Thought Leadership: Moving from a “Push” to a “Pull” Strategy to Lure Customers

“Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you’re in control, they’re in control.” – Tom Landry

Thought leadership has become a top priority for companies that sell high value products and services to sophisticated clients. It is especially effective for B2B marketing, as well as for building an overall corporate image. However, B2C marketers can also benefit from thought leadership since consumers seek advice as well and will turn to brands they can rely upon. Either way, demonstrating your company or executives as experts in your field is a powerful public relations tool to attract new business and create a presence in your industry.

Thought leadership campaigns are more important today than ever before due to the content marketing shift. Traditionally, marketers would “push” information they thought would influence their customers; today, consumers “pull” the resources that they want and need. Instead of companies hunting for people to sell their product to, buyers are actively researching potential services, and differentiating them in part based on the quality of their thought leadership. It’s therefore more important than ever that you have a host of rich and valuable content available for the taking.

Thought leadership campaigns come in many different sizes and shapes. They can include a wide range of techniques including traditional media interviews, social media communications, blogging campaigns, bylined articles, speaking engagements, webinars, and much more. For the purpose of today’s article we will focus on blogging strategies.

Tips for thought leadership blogging
One of the best ways to establish yourself or your brand as an expert and thought leader is by publishing a blog and executing a blogging campaign. But there’s more to a thought leadership blog than just writing content and sharing it. Here are some tips:

Get to know your customers and offer them solutions
Knowing your customers’ problems and offering smart advice can help you emphasize that you’re among the best in your niche. So keep in mind: find out what are your prospective clients’ needs and problems, and offer them solutions through your content.

Be where the action is
Being too cautious in your interactions with other bloggers can have a negative effect on your brand. Actually, some businesses find that taking a position on an industry debate in the blogosphere is a good way to raise their online profile. Thought leadership is the ability to combine a point-of-view that is not only interesting and relevant but compelling and provocative. Remember, effective thought leadership resonates with people emotionally first, then intellectually, so go ahead and dive head first into the issues!

Prioritize
Writing, sharing opinions, developing relationships with bloggers, and maintaining a blog can turn into a full-time job if you’re not careful about how you invest your time. This is why you need to write and post when you have things to say that reinforce your position, but believe it or not, you don’t need to post all the time. Set some objectives you want to meet, messages you want to deliver and remain focused!

When done right, blogging can give thought leaders great visibility in search engine results. This is important because according to this Economics Intelligence Unit study, 64% of senior executives are clicking ‘search’ more than six times a day seeking business information, and 69% of B2B buyers are using social networks. This is partly why 56% of B2B marketing executives stated ‘positioning our company as a thought leader’ as their top objective.

So go ahead and blog and don’t be shy. Show the world that you are the thought leader that you are!

Written by Lynn Schwartz

An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Lynn is a true public relations generalist with experience in a wide variety of disciplines and industry sectors.

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