Before discussing the 5 tips we need to know for effective thought leadership marketing, we need to ask and answer, what is a thought leader? Here is how we define it:
A thought leader is an individual or a company specializing in a field whose authority is honored and respected and whose comments, thoughts, and beliefs are sought after by others.
With that out of the way, what is the value of thought leadership? Thought leader marketing can produce many benefits. For one reason, thought leaders are essential in every industry. They can be so important that they set the pace for their entire industry.
For instance, one thought leader in the professional cleaning industry was so effective in promoting green cleaning that he helped shift the entire industry from traditional cleaning products to those that are green, having a reduced impact on the user and the environment.
While he may not have done this alone, without question, he was the impetus. The same can be true of thought leaders in every other industry.
And always remember, while this was an individual, organizations are even more likely to be thought leaders. In fact, some of the most successful and influential thought leaders we have ever had were organizations. Think: IBM, Salesforce, Adobe, even PayPal, because of their “How We Shop” annual reports.
However, thought leaders must market themselves, and just like any form of marketing, especially when it comes to video marketing, there are some particularly important dos and don’ts that must be adhered to. Among them are the following:
When it comes to thought leadership, any foray into self-promotion can quickly backfire. For individuals, it can come across as narcistic and disingenuous to prospects or customers. If organizations self-promote it is perceived as an advertisement. In either case, remember people want to be educated. They do not want to listen to self-promotion or be sold to.
Don’t Address Multiple Topics
Whether it’s video or words, attention spans are short. Keep your videos and blogs focused on one topic to maintain interest. Also, present your most crucial point first. View your first sentence as an attention grabber, with the rest of your content explaining and expanding on your first thoughts.
Don’t Make Poor-Quality Videos
During the pandemic, a University of New Mexico professor began videotaping his classes. He was impressed with his videos – until he asked for feedback. His students told him he always looked like he was talking down to them. This problem was rectified by raising the computer and looking directly into the camera. They also complained that the video went from bright to dark depending on the time of day. As to sound quality, sometimes his voice was loud and other times it was soft. These all became distractions. Be sure your videos are of a high enough quality to allow viewers to focus on you and your message.
Do Consider Video Marketing
Video marketing is powerful and highly recommended. Consider the following: A doctor in Alabama who specializes in treating skin disorders started making educational videos about how to address specific skin conditions. She posted her videos on YouTube. For the first couple of months, she had a few visitors. Then it took off. Less than a year later, she has thousands of visitors and 12,000 subscribers. Oh, and her medical practice has a four-month waiting list.
Do Show Their Expertise
This relates to the doctor we just mentioned. She never self-promoted. She never advertised her practice. Instead, in her videos and her blog, she shared her expertise, thoughts, and advice. She told stories that people could relate to. Visitors learned from her. She established credibility, which is crucial to being an effective and successful thought leader.
Finally, and this is crucial, no matter the format, a successful thought leader must market themselves. One successful business coach makes one video per week, rain or shine. She now gives presentations all over the country, discussing how thought leaders must market themselves continually. She attributes her many successes to her consistency.