Do you have an influential brand? Are you considered an industry thought leader?
No matter how many times you write a blog post or produce content, you won’t attract the attention of viewers if the content isn’t remarkable. Who doesn’t want to be an expert in their industry.
However, in order for you to become an expert you need to have a voice that will set you and your company apart from the rest of the companies in your industry.
To put this in another context, think about it like this: Are you more likely to buy a product or service from a company that’s an industry leader or from a company you’ve never heard of before? Probably an industry leader.
If you’re not yet considered an industry thought leader, ask yourself these four questions:
- Do others in your industry regularly seek your advice?
- Do you find yourself one step ahead of others in your industry?
- Do your competitors see you as a leader?
- Do others look to you when theres advancements or new ideas in your industry?
If you’ve answered no to those questions, we’ll help you take the necessary steps towards increasing your companies credibility and influence.
Becoming an Industry Thought Leader
One of the reasons why people are attracted to industry thought leaders is the passion and valuable content they’re providing their audience and readers. Passion and knowledge influences your companies target audience in a way that advertising alone could never do.
1. Understanding Your Audience
Who is your audience? Who are you selling your product or service to? When writing your content, narrow the focus towards topic areas that will grab the attention of your buyer personas. You know whose buying your product or service . Whether you have 1 or even 6 buyer personas, if you haven’t already, you should develop content that will interest those people. You don’t need to talk to everyone. If they don’t fit into your characteristics of your ideal customer, in most cases they will never buy from you or even read your content.
Understanding your audience is about adapting your content and material to address their main concerns. When you’re producing content and attracting the attention of your audience, your content will be shared and passed along to others, allowing you to expand your reach.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Who is my audience?
- What does my audience already know about industry or topic?
- What does my audience need to know?
- What questions will my audience have about industry, products or services?
2. Attract the Attention of Other Industry Experts
Who are the experts in your industry? I bet you could list them off in less time than it takes for you say this tongue twister two times, how many yaks could a yak pack pack if a yak pack could pack yaks?
No matter what industry your in, there is one or more companies that industry consumers and even you look to for advice and tips. However, you shouldn’t just sit back, you should develop content and write about topics that will grab the attention of those experts. Show those experts that you know what you’re talking about. Whether your a start up or a bigger company, begin by developing content that even the experts will want to read. You won’t truly grab the attention of industry experts just by giving your opinion, you need to talk about your ideas, present formulas and use evidence (statistics, surveys, and facts).
3. Develop the Right Content
What content are you currently producing?
Is it remarkable? Not sure if your content is remarkable, notice how many people are reading and sharing your articles, as well as leaving comments. We all know that content is king in developing a successful inbound marketing campaign but it will also help you become an industry thought leader. The content your producing should be educational, informative and relevant to industry trends and the interests of your target audience.
Your content should:
- Engage with your audience
- Be relevant and add value
- Be broken into smaller, easy to retain pieces of information
Along with your detailed buyer personas, you should also consider developing reader personas, that will give you a better indication of the type of people who are reading your content. Unfortunately not everyone reading your content will become a customer one day. You might be asking shouldn’t I just develop content for those who will buy my product or service. Not necessarily, just because someone will never buy your product or service doesn’t mean they won’t continue to read and share the content your producing.
4. Produce Premium Content
Providing content your readers and audience can download provides you the opportunity to not only learn more about them but to capture their email address. As a marketer, you want to be able to provide your readers, visitors, and leads with information that’s related to their interests. A great way to do that is through list segmentation and email marketing.
Premium content is also a great way for you to prove your knowledge and expertise. You can start developing your premium content by thinking about what your audience’s biggest problem or concern is, and then offer a detailed and comprehensive ebook, collection or some other form of premium content providing solutions to those problems or concerns.
Premium content can include:
- Case studies
- Fact sheets
- Press releases
5. Social Sharing
There’s no better way for your audience to help increase your companies reach. You should add social sharing buttons to the side of every blog article, at the bottom of every email, and on every page of your eBooks and Whitepapers. Just because you’ve added social sharing buttons to your content doesn’t mean that your audience is just going to share it. It has to be remarkable in some way.
How your content can be consider remarkable:
- Offers a unique perspective on a topic
- Contains original data
- Thought provoking
No industry thought leader is going to recite the same information that can be found on hundreds of sites across the internet. They want maybe even need to be the first to provide information and insight into new ideas, trends, products and services.
6. Create a Personal or Company Blog
One of the best ways for your company to publish content is through a company blog. A blog is a great platform for your company to provide your perspective on industry topics, trends and ideas. Just don’t forget about expressing your personality. You don’t have to write blog articles that are just fact after fact, mix in your personality with humor or even sarcasm. Making reading your blog articles fun. Put your own little twist on each topic.
How we’ve implemented humor with blog titles:
- 78 Delicious Blogging Statistics to Sink Your Teeth Into
- How to Put Your Readers to Sleep With Your Content Marketing
- How to Easily Become a Smarty Pants with HubSpot 3
- Build your Following with a Tickle of the Funny Bone
- ‘The Lonely Island’ Guide to Creating Viral Marketing Videos
7. Become a Guest Blogger
A great way to expand your reach and to get you and your companies name out there is by being a guest blogger. As a key influencer, their blogs probably receive hundreds if not thousands of likes and shares each week, if not in one day. Writing a blog article for that company or person will allow your company to gain more exposure from that company’s readers and target audience. This is one of the quickest ways to spread awareness about your company.
8. Develop a Relationship with Industries Key Influencers
A great way for you to gain the opportunity to become a guest blogger is to develop relationships with your industries key influencers. In business, what you know is equally as important to who you know. Keep in mind that almost every other company is vying for the attention of these people. Be smart about how you go about developing a relationship with influencers. You don’t want to go about it by sending them fan mail, they may be flattered but in the end they might just think of you as pre teen girl writing a letter to her favorite band. The most appropriate and effective way to attract their attention and develop a relationship is through social networking and commenting on their blog articles.
You don’t just have to write blog articles, get creative and find the right medium that appeals to your audience. Whether its through webinars, product reviews, podcasts, infographics, Whitepapers, eBooks, or even video. Remember that you shouldn’t be posting the same type of content every time, not only will it get repetitive but if your content isn’t fresh and exciting it won’t get noticed by those key influencers. Besides you won’t become an industry thought leader if every other company is beating you to the punch.
10. Interview Key Influencers
Who wouldn’t love to learn more about their industries thought leaders? A great way to learn more about them is by interviewing them. Not only can you learn more about these people, but so can your audience and readers. Conducting an interview with your industries key influencers is a great way to bring people to your blog, helping you increase the reach of your brand and being able to introduce yourself to their audience and readers.
Benefits of interviewing key influencers on your blog:
- Gives you a boost in traffic
- You build relationships with industry influencers as well as their audience
- Gives you the opportunity to learn from those people