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One of the ways companies can get the right attention at the right times is through the development of thoughtful, educational content that sparks a deep interest or fulfills a need among their target audience. While there are many ways to create and share content, a blog is one of the most effective methods. If delivered successfully, a company, executive or spokesperson can become widely known as a “thought leader,” ultimately boosting PR and sales efforts with added credibility.
What is a Thought Leader?
A thought leader, according to Entrepreneur, is “someone whose views on a subject are taken to be authoritative and influential.”
It’s important to acknowledge that “thought leader” is not a self-ascribed title. It can only be earned through time, effort and outstanding contributions to your industry. True thought leaders contribute expert knowledge to their field, offer something different from their competitors and deliver the most valuable content.
Becoming a thought leader has its benefits:
- Your company becomes relied on and indispensable.
- Consumers will see your company as credible and respected — are more likely to return to you for products and/or services.
- This recognition offers a title to expand your audience, while also building trust with supporters. Brand loyalists may become promoters, leading to an even-larger customer base.
How to Maximize Your Blog for Thought Leadership
A blog can play a pivotal role in establishing an individual or company as a thought leader, as the format appeals to both people and search engines alike, and the content is easy to share across social networks and email. An impactful blog should:
- Highlight your expertise – Showcase your personal or your company’s in-depth knowledge in the industry and attract returning readers who rely on you for engaging materials.
- Appeal to both search engines and readers – To be effective at driving widespread awareness, your content should be developed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, in addition to your business’ target audience. High quality, consistent blogging with a large social reach will net the most value. (Learn how to utilize a blog as part of an SEO strategy.)
- Answer burning customer questions – Some of the most popular blog posts are developed in direct response to your customer’s commonly asked questions. In fact, those questions make stellar blog titles and play extremely well on social media channels. These questions might be exactly what’s holding a prospect back from committing to a purchase — and a well-written blog might give them the answers they need to take them from casual browser to loyal customer.
- Offer something new – Present fresh ideas, concepts, original opinions or guidance that is memorable and inspiring to its readers; it doesn’t just add to “the noise” already out there on the Internet, practice keyword stuffing or sensationalize.
Why Being a Credible Source Matters
You can affect positive change by becoming a credible source of information in your field. You might help to dispel false information, disprove stereotypes and potentially change a person’s negative perception of your industry.
As a thought leader, your team is responsible to ensure quality is maintained on all fronts — including on your blog. It can be helpful to have the expert perspective of a qualified content marketing team, who will provide strategic direction when developing this necessary aspect of your company’s outreach.
A well-maintained blog, and its role in becoming an industry thought leader, may convert readers to longtime loyalists by forging a relationship between the company and the customer. Powerful content that shares your influential voice will encourage people to return to your company again and again.