Introducing The 2016 Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership
July 20, 2016
Thought leadership is a topic at the forefront of many marketers’ minds. You see it everywhere: from blog posts to resumes, keynote speeches to mission statements. But as much as marketers pursue it, there’s a tendency to think of “Thought Leader” as a trophy to be won, or an honorary title. Something that brings prestige, but little in the way of tangible benefits.
At LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, we have seen that thought leadership is not about winning a popularity contest. It’s not about having another title to put after your CEO’s name. When properly executed, thought leadership is a strategic element of content marketing that delivers real business results. Seventy-nine percent of would-be buyers say thought leadership is critical for determining which companies they want to learn more about. In a crowded marketplace of ideas, thought leaders are at an advantage for attracting and maintaining buyer attention.
So how can a brand achieve thought leader status? There is, of course, no Board of Thought Leaders that conveys the status on the worthy. There’s no heavenly choir singing while a brand is bathed in light, anointed by fate to lead the thoughts of many. Like every other marketing goal, thought leadership must be tirelessly pursued, with continual evaluation and optimization. That may seem like bad news—but it also means your brand can achieve thought leadership solely by virtue of the content you create and promote. No one can do it for you. Which means you’re free to do it yourself.
Two years ago, the team at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions created The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership. We started with our team’s extensive experience in establishing thought leadership on LinkedIn. Then we consulted thought leaders in a variety of industries, asking them how they conceived of, created, and amplified their thought leadership content. We explored the topic in detail, with two goals in mind:
1. Help marketers understand that thought leadership is a tactic to be used strategically for a business purpose
2. Help marketers establish their brand’s thought leadership on LinkedIn and beyond
Hundreds of marketers have downloaded and learned from the 2014 edition. But when you’re marketing at the speed of internet, two years is an eternity. Thought leadership is an even more vital tactic now than it was back then. So we want to make sure the guide stays a vibrant, resonant, useful resource. To that end, we have revamped the entire guide, adding new interviews with emerging thought leaders, updating strategies and tactics, and more.
Today, I’m pleased to announce the 2016 edition of the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership. If you read the 2014 edition, this will be a refresher course with new advice and new tactics for you to try. If this is your first time out, you’re guaranteed an up-to-the-minute resource to help you begin your brand’s thought leadership journey.
Here are just a few things you will learn in The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership:
- The three types of thought leadership content, and what each does for your brand
- How to create thought leadership content that aligns with your messaging strategy
- How to infuse thought leadership into every stage of your buyer’s purchasing process
- How to amplify your thought leadership content to a broad but relevant audience
- How to measure the return on your thought leadership content
Along with the tactical advice, we asked some masters of thought leadership content to explain how they do it. You will read advice from visionaries like Brian Solis, Ekaterina Walter, Joe Chernov, and more. And to top it all off, you can learn how major global brands generated billions of dollars of results with their thought leadership initiatives.
Establishing thought leadership can have a measurable impact on your brand’s earning potential. As a marketer, the power—and the responsibility—to create thought leadership content lies with you.