How do you stand out from the crowd? Knowledge. Showcasing your knowledge can be a very effective way to establish your business as an authority in your industry, while giving enormous value to your customers.
You need to be imaginative with thought leadership, evolving from the same old blog posts that you have been doing for year. Think differently: are you offering new ideas that will cement you as a leader in your industry? 58% of decision-makers read at least an hour of thought leadership each week and almost half of C-suite executives have shared their contact details after reading such content. So how are you impacting how they think? Will this content encourage these decision-makers to get in touch? Will it tempt potential customers to convert?
Although it is good to have goals, it is also important to remember to avoid direct sales messages when writing thought leadership content. The idea is to grow your brand and build trust, not push your audience to purchase immediately. These three examples will give you an idea of what makes excellent thought leadership:
American Express’ blog for small businesses is one of the most successful examples of content marketing of all time. Their strategy of putting their audience first to provide actionable tips and insights instead of pushy sales messages paid dividends in building their brand image. Their content is handily sorted into four main categories based on their customers’ needs: Managing Money, Getting Customers, Building Your Team, and Planning for Growth.
Amex relies on user generated content, asking their business customers for their experiences and any hints they may have off the back of it. It is mutually beneficial as Amex do not have to rely on their team of writers and the contributors will be credited, increasing their exposure.
By involving other businesses, Amex created a community with them at the heart of it. They built onto this with a live video series on Instagram called “Office Hours”, where executives of SMEs took part in a Q&A session, discussing how they navigated their way through the COVID-19 crisis.
2. Intermedia Cloud Communications
Intermedia is a cloud business applications provider, and they use their blog to share trending topics from news and security advice to case studies of businesses successfully deploying cloud technology to improve performance. Such content engages their audience and encourages them to share far and wide.
While content like “How to Manage Live Attendee Chat During Webinars” tapped into the interests and of executives during the COVID-19 crisis, detailed case studies following their customers’ move to cloud services demonstrated the real-life applications of Intermedia’s products and services.
Global medical technology company GE Healthcare built its Insights platform with personalisation at the front of their mind. As their industry is highly regulated, their customers will have very different needs depending on where they are based. Therefore, GE Healthcare adjusted the content and language to suit the reader.
Their content looks at the human stories behind the technology, bringing something more interesting and very different than the typical technical content that is synonymous with the B2B healthcare industry. This ended up being a hub for engaging and useful content, developing stronger relationships with their customers.