With a clear strategy in place, the focus turns to creating content that achieves your goals. Research into the timely issues affecting your clients will help establish your content calendar of topics to build out. This research should include external reports and news, and internal reports from frontline sales and relationship managers, who know what issues and concerns they’re hearing the most from your customers and clients.
Once you know your target audience, your objective, and the issues you want to tackle, then comes the most critical component of effective thought leadership: teaching your audience something they don’t already know. A primer on a topic or an overview of your capabilities within a certain area are better suited as a page on your website than a thought leadership piece. Unless you’re covering a brand new and emerging topic, there are likely myriad of general overview materials available on the topic.
Go beyond identifying trends and share specific insights and a point-of-view that only you can provide. Avoid making your content sound like a sales pitch, and instead focus on the questions facing your audience and the answers that you can provide. You want to sound genuine, not promotional. Find opportunities to work with experts, influencers, and others outside your company that can support your insights. Interview someone from academia on your company blog or podcast, or get quotes from analysts to include in your op-ed.