Thought leadership is becoming an important tool in a PR professional’s belt. Why? Well, that depends on who you ask.
Forbes, thinks its because consumers (mostly Millennials) trust this kind of marketing over traditional advertising. I agree, thought leadership is growing its popularity because readers actually learn a lot about the writer(s) based on what and how they write. By being present on social platforms, customers are able to join the conversation.
I think one of the best benefits to a thought leadership campaign is the SEO potential. How to implement this kind of strategy is best left to a different discussion but simply put, Millennials trust Google. If you can increase Google’s trust in your website by increasing your search rankings, people’s eyes will follow.
The Huffington Post believes that thought leadership is encouraging Socratic debate. Think about it, social platforms have made the barrier to enter conversations relatively low. This is one reason why Brains on Fire, a marketing firm, believes companies no longer own their brand. Your brand is in the hands of your followers. Malcolm Gladwell believes that these conditions are necessary to start a word of mouth movement because you need connectors, mavens and salesmen to help spread the word.
I think it depends a lot on how you are interacting with your customers, but an added benefit to interacting with your customers is free product feedback. If your company then acts on that feedback by improving the product or service you just increased customer buy-in. If your marketing department wants to go the extra mile you can recognize your community or the specific individual that shared the insight…just a thought.
The Marketing Insider Group encourages companies to avoid thinking that everything you produce needs an unique angle. There are industry standards or truths that you may not be able to find an unique angle on. That is okay, your audience is just looking for the answers to their questions. Provide them with answers and they will come back. Connectors and Salesmen will appreciate the background information and could add it to their repertoire. Mavens will appreciate the answer and consult other resources to make sure you are on point.
In the digital age is a lot of noise. It is important to get your voice into the market place but remember this is the long game. By providing your audience with relevant content, your voice will rise to the top, just like cream.