Thought LeaderDon’t make the mistake of assuming thought leadership springs automatically from content marketing. “Thought leadership is not created with one, two or three pieces of content,” writes Ardath Albee at Marketing Interactions. “It’s created with the consistent application of ideas and concepts that helps to define a strategic direction your prospects should pursue to get what they want over the long haul.”

So how do you become a thought leader? Albee gives this advice:

Offer a glimpse into the future. “This means that you can’t just pontificate about the current state of affairs,” she says, “but must demonstrate that you have a vision for what’s coming down the pike.”

Bring something new to the conversation. There’s no value in telling people what they’ve already heard 20 times this week—give them a fresh perspective. “For your content to be considered thought leadership, it has to, well, stir up some thinking,” she explains. “Innovative content needs to get people to think about things differently.”

Inspire others to take action. Genuine thought leadership gets people excited about doing something—whether having a discussion with colleagues or improving a process—and provides them with actionable next steps. “You must narrow the focus to a specific audience in order to make these insights relevant and enticing enough because they’re understood and applicable to your audience’s specific situations,” she says.

You’re not a thought leader until your content marketing inspires an audience with innovative, insightful, actionable ideas and perspectives.

Source: Marketing Interactions.