Thought Leadership Marketing in The Age of Online Influence

Thought Leadership Marketing @ronselaThought Leadership Marketing has recently become a topic of great conversation in the online arena. Several companies currently in operation strive to be thought leaders; however, only a select few will ever truly live up to their aspirations. This is due to the fact that thought leadership entails having a unique perspective and point of view that ventures away from the norm. Similar to online influence, it also requires the ability to provide current, relevant, and valuable information while utilizing a layered approach in disseminating the information.

This post examines what it takes to be an effective thought leader and what the best practices and methods used in thought leadership encompass. This article also examines why a content strategy is necessary in helping companies, social commerce sites, and online influencers to sustain and grow their thought leadership. It also covers everything from prioritizing resources to navigating internal politics within a particular company.

What is Thought Leadership Marketing

Many people are unfamiliar with the meaning of thought leadership marketing, and to define it in simple terms to someone who has never even heard of it can be challenging. The definition of thought leadership came about in the early 1990’s when Joel Kutzman, an author for Strategy and Business Magazine, coined the term.

The definition was first used to describe a futurist; a person who was widely known for his unique thoughts and ideas that were considered unusual at the time. Such ideas also had to have an impact on society and could arrive in different forms such as a new product or a new method of teaching.

Although the definition of thought leadership is still fairly new, there are several individuals who have already been declared thought leaders, and they work in a variety of fields. Another reason that a simple definition cannot be easily offered is due to the fact that there are minor variations to the way that it’s been defined by separate entities.

Another similar definition is described as follows. Thought leadership is the process of establishing a relationship with your customers and stakeholders and delivering something of value to them. During this process, you go beyond simply selling a service or product and establish your brand as the expert in the field, differentiating yourself from the competitors.

The Content Strategy of Thought Leadership Marketing

To implement effective thought leadership marketing campaign, it’s necessary that you demonstrate proper analysis, insight, and expertise. You need to be a respected authority regarding issues affecting the industry. The information you share with others must be written, displayed, and packaged for easy consumption without boring the reader. The information must also be relevant, applicable, useful, and be able to reach and speak to your audience in a realistic manner.

Thoughts are a Prerequisite for Thought Leadership, Neal Bruce, Head of Product Management at Lumesse

Your thought leadership marketing campaign can be effectively supported with content marketing only when the content that you publish is unbiased, original, audience led, research driven, and layered. You can learn much more about content strategy to support thought leadership in the following presentation:

 

Thought Leadership and Executive Influence

Visibility and executive influence has become increasingly important recently. Influencers that are considered to be leaders demonstrate contextually pertinent opinions that are not only expressed in an assortment of offline and online media outlets, as well as content sharing social networking platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

We consider thought leadership to be one of three pillars of Executive Influence, Appinions

Thought Leadership is Considered One of the Three Pillars of Executive Influence: Thought leadership is quickly becoming an authority on relevant subjects; it allows individuals to put faces on their business and can provide their customers. On its own, thought leadership is not executive influence; what makes thought leaders more influential than other individuals includes a combination of factors. This includes how often their opinions are displayed in the media, as well as the distinction of the publishers and people that view and share those opinions – most of which are focused on topics considered to be thought leaders.

 

Content Marketing Though Thought Leadership

Generally speaking, the thought leadership marketing concept is often used by technology and consulting firms as a means of re-framing topics and issues for educating customers and stakeholders about the various new techniques used at examining a problem. When used in this way, the overall objective is not is not to establish a person as a thought leader, but instead it is meant to lay claim to innovative thinking as an effective marketing tool. Thought leadership as defined is a way to increase demand for a service or product, which is often referred to as demand creation.

Problem:Most agencies aren’t doing this.For their clients For themselves, Ryan O’Connell

Content marketing is a tool used to showcase your expertise, engage targeted audiences, gain credibility, draw additional visibility, and attract potential clients and customers. For more information regarding thought leadership marketing, please visit:

 

Thought Leadership and the Influence of Social Media

There are a number of ways that social media can be utilized for thought leadership. The marketing essentials most widely used in thought leadership are insight, focus, uniqueness, value, commitment, and authenticity. The various social media platforms provide the unique opportunity creating a solid relationship with the audience, demonstrating your innovation, and delivering the message.

In the presentation listed below, Charlie Pownall lists ten principals regarding thought leadership marketing through the use of social media platforms. The presentation includes compelling messages that are timely, resonant, visible, bite sized, accessible, and attributable. Visit the link below for more information regarding thought leadership through the use of social media tools. For more information, please visit:

 

Building Thought Leadership Beyond SEO

During the presentation listed below, Kunle Campbell offers advice, tips, and suggestions regarding thought leadership marketing and the ways in which you can establish yourself as an authority. This includes how to become an authority in your chosen industry and drive discussion about your service, product, or brand. The presentation also covers areas of content marketing and how it is applied as a tactical process. Included are tools and examples that you can apply in your content marketing strategy.

Google+ Authorship Reports have Authorship Adoption to be as low as 9% and as high as 17%.  Reinforce your personal authority on the SERPs

The following presentation includes examples and tools which can be used as part of content marketing strategies aimed to develop thought leadership campaigns:

 

Who Else is Talking About It

How Marketers Can Build Thought Leadership

How Marketers Can Build Thought Leadership             							    				By Brian Honigman 		      January 28, 2014        	 Future Trends, Leadership & ManagementJanuary 28, 2014 · Adknowledge · This is part 4 in the series entitled, FOBO—Fear Of Becoming Obsolete: Staying Professionally Relevant in a Fast-Moving Marketing World Marketing is a highly competitive, continually changing field. Innovations in social media and mobile have cultivated an ongoing dialogue and education between consumers and businesses. In order to stand out as a marketer today, you can’t simply follow the requirements of your role at an agency or a brand. It’s critical that you continually move past your job description and…
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How to Be a B2B Thought Leader in 11 Easy Steps

How to Be a B2B Thought Leader in 11 Easy StepsJanuary 23, 2014 · Business 2 Community · B2B Marketing By John McTigue, Published January 20, 2014 Anyone can be a thought leader. All you need is a) thought and b) leadership. However, neither one of these is all that easy to acquire when you think about what thought leadership is all about. People follow and build relationships with thought leaders because they consistently provide interesting, helpful ideas. So, you have to come up with original, relevant thoughts fairly frequently and put them out there where people will…
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How to Become a Thought Leader

How to Become a Thought LeaderJuly 9, 2013 · Mashable · Can Promoted Posts Help Your Business? 6 Ways to Be Happier at Work This Summer When to Provide the One Perk All Employees Crave How to Name Your Startup 5 Common Brand Messaging Mistakes by Marketers 5 Mobile Marketing Tools to Reach Customers on the Go 3 Ways Paid Social Ads Can Explode Your Content Can Your Business Survive Without a Traditional Website? 5 Ways Startups Are Using Vine 5 Social Apps To Encourage Employee Health and Wellness 5 Startup…
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Conclusion

Thought leadership marketing is taking place in all shapes. Oftentimes it is pushed through social media platforms using SEO. Previously, brands have published white papers loaded with analysis used to educate their customers. Many consulting firms own their own publications where they display the results of their research and upcoming management models.

Over the course of the last year, thought leadership marketing has quickly been a hot topic of conversation. Currently, several companies are striving to become thought leaders; however, only a few will actually earn the title. Thought leadership takes a unique perspective, a layered approach to disseminating the information, and the ability to provide accurate, relevant, and valuable information.

How do you build your thought leadership campaign and on which topic? Please tell me in the comments below.

 

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Ron Sela

Ron Sela

Managing Director at Sharp Fellow
Ron is a Strategic Business Consultant, primarily for startups and entrepreneurs. In addition, Ron is also a frequent blogger and speaker on topics such as strategic finance, startup funding and online influence. Over the past 15 years, Ron held senior level finance positions with various startups, and provided business strategy and advice for early stage companies.
Ron Sela
Ron Sela
Ron Sela