Crafting fantastic thought leadership content is useless if no-one manages to see it—how you get that content into the hands of your target audience is just as important.
Regular readers of our thought leadership blogs and newsletters will know that we talk a lot about high-quality thought leadership, and how to make material as effective and insightful as possible. Our quality ratings methodology provides a guide for how firms can produce great content, but it’s really only part of the story. If your content isn’t reaching its intended audience, it doesn’t matter how great it is, and this is a struggle that unites marketing teams across the professional services industry. So, how can you ensure that your thought leadership output is getting to the right people? We think there are two main things to consider.
First up is the format of your piece. For every thought leadership aficionado who loves the prospect of a chewy, 20-page report, there is another who will shudder at the thought of anything over five pages. Podcasts are generally either loved or hated—but it’s important to offer this route to your thinking for fans of more snackable content. And an infographic might just do enough to pique the interest of that person who had initially shied away from your chewy 20-pager. In other words, ensure that you’re covering all bases. Create those long-form pieces as a starting point, and then break them down into different formats of differing lengths as part of the campaign around it. That way, you know that there’s something for everyone in your offering.
The other big thing to think about is the delivery mechanisms and channels you are using to get that content to your audience. Newsletters can work, especially where they are tailored to the interests of your readers, rather than being a broad-brush attempt at getting as much content as possible into the hands of as many people as possible. Some firms are experimenting with apps, and an avid podcast consumer may come across your thought leadership content because it is charting on their preferred podcast platform. Clubhouse is rapidly gaining traction, and LinkedIn is proving to be an increasingly valuable option for consulting firms to share their content. Recent conversations with clients tell us that some, keen to access ideas at the cutting edge, will start their search for content on LinkedIn as their initial filter.
Don’t just assume that social media is for B2C organisations—ensure that you’re showcasing your best thinking with paid-for sponsored adverts targeting those people you want to get your thought leadership in front of. We even recently saw a leading innovation consultancy advertising on TikTok.
The best marketing teams will be employing all of these new formats and channels, ensuring that they are showcasing their expertise far and wide. It’s not just enough to create good content, you need to create campaigns that showcase it too.