Thought leadership: what everyone wants and only the few can have! Or, at least, that is how it seems. After all, if everyone was a thought leader, it wouldn’t be a special title. But, here at Mojo, we believe that every business in telecom and IT can benefit from thought leadership practices even if they aren’t “industry leaders” per se. We’ve found some tried-and-true tactics to get you started on your journey to becoming a thought leader. Here are five for thought:
1. You have to prove the value.
If you’re not the person at your telecom or IT company that makes the financial decisions, then you’ll need to prove the value of thought leadership before taking any steps toward content creation. We analyzed research done here to find out how to prove thought leadership works. What it boils down to is: IT buyers are extremely risk-averse, and they are making emotional decisions.
So, the more you can de-risk the buying process for your prospects, the more likely you are to put your company in “the IBM
light.” Read the piece to find out what we mean by that and to find out exactly how many C-suite execs value thought leadership content. This research will be fodder for you to at least start the engine on the thought leadership train.
2. Choose your topics.
What should you create in order to become a thought leader? Volumes of articles have been written about such a question and are available across the web, but, in our experience, there are a few critical places to start:
- Your market place
- Your competitors
- Your clients
- Your distinctives
This piece delves more into each of those categories of inspiration (what even is a distinctive?!), but the bottom line is: There are a lot of places to look so you can get inspired, make a plan, and put those ideas to work. Or…
3. You can use data!
Tools like social media accounts, Google Analytics, and Google Webmaster Tools make it easy to come up with new ideas for thought leadership topics, and all of their information is free. Check out this in-depth explainer piece we’ve created on how to do all of the following:
- Take a look at how your direct social media followers have responded to your content, and use that to inform
your strategy.(That article looks at LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter!)
- Take advantage of Google Analytics to see how people browse your site, which posts are most popular, and where they leave your site to understand your target audience better and create ideal content for them.
- Understand how to use Google Webmaster Tools to choose thought leadership topics based on keywords that are driving folks to your content.
4. Consider evergreen content.
One of the most valuable items you can create as part of a thought-leadership strategy is an evergreen piece of content. Not only does this type of piece stay relevant across Google forever, you can reuse it – and even revamp it – multiple times to get the most juice out of it as possible.
Because blogs are especially well-suited for frequent re-sharing, we recommend starting with an evergreen blog or two. You can add new statistics to your blog or change its formatting to adjust for modern design – as long as it’s still relevant to your target audience, it’s good to re-share. We’ve detailed here exactly how to update your evergreen content for thought leadership by editing your blog title, looking for updated resources or statistics, and improving its overall look.
5. Be patient.
There are a few things to keep in mind once your thought leadership train has left the station. First, remember not to spam. You may think that the more you publish, the deeper your thought leadership. Not so: it’s quality over quantity these days.
Second, self-promotional content is anathema to thought leadership. Keep everything as educational and informative as possible.
Third, stay engaged. React to comments on your articles, even the critical comments. (Keep it tactful.)
And, finally, remember that thought leadership takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
If you’re interested in building a content strategy for thought leadership, get in touch with Mojenta today. We’ve been helping telecom and IT businesses develop thought leadership strategies since 2010.