“Thought leadership” is a popular term that gets thrown around a lot in the content marketing world, but it shouldn’t be simply dismissed as another piece of jargon.

When you create thought leading content it means it’s unique, valuable and offers truly innovative solutions; it positions your brand and business as an industry expert.

Thought leading content is engaging and has the power to be read and shared thousands of times by people who value your knowledge and expertise; it’s the holy grail which every business should strive for.

Being a thought leader doesn’t have to be timely or costly; you simply have to dip into your knowledge and experience to find the engaging information that your audience is searching for.

Here are three brilliant ways to tap into your unique knowledge to become a thought leading content publisher.

 

  1. Have key employees or directors share their expertise

As a content marketer you’ll without a doubt know who Matt Cutts is, right? In many ways he is the face of Google (despite currently being on leave).

For many years he’s been the reassuringly friendly smile we all think about when we hear of a scary algorithm change that could destroy our rankings.

He makes Google personable and provides us with what feels like insider knowledge into all things SEO, and that’s why his blog posts are read and shared by thousands of people.

 

 

Your audience will love the insider knowledge that individuals in your business can provide.

Managing directors or heads of department will have copious amounts of industry expertise which is relevant and highly engaging.

If they’re not the best writer or they’re pushed for time, they could simply scribble down some thoughts or a bulleted list so that a copywriter can craft it into something spectacular.

It’s the knowledge that matters most, so find a way to harness it and transform it into engaging content.

 

  1. Turn to your customers for inspiration

Does your support team answer the same questions to customers on a regular basis? Have any customers come up with weird or wonderful queries which you’d have never thought about yourself?

Have people reached out to you personally for advice on a topic in your industry?

If even one person has asked an important question you can guarantee someone else will have wondered the same thing so make the most of it and create a blog, article or how-to guide in order to answer to it.

Ask your sales or support teams to keep track of common queries, or even speak directly to customers yourself to hear what they have to say.

The questions will be strongly tailored to your business and industry, which will make your solutions unique, innovative and incredibly relevant to your target audience.

 

  1. Use case studies

Case studies are a brilliant way to blow your own trumpet about your products or services whilst providing fantastic insight into how they’re used by real people or businesses.

The best part is that each one will be completely unique.

For example, a construction firm could provide case studies on past projects, detailing the initial vision, techniques or services provided, challenges faced along the way and solutions created to overcome them.

This gives potential new customers an inside look into a project similar to their own and it also tells them that the company has the expertise on hand to overcome problems along the way.

 

case studies

 

A brilliant example of successful case studies content is from Google; on www.thinkwithgoogle.com they demonstrate how their products have been used by some major brands, including Budweiser, Land Rover and Rosetta Stone.

Anyone researching Google products is likely to be impressed by the calibre of businesses who have seen success with them, as well as the difficulties they had to overcome along the way; it’s engaging and incredibly valuable.

 

Conclusion

Being an influential thought leader in your industry is no mean feat. It takes time and dedication, as well as being able to network with your peers and engage with fellow industry experts.

But if you put in the work, the rewards for you and your business are huge. Your blog and site could become one of your industry’s definitive resources – a wealth of information that customers turn to!

 

Your Say!

What do you look for in an online influencer? What type of content would you see as “thought leading”? Drop us a comment below.

Written by

Martin Harrison

Martin is co-founder of content marketing service Copify. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.