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After exhausting every avenue of marketing and advertising, you might be scratching your head, wondering how in the world you can get your audience’s attention.

It’s funny how the simplest answer is often the best, isn’t it?

Sharing your vast knowledge of your industry is, in fact, one of the best ways to not only capture the attention of your customer base but also increase sales. In a nutshell, making people smarter makes it easier to make sales.

The Value of Thought Leadership

Consider your knowledge as a commodity. It benefits you to spend it in the wisest manner possible: to bridge a connection with people who will buy from you.

People have questions. They thirst for the knowledge that you have. By providing it on the right channels, you can give them value that they will appreciate. Once they see how useful your knowledge is, they’ll be more inclined to follow you online and learn more about what your company does. From there, it’s an easy slide down your sales funnel.

Using your knowledge to establish your thought leadership can have more of an impact than any digital ad, tweet, or email. It can also enhance what you’re doing across various marketing and sales channels.

Where to Leverage Your Thought Leadership

There are so many channels available to brands to share their knowledge these days. Your company blog is the obvious choice, since this is your home. It’s where people go looking for you (or can find you through Google searches).

But what about reaching people who haven’t yet been exposed to your brand? Where can you connect with them?

LinkedIn is a fabulous channel for publishing content (clearly I’m a fan). Your articles are available for anyone to view, which has the potential to connect you to hundreds or even thousands of business professionals, if that is your audience.

Once you’ve published an article on LinkedIn, share it with groups there. There are groups for every interest and industry, so joining and participating in a few of these will help you establish relationships with the right people.

Holding your own summit  is another way to get in front of potential customers. By hosting a smart event designed to provide free information to your client base or audience, you automatically stand out in their minds as a company that cares, not one who’s pushing a sales agenda.

Videos are also effective as a channel for sharing information. While some people prefer to read blog content and articles, others like digesting data by watching a video or listening to a podcast, so diversify how you create content.

Your videos can be uploaded on YouTube or other video hosting site, then shared on your website, blog, LinkedIn, via email, or even social media.

Consider creating a series of videos to play up your expertise on a subject, and to give your video campaign greater gravity.

And don’t overlook writing content too: beyond contributing to your own blog, becoming a guest blogger on sites and blogs that cater to your audience is another strategy to get in front of new leads.

Tie your thought leadership efforts together by cross promoting. Link to your latest blog post on social media or send it out via email.

Email is, by the way, a fantastic way to show prospective clients that you’re thinking of them. Just a short note: “I thought this video/article might be of interest. I’d love to learn more about your business and how I might be able to help you.”

Remember: it takes ongoing and consistent effort to establish a name for yourself. A single article on LinkedIn or video on your blog won’t get the job done, but a series, over time, will.

Thought leadership remains one of the best ways to show the world that you know what you’re doing, thereby instilling trust in your brand that leads to sales.