With B2B thought leadership increasingly seen as a contemporary business imperative, the Internet is flooded with advice from so-called “experts” promising quick-fix solutions for everything from lead generation to social media marketing. Even the savviest marketers are struggling to help their companies stand out as legitimate solution providers amidst the digital clutter. Our solution? Take a page from the experts that are succeeding at thought leadership strategy.
“Your Career Intel is a true game changer,” said Scott Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Lucas Group, in a July press release. “It is the first dynamic platform to provide actionable advice and complementary resources, like cover letter templates, from experienced recruiters. The site underscores Lucas Group’s genuine knowledge and expertise across our diverse practice areas.”
With Your Career Intel, Smith and his marketing team have created a central site for all of the company’s thought leadership initiatives. Blogs and white papers authored by various associates provide actionable career advice and further establish these associates as leaders in their professional fields.
Here are four best practices to steal for your own business:
1. Align thought leadership with focused strategy.
In a world where everyone has an opinion and isn’t afraid to share it (we’re looking at you, Twitter ranters!), you must differentiate your thought leadership articles from a simple opinion piece. Lucas Group’s blog posts balance personal anecdotes with actionable advice and industry research.
2. Get visual.
No one has the time or interest to read every word in a long-form content piece. In addition to using subheads and lists to break up longer pieces, consider creating a compelling visual using key data. You don’t have to commission a full-on infographic for every blog post, but a compelling image will instantly communicate your main message and capture your audience’s attention. Have a long list of advice? Turn it into a visual list, like Lucas Group did with this blog post, “4 Secrets to Building Team Morale”
3. Drive lead generation.
End your blog posts with a call to action to learn more about the industry trend, download a relevant white paper, or join a conversation about the topic. Lucas Group also includes a side bar inviting site visitors to sign up for their email newsletter. The email signup is always visible on the side of the blog together with relevant, featured articles. This gives your visitors a “place to go next” after reading the blog and increases time on site, driving brand lift. (Not sure how to measure brand lift? Check out Contently's guide to why brand lift is one of the most undervalued content marketing metrics.)
4. Promote on social.
We’ve written before that your distribution and amplification strategy is just as critical to thought leadership success as the content you create. Lucas Group nails content distribution by not only sharing blog posts on its company LinkedIn account, but also encouraging its employees to share the content on their own accounts. Employees average approximately 10 times as many connections on LinkedIn as their companies. Take a page out of the Lucas Group playbook and encourage your employees to get active on social media. For more on LinkedIn social media advocacy, check out our guide to getting started and best practices.