Three steps to Thought Leadership Marketing
Thought leadership marketing is not only about making you a brand leader but to single-handedly redefine the entire market – in the perception of the people. It is not about being the first choice, but being the only choice.
Key in the process of thought leadership marketing is being in your customer’s hearts. Customers do not simply want products and services. They want to fulfill their personal hopes and dreams and you need to be able to help them on their hero’s journey. That’s a concept to pursue not only when marketing smartphones or motorcycles but also B2B, high-tech products, pharmaceutics, financial services, and, last but not least, corporate consulting.
Step 1: Establish personal contact and enthusiasm
Create enthusiasm for a big idea that serves the greater good and changes the world. Use content that inspires people and lets your idea become reality.
Step 2: Building relationships
Engage customers on a long term basis with your innovative products and ideas.
Step 3: Create shared experiences
Establish your own interactive community platform for your brand community. Together, you can implement your ideas and spread your mission.
How does Thought Leadership Marketing work?
Thought Leadership Marketing starts with the idea and vision of your business model. Shape your model in a way that you engage, involve and actively include customers. Create relationships and spark enthusiasm in people with valuable and significant content and credible brand faces (internal brand ambassadors).
Integrate your customers into your brand environment with influencer marketing, customer engagement, and customer experience management. Use inbound marketing to deliver outstanding content that people are actively looking for on the internet, thus establishing customer relationships. By that, your customers might want to get involved on your brand and support you with word of mouth recommendations.
Establish your own brand community. Give your customers a forum to share their views and communicate with each other about your brand. Stimulate these dialogues and enhance communication with viral campaigning. All these methods combined with your business model, brand, range of services, and marketing create your own incorporated Thought Leader System.
Thought Leadership Marketing Reaches More People and is More Successful
Advertisement campaigns that have long been established are the perfect tool if you wish to address as many people as possible with the same message. Above-the-line campaigns in TV, radio, newspapers/magazines and on billboards help you to achieve high awareness in a very short amount of time. However, this method can rarely inspire and delight people to actively get involved in a company’s idea and brand. Furthermore, if considered as interruption marketing, it can even have the opposite effect of what you want to achieve.
Modern and new marketing approaches go one step further. We want to inspire people by addressing them with customized messages, which reach them exactly when they are looking for it. This is precisely the reason why blogs, vlogs, viral campaigns, whitepapers, and eBooks have such a massive and positive reach.
This so called “brand generated content” is not being skipped over by customers but actually initiates them to get even more interested. Thus you get open minded customers, who willingly spread your content because they believe it to be worthwhile. They share your message on social media with others who are interested in the same topic and thereby spread your idea exponentially.
Thought Leadership Marketing makes consequent use of inbound marketing, which focuses on delivering what the customer wants when the customer wants it. The result of which is not only that the customers share the information but also that they want to actively support the brand with their own user generated content. Because they believe in you, they write reviews, tips, create videos, meet in special groups, or organize their own brand community. Take Coca-Cola (Coke) for example. Users created their own Facebook fan page, which tool Coca-Cola completely by surprise.
Thought Leaders try to establish such communities right from the beginning. They support the creation of user generated content and reinforce the strong connections that brand users develop amongst each other. Thought leaders provide their own platforms to help their fans organize activities around the brand or just to give them the means to share their enthusiasm. That’s how Though Leadership Marketing works!
Thought Leadership Marketing takes it even further than that. It pursues Inbound Marketing. This approach relies on people advocating, consuming and sharing relevant and resonant content. Not only for the sake of sharing but also to involve themselves for the brand with their own content (User Generated Content). People write their own reviews, post instructions on threads and videos, meet up in user groups or organise their own brand communities.
Even the producer of the world’s most famous soft drink, Coca Cola, was surprised by a huge Facebook Fan Group who emerged without Coke’s knowing or doing. Thought Leaders plan these communities from the get-go. They actively support the formation of User Generated Contend as a strong bond between the users and fans of the brand. They provide their own market platform to help fans organize, meet up and excite one another.