Generating brand awareness is the second biggest priority for marketers behind lead generation[1]. Considering that we don’t wake up every morning and instinctively know about every brand in the world, it makes sense that companies need to work hard to make themselves known.

According to Gartner, 58% of marketing leaders believe brand is a critical driver of buyer behaviour[2]. But many struggle with the same 10 key challenges, including how to keep the brand relevant (35%), integrating it effectively into all communications (29%) and treating brand as an asset rather than a campaign or programme (23%).

Interestingly, when asked what they believed was the biggest challenge facing the industry, senior marketers said ‘trust’ and 94% agreed that ‘intelligent marketing’ is now an essential part of what marketers need to deliver[3].

2 birds, 1 stone

Brand and trust go together like fish and chips, hot chocolate and marshmallows, gin and tonic…

Build a strong brand and the trust element naturally follows, which in turns builds you a solid reputation and secures all the perks that go with it[4]:

  • 2.5x better stock performance.
  • 2.7x increase in purchase intent.
  • 63% of people are willing to give the benefit of the doubt in times of crisis.

So how do we build a brand?

The term ‘unique selling point (USP)’ is bounded around as being important to brand, but unless you have registered IP there’s very little that can’t be copied – and the reality is that even if you do own IP, unscrupulous individuals will still copy you (I speak from experience).

I believe, and experience has taught me, that there is really only one thing that’s ‘unique’ to your brand…

Your people are your differentiator

The one thing you possess that no-one else does is you and your people. The reason your customers buy from you is people – your people…

The way your people treat them like a friend, always going ‘above and beyond’.

The passion your people display when talking about your product/service.

The fact your people help and teach, rather than sell and pitch.

It’s always been about the people. And as the creator, it’s your vision that’s caught their eye and hooked them in. Yours is the interesting story, so shout it loud and proud.

Give your people a platform to tell your story

Not as scary as it sounds, I promise!

If you’re lucky, you’ll have ambitious people within your business that aspire to get up on stage and be the next industry celebrity. Harness that energy and employ a PR professional to put them centre stage.

But if your subject matter experts prefer to stay behind the scenes, engaging 1-to-1 and getting on with what they enjoy most, thought leadership content is a fabulous way to give them that same platform.

Using thought leadership content, like white papers, guides and reports, you can demonstrate their skills, knowledge and experience in action. There’s never any need for them to get up on stage and present, because it’s all there on the pages of your content…

Although if they were feeling brave you could try to tempt them to present that content as a supplementary webinar.

And in reality, you already have a lot of source material within the business – just think of all the proposals, statement of works and project completion reports. All of this can easily be anonymised and repurposed into other, more promotional, formats.

And a little something you might not realise…

They don’t even need to write the thought leadership content themselves. Ghostwriting is common practice, which means your subject matter experts can get on with their role, adding value where they have the biggest impact, but their intelligence is entrusted to a specialist copywriter who creates the content on their behalf and in their voice.

Want to learn more about thought leadership content?

Then click the button to find out more and download your copy of ‘The Little Book of…Thought Leadership Content’:

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[1] Source: https://vtldesign.com/digital-marketing/survey-says-7503-reveal-biggest-marketing-challenge/

[2] Source: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-10-07-gartner-survey-reveals-the-three-top-brand-challenges

[3] Source: http://www.netimperative.com/2020/01/15/senior-marketers-believe-trust-biggest-challenge-facing-marketing-industry/

[4] Source: https://riskandinsurance.com/putting-a-price-on-reputational-damage/