In the last five years, marketing has made a tremendous shift. We now recognize the importance in understanding the social psychology behind web 2.0, how people act and react within it. Social media users want to connect, but more so, they have begun to use it as a source to find precise and valued information. The news of today is not just reported by journalists, it is created and published by experts in every field.
This becomes an important factor in the way we do business. The content our companies provide and the way we choose to represent professional selves, have the ability to change the way we connect with our audience and consumer base. Instead of pitching slogans, we tell stories. Rather than bombarding with advertisements, we share anecdotes and become a trusted source for ways to make things easier, more efficient, and enhance the quality life.
Though as more people contribute content, the more important (and challenging) it becomes to establish oneself as an ‘expert.’ Here are ten ways to take a content marketing approach to establishing your thought leadership. Hop back on that expert horse by honing your content management skills.
1. Regularly update your blog. Regularity will not only increase name recognition, it will inspire trust amongst your readership that you are a leader. Post as much (or little) text as necessary, but post often. This is your opportunity to produce a variety of high-quality content, regularly, and with no restrictions.
2. Join a network where you can publish articles. This is different than hosting a blog, because you instantly join a network of users who are invested in spreading professional content. Without undermining the importance of maintaining a blog, publishing articles on a professional site leverages your content in a different way. (Articles are deemed as ‘professional’ without having to state so in the content itself.) Other platform users are automatically exposed to your content. Insightful, professional articles are especially crucial for those in B2B.
3. Guest post on sites/blogs that reach your target audience.
4. Utilize all of your social media channels. Push links from your blog, guest posts and network articles through Facebook, Twitter,Quora, Pinterest, StumbeUpon, Reddit, Digg. That should be a strong start.
5. Participate in interviews: Engage with those wishing to feature your expertise in newspaper/online print, magazine, radio, and local television. Not only will you be featured on their social media channels, this is an opportunity to have someone else announced that you are, in fact, an expert.
6. Write an article/post about your interview.
7. Be a guest speaker at an industry conference.
8. Publish seminars, lectures, guest talks on your blog and professional networks. This content does not even have to be new if the content is still relevant and valid.
9. Relate stories to difficult situations and explain your solutions for having overcome them.
10. Have others recommend you as an expert. This can come in the form of a recommendation on professional sites or a promotional ‘shout-out’ from someone in your industry.
11. Answer questions in your field. This requires you to make yourself available and present sites that provide solutions (Quora, exploreB2B).
12. Join discussions/online forums where you can position yourself as an expert. Be open to other ideas while clearly stating your prior knowledge in the subject through the use of facts and precise examples.