Thought leadership is a term that’s thrown around now more than ever. Since the pandemic, thought leadership content has become even more valuable for audiences, enabling them to identify reputable brands and more easily choose who to purchase and interact with.
Everyone wants to be a thought leader, but it’s not easy. If you want to be an authority within your area of expertise, it takes a lot of work, knowledge and time. In this article, we’re taking a look at some of the most important steps you need to take to become a thought leader within your industry.
Why is thought leadership important in the tech industry?
The tech industry changes at an alarming rate, with new innovations being introduced almost every day. An increasing number of businesses are transforming their processes, communications and journeys using technology — so what happens in the world of tech affects everyone.
Thought leadership content should help your audience understand what’s going on within the industry. Becoming a thought leader means being a trusted figurehead that can translate jargon into a language that people understand, and help them work out if a recent development is useful to them.
Thought leadership is a perfect opportunity for CIOs and CEOs in tech to develop their personal branding and associate their company with new technologies and ideas. However, with so much competition in the market, it’s no mean feat to make it onto the top rungs of thought leadership.
6 tips for successful thought leadership content
Subject matter experts who lack marketing experience may find creating content a little tricky. Luckily, we have suggestions to help.
Your content should focus on topics that will establish you as an expert, or answer the crucial, topical questions your audience is asking. Additionally, the style you write in has an enormous impact. Here are a few key things to integrate into your thought leadership content:
1. Simple language
Who is your intended audience? Often, they’ll be people outside of the tech industry who are investigating a product or service. This kind of audience doesn’t need to know every technological detail: they just need to know how the product works.
When you’re not speaking to experts, clarity is key. The vast majority of business leaders (83%) say clear communication is an essential ingredient of thought leadership content.
So take out any jargon-heavy, complicated language and explain things in a simple and straightforward fashion. Simplicity makes your content more accessible, expanding your audience and encouraging others to listen to what you have to say.
2. How do you help people
It may seem obvious, but in their haste to talk about the features of their product, many business leaders forget to explain why it’s actually useful. This is a huge mistake, as 64% of buyers find an organisation's thought leadership content is more useful for assessing its competency than its marketing materials.
Focus on product benefits: for instance, look at how your product solves a problem and helps people to succeed. If you don’t, there will be a disconnect in how people engage with your product, and you run the risk of coming across as boastful rather than helpful.
3. Be creative with your content marketing
There’s a lot of content out there. It would be impossible for your audience to see all of it, and it’s likely that they’re not even trying to! If you want views, you need to make it clear that your content is the best option for explaining a particular topic or solving a particular problem.
Creating content designed to interest, excite, educate and even humour your audience encourages people not just to read or watch it, but also to engage with your content and share it with others. More engagement means a bigger audience, which is essential for establishing yourself as a thought leader.
4. Be open with others in your industry
You’ll want to stay aware of your competitors, but you should also consider how working with them could boost your profile.
It may seem counterproductive, but partnering with other leaders to create content in your industry can be mutually beneficial. Sharing knowledge and ideas can help develop both businesses, especially if you’re working in similar areas.
Partnerships could be something as simple as hosting webinars together or writing a joint whitepaper. As you grow, you may even move beyond content creation to things like hosting conventions or awards ceremonies.
5. Be visible
Never hide behind your content. Being visible is key to being a thought leader — when people can put a face to a name, they’re much more likely to trust you. Becoming a trustworthy source of information is crucial when only 10% of thought leadership material is actually written by subject matter experts — if you’re not visibly involved, how will the audience know an expert has contributed to the content?
Hosting webinars, attending industry events, and being a guest speaker on expert panels allows you to demonstrate your expertise in a public forum. It also enables your audience to ask you questions and interact with you on a more personal level.
6. Be consistent
While it may be a cliche, consistency really is key. Once you start turning up, creating useful content and interacting with your audience, you need to keep doing it.
Create an ongoing schedule of content to build and deliver to your audience and stay on top of it as much as possible. Consistent engagement and content delivery will solidify your place as a reliable thought leader and can help build a solid profile within the tech industry.