Handy Tools For Jumpstarting Thought Leadership Campaigns

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March 2, 2017
Ericka Lewis Ericka Lewis

Thought leadership need not be complicated to start. With the abundance of helpful digital tools out there, you can get your thought leadership campaigns going in no time. Here are a few tools that can really help you get started.

1. Tools For Researching

In the first step of thought leadership you’ll want to lay your foundation by researching your ideal clients, industry outlets, and competitors. The following tools can help you achieve this.

  • Cision is a great platform for researching industry outlets. This PR software will help you to find the right influencers in your industry, access their media profiles/contact info, and map out upcoming editorials.
  • SEMRush can be used to research your competitors’ digital presence. By inputting your competitor’s domain name, SEMRush will show in detail their key SEO terms, backlinks to their site, and digital advertising activity. This data will help you determine how to position your thought leadership strategy and identify areas of missed opportunities.

2. Tools For Establishing Your Thought Leader

The second step is to select and establish your thought leader. In this particular step, you’ll want to find the best person for the job. Thought leaders need not necessarily be the owners of your company. You’ll just have to look carefully at the expertise they bring to the table, their willingness to step into the role, and delegate a marketing team to help them fulfill their roles.

To establish them, your initial tools are the content outlets you already possess such as:

  • your website
  • your blog
  • your social media channels
  • any content syndication you already have

Use these channels to assert your thought leaders’ influence by sharing content of value to your intended audience. Look into industry groups, forums, and other spaces online where your audience congregates and participate in the conversations in a meaningful manner regularly.

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3. Tools For Creating Your Thought Leadership Campaign

Next, we get to start developing content! From blogging, to PR, to speaking engagements there are a lot of content forms to pick from. These resources will help you to determine what will be the most affective topics for your audience.

  • BuzzSumo - If you’re ever stuck on what to write BuzzSumo should be your go-to resource. By entering a key word into the search bar, BuzzSumo will display what content performed the best by author, medium, and social shares. The tool will also show related topics.
  • Hashtagify - Similar to BuzzSumo, Hashtagify displays relevant topics related to your original search. However, the difference to this platform is it will only show popular Twitter hashtags. This will help you organize your content ideas and create content that people are interested in/already talking about.

4. Tools For Amplification

Once the content is created its time to distribute your thought leadership material to your audience. There are free and paid ways to do this while still targeting the audience you desire.

  • LinkedIn Ads - A great paid option is LinkedIn advertising. Linked ads allow you get hyper-specific with your demographics region, job title, job role, industry, and company. It’s easily scalable and can be monitored in real time for peak performance.
  • Content Syndication - By plugging into already existing outlets with a strong following, thought leaders are able to reach an engaged audience for free. Popular B2B syndication sites include Business 2 community and American express open forum.

5. Tools For Refining Your Thought Leadership Campaign

Last but not least is analyzing and refining your thought leadership strategy. Constantly evolving your message will help to ensure you’re offering value to the right people.

  • Google Analytics and Google Search Console - These are free platforms that Google offers to analyze your online presence like site traffic, goal completions, and keyword rankings.
  • HubSpot - In addition to GA and Search Console, HubSpot can be used to track all other marketing activities including emails, social media, advertising, and content in one place.

Ultimately, as with any other campaigns, the keys are starting and consistency. Plan your thought leadership campaigns and take advantage of the features of these tools to get going successfully.