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Marketing used to be all about putting your competitive differentiation messaging out there and getting as many people as possible to notice it. Today, that’s impossible. With millions of marketers emailing, posting, tweeting and littering the internet with websites, there’s just no way to rise above all the noise. Smart marketers no longer even try to rise above the noise but, instead, use thought leadership to help project their specialties.
Thought leadership marketing is all about building your community; it puts your authority, insight and experience into a published form that your clients can consume and share with their friends and colleagues. Thought leaders secure differentiation through compelling content.
What is Thought Leadership?
If you’re going to apply thought leadership, it’s essential to have a general definition. According to the Stern Strategy Group, thought leadership has a variety of diverse definitions, but it’s ultimately about a single source that can be seen in the market as trustworthy.
In order to develop this type of persona, professionals turn to content marketing — which ultimately looks to address potential customers’ questions, challenges and needs. It requires a developed level of expertise and specific understanding of your audience so you can develop an effective thought leadership persona.
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“While thought leadership and content marketing are each integral on their own, when combined, they make for a strategic, powerful force for driving not only brand awareness, but also (and perhaps most importantly) demand for your products and services,” Stern Strategy Group elaborates.
How to Kill Your Content Marketing Program Quickly
The best ways to broadcast your thought leadership content include your own blog, email, print and direct mail to prospects and clients (yes, direct mail still exists!), newsletters and having your salespeople bring printouts to customers on sales calls. Making your content a “must-read” is the most effective way to convey your competitive differentiation and impress upon clients that you are their go-to resource.
Here are some key aspects of running a successful blog to distribute and promote your thought leadership:
1. Always remember your primary goal is to build a readership of happy followers who voraciously consume your content and share it with friends, partners, customers and other associates.
2. Host it within your own website so visitors will navigate beyond the article they came to read. They can visit other content across your website and learn even more about you.
3. Only post articles that will deliver real value to your clients. This about providing actionable information that will help them achieve more.
4. Be sure that every article contains compelling content that will excite the reader about what you’re discussing, and build their confidence that you can help them achieve greater results.
5. Always include a call-to-action (CTA) that readers can easily perform to reach you for more information and to continue the sales motion.
6. Post new content consistently and constantly. Post every week on the same day of the week so readers will return to your blog when they know there will be fresh content. If you cannot commit to a standard consistency, find someone who can do it for you.
7. Every time you add a new article to your blog, message out about it on every social media network your clients use. On Twitter, include appropriate hashtags so more people who don’t yet follow you will start to. When using LinkedIn, post to every relevant group you can find.
8. Regularly send out bulletins reviewing recent blog topics with links, followed by a list of upcoming articles.
Now, here’s how to kill your content marketing program quickly. It’s something a very large proportion of your competitors do in their blogs, which just about guarantees they will never build a readership of enthusiastic followers: Never promote your business directly on your blog.
Reader’s aren’t looking for advertisements when they come to your blog. What they do look for is value: Information that will help them lower costs, increase revenues and improve their businesses. Once they find it’s just another billboard for your latest achievement, they’ll never return. You cannot afford to lose readers because each one may represent dozens of new introductions.
Content Marketing Tools
Simply selling products puts you in direct competition with everyone else who sells the same stuff. Your biggest challenge is to clearly differentiate yourself and give customers compelling reasons to buy from you. The one thing you definitely always have, that nobody else could possibly have, is the quality of your thinking, your experience and your expertise in your field. Content marketing puts this secret weapon of individuality to work for you, proving to your customers that you know what you’re talking about, you have better ideas to address their needs and that they should definitely buy only from you.
Once you’ve produced your compelling content, turn to the resources available to you as a member of the Samsung Team of Empowered Partners (STEP), and access the tools needed to create and run a highly successful thought-leading content marketing campaign.
The Partner Marketing Hub is a wealth of resources. Visit the Samsung Partner Portal today to learn more.