A term you will hear often in B2B article placements and the content marketing world is “thought leadership.” However, many people may not know exactly what a #thoughtleadership article or blog looks like.
Because of this, lets start with a definition:
A thought leadership article/blog is designed to position your company and the author of the content as a leader in your industry. It does not promote a product or service.
Instead, among the things a thought leadership article would discuss are the following:
· Industry trends
· The pros and cons of doing something
· Things the industry should consider or not consider
· Government actions impacting the industry (if it does not get political)
Why Write Them
Many #B2B organizations believe any content created about their company should be, in one way or another, promotional. But thought leadership articles should be used for something much bigger than this.
As mentioned, the goal is to position your company as a leader, that’s what gives you and your organization more power and respect within its industry.
But more than that:
· It can help promote the company in search engines
· Indirectly improve sales
· Potentially lead to a seminar at tradeshow or conference
· If a blog, lead to article placements. This will give it wider circulation and some real power.
Writing a Thought Leadership Article
The first step in writing a thought leadership article is coming up with the idea. Above are some possible topics. But sometimes you just want to get something off your chest.
That’s fine if everything stays objective, non-political, does not promote a product or company nor demote a competitor, industry, or another industry figure.
However, thought leadership topics typically don’t just walk in the door. Other ways to come up with an idea for a thought leadership article include the following:
Brainstorm. Have three or four people sit around the table and discuss ideas. This can work surprisingly well.
Listen. Listen to your end-customers about their industry concerns or what’s impacting them right now.
Successes. Sometimes a company takes a stand on something they believe is for the best of the industry. A thought leadership article can discuss their views – and if they succeed in making a change – a follow-up thought leadership article can discuss how they made it happen.