Putting together a content marketing strategy is a far simpler exercise once you’ve defined your value proposition, as this provides the organising principle around which your marketing programme will revolve.
Most agencies create a mountain of content on a monthly basis, including credentials, presentations, showreels, newsletters and reports. The objective is most often to showcase and underscore our expertise to clients and for the New Business Director, prospects –embedded in which is a subtle, or not so subtle, ‘sell’. Thought Leadership is different.
Thought leadership sits at the pinnacle of the content marketing, although it often seems to me that the two are used interchangeably. For me, thought leadership is a big, audacious and visionary long-term goal, which seeks to challenge prevailing ideas that shape an industry, effecting behavioural change. Therefore it comes as no surprise that those companies that rank most highly are Apple, Google, Amazon and John Lewis*, the latter championing a business model which has captured the zeitgeist – and done it well, as its reputation and sales testify. These leaders continue to innovate and by so doing build trust, authority and reputation, the hallmarks of the successful thought leader.
Importantly, thought leadership does not have the ‘sell’ at its core, it is not about agency promotion. Rather, it’s recognised expertise, conferring authority upon the agency, which delivers value to stakeholders and prospects. In short, this is your value proposition, serving to build your reputation as the go-to destination as a source of trusted advice.
Given this, there is only one place to start when planning this strand of your content marketing strategy, and that is with your defined prospects. What are those questions that are most pressing and weigh most heavily on their minds?
Yes, you can provide unique perspectives on the headline issues of the day, but the real agenda is set by your prospects. Your task is to answer their questions – through engaging, informative and entertaining content – stories well told.
The benefits are innumerable, not least underscoring and cementing your agency proposition, building your reputation, interacting with your prospects and of course driving new business growth through ‘warm’ inbound leads.
*TLG Index of Thought Leaders in Business
Keen to learn more about how your agency’s value proposition can set you on the road to thought leadership? Then come to our Early Worm Club on 29th January – click here for more information.