Whether you’re using traditional marketing tools or social media, one of your key objectives should be to become the thought leader in your market or category.
As a B-to-B marketer, Thought Leadership is one of the most valuable assets of your brand. When reaching out to the professional tradesman, you have several audiences that you need to build relationships with – Distribution, Buying Groups, Associations and ultimately, the Contractor or End User. Messaging to each of these markets while sharing common traits can and will be different. The sooner you begin building relationships in the buying cycle, the better off you’re going to be. Thought leadership and brand building should be an ongoing process.
I believe social media affords you a better means of reaching your objectives. You don’t become a thought leader overnight. It’s a process that takes time. You need to gain trust of your audience and become the “go to” resource. What better way to accomplish this than through the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogs and Twitter? Think of it as a form of “opt in” places that people go on a regular basis to read and learn. People follow blogs because the subject matter is relevant to them. People follow you on Twitter for the same reason. LinkedIn has groups you can join based on interest levels in particular issues, causes or markets. You get the picture. There are numerous ways to stay connected and build your Brand.
Jon Miller in a recent post on Marketo, outlines 4 ways to build your brand:
- Use your company’s blog to provide insights
- Be a solution to a specific problem
- Provide original research
- Join a speaking circuit
Those are my thoughts on the subject and I’d like to hear what you’re doing to build your thought leadership.