How To Use Thought Leadership Content To Grow Your Business

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Sophia Hadeka
By Sophia Hadeka

February 8, 2024

With 65% of businesses already including thought leadership in their content marketing strategies and 29.5% planning to start doing so soon, it’s safe to say thought leadership content is here to stay.

Thought leadership content can be a powerful and cost-effective way to market your business. It can help establish or reinforce your reputation as an expert in your field while encouraging prospective customers to learn more about and buy from your business. 

If that sounds promising, but you're still unclear about what thought leadership content means or how to leverage it for your business, here's what you need to know.

What Is Thought Leadership Content?

The mission of thought leadership content is simple: to position your brand or spokesperson as a trusted authority on a particular topic. Thought leadership content can take many forms, including:

  • Blog articles
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Newsletters
  • White papers
  • Social media posts
  • And more

Thought leadership content can be shared by brands or individuals that represent those brands. For example, the late Steve Jobs was considered a thought leader in computing and consumer electronics. This gave his company, Apple, tremendous authority in its market. Similarly, MailChimp is a thought leader in email marketing and marketing automation. The brand frequently publishes original research and benchmarks on its owned channels, establishing itself as an authority without designating a representative thought leader for the business.

Either way, thought leadership content should provide viewers with helpful information that deepens their engagement with your business and primes them to purchase. It should establish to viewers that you're knowledgeable about your field. Demonstrating your expertise can elicit credibility and trust from those who view your content, making them more likely to buy from you than your competitors. 

How To Create Effective Thought Leadership Content

Effective thought leadership content can help you increase brand awareness and drive leads. Here are a few steps you should take if you want to start creating thought leadership content that generates results.

1. Know Your Audience

The foundation of effective thought leadership lies in a deep understanding of your audience. Your research should go beyond basic demographics; you should understand their challenges, interests, aspirations, and where they seek information. Are they scrolling through LinkedIn, diving deep into niche forums, or attending specific industry conferences? Knowing what your audience cares about and where they consume content allows you to tailor your message and ensure it reaches them effectively.

2. Identify Your Unique Points of View

To be a thought leader, you need to bring new perspectives to the table. This is why identifying your unique points of view (POVs) is critical. These POVs should stem from your expertise, experiences, and the specific value your business provides. They should challenge your audience’s assumptions and address the current trends, issues, or gaps in your industry.

Choosing relevant POVs that align with both your audience's interests and your business goals is essential. This alignment ensures that your content is not only engaging but also drives your business forward by reinforcing your brand's values and expertise. It's about finding the intersection between what you know best and what your audience cares about most.

3. Create Your Content Strategy

With a clear understanding of your audience and unique POVs, the next step is to develop a comprehensive thought leadership content strategy. This strategy should outline what topics you will cover, the formats you will use (articles, videos, podcasts, etc.), and how you will distribute your content. Consider the following steps to create your content strategy:

  • Topic Ideation: Start by listing topics that align with your POVs and are of interest to your audience. Then, think about the best format to share those topics. Is it an in-depth report, an infographic, or a short video? The right answer will depend on the type of information you’re trying to share.
  • Distribution Plan: Deciding how you will distribute your thought leadership content is equally important. Consider the channels that will be most effective in reaching your audience. This may include your website, social media platforms, email newsletters, or industry publications. Tailor your content to each channel for optimal engagement.
  • Engagement and Feedback: Engage with your audience by responding to comments, questions, and feedback. This interaction not only builds community but also provides valuable insights that can help refine your content strategy over time.

Creating effective thought leadership content is an ongoing process of understanding your audience, articulating your unique insights, and strategically planning your content creation and distribution. By following these steps, you can establish your brand as a trusted authority in your field, driving engagement and business growth.

Getting Started With Thought Leadership Content

If you think your business would benefit from thought leadership content but don't know how to get started or don't have the time to devote, we can help. At WEBITMD, we specialize in content marketing, including thought leadership content, for businesses around the world. 

Not only can we help you establish your industry expertise, but our award-winning full-service agency can help you optimize other elements of your marketing plan, too. From web design to paid media, WEBITMD can help you market your brand more effectively, increase conversions, and grow your business. Contact us today to discuss thought leadership content and your other marketing needs.

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