What Is Thought Leadership & Why Are Companies Embracing It?

8 February 2019| Post by Robbie

AuthorRobbie

In our industry, there are a lot of influential figures changing the game and sparking conversation wherever they go. These are thought leaders – and they can be found in any industry around the world. Let’s explore what that means and why it’s important.

Today, we’re delving into the up and coming topic of thought leadership. We like to tackle the big issues here at Limely but deal with them in a simple, easy-to-understand way. Not only that but we’ve done all the research so you don’t have to. If you’ve been hearing the buzzword (or phrase) of thought leadership thrown around lately, here are all the key points you need to know💡

Explaining thought leadership

First things first, let’s clear something up. We know that to some, thought leadership might just sound like a lame, empty phrase but there really is a great concept behind it. In this blog post, we’re going to run you through the basics of what this thing actually means, why companies are embracing it and why it might be something worth looking into.

What is it?

Let’s jump straight into the definition. In fact, it’s probably going to be easier if we define another phrase first. A thought leader is someone who an expert on a particular subject in their field, whether it be FinTech, ecommerce or AI. However, it doesn’t stop there. To be an actual thought leader as opposed to an expert, the person must be continually engaged in conversation with the wider industry community. Simply knowing a lot about a subject isn’t thought leadership. Doing the following things is thought leadership:

  • Being active on social media
  • Writing, reading and learning about your subject area
  • Engaging in discussion with other experts and enthusiasts
  • Educating others on your subject
  • Contributing to events and publications
  • Making informed predictions and sparking debate on the future

Why are companies embracing it?

Well, quite simply, because it makes them look good. Of course, being actively involved in thought leadership is exciting when you’re passionate about your field. However, it’s also a great marketing tool for your business as it shows how knowledgable, innovative and enthusiastic you are. And that’s a great selling point for any potential clients. Essentially, it’s an example of content marketing. Consumers are getting to know your brand better through real-life learning and subject exploration.

Who should utilise thought leadership?

Anyone in any part of a company can become a thought leader; this isn’t just reserved for directors and seniors. It takes a high level of expertise and dedication, however, so isn’t right for everyone. In terms of types of business, this concept can be suitable for both B2B and B2C companies in any industry. If there’s a subject to learn about, you can become a thought leader on it. However, B2B firms may benefit more from this type of content marketing, due to the longer and more in-depth build-up of relationships with clients. That’s not to say B2C firms couldn’t thrive using thought leadership but just that there may be slightly less value in it for both parties.

Need a little inspiration? Here are some of our favourite thought leaders: Peter Arvai (Prezi), Liz Earle (Liz Earle Beauty Co.), Manish Chandra (Poshmark), Kate Russell (BBC Click) and Nicholas Thompson (Wired). Here’s to the future – and lots more meaningful thought leadership! 👊🏼

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