July 1, 2014
How Your Service-Based Brand Can Become an Industry Thought Leader
Let’s face it: outbound marketing tactics like traditional advertisements and cold calls just don’t work as well as they once did in today’s service-based industries. Businesses that succeed are those who establish themselves as industry thought leaders through content marketing and use this favorable position to drive sales from inbound marketing.
With effective thought leadership, you can engage directly with your prospective clients through blog posts, whitepapers, and more. Ready to take your industry by storm? Here’s what your service-based business needs to know about how to be an industry thought leader:
#1: Freshen up your blog.
Don’t let your blog or its content go stale. In order to establish your service-based business as a true thought leader, you need to create a regular posting schedule, and stick with it. Your posts not only need to be engaging, but you need to determine whether you will publishing content that is timely, evergreen, or a combination of the two. Your posts need to be written in a tone that your audience can relate to, and your content should also reflect your knowledge of industry trends and challenges, and offer solutions and guidance.
#2: Be a LinkedIn publisher.
With more than 277 million members and counting, LinkedIn’s is the ultimate professional networking site. Recently, LinkedIn’s new publishing platform began to allow all members to share their professional expertise by publishing long-form blog posts. Because this can be a crowded platform, be sure to avoid simply rehashing what everyone else is publishing. Use your expertise to put a unique spin on the latest industry news, reports, or how-to content. Additionally, share your opinions and ideas on the posts of other industry experts.
#3: Curate and share the best content.
Once this strong content has been published, you need to work hard to get it seen. Every post needs to be pushed out over social media with accompanying hashtags and captions. One easy way to drive traffic is to tweet a short but surprising industry stat along with a link to your post for the full story. Remember that visual content still rules: don’t publish a story without an engaging image or infographic, which will enhance shareability. And again, you should also be sharing interesting insights from your peers, in order to establish yourself as a great curator for knowledge, and increase the likelihood that your peers will share your content in return.
#4: Stay connected
Humanizing your brand is one of the most important things you can do as a business in the service industry. Customers want to know that they’re being heard, and they feel more comfortable with brands that are willing to put themselves out there, and show that they can relate to your needs. By following point one on this list you’ve completed the first step, but you also need to engage on social platforms, and be accessible to your customers through email, social media, and phone.
Between content creation, content curation, scheduling, and social media, establishing your business as an industry thought-leader is a time-consuming job. However, if you’re managing your time wisely, sharing meaningful information, and engaging in conversations with customers and other professionals, you’re likely to find that it’s an invaluable pursuit to bring your business to the forefront of your service industry.