Content Marketing – Thought Leadership
The core objective that determines whether or not content marketing will be worth the enormous amount of time and effort is thought leadership. Are you able to become a thought leader in your field or are you more comfortable with being a follower? If you just want to be a follower you will inevitably be overshadowed in search rankings by more creative competitors. Thought leadership is about assuming command and determination in your industry at creating a huge community of followers.
Traditionally, leadership in general in our culture was reserved for the few who chose paths through higher education or may have already been born into powerful circles. Rarely were mainstream people expected to become heads of big corporations or invent products that change the world. Experts were considered individuals with degrees from prestigious universities, professors, high profile business leaders and people with years of experience in their trade. Authors of books released by major publishers gained similar credibility.
Thanks to Google and other search engines, the definition of “expert” now includes a longer list of people who might not have those traditional qualifications that define expertise. Apple innovator Steve Jobs also inspired a new culture of people who want to change the world. These inspiring tech pioneers elevated the confidence of many people to pursue innovation as a vehicle for attention and respect. It’s now ok to go against the status quo and offer new ideas to improve systems and products. People who inform and inspire others online with original content are now called thought leaders.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
Study your competitors to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You may not be able to counter their strengths but you may find creative ways to counter their weaknesses. Perhaps they have limitations that are short-sighted. Even if you do not have the means to offer a better product you can still use their weaknesses to your advantage by commenting on them. Look for weaknesses that you can be the first to comment on and offer ideas for improvement.
If you can develop a steady stream of ideas that can improve your industry, you can take the lead in content marketing by utilizing business blogging. One rant isn’t going to change the world much, but a series of well thought out blogs can at least start to attract like minded followers who can convert to customers. As OTR Web Solutions President Ian Conklin has said, “clients want to believe they found you .. not that you found them.”
Blogs are important because search engines regard them as potentially authoritative and prioritize them in rankings. That’s how many people end up connecting with thought leaders.
Making informative videos adds to your credibility as a thought leader. YouTube has become the new encyclopaedia for people to gain knowledge quickly from trusted thought leaders. While blogs are meant to be personable written journalism, video can be even more personable and memorable. Now that online video has become so popular, a huge body of evidence is showing that people are more likely to remember what they see in an online video than what they read in a book. One reason for this phenomenon is that viewers can start and stop videos whenever they want.
The ability for people to learn from video has accelerated the time frame of learning curves in our society. The more you can inform people in videos, the more they will regard you as a helpful thought leader and want to check out more of your videos. Sharing your videos on social networks will help increase views.
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