While some marketing programs put “thought leadership” into a catch-all category including thinly-veiled marketing articles, effective thought leadership programs go beyond self-serving topics or “how-to” articles and instead highlight new trends and strategic guidance on addressing buyers’ critical pain points. Following are some tips for forging or re-imagining a strong thought leadership program:
Go Beyond the Basics
Your target buyers already know the foundational elements of your industry, so repeating this information is the quickest way to invite them to tune out. Instead, demonstrate your depth on industry challenges or new trends that have real impacts on their day-to-day operations and bottom line.
Offer Contrarian Viewpoints
It goes without saying that there is often general consensus on major industry shifts, especially when backed up by research. However, there is always room for different perspectives on how best to address these developments or if new or different methodologies could help take the industry forward more quickly.
Address Nuanced Problems
As the evolution of industry issues tends to shift over time, discuss the particular angles that are currently impacting the industry. Reference relevant market examples and offer real-world guidance so customers and prospects know that your business understands how to address their current needs.
*This post originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of The Spark newsletter.