Tips to Make Your B2B Thought Leadership Stand Out
Crafting thought leadership takes time and a significant investment of resources. So what do you do to make sure your thought leadership stands out from competitors and gets noticed in your industry? Let’s take a look.
Share New Ideas: Challenge Current Thinking
Stand-out thought leadership in the B2B space doesn’t just discuss what is already known or look at common problems. Thought leadership that resonates and garners real interest says something new and unique. Your organization likely has innovative and experienced industry experts – people who have great perspectives on industry challenges. Tapping into their brains is where you will find the stand-out thought leadership you are looking for.
Here are a few examples of stand-out thought leadership:
A new perspective on a common problem
A different way to approach current challenges
An opinion that goes against the industry standard
An effective way to use new tools to get results
Think about the last compelling article you read about your industry. What was the perspective? The takeaways? The thought process?
Work with an Experienced Copywriter
Most people can write, but not everyone can write well. This is an unpopular statement, but it’s true. Effective writing, which incorporates storytelling and connecting with the audience, takes years to learn. And that is just the craft of writing, it doesn’t even include learning and understanding the subject matter.
For B2B industries, many markets are highly specialized and require years of training and experience to become an expert. This means your organization likely has some of the top experts in your market. However, it’s unlikely any of them also have an advanced degree or experience in copywriting. As such, your best bet to craft stand-out thought leadership is to partner with an experienced B2B copywriter who can take the expertise from your subject matter expert and make it flow in a well-written, engaging article. Trust me, all the thought leaders you know – and even some best-selling authors – work closely with experienced writers and editors to produce their content.
Share Your Content Everywhere
The article or blog post is complete and published on your B2B website, what’s next? Share your content everywhere. We recommend starting by sharing it on all the social channels your company maintains. Once it’s out on all the social channels, ask your thought leader to share it with their network – it’s good for their credibility and it’s a new audience for your company.
Don’t stop with just sharing on social media; include the thought leadership piece in your next email newsletter.
Share it with your sales and service delivery teams to share with prospects and new clients.
Link to it from other well-performing content marketing pieces.
If it’s relevant to any industry-specific forum discussions, share it with the forum users.
If there is a LinkedIn group on the particular topic, share it there as well.
The only caveat for sharing in groups in forums is to make sure it’s not a promotional article – you want to be part of the conversation, not looking to simply sell to the group participants.
Promote Your Content
With all the noise out there online, we can’t rely on organic-only posting and sharing. When you have a true rockstar piece of thought leadership, it’s important to allocate a budget to promote it. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all have paid sponsorship content, but we recommend LinkedIn sponsored campaigns for B2B thought leadership. LinkedIn has a great tool that enables you to be specific in your targeting and get your content in front of a new audience. If you don’t have a large budget, start small and make sure your audience is the ideal target for your thought leadership piece.
Pitch Out Your Content
Another route for getting your thought leadership noticed is by approaching relevant industry publications. Many niche industry publications accept thought leadership articles by industry experts to publish on their publication’s website. Many also accept paid thought leadership placements. It depends on your available budget and your industry.
For many B2B industries, there are publications that don’t require a paid sponsorship to get an article published. This is the route we recommend. Why? Because readers must be notified when articles are sponsored and this can discredit the author or devalue some of the authority of the piece.
When approaching publications for your thought leadership pieces, be thoughtful about the ones you approach. Consider what’s in it for them. Is your article going to be an interesting read? Will it potentially attract more readers to their publication? Will it contribute a new perspective to an ongoing industry discussion? Remember that the editors don’t care about your content marketing efforts, they care about their readers and providing thought-provoking, interesting content.