As content marketers, one of our top priorities is to create content that positions our businesses, brands, executives and sometimes ourselves, as thought leaders in our respective industries. No matter what we’re promoting, selling or teaching, being the person others look to for advice is what we’re all really after – and the competition is fierce!Not only are the interwebs already crowded with millions of pieces of marketing messages each day, but most industries already have their top thought leaders, making standing out and creating original, valuable content even more difficult. So, to add credibility to your content marketing program, why not integrate established thought leaders into your editorial calendar?
Here are 4 ideas on how to incorporate thought leaders into your content marketing strategy:
1. Invite Guest Writers
Unexpected content is what keeps readers hooked. If your content marketing plan is feeling a little dull, spice up your regular schedule by including in a post from an outside source. Not only will the change in writing style, author and tone will keep your readers interested, but if your guest writer has a strong following they may attract new traffic to your site! Be sure to have your guest plug your next post in order to keep those new readers coming back for more.
2. Collaborate With Your Favorite Outlets
Which publications, blogs and articles do you read in the morning to catch up on your industry’s most important news? Answers will vary depending on your niche and target audience, but the idea remains the same – reach out to those you admire and suggest collaborating on content, whether it’s trading guest posts, contributing an article or op-ed, or doing a joint promotion! Think big!
3. Look to Your Board of Directors
Each business has thought leaders sitting right inside its doors – the board of directors! These seasoned industry veterans not only make decisions that impact your business and shape the future of your industry, they also harbor a wealth of knowledge that your readers want to tap. Do your research and find at least three board members in your organization who have ideas and experience that would resonate with your audience. Hunt them down and build them into your content plan.
4. Attend a Conference
Each and every day, in locations all over the world, organizations from every industry hold summits and events to gather the best of the best to share knowledge and ideas. Not only are conferences a great way to network and learn new tricks of the trade, they are crawling with thought leaders! Although you may not score a one-on-one, you can report back in your own content on what you learned from their presentation or stats on who attended. A name-drop, quote or speaker recap is sufficient when dealing with big-time industry pros. And don’t forget to snap photos! Keeping content fresh and unique is the best way to keep your audience coming back for more, and who says you have to do it alone? Be sure to share your ideas on how to create meaningful collaborations and how you incorporate thought leaders into your content strategy. Post in the comments below or connect with us on social media — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+.
Image source: Flickr user electricnerve and Flickr user boellstiftung