How you can write effective branded thought leadership content
Thought leadership branded content is a successful way for a business to build awareness. That’s why many now use thought leadership content, their industry knowledge and perspective to become a trusted partner with a publisher’s audience.
Many business marketers are building a reputation for their brand or key business line leaders of being forward-thinking by presenting thought leadership content. These clients know the value of the simple premise that we listen to and are influenced by those we respect.
For those not using branded thought leadership yet, it’s often that first step of creating content that appears scary. Your publishing partner can be a key advisor and partner because it knows its audience and has experience creating a variety of content. Whether you are writing the content or hiring the publisher’s content studio, either approach can be successful.
Here are suggestions for creating content for DIYers, but these suggestions also work for content you want a content studio to create. Also, these tips work whether the content is text, audio, video or an infographic.
1. Write a one-sentence message you want to leave with our audience. The message is the base that you build the content on. If it’s written down, it makes it easy to reference while writing. If your message is “I want to share best practices on billing clients,” then you have clearly identified what you’re writing about. You have also identified how to frame the content to be interesting to the audience. If you want to engage an audience your content needs to be focusing on their issues or challenges.
The message can be specific, such as “Discuss new mobile technologies that let travelling account executives make better sales presentations.” Being specific can be a strategic way to hone in on a target audience. An article targeting chief information officers, will reach a variety of people who have CIO duties. Their main role might be in finance or HR. Their CIO role might be their secondary role, but they make the tech buying decisions. And that’s exactly who you are aiming to reach.
2. Choose up to three main points you want to cover in the content to support your message. Picking your three strongest points and being ruthless in keeping the number low is hard. You have to make choices about what to say, and by limiting the number of main points, you can deliver a stronger message in the short time you have a reader’s attention.
At The Business Journals, our readers are busy people. They spend time with your content in the hope that it will help their business grow either by boosting revenue, improving productivity, cutting costs or avoiding a preventable mistake. When they feel the content is not helping them, they’ll move on and away from your content.
We want to think all readers will stay to the end, but think of your own experience. How many articles do you read completely? Delivering a few strong, well-written points will be more successful than an encyclopedia entry.
3. Include a call to action. You have a person’s attention from the content. Now what do you want them to do? That’s the role of the call to action. The call to action could point to a particular page on your web site or a link for readers to sign up for a newsletter or request more information. Thought-leadership content is not direct response advertising. The call to action is another way to strengthen a business relationship as you build trust that will lead to more business.
4. Partner with a content studio to create content. Most publishers offer assistance in creating branded content. At The Business Journals, our content studio can coach you if you are writing the content yourself. If the studio is commissioned to create the content, these three steps are part of our planning process in creating content. We work with hundreds of clients across many industries creating text, graphic, audio and video content. Adding together the content we create and the work from client-submitted content, we publish close to 2,000 pieces of content a year.
After a couple of articles and hearing from readers after your article is published, you’ll be confident that thought-leadership content can successfully build your business’ reputation and gain new business