Other than blogging, I can’t think of any other ways to establish myself as an [industry]thought leader through content marketing. If you could give me some ideas on ways that I can really brand myself through my content that would be great. I think my biggest issue is not knowing where to begin. I know how to blog already but would like some other ideas that could really get my name out there to my particular market.
I’d love to help!
Thought Leader Through Content
They say content is king, but that is such a vague statement, what does it really mean? How are you, as a business owner, going to use content to establish yourself as someone others should take seriously?
To keep this as simple as possible, great business-focused content addresses a pain point in your customer’s lives.
Types of Content
Still following the simple rule, there are three basic types of content you can produce online: visual, audio, and audio/visual. Visual content includes blogs, white papers, infographics, pictures, and brochures. Audio includes podcasts, live audio streaming, and radio spots repurposed online. Audio/visual includes live videos, advertisements, longer documentary segments, how to videos and other vlog formats.
Which one of these content types will establish you as an industry leader? Eventually, all of them. If you are just starting out, then there are two questions to ask about the type of content you should use: what are you comfortable with? and what does your audience use?
The comfort question is easiest, but understanding your audience can be more difficult. It can help if you ask your customers where they find business related questions. If you currently do not have a large client list, ask yourself three questions:
- When does my customer research their business? Some people may do podcasts in the car during a commute, other people watch videos in the evenings or on weekends, others read blogs during their workday. Do you know what your target market does?
- Where does my target customer access information? For example, a small healthcare provider may be researching issues on the fly all day via their phone. For this type of researcher, short and focused written content may be all they have time to read before they have to move on to the next patient. On the other hand, a contractor may be busy with tools all day and take specific times during the week to do research and online networking. For these, video might be a good format as they have to set aside time to interact with content anyways.
- How can I get that information in front of the target customers? While you need to have your own channel for information (website, social pages, etc), you also need to get your brand on industry leader’s channels as well.
Places to Post Your Content
There is a tremendous amount of platforms available for getting your content out there. The following is a very partial list of places you can work your content magic:
- On-Site Blogging – Yes, you need a website to post your own slides, videos, blogs, articles, and more on. This gives you control over your lead funnels and eases the creation of evergreen content. See my slideshare, Why Aren’t Ya Blogging?, for more information on creating a blog.
- Guest Blogging – A guest blog is where you find someone in your industry and pitch them a story that you can write (or have a ghostwriter like myself write for you). Jill Stanton of Screw the Nine to Five has a great blog on guest-posting and if you want a place to practice your pitches, head on over to MyBloggingCommunity.com, a free Facebook group and throw us a pitch. We’ll give you some pointers on how to improve it.
- Answering Questions on Quora – I have not used this one, yet. But, Torchlite (Yes, I did just link to a competitor) has a great blog on how to use Quora to establish thought leadership.
- Guest Interviewing on Relevant Webinars – This follows much of the same principles behind guest blogging, but with a focus on audio content.
- Podcasting – Rather than writing out your story or your how-to, you can tell it to your audience via a voice recorder and upload it to a variety of sites including ITunes, Spreaker, SoundCloud, or a platform of your choice.
- Facebook Live – This one just started taking off, but it is currently all the rage in Facebook’s ever changing algorithm ( as of March 2017). If you want to get good engagement on Facebook and increase your organic reach, plan to spend some time in front of a video camera broadcasting live to Facebook. Informal totally goes here, so don’t worry too much about what it looks like as what you want to say to your target client.
- YouTube Videos – You can create these as live shots, even go live, but YouTube is a great resource for creating a unique video that showcases who you are, and what your business is about.
- Twitter Authority – Twitter favors fast-paced engagement with your audience. With integrated photo and video sharing, it is also a great place to engage with more artistic forms of communication.
- LinkedIn Authority – For many B2B marketers, LinkedIn is a great tool for publishing your content. You can create the posts on LinkedIn’s platform and link out to your site or just share your posts with others.
- Facebook Groups – Be very careful about how to share your content in Facebook Groups (My mentor Wendy Maynard has a great resource for finding groups that have share rules)
These are just some of the resources that a savvy business leader like yourself can use to establish industry leadership with your content.
Have you found any content marketing platforms that work better than others? Ones that don’t work?