Creating Momentum in Your Public Relations Strategy via Thought Leadership
You’re wondering how you’re going to position your firm, or yourself, as a credible expert in your field. What methods can I use to supplement my current or planned public relations strategy without incurring a tremendous expense?
The current digital marketing landscape offers a multitude of opportunities to interact directly with your business or consumer target market without spending thousands on traditional marketing channels. According to Forbes, thought leadership is the emerging strategy for modern corporations and firms to achieve growth and cultivate markets. The sharing and consumption of knowledge has become an integral part of the buying process and cycle.
How Thought Leadership Supports Your Brand and PR Strategy
Thought leadership may seem like an obscure term; however, it’s not a new concept. Using ideas and words to position your offerings and define your brand has been going on since the inception of media and marketing: an ancient practice!
This type of marketing and networking has many forms including coaching, mentoring, professional forum participation, social media, support sites, blogging, consulting, article publication, and numerous other emerging public relations opportunities offered by the evolution of digital PR marketing.
Thought leadership content offers value to consumers and the industry by answering the questions the community collectively has on its mind. It is effective in communicating with commercial, as well as consumer audiences. Clients are always seeking the best answers.
Pursuing a thought leadership strategy also offers opportunities for internal growth and development. It allows greater networking and refinement to your unique value proposition (UVP), the modern equivalent of the unique selling proposition associated with the conventional selling process. The key to thought leadership content marketing is to provide authentic and relevant value to your prospects and industry. It can help you overcome organizational complacency and encourage innovation.
Determining Your Audience’s Questions and Concerns
The first step in developing your public relations thought leadership strategy is to isolate the primary concerns of your target market. Prospect groups of different age ranges, income levels, and other demographic characteristics will have unique concerns that you will identify in formulating a PR strategy that effectively reaches and speaks to the audience.
Reflect on your personal experiences in the industry, and conduct primary and secondary market research by surveying your potential customers, existing client base, and studying trends in the broader market. An additional benefit of conducting this research is that it can provide the basis for developing new products and services. Answering the community’s questions offers the development of insight on the needs, desires, and fears of your target market.
Thought Leadership Content Channels to Address Concerns
Once you’ve determined where your leadership is needed, you’ll need to consider what marketing channels will be most effective in reaching your target market, and influencing their behavior. The nature of your industry and habits of your consumers will shape your public relations strategy, thought leadership content, and selection of distribution channels.
Some examples of effective thought leadership strategies that are appropriate for professional industries, those that demand more formal communications, include professional blogs, LinkedIn participation, professional forum participation, as well as other less formal outlets that are industry accepted. This article is a form of thought leadership. We are offering you useful and objective information that will help your business in concrete and measurable ways.
If your offerings are more business-to-consumer oriented, the previously mentioned approaches are effective as well as video blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and numerous other social media platforms. Regardless of the channels you select, don’t require your prospects to register, opt-in, or meet any other requirements. Offer your insights freely, and allow the audience’s participation and appreciation to drive conversions.
Invite (and Reward) Thought Leadership Participation
Interacting with your target market is the most important aspect of a successful thought leadership campaign. Direct your efforts to the channels that yield the greatest response and conversions. Continuous monitoring of traffic levels, interaction rates, and revenues per channel will help you identify which channels are most effective and accepted by your target market.
An extremely effective way to drive conversions incorporates complimentary and paid options for premium information. Some example approaches include limited-time offers, paid subscriptions, eBooks, whitepapers, and anything else of value to the audience. These offerings can provide additional information, value, and persuasive messages that push forward the buying process and lead to more closings.
Developing an effective thought leadership strategy will multiply your business opportunities and reposition your firm as a symbol of credibility and expertise in the field. To hasten the process, maximize efficiency, and ease the implementation, consult with marketing professionals that can guide you through the process and assist with measuring results. Preparing a comprehensive digital public relations plan and implementation strategy that incorporates innovative and reliable thought leadership marketing techniques will enable your firm to achieve revenue and growth objectives in less time, at considerably less expense.