A term you will hear often in B2B article placements, and the marketing content creation world is “thought leadership.” However, many people may not know exactly what a thought leadership article or blog actually is.
Because of this, lets start with a definition:
A thought leadership article or 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.
Among the many topics these article could discuss are the following:
- Industry trends
- The pros and cons of doing something
- Things the industry should consider or not consider
- Actions you believe should be taken to address and issue
- Current news and events impacting an industry or the country (without getting political)
- Government actions impacting the industry (again, without getting political)
Why Write Thought Leadership Articles
Many B2B organizations believe any marketing content created about their company should be, in one way or another, promotional. Not so with this type of article. These articles should take a higher road and be used for something much bigger than this. In fact, when used for promotion, they tend to loose their impact very quickly.
As mentioned, the goal of these articles is to position your company as a leader, that’s what gives you and your organization more power and respect within your industry. But even more these articles can directly and indirectly:
- Help promote the company in search engines
- Improve sales
- Potentially lead to a seminar at tradeshow or conference, attracting an even larger audience
- Lead to article placements in major trade publication. This will give you a much wider audience and some real power.
The Technical of 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, is well-researched, 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. For many people, this is the most effective way to come up with ideas for a thought leadership article.
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 the article proves effective and gets many readers – a follow-up thought leadership article can build on the first one.
By the way, one of the most effective places to publish a thought leadership article is on a CEO’s LinkedIn Page. Publish it not as a “post” but as an “article.” Articles carry more weight on LinkedIn and they get more search engine attention.
This infographic can tell you more about thought leadership article.
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