Ever read, "Be a thought leader!" and wonder What exactly do they mean by that?
Let's consider a more empowering model of Thought Leadership Marketing.
Strategic Thought Leadership offers a better definition.
Strategic Thought Leadership is more about the leadership itself. It isn't sensitive to how big a name you are or how well known your company is. If you, your company, or you client influences just one person's thinking, then you are doing thought leadership.
Instead of being a thought leader, Strategic Thought Leadership focuses on building and promoting a robust Thought Leadership Model.
It's not just about how much you know, it's more about how well you use what you know to
- Empower your audience to get more value,
- Help them make smarter buying decisions,
- Elevate customer experience (CX), or
- Set their criteria to expectations that only your company meets.
Strategic Thought Leadership Marketing is a structured Content Marketing Strategy organized to move marketplace thinking to embrace the unique attributes of your offering.
There are many advantages to building your content this way. Here are 10:
1. Strategic Thought Leadership brings a focus on quality content as opposed to the all-too-prevalent mass fluff production.
It's not about how much content you output, it's about how well it leads the marketplace to think differently.
Strategic Thought Leadership content isn't just about leading prospects to the next conversion step: It leads to inventing a new direction of steps to new ways of thinking that embrace your offering above all others.
So each content piece is assigned a clear purpose to positively influence marketplace thinking a specific way. And doesn't it show more confidence as a brand to respect your prospects' time and attention with the high quality content that results from giving it this kind of attention?
And, speaking of respecting your prospects' time and attention, ...
2. Putting your audience's learning needs first leads to long term customer relationships built on trust.
Trust comes naturally with Strategic Thought Leadership Marketing, which aims to serve prospects' learning needs. This contrasts especially with targeted online advertising.
It's not about the clicks on a targeted ad, it's about the higher profits that come from developing long-term relationships based on trust by putting prospective customers first. Instead of targeting them, you target what they want.
Some say data drives results but data also can drive detachment and can cost empathy for the customer perspective resulting in a negative brand impression. Data measured from their point of view, though, as Strategic Thought Leadership encourages, gives the numbers greater meaning and power.
And, even if you are already working from the more customer-centered inbound marketing model, ...
3. Strategic Thought Leadership avoids the Parrot Content Trap.
Nearly every company is pumping out web content. Most is fluff.
Joe Pullizi of the Content Marketing Institute1 says “(repetition is the) one thing … killing content marketing and everyone is ignoring it".
91% of B2B companies are using content marketing2 and 60% of marketers are creating at least one piece of content a day3. With web content piling up at such an alarming rate, build content based on new thinking rather than adding to the huge, steaming pile of sameness that is the current state of most inbound marketing. And, fortunately, ...
4. Leading the market to new thinking can be easier than trying to outwork the competition in content production.
A shark continues moving or dies. The thinking of the marketplace is moving also and you can either participate in guiding the movement or it's likely you'll sink as well.
Simply working harder to create more parrot content can be like trying to chop down the mightiest tree in the forest with a specimen of clupea harengus. It can create fatigue and frustration if it doesn't resonate with your audience. And repli-content smells a little fishy.
Conversely, strategically leading the marketplace to new territory brings the relief of saving wasted effort and the excitement of faster results. It feels good because every step helps empower the prospect. And if you feel that's going out on a limb, consider ...
5. It could be less risky than stepping in the muddy tracks of your niche's prevailing patterns.
If you stay stuck in the content patterns of your market segment, you could be left behind when a competitor practices Strategic Thought Leadership. Disrupt or be disrupted.
Alternately, you and your organization can adopt the Strategic Thought Leadership role and take an audience somewhere new where your offering stands alone with no competition. And doesn't it show more leadership to help prospective customers reach new clarity?
Your customers aren't the only ones it helps, of course, because ...
6. It brings a stronger sense of purpose to your content marketing strategy.
When taking in a broader perspective that includes how people use what you offer, it's their experience of getting more out of using what you sell that comes into clearer focus as the real purpose of your content marketing. That comes from a content marketing strategy based on Strategic Thought Leadership.
Doesn't approaching content development, production, and promotion as Creative Leadership as a Service (CLaaS) bring greater satisfaction than less purpose-driven marketing?
And if you aren't yet confident enough that your ideas can influence your prospects, consider that ...
7. Even the best content ideas need building out to be robust enough to truly influence the marketplace.
A great idea is like an engine in a formula 1 car- it needs all the other elements- like tires, suspension, the driver, aerodynamics - built around it in order to win the race, no matter how powerful the engine is.
If you bring a great idea to market without the full structure of Strategic Thought Leadership, it can fall flat on its face and leave you discouraged. By building that structure, you can have confidence in the power of the idea taking hold and moving people. Because ...
8. A message that simply stands out is not enough.
A storefront splashed with the graffiti of last night’s vandalism stands out but isn’t attracting new customers.
Well-designed Strategic Thought Leadership, though, leads your market to embrace your way as the way. It brings growth and profits.
Building a robust thought leadership model is like building a house where the foundation - the structure - needs to be complete. Just showing you are knowledgeable is like the paint on the house. It doesn’t go deep.
When building that structure, consider that ...
9. Having a Support Point Library clarifies and speeds up content production.
In order to move the mind of the marketplace to embrace your Thought Leadership, you need a critical mass of well-promoted content based on language patterns of persuasion.
This calls for a library of high-impact Support Points such as those Thaut builds with neuro-linguistics. These potent talking points undermine the old thinking, reinforce the new thinking and fuel ongoing content, sales, and publicity.
The Support Point Library that is integral to the Thaut Process of Strategic Thought Leadership makes multiple phases of content marketing easier and more effective:
The end result is that ...
- Your Content Marketing Strategy is supported with a path for market-influencing ideas to flow into content.
- Content Calendar Planning is easier with a set of Thautfully constructed ideas visually plotted and building influence over time.
- Content Outlines for web copy, blog posts, press pitches, and infographics fall right into place.
- Content Producers like designers, content writers, and copywriters are better supported with more fully-formed content assignments.
- The Connection of marketing strategy to tactics is more coherent.
- Content Ideas are abundant with a never-ending flow of high-impact, distinctive content angles always at hand.
- The Purpose of every content piece is clear- to move market thinking in a specific direction that serves the prospect and favors the featured product.
- Analytics can expand to include how well the marketplace is embracing the new ideas.
10. By getting them to embrace your model, you get lock on your market segment.
You can lead your audience to get a better and more distinctive experience of buying and using what you sell by helping them shift their thinking.
Strategic Thought Leadership Marketing makes every content piece count with a clear purpose and powerful tactics definable in a backstory report. It utilizes the structure of language to positively move marketplace thinking to embrace your unique model.
Through building and utilizing a Support Point Library born from a well-constructed Thought Leadership Model, creating and implementing your content marketing strategy is easier, more purposeful, and more fun as well as being more effective at generating new leads and customers.
The net result is an audience who wouldn't consider doing business with anyone else.
Want to know more? Click here to instantly download our Free Marketer's Guide to Strategic Thought Leadership.
Written by Chris McNeil
Founder of Thaut and 5th Level Web
1. Content Marketing Institute
2. CMI B2B Content Marketing Study
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