‘Thought leadership’ can be a burdensome concept, bringing expectations of sharing unique pearls of wisdom. This can encourage the belief that it’s both rare and hard to generate so, for many, it’s seen as a difficult task that people are reluctant to take on.
Reframing this mindset is the first step to high-quality, low-effort thought leadership.
Break it down, and ‘thought leadership’ is just another name for sharing your brand’s point of view on your industry and its trends, the challenges your customers face, and your experience of how best to overcome them in efficient and profitable ways. In fact, your experts and frontline professionals probably do this every day without really thinking about it. In the light of this, the real issue is how to make capturing and sharing your insights a quick and easy process. Here are a few quick tips for keeping your thought leadership content relevant and flowing.
1. Give your core ideas fresh headlines
It’s rare that your brand viewpoint will change dramatically overnight, which means the core of your existing thought leadership content will be relevant for a good length of time. But this doesn’t mean it has to stay in its original format – or that it has to be completely reimagined to be valid.
Think about setting your central points in today’s context, giving them a new wrap. Has there been a news event that’s relevant to your industry? What are customers particularly asking your frontline professionals about? Using these angles will increase impact and reinforce perceptions that you have your finger on the industry pulse.
2. Think smaller – as long as its relevant
Not every piece of thought leadership has to be a multi-layered, wide-ranging analysis tackling a broad issue. A single thought or recommendation offered at the right moment can reinforce your position as a guide or source of expertise. If your advice has helped one customer, chances are it will find a wider audience.
There’s a strong argument for becoming a consistent and frequent thought leadership voice, sharing opinions and insights regularly to the point where key decision-makers within your industry wonder what your take is on any arising issue.
3. Make it easy to capture and share expertise
Much of your thought leadership is already in existence; it’s just a matter of capturing and sharing it. Between them, your subject matter experts and experienced sector leaders have a wealth of significant insights that would be useful to customers, your target market and beyond. From advice on navigating current and future trends, to a deep understanding of how to optimise solutions and practical experience of overcoming sector challenges – you already have much of the thought leadership you need within your company.
For many organisations, however, extracting this insight and turning it into shareable content is an arduous process, dependent on the individual expert finding the time to create the asset. One of the most effective ways to make thought leadership creation easier is to lift the burden from the experts. Using carefully planned questions and structured interviews the marketing department and its partner agencies can quickly and easily gather the raw materials they need to create readable, valuable content.
What can low-effort thought leadership look like?
Here’s a selection of ideas we’ve used successfully with our clients, to get you thinking.
- Get your CEO to share their thoughts on a current topic in a quick interview that can then be ghost-written into a blog post or longer-form LinkedIn post. Issue a quick email to key decision-makers with a punchy subject line to encourage access and spread the word further.
- Ask subject matter experts to review the content of existing whitepapers and give guidance as to where gaps are, given current market conditions. This is a great shortcut for identifying where your expertise will be most effective and where a new whitepaper or mini-whitepaper can really move thought leadership forward.
- Ask frontline professionals what the top pain points for customers are, and create an email campaign addressing them, including signposting to existing content that can advise on the issue.
- Build the LinkedIn presence of your senior leadership team with regular ghost-written thought pieces commenting on current trends.
Increase your thought leadership content the easy way
One of our strengths is the ability to translate complex, technical concepts into accessible, compelling content aimed at decision-makers who may not have a specialist background. We ‘speak’ your industry’s jargon and understand its intricate workings, yet can also filter through expert inputs to pull out what matters to customers. With a 20-year track record of interviewing specialists and presenting them with punchy thought leadership content they’re happy to sign off, we make thought leadership generation easy.
Do get in touch if you’d like to tap into our experiences and see how they could work for your organisation.