In this blog, you will learn about thought leadership, content marketing and how to hire a content marketing team.
Defining Thought Leadership
A thought leader is a subject matter expert, a guru, a visionary, an influencer in his domain. People look up to thought leaders for knowledge sharing and seeking information.
Thought leaders, as influencers in their line of business, look into current trends, technology and practices in the industry, suggest best practices for the future, and set the standards for others to follow. They are trusted and respected by their colleagues and competitors alike.
Thought leaders differ from marketing and salesforce, as their goal is sharing of knowledge, expertise, information and educating the industry at large, and not actually selling of products and services. The content they post or share online is free of any sales or marketing pitch
Understanding Content Marketing
Content marketing is all about putting out content having ‘shock’, ‘interest’, ‘remark’ value online. Content marketers aim at creating content that is so remarkable that mediums with greater media outreach like television and print and online media write about your content free of charge and is shared by people willingly.
Why content marketing is important
1. Easy availability of information makes it difficult to get heard by customers – Customers can easily access any information they want online. If they want to buy a new mobile phone, they can easily check its specifications and user reviews, compare prices, promotional campaigns and discounts being offered by different e-commerce companies. They are more knowledgeable and busy than ever. Customers are constantly being targeted by marketers trying to sell their products and services through emails, push notifications and SMS campaigns.
• Websites, blogs, social media
• Push notifications and SMS
2. Tough competition – Multiple companies competing over limited customers.
3. Distributed customer attention – Customers carry real-time on the fly information in their pockets. Customers may be using mobile phones, smartphones, tabs, laptops or desktops to access all the information they want.
Even while using different devices, they can be active on any social media website, emails or their favorite blog. It becomes really difficult for marketers to find out customers and gain their attention, which is already divided into different channels, websites, and devices at any given time. With content marketing, we can pierce through all these obstacles with ease.
a) Mutliple Devices
• Mobile Phones – LG, Panasonic, Samsung
• Smartphones – Apple iPhone, Samsung Note 3
• Tabs – Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Lenovo Tab 2, Microsoft Surface Pro
• Desktops – HP, Dell, IBM, iMacs, LG
• Laptops – HP, MacBook’s, Microsoft Surface Pro, IBM, Dell
• Smart TV’s – Samsung H Series, Sony W LED TV, Panasonic AS
b) Multiple channels
• Blogs and websites
• Social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
• Paid Ad campaigns
• Email campaigns
• SMS campaigns
It’s very important to understand the benefits of content marketing, so as to create a comprehensive content marketing strategy that helps you achieve your business goals.
Most of the marketing and digital marketing efforts your company part takes in, like attending trade conferences, meet-ups, roadshows, paid advertising, email and SMS campaigns, affiliate marketing etc., are basically renting attention. You are paying a fixed amount or fee to rent the audience of some other vendor.
For example, we want to showcase our services at Book Fare. For this, we buy an island space to set-up multiple booths for our company there. We would be paying a certain fee to organizers as rent for using that island space. In return, we are getting an opportunity to engage with the audience and attendees and pitch and sell our products and services directly to them. This is marketing. We are renting audience attention.
Similarly, we may as well run search and display marketing campaigns in form of paid advertising to reach out to the online audience. This is part of digital marketing, and again we are renting audience attention.
But when it comes to content marketing, it is a lot different. We are basically owning our own attention. We are creating all our brand promotion and marketing content in-house. We create our own content and own it, we create our own audience and customers, and we establish ourselves as thought leaders. We are the content creators and publishers.
Since audiences are always researching for relevant information, we, as thought leaders, create and publish that information in one place and provide it to them for consumption. This way, rather than reaching out to customers, we make them come to us.
We are in no way spending money on other people’s thought leadership for the audience they have built.
Content marketing has multiple benefits –
Brand awareness –
• Maximum customer journeys start with online search. You want to be right there when customers search for products and services they want. You want the content you create to be the source of all information for audiences. If your content shows up in search results more often, customers tend to remember it.
• Content can give your organic reach through search and social media. The educational and informative content that you create should be the bible and go to place for an online audience seeking knowledge and looking for answers.
Thought leadership or brand preference –
• People are more comfortable doing business with brands established as thought leaders and influencers, who have gained reputation and credibility over time, and developed a relationship of trust with people.
• Brands that focus more on sharing knowledge and information, rather than just posting sales and marketing pitches, are trusted by people. People feel more comfortable buying from brands they trust.
Reach more buyers at lower cost –
• In the case of content marketing, you develop evergreen content that remains relevant over a long period of time. This way, though you may be investing a little now on content creation, you will reap returns in the longer run, as people will come back and refer to your content again and again over the years. The shelf life of such content is long when compared to typical paid promotional campaigns you run online, and thus, content marketing has more value in the longer run. As the content is owned by you and is built to last longer, it’s a one-time initial investment for your brand too. This way, you can reach more audience and own them at a lower cost.
411 Rule of distributing information
411 is the number in the US for seeking information. Content marketing is also a way of sharing and distributing information, and this way, you can easily remember the 411 rule of distributing information.
In order to attract and engage the audience, avoid the excess of self-promotion, and stick to posting relevant educational content. When in doubt, stick to 411 rule of distributing information.
Educational and information content may include current landscape, insights, and state of your industry, future projections, best practices, tips and tricks, and workarounds. These can be in form of webinars, e-books, whitepapers, infographics, etc.
This formula enables you to create a great mix of content marketing information coupled with brand publicity and promotional material to your online audience.
You can find the right talent for your team by:
● Using LinkedIn
● Posting requirement and searching prospects on job portals like Naukri and Monster
● Making use of internal and external referral programs
● Sharing requirement on social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter
● Hiring a consultancy to help you with the right candidates
● Looking for professionals from journalism domain
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Certification Kits you may be interested in:
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- SEMRush Content Marketing Course Certification
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- Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing Certification by Digital Marketing Institute, Ireland
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