In part 1, we talked about the first three steps to developing and maintaining thought leadership to increase revenue. As promised for this week, here are steps 4 and 5.
Step 4: Participate in networking forums
Becoming more visible in your community of interest is a good thought leadership tactic. Regardless of the company size, we think engaging with customers and team members is a major add-on to everything we’ve talked about to now. This is more than appearing at annual meetings or participating in quarterly earnings calls. We’re talking about having a genuine desire to know as many customers as possible and know who is working for you.
"Imagine customer reaction when learning that a CEO or other leading executive is interested in meeting,..."
Nothing is better than a face-to-face meeting instead of one that is virtual or on the phone. We recommend that executives further their business-to-business strategy with regularly scheduled customer meetings and public appearances. Imagine customer reaction when learning that a CEO or other leading executive is interested in meeting, genuinely interested in knowing that their company’s technology is solving a significant problem.
Or, when executives speak at a trade show or participate in a panel discussion. This is an great way to expand the company's network. And, when a CEO introduces himself or herself to the team working the trade show booth. Imagine the reaction. The surprise. The camaraderie. Thought leadership is also about being recognized and known as one of the team.
The target market may follow up for more information after getting to know you in a less-formal setting, such as a trade show. If asked for information, make sure the content adds value to the person’s work experience. Remember, the target market is doing you a favor by engaging with you so don’t waste their time. They’ll reward you for a job well done.
Step 5: Recognize the need for messaging repetition
How many times do we have to read or hear information before we remember the ideas? The classic marketing rule of seven claims we need to see a message seven times to form a lasting mental association. In other words, we need to publish content regularly, at least weekly. Remember, we’re swamped with information. There are more than 5.2 billion people on the web on more than 1.9 billion websites. There are nearly 3.1 million emails sent every second. Every second. So, fresh digital B2B marketing content rises to the top.
"There are more than 5.2 billion people on the web on more than 1.9 billion websites."
Creatively presented information is essential also. Information creativity is like the cream that rises to the top: The companies and executives who communicate technical concepts in comfortable formats, with colorful images and infographics, will rise to the top of the marketing ecosystem. A picture is worth a thousand words. With this value-added information and data, there is a considerably greater chance your target market will give you their contact details, the big prize in marketing for sales call follow-ups.
You can work with B2B online marketing professionals who understand how to craft the correct value proposition messaging that proves the technology’s superiority in an easily consumed package and, of course, worthy of sharing.
Once the target market begins to trust your opinions, you're on the way to becoming an influential force, a thought leader, within the specialty. Your company will be recognized as the one that is different from competitors, the one that sets the benchmark.
Thought leadership in five steps
In list form, here you go:
1. Connect with the target market—explain your understanding of their primary pain point and how the technology can alleviate the pain
2. Connect on an authentic level—be the voice that shapes the specialty by innovating and educating
3. Enhance technical brand equity—differentiate technology from competitors
4. Participate in networking forums—become more visible in your community of interest
5. Recognize the need for messaging repetition—produce content regularly and creatively with colorful images and infographics.
We’re very appreciative of your interest in our thought leadership ideas. Thank you.
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