In a world where we are all publishers and your customers all have easy access to choices, your content becomes a critical asset. The stakes are high. Your customers are not allowing themselves to be sold to or marketed to. In fact, they work with vigilance to eliminate noise from their lives and search for the things they are looking for.
If you compete within a defined industry, your competitors show up in search results. The ones who exemplify thought leadership show up higher. We are experiencing a more intelligent web today. Google manages those results on the internet and the algorithms for who gets found serves web searchers, not marketers. The results that are shown rely on credibility and consistency along with relevance and authority. Google authorship is ascribing a real human being to the content and an author’s credibility is on the line now. Anonymity and clever keyword gamesmanship is going by the wayside.
However, for those of us who have worked hard to build lasting content assets and establish thought leadership in our space, a continual pipeline of business becomes the reward. Thought leadership establishes a company or person as the leader in the mind of the customer. They provide up front value and frame the thinking for someone who is trying to understand how an industry space works. Your content should resonate with your audience to win the battle of the mind in an attention-scarce economy.
Someone will become the thought leader in your industry. If you become the hub where your customers come for information, education and insight about your industry, then your competition will look inferior when compared in the final buying decision.
However, if you drag your feet or can’t seem to put the decision and actions together to drive thought leadership via content, then your competitor who does it well will take a giant chunk out of mindshare space from your market. They will own the virtual sales funnel.
If you want to make your selling easier, commit to a content strategy that starts with world-class, remarkable content. Take a look via Google search to see who your competition is in your space and if they have thought leadership content. If not, then you can own this space. It’s not necessarily about doing the activity. It is about being committed to a long-term strategy and having the systems, content and processes for deep engagement by a prospective customer. There has to be substance, not busy activity. Remember, we don’t like wasting our time on things that look like value but are not.
Are you the thought leader in your industry? If not, what is holding you back?