Both in the B2B as well as B2C markets, research has shown that buyers value brand trust above all else in a purchase decision. This includes price. How can you build that trust and win customers? Thought leadership is one way to be effective.
Because of the rapid pace of change in the tech industry and its extensive reach into every company, thought leadership is even more important. Technology is an integral part of how we do business.
CIOs are often chosen by tech companies to be the voice and face behind their thought leadership content. CIOs are responsible for overseeing the people, processes and technologies that will determine their results.
We’ll be covering everything you need about thought leadership, its benefits and how CIOs can build their thought leader reputations through great content.
- Leadership content that is thought-provoking builds the professional reputation of professionals and companies.
- In tech, where technology is constantly changing, thought leadership is particularly important.
- B2B buyers consider thought leadership content more valuable than marketing materials when assessing companies.
- There has been an increase in thought leadership content since the pandemic.
- CIOs have the option to share thought leadership content via blog posts, expert interviews and guest appearances on social media.
- CIOs need to balance their individual perspectives with the company’s priorities, messaging, and priorities.
What is thought leadership?
Thought leadership refers to the sharing of ideas and knowledge that demonstrates your expertise in a specific industry or topic.
Thought leadership has been a key part of marketing products and services for as long as there have been companies. It is a crucial role in establishing authority as well as creating “go to” brands. The internet and search engines have made it a more important marketing strategy for all companies, regardless of size and industry.
Buyers have more control over the buying process than ever, especially in B2B. Buyers conduct 83% their research before reaching out to companies. B2B decision-makers learn from their research who are the most influential people in their industry over time. They start to look up their top industry voices and they are the first to call, without ever having to search for alternatives.
Your thought leadership content is what makes you stand out as the top voice companies seek when they are looking for a solution or plan on making a purchase. According to 64% of B2B decision-makers surveyed, thought leadership is more reliable than marketing material for evaluating companies. Sixty-three percent said that thought leadership is a sign that an organization understands their business problems.
Image Source: LinkedIn
Companies who wish to use thought leadership can start by choosing the right person within their company to speak for them. Thought leaders in companies balance their unique views with aligning them to the company’s larger messages and priorities. They share innovative ideas and help their audience solve problems and find new solutions.
This person is usually the CIO in tech. Let’s look at why thought leadership is so important for tech, and X ways CIOs can establish their reputation as thought leaders.
The benefits of thought leadership in tech
The fastest-changing industry is tech. Every company is constantly being reshaped by new innovations, tools and capabilities. It’s also changing the way customers and companies communicate at all stages of the customer journey.
To understand the emerging trends and disruptions, companies of all sizes turn to tech thought leadership.
This is a great opportunity for CIOs and other tech thought-leaders. Being a tech thought leader can give you an audience and a platform to increase your brand’s visibility (and your own).
It’s true that thought leadership is becoming more important means there’s more competition for space. Research shows that thought leadership content has increased significantly since the pandemic. B2B decision-makers claim that the market is saturated with thought leadership content. They claim there is far more content than they can read.
Image Source: LinkedIn
Your thought leadership content must be unique. Value-focused content is the best way to achieve this. Content that solves their problems and offers solutions will engage buyers better than any other content. We’ll be discussing 4 ways to provide thought leadership content that your audience will love in the next section.
Four Ways CIOs can Grow Their Thought Leadership In Tech
Regular blog posts
Content marketing strategies that are successful include blogs as a cornerstone. High-quality, consistent blog content drives organic visitors to your site and improves your search engine rankings in terms of topics that are important to you. It makes it easier to find potential customers.
It is easy to publish thought leadership content to your blog and make it easily accessible. However, it takes a lot of time to create topic ideas and blog on a regular basis. Many thought leaders in companies work closely with their marketing departments to find ghostwriters for their blogs.
Ghostwriters have the opportunity to collaborate with thought leaders in order to discover their most valuable ideas and perspectives. They can then draft something to be reviewed before each blog goes live.
B2B buyers, business professionals and others are increasingly using expert interviews to do research on specific topics or companies. Expert network companies specialize in finding and interviewing experts to share their knowledge with clients.
Tech is a highly specialized field. Expert interviews are a great way for CIOs to gain knowledge and build their reputation. Here is Darryl West, former CIO of HSBC.
You can also work with your teams to conduct interviews, and create engaging content about them. Video interviews, Q&As about social media stories, interviews published on blog articles and feature interviews in publications are all great ways to build your expert reputation.
Working on expert interviews internally has the advantage that you can discuss topics that are most relevant to your audience at any time. These topics could be industry developments and trends, but they also can include current events that your CIO comments on.
Guest appearances can indicate authority. Your CIO should be featured by other brands if they are not experts. You can have guest appearances in writing (like guest blog posts), in video (like webinars), and even in person. Guest appearances should be based on the fact that your partner companies have a good reputation and can reflect positively on you brand.
Guest appearances increase your reach and open up new opportunities for partnership.
For thought leaders, social media is an enormous platform. CIOs have greater control over the messages, thoughts, and content they share on social media than anywhere else.
Social media can be an effective tool to increase content (e.g. blog posts). It can be used by CIOs to share industry content you find interesting or wish to discuss.
It gives CIOs direct channels for communicating with potential customers and peers. A strong social media presence will help you to build a real following. This following can be extended to other channels, such as your blog, email newsletter or company website, and it makes you more approachable to customers.
LinkedIn and Twitter are the two most powerful platforms for B2B brand promotion.
How to handle them: The Risks
As their visibility increases, CIOs who assume the role of thought leader have to be aware of some potential risks and challenges.
Public scrutiny comes with visibility. It’s important to remember that everyone will see and evaluate what you share. No thought leader can avoid criticism. Inspirational discourse is an important part of thought leadership. However, CIOs must be careful to review the content they share and prepare for any feedback.
CIOs must balance their thought leadership agenda and the company’s priorities from an internal perspective. Nobody wants to read content about thought leadership that only reiterates the company’s line of business. We can find that information on company websites and brochures. It is important for thought leaders to have their own perspective and create their own voice.
CIOs also represent their companies. Marketing departments are often keen to use thought leadership content for their purposes. They might also want to be involved in the development of it.
CIO leaders must be confident in following this line and creating content that reflects their unique voice as well as represents their brand.
More to you
Are you ready to increase your thought leadership presence. First, you need to build a great content library. Marketing Insider Group’s team of SEO experts and writers can help you develop and deliver optimized content every week for a year or more.
To get started, learn more about our SEO Blog Writing Service.
Marketing Insider Group published The Smart CIO’s Guide to Thought Leadership in Tech.
By: Michael Brenner
Title: The Smart CIO’s Guide to Thought Leadership in Tech
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/thought-leadership-in-tech/
Published Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2022 10:00:38 +0000
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