Thought Leadership: Does Your Content Transcend Your Industry?
It’s getting simultaneously easier and more difficult to reach consumers today, have you noticed?
A litany of ad-blocking services prevents traditional advertisements from passing over 31 percent of consumers’ desktop screens. As a result, your online content needs to be high in quality to attract your consumer audience.
How can you ensure your content stands out from the rest? Start by integrating thought leadership into your material.
Defining Thought Leadership
What’s the difference between a “thought leader” and an influencer?
Influencers are the faces you see on social media. While they make strong advertising partners, they’re not thought leaders. They’re often not industry experts at all; they utilize the power of charisma, not education.
Thought leaders are experts among experts—influential figures who provide wisdom and inspiration to the people around them, regardless of industry lines.
Thought leadership, as a result, rejects fluff. Leadership-based content offers actual value to consumers from a number of angles and isn’t applicable to only one avenue or industry.
If your content can transcend your field and be useful to both your frequent consumers and folks who’ve never heard of your business before, you’re a thought leader.
Among this illustrious crowd are names such as:
- Emily Tisch Sussman, Center for American Process
- Peter Arvai, Prezi
- Trisha Trixie, Fabulousness
- Lee Cockerell, Disney
Thought Leadership and Authority
Want to think of this in another way? Let’s try SEO terminology.
Thought leadership, in effect, translates directly to “industry authority.”
Given the Google algorithm’s love of perceived authority, your attempts to transcend industry and reach out to a broad audience with valuable content will bring your company and products the attention – and revenue – they deserve.
Becoming a Thought Leader
It’s nice to talk about these high-level ideas, but how do you go about weaving non-industry-specific value into your content?
Lee Cockerell does this by outlining not the success you can see in your immediate business future, but the kind of success you build for yourself—both as part of, and separate from, your business over time. A Disney representative and long-term member of the service industry, Cockerell’s thought leadership advice focuses on lifestyle philosophies rather than career: his focus is all about how a thought leader should live on a daily basis as opposed to how he or she should work.
Try to incorporate that kind of day-to-day, growth-positive advice into your content to grow your work reputation.
Keep the following in mind:
- Identify your field and embrace it. Where are you working? How have you tied that industry to your business’ identity? You’ll need to make your position within that industry known, but you shouldn’t let it define the work you produce.
- Produce deep research on your subject of choice. Whenever you generate new content ideas, prepare yourself for a deep dive into the research process. Authoritative and valuable content is knowledgeable content, and you’ll need to be prepared to hit the books.
- Leave your industry motives behind. Your consumers know that you want to make a profit. Don’t use thought leadership content to sell your products, though. This kind of content should focus on developing your name.
- Seek out a mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from someone within or outside of your field.
- Attend networking events. Try to meet with other thought leaders. When you do, you’ll be able to study their methods of communication and grow your own, even networking via backlinks or collaborative work to build your authority.
- Publish or perish. Make sure that you have a rigorous publication schedule planned in advance. Try to reach out to a set number of external publishers per month while also sticking to a content calendar on your own platform. If you stop publishing, you’ll lose industry relevance.
It takes work to become a thought leader. The reputation you build as a result, and the SERP boost you see during the process, are more than enough reason to pursue the creation of valuable, knowledgeable content.
image attribution: Cozine – stock.adobe.com