think of 6 topics you’d like to talk/write about over the next 6 weeksExperiment with different content types; audio, written, video, and imagesShare relevant content from your network and add your own perspectivePost consistently – once per weekPost consistently – keep up that once per week schedule!Share company & brand content with your point of view and perspective. 

Thought leadership can bring big benefits to your business. If your individual team members don’t have time to write posts or articles every week, you can have one person at your business interview them and turn their insights and expertise into thought leadership content. It works for us, and it’s worth it for you. 


More help

Want to get in touch about building a social media marketing strategy for your business? Drop me an email at [email protected].

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