How to build thought leadership for your brand through content?

Interviews July 31, 2018
How to build thought leadership

How to build thought leadership for your brand through content?

Thought leadership and content marketing are directly related. Through good quality, relevant and well-researched content, your brand can establish itself as a thought leader in the industry. Also through great content, your customers and peers will treat you as the subject matter expert and will rely on the thoughts that you put across.
Swati from Isobar Commerce India talks about how one can build thought leadership through content. But before going to the interview here’s a little read about Isobar and Swati.

About Isobar Commerce India

Isobar Commerce India is the e-commerce platform & solutions arm of Isobar. Our team of thinkers, storytellers, and engineers define, design and deliver solutions that turn business visions into effective realities. We deliver global integrated platforms and solutions for clients informed by local insight and using our Salesforce, Adobe, SAP Hybris, Magento and Sitecore relationships and expertise.

About Swati

Swati is the Marketing Manager at Isobar Commerce India and is responsible for driving all the marketing activities for India market. She is a Marketing Enthusiast with 7+ years of experience of working in different aspects of Marketing & Branding. She likes to work with different industries as it compels her to bring new and different marketing ideas to the table.

She has experience of working with diverse industries such as – Healthcare, Revenue Management Software, Travel Technology and now E-Commerce Technology. She completely goes by the adage – “Content is the King” and believes that a good content has the capability to catapult even a small brand overnight.

When she is not busy making marketing plans, she is busy making travel plans as she loves to travel around the world and believes that travel can change your life in the most unexpected ways.

What’s the role of content in today’s world?

In earlier days, content marketing was just about differentiating your brand from your competitors, but over the years, it has assumed much powerful role – that of a “brand advocator”. Every prominent brand has a wealth of informative and valuable content to support “what it does” and “how that would help the audience”. It’s imperative to build trust and connect with your audience and content is the easiest way of doing that. When your audience reads your content, they develop an opinion and image of your brand. It’s very important to constantly feed your audience with valuable content to keep that opinion positive throughout.

What is the defined audience for your brand?

We provide E-Commerce platform and solutions to consumer brands and as such, we are part of the B2B marketing arena. All the consumer brands, whether big or small, aspiring to make their brand omni-channel and build brand commerce are our target audience.

What is thought leadership for any brand?

Thought leadership is the ambition for any brand of being viewed as a credible industry expert, one which offers something worth listening to. Thought leadership is about delivering answers to the biggest questions of your target audience in the formats your audience likes to consume and becoming an authority on all the relevant topics your industry is dealing with.

Is building thought leadership an important step in a brand’s content marketing strategy?

Thought leadership is an extension of content marketing. When combined, they make a powerful driving force for brand affinity and awareness.

Thought leadership is about building a relationship with your audience which can be earned only through trust and reliability. Content marketing allows brands to showcase their industry expertise to their audience and helps them make an informed purchasing decision by providing them with insightful and valuable knowledge throughout their purchasing cycle.

Any piece of thought leadership content – a blog post, infographic or whitepaper shows customers how much knowledge you have about the industry and the challenges they are facing. Customers tend to go for the brands that help them better understand their problems and the solution options they have. Content marketing thought leadership acts as a crowd differentiator for the brands and helps them become go-to-source for all the information their audience needs.

How can you use content to build thought leadership in a noisy marketplace?

To cut through the noisy marketplace, you need to create thought leadership content which is informative yet opinionated.

At Isobar Commerce India, we identify topics that are unique and directly associate with what we do as a company. We also constantly identify what our audience expects from us, what questions they are asking. We build from there – we try to answer those questions by building thought leadership content pieces around them, in different formats – blog articles, case studies, infographics, whitepapers and videos. The idea is to create valuable resources in different formats as one size doesn’t fit all, similarly, one format doesn’t appeal to all.
A Case Study By Isobar

Isobar content marketing case study

A Blog Post by Isobar

IsoBar

How would you use social media to influence thought leadership?

Social media offers a unique opportunity for brands to establish thought leadership. Social media platforms have the power to amplify your thought leadership content by manifolds. It’s a great way to improve your brand’s visibility, share your perspectives on ongoing trends and topics, and establish yourself as an expert in your niche.

It provides different ways to share your message and content. In order to be a thought leader, you need to start by listening to what your audience wants to hear from you. It’s important to be relevant in order to be heard and build your thought leadership around it.

Even if you don’t have enough time to create lengthy pieces of thought leadership content regularly, social networking sites offers great options to stay connected to your audience and be a thought leader with just a few words. Those few words itself can be tremendously influential. Share helpful articles, curated content by other industry leaders, the latest industry trends and news, these let your audience know that you are constantly providing them the information they need. This way you not establish yourself as a thought leader but you also keep your audience engaged with regular updates.

Are there any brands that have done a good job in positioning themselves as thought leaders?

I think HubSpot, an inbound sales and marketing software company, has done a tremendous job in establishing itself as the thought leader in inbound marketing strategies. HubSpot strives to teach businesses how to execute inbound marketing strategies and has developed various forms of thought leadership content to guide brands.

You can find marketing studies, self- conducted surveys, infographics containing latest industry trends, digital marketing posts, “how to do” self-help articles – just about anything you need help with in inbound marketing, on their website. They publish these thought leadership pieces with the intent to help brands better their inbound marketing efforts.

Hubspot

Any blogs/content pieces that you want to talk about

We recently published a whitepaper on Headless Commerce explaining how brands can leverage Headless Commerce to create experiences across an entire ecosystem of touchpoints. Authored by the Isobar UK and Global team, the white paper explains how the Headless Commerce approach provides brands with greater control over the UX, building a foundation to create long-term customer relationships that can deliver sustainable business growth.

IsoBar

Here is the link to the whitepaper on our website.

Are there any essential tips/suggestions that marketers of today can use for building thought leadership content?

Most of the times, marketers get carried away with the idea of building thought leadership content pieces. It’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of building thought leadership.

  1. Don’t sell your brand: You should strive to be a resource for useful information for your potential customers. All your thought leadership content pieces should contain valuable and actionable content for your audience. Don’t try to sell your brand through these content pieces, otherwise, it will just become another form of advertisement and your customers will lose interest in them. A genuine blog post, whitepaper or infographic will keep people interested in revisiting your website.
  2. Create your own niche: Thought leadership is about creating your own unique identity in a sea of brands. It’s about being a master of one rather than a jack of all trades. It’s about being a go-to-source in your own niche environment. One article on a unique topic would give you much more credibility than thousands of articles on a vague topic.
  3. Build a conversation with your audience: Pay attention to your audience. Listen to what they want. Churning out pieces of thought leadership content mindlessly would do no good to you unless you provide your audience what they actually need. Listen to what they are asking on social media and Google search, take polls to ask them what’s working for them. This will not only help you in engaging with your audience but would also give you ideas about what your next thought leadership content should be.

Conclusion

Thought leadership is not about blowing your trumpet, telling the world that your brand is the best. It’s about building trust with your audience by becoming their go-to-brand for niche valuable resource!
We heartily thank Swati for taking out the time to answer our questions. These insights have been truly valuable and will help us and others out there to become a thought leader in our respective niches.

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