5 Steps for Using Thought Leadership Marketing to Support Your Inbound Strategy

For decades, marketers have been using thought leadership. Why? Because it works for them. If you decide to incorporate thought leadership into your inbound strategy, you can see how it can be beneficial to your business too.

Thought leadership has been a tried and true marketing strategy for decades – and today it has an expanded role supporting inbound marketing.

The first step of inbound marketing is to attract the leads likely to convert. Thought leadership marketing supports your inbound strategy as another avenue to drive those leads to your website. This is not only the people who read the specific news articles. The additional links to your website from authoritative sources like news websites improves your domain authority, which in turn can improve your website’s ability to rank in search results.

You can use thought leadership marketing to engage and delight prospects as well. As with all strategies, thought leadership should be viewed and developed as part of the bigger, overall inbound marketing strategy.

When setting up your thought leadership marketing strategy, here are five things you’ll want to do:

  1. Identify where your audience gets its information, so you show up there. When your audience goes searching, you want to be front and center. Online sources with high reliability and domain authority are best. This can be news sites, blogs, videos, podcasts and participation in online discussions on relevant topics. Look to initiate or join discussions in relevant forums like LinkedIn Groups. For example, if you are a thought leader in project management, you could ask an open-ended question, such as, “What is your biggest project management challenge right now?” You could also use responses to your question as fodder for your next article or blog post. Offline thought leadership (speaking engagements) still contributes as well because those events are promoted online.
  2. Know what your audience needs. Are you answering the right questions? Know your audience’s pain points and make sure you’re giving them relevant information that helps them ease those pains.
  3. Research keywords. Find the keywords your audience is searching and speak to those. This will help you rank better among the things people are researching.
  4. Couple with relevant content. Once your thought leadership marketing drives people to your website, you must provide them with additional relevant content. Helping them out by providing related information will cement your position as a thought leader. It’s even better if you can use your gated content to convert new visitors into leads.
  5. Engage and delight prospects. Leverage your thought leadership Subject Matter Experts in emails, workflows, videos and live chat to answer prospects’ questions or challenges, or provide tips and tricks.

We have seen clients across industries have success in building a thought leadership marketing program that directly contributed to inbound marketing and leads. Whether you’re business to consumer or business to business and need to drive prospects to your website, thought leadership has a role!

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