Great content marketing takes more than posting a blog every couple of weeks. If you want customers to stand up and take notice, then you’ll need to develop incredible thought leadership pieces that draw attention to your brand. Here, we’ll take a look at some solutions that could help you to create more appealing thought-leadership content for your audience.
Remember, thought leadership pieces come from an independent third party.
1. Keep it Simple
First, you should already know that you need to “write for your audience”, and that means using language that appeals most to them. Typically, you should avoid using long words where short words will work just as well. Using corporate speak and complicated terms will make your writing unreadable. Try to make sure that you keep your content concise and simple.
2. Challenge the Reader, Carefully
A lot of people assume that you need to start all thought leadership pieces with a problem. However, though it can be a good idea to engage a reader with a challenge, you need to make sure that you offer a solution to that problem too. All content is about creating value for your customer.
3. Offer Real Solutions to Real Problems
Crucially, you need to make sure that you’re offering legitimate solutions to problems your customers already suffer from. Don’t just make up a potential problem that no-one can relate to. Instead, research the audience and find out what they really need to know.
4. Look at your Competitors
You don’t need to steal your competitor’s ideas to take advantage of their insights. Check out what other people in your industry are doing for inspiration. If you tackle a trending topic you might be able to take advantage of its popularity. However, make sure that you do something to add to the conversation, don’t just re-iterate what someone else has said.
5. Be Different
Even if you use your competitors for guidance, don’t allow yourself to lose your individuality. Make sure that you’re different. Surprise your reader with unique insights, formats, visuals, and distribution channels for your content.
6. Pick the Perfect Title
Choosing the right title is crucial for all kinds of content. Try to make sure that you avoid any vague words or clichés. Don’t try to elicit fear from your customers either, as they’re likely to see right through you. Try framing the question as a title, or look forward with words like “next” or “future”. Remember, keep your title short, self-explanatory, and contrary to common wisdom where possible.
7. Make Headlines Strong
Remember, headlines and subheadings are crucial for drawing your reader down the page and keeping them engaged in whatever you have to say. With that in mind, you should make sure that they’re just as strong and exciting as your title. Make sure that each subheading is engaging, and explains what’s in the section below.
8. Make your Content Interactive
Sometimes, content works best when your readers can interact with it on their own terms. With that in mind, make sure that you create videos and infographics, as well as blog posts. Make sure that it’s easy for readers to comment on your content, or share it with other people through social media. The more interactive your content can be, the better.
9. Keep Quotes Short
When using quotes, make sure that you use things that illustrate the point that you’re trying to make. Don’t just post a quote because you feel like you must.
10. Make the Most of Data
Finally, when it comes to identifying yourself as a thought leader, one of the best things you can do is make the most of numbers and figures. Your numbers need to tell a clear story, and make sure that you don’t use too many of them, as this could end up confusing your audience. Remember to make any number-based visuals clear, meaningful, and original.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.