THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

The Rise Of Thought Leadership

Ryan Velez, Expert Content Specialist at Powerful Writing
10/31/18
If you blink, you may have missed the rise of thought leadership as one of the premier forms of long-form marketing, as well as how effective it’s been for some people and some brands over the years.
In fact, thought leadership has become so popular, that some fear diminishing returns in the future. With this said, how exactly did this particular method of marketing pick up so much steam? On paper, it seems like something difficult to manage, with few tangible results early on and a high investment of time and energy required. Here’s how it all comes together.

What Caused The Rise of Thought Leadership?

Ironically, it’s diminishing returns that caused the rise of thought leadership as we know it. If you rewind the clock a few years, our knowledge of SEO suggested that the best way to rank in Google was the typical 500-word blog on your company website. This still has its use today, but is no longer the flagship content option it once was. Part of this is because now just about every website has one. A lot of these tend not to have a lot of bells and whistles, are optimized poorly, and are often covering the same topics over and over again.

Thought leadership was a direct response to this, and proved an effective alternative. By branding around a person rather than a business, thought leaders make for a natural draw, and it’s also a lot easier to sell a well-known person as a podcast guest or guest contributor for a website rather than a generic representative of a business.

Another thing that propelled the rise of thought leadership is the fact that it served as a response to people who are getting cynical about conventional content marketing. There’s a specific altruistic tone to effective thought marketers that shows that while they may be affiliated with a company or product, the goal is ultimately to help people.

Using The Rise of Thought Leadership To Your Advantage

Because thought leadership is becoming more and more popular, it’s essential for those interested in the concept to work hard on making sure that are finding ways to differentiate themselves. In the same way that just doing 500-word blogs isn’t enough, just doing an e-book won’t set you apart either. Make sure that you are finding all the effective means to reach your audience, as well as keeping an eye on new ones as they develop.

Yes, there are more thought leaders and would-be thought leaders than ever, but you can still either position yourself or a figure at your company effectively to get all the potential benefits.  The key is not only to get total mastery of your niche, but also understand what your audience responds to in terms of thought leadership channel. If you are struggling to find your way or just want a refresher on what matters for your thought leadership campaigns, our full guide on How To Become A Thought Leader covers all of these different questions and other insight that will help you reach your thought leadership goals.

 

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