Produce thought leadership content
1. Align with your leadership team on the business goals and the topics/domains that you must create to meet those objectives.
For example, your company’s goal might be to become the leading ERP system for companies in the hospitality industry. The content you’ll produce should help your company position itself as a leader in this industry, for its category, ERP systems.
2. Select the topics/domains that are relevant for your target audience.
If you work with Ideal Customer Profiles, clearly define the topics that might be relevant for the decision makers vs. the topics of interest for the end users.
3. Consult your team and ask them who in your company has first-hand, extensive experience on the selected topics/domains.
Start with more senior employees or top-level executives such as Head of Technology or CTO, but also include operators who have valuable hands-on experience such as Software Engineer. Experience is key here as it will ensure the content is authentic. Optionally, you can look for people outside your company, such as peers, partners, or customers.
4. Ask for their stance or a unique perspective on their respective fields such as views, takes, and predictions.
You can ask them: What direction do they see the industry going in? How do they think the industry can do better? What trends do they see? What widely held belief do they agree or disagree with?
5. Ask for anecdotes that reveal their personal approach to their domain or have become key critical lessons in their professional life.
These anecdotes should involve some sort of challenge that the thought leader has overcome or an event that has radically changed how they operate – something that your audience can learn from.
6. Refine and enrich these opinions and stories with supporting evidence, such as data and research.
Use your company’s own data, conduct a survey or experiment, or do further research by exploring external resources or interviewing other experts. This will ensure that the content is not only forward-thinking, but also credible and trustworthy. If you make a claim, you need to explain why, show how it works, give examples, show that it is contrarian or show that the claim is unique.
7. Aside from domains that are directly related to your company, consider adjacent topics that are of great interest to your customers.
For example, a SaaS company targeting tech entrepreneurs will certainly want to hear from the CTO on building a product but could also enjoy content from the Head of HR on building a team.
8. Choose a content format and decide how you will publish these opinions and stories.
Thought leadership is typically published as editorials/opinion articles or long-form blog content, but you can also create an e-book, video, or podcast. Choose whatever best suits the opinion/story and your audience.
9. Ask the leaders in what format they prefer to deliver the content - as a written piece, a video/audio interview, some notes that you can expand on.
Some leaders are happy to write the content themselves, but you can also work off notes shared by the leader or co-write together.