Thought leadership is an attractive form of content marketing and one that is growing in popularity. With the expansion of services like LinkedIn Pulse and the introduction of Medium, brands, agencies and professionals are keen to utilize the business and reputational benefits that thought leadership can bring.

It’s not quite as easy as simply picking up a pen or sitting down at the computer. For thought leadership to be effective, a proper strategy should be put in place to position the subject and attract the correct audience.

Similarly, to maximize its effectiveness, a B2B brand should already have standing in a current field. They should seek to provide clarity and understanding for the audience who wants to know more about a market, and demonstrate a ‘value added’ approach in the content they are producing.

With thought leadership such an effective stream of content, how should B2B brands position the technique?

Break down complexities: a complex product or service can be made easier to explain and market through thought leadership. With customers keen to see how the product or service can help them and understand the market at large, thought leadership becomes an effective technique to win trust and shape industry credibility.

Use to boost repeat business: to be an effective thought leader, you must already have the attention of the customer. Repeat business offers an opportunity to position yourself to existing stakeholders, providing them with further expertise that could impact upon their business. For example, if you are selling a service, thought leadership can be used to paint a picture of customer progress over time, as well as demonstrating how you are making a positive impact upon a particular sector.

Share the behind the scenes side of your business: content should always aim to educate, entertain and inform- although the three are not always required in the same piece of content. Thought leadership can encourage you to show your creative side, as well as present the fun side of being a leader through the use of interactive media.

Simple, straightforward information: produce content that will help customers to streamline their buying journey and show how you can make their life easier. Create for example, a tips and tricks series focused on the product or service you are providing or a step-by-step user informational guide to instantly appeal to the content hungry consumer.

Be authentic: effective thought leadership positioning relies on an authentic voice. Use your thought leadership to be transparent, sharing authentic experiences from the market that will resonate and inspire other stakeholders.

Update regularly: commit to a regular series of thought leadership posts on your chosen platform. Construct them with SEO in mind, packing with keywords to attract attention of customers and helping to place you as a thought leader in the search engine rankings.

Which thought leaders do you follow? Share your thoughts with us!