Thought leadership content is great for sharing your skills, knowledge and experience with your niche. And this longer-form copy, such as white papers, guides and reports, is highly valued by senior decision makers.
It’s not enough to just produce a beautiful piece of content. You might have the most wonderful and insightful content the world has ever seen, but people don’t instinctively know it exists – you have to tell them.
Therefore, thought leadership content becomes most effective when it’s used as part of a wider marketing campaign.
Within the sales funnel, I would place these white papers, guides and reports at the ‘marketing qualified lead (MQL)’ stage. Here, an unknown lead has become aware that you exist, and shown the tiniest bit of interest – perhaps clicking a link in an email, following a call-to-action on your website, connecting with you on social media…
At this stage, your prospect is still highly sceptical about your intentions and your abilities. Hitting them with a juicy piece of thought leadership affords you the opportunity to showcase your offering in all its glory and start to earn their trust – it’s not a shiny sales pitch, more a demonstration of being able to ‘practice what you preach’.
An example campaign framework
The following framework is something I’ve tried and tested many times over the years. It works because the underlying themes and messaging remain consistent throughout, and because everything interconnects it starts to build the momentum that creates your reputation and acquires those all-important leads:
Start with your thought leadership content and place it right at the centre of your campaign. Then re-spin and repurpose it into other formats. And when you publish it online, make sure everything links together – so your social updates drive traffic to the blogs, which drives traffic to the thought leadership asset, which encourages the reader to register to attend your webinar…
You can then involve your sales team at specific parts of this process, passing on better qualified leads – perhaps when your audience has exchanged their details for your content, or to follow-up after the webinar.
Need some pointers on how to repurpose your content?
Check out these blogs:
- Content marketing strategy: it’s all about altering the perspective
- Ideas for repurposing blog content