The internet is full of SEO content written for bots, not people. Most SEO content doesn’t get shared on social media. It’s not getting engagement on LinkedIn. And sometimes it’s never read by anyone at all.
Thought leadership content is user-specific content designed to be helpful and informative. This content stands out, drives engagement, and makes people think.
What is Thought Leadership Content?
Thought leadership is a content strategy that helps brands stand out, build authority, and showcase their expertise. This content helps your brand become the go-to hub of information in your vertical.
Thought leadership differs from SEO content because it is only written with the intention of delivering a point. An SEO article may provide a unique point of view, but it’s designed to appear in search. Thought leadership articles help people and spark conversations.
While a brand might have a thought leadership strategy, most people associate thought leadership with executives, CEOs, or other figureheads of a company. SparkToro’s CEO Rand Fishkin has over 450,000 Twitter followers and 150,000 followers on LinkedIn. He’s a thought leader in the SEO space because he’s been producing valuable SEO content for over a decade.
How to Create Thought Leadership Content
The trick to creating thought leadership content is creating valuable content. Thought leadership shows you’re an expert in the industry while speaking to niche points. When it comes to thought leadership content, you must add a fresh perspective to the conversation. Adding to an echo chamber won’t help you stand out.
For example, not too long ago, everyone in content marketing was talking about Chat GPT. Eventually, it became clear there weren’t may new thoughts on the subject.
Tip: When thinking of thought leadership, see what your competitors aren’t talking about!
Some questions to help you brainstorm thought leadership content can include:
- What’s the next big thing?
- How will the industry change?
- Is there an idea or concept more people should know about?
- Do you have unique data?
- Are your customers willing to speak about their experience?
- Do you have a unique experience?
- Do you have a strong feeling that goes against the grain?
- Is there something not working in the industry?
How to Distribute Thought Leadership Content
Creating thought leadership takes more than posting on your blog. It’s designed to drive engagement and start conversations, so thought leadership needs content distribution.
You should be sharing thought leadership content on your social media at the very least. The authoritative author should post it as well. Beyond your blog, sites like Medium and LinkedIn are popular hubs for posting and sharing such content.
Tip: Don’t just post your blog as a link. Try adding questions, tagging other experts, or additional data points when you post.
Other ways to start spreading your thought leadership include:
- Guest posting
- Speaking at events
- Producing podcasts or appearing as a guest
- Providing interviews
- Email distribution
How to Create Authority
One of the cornerstones of thought leadership is authority. Don’t repeat what someone else says will be the next big thing in the industry. You need to be the person everyone else is repeating.
Part of creating authority for thought leadership will come from the qualifications of your leader. The other part will come from what they have to say. If you’re in a vast industry like marketing, it can be tricky to prove you’re an expert.
If you want to become an authority for your company, consider these tips with posting on social media:
- Be helpful
- Answer questions with a unique perspective
- Don’t just post to post, post to say something important
- Engage with your audience
- Stay relevant and up to date
Reasons to Prioritize Thought Leadership Content
Thought leadership content can help you stand out from your competitors and humanize your company. Some other reasons to invest in thought leadership include:
- Create a buzz: Thought leadership can create publicity and excitement about your brand. If the right industry hot take resonates, you may be able to leverage it into articles, speaking engagements, and more. Even just a larger network of shares on LinkedIn can be a great benefit.
- Craft a content web: While thought leadership content is human-centric, it can spin off other pieces of content with different goals. If you delivered a great report on industry trends, that information can transform into an SEO-driven blog about the industry, an eBook looking at the future or the bigger picture, or about how your brand fits in, or a webinar expanding on the topic.
- Build trust: Creating unique thought leadership with proprietary data, unique experiences, and personalized stories can help you stand out as more than a content farm.
- Stand out from the crowd: If you’re in a large industry, competing for high-value keywords can be a tough battle. Interesting and engaging thought leadership increases your visibility without fighting through the SERPs.
- Generate backlinks and shares: A popular thought leadership article will drive engagement. Additionally, it can increase your visibility and add backlinks to your website.
- Start new conversations: Most people don’t like being sold to. Thought leadership can help get your company in front of new eyes without the pressure of a sales pitch. If people find your thought leadership interesting and helpful, they may be more likely to engage later when they’re ready to buy.
If you need help with content production best practices when it comes to thought leadership, get in touch with ClearVoice today!