It’s February and love is in air! As many brands look to launch their romantically themed mini-campaigns designed to bring “warm fuzzies” to the masses, don’t forget to bring thought leadership into the mix. At Karbo Communications, we believe that “thought leadership is a verb, not a noun.” We help our clients to communicate their problem solving ideas to the right audiences.
Thought leadership campaigns are a way to spread the love for your brand, not just on Valentine’s Day, but all year long. Here are four tips to help your brand get started:
Highlight the Right People
The first step in launching an effective thought leadership program is to identify the right people to participate. Who makes a great thought leader? An ideal person is an expert in their field who has the ability to connect the dots in the market before others do. They pioneer a point of view. Not only a visionary, this person sees a path forward, inspires others to action and (here’s the tricky part) manages to do all of the above without directly promoting the brand, product or oneself.
Inspire Many Company Leaders to Participate
The CEO is a great choice to speak on behalf of the brand, but what other interesting ideas are percolating across the leadership team that the marketing team should explore? Consider empowering several company leaders and delve into the ideas that have the potential to resonate with different audiences. By looking beyond the CEO’s office, the company has the opportunity to showcase a range of expertise and creativity, which will attract the right audiences and help the business to continue to grow.
Help Your Friends in the Media: Don’t Disguise Self-Promotion
Unfortunately, you can’t identify a market problem and offer your product as the solution and call it “thought leadership.” No matter how cleverly the marketing team believes they’ve hidden the direct references to the brand, a skilled editor will recognize how closely the piece resembles the company’s messaging and reject it immediately for being promotional. Keep your friends in the media engaged by speaking to trends objectively. This comes with a very pleasant side effect: stronger media relationships, boosted visibility, added credibility and perhaps an edge over the competition in terms of market expertise.
Be Authentic and Charming
Showcase your authenticity and credibility, but don’t forget to pepper in personality and charm! Being a trusted voice in the market builds confidence with customers and has the potential to deepen their loyalty (especially when your competition fails to offer helpful insights). Shining a light on what’s to come in the future will also help prospects find your brand and attributes to sales growth over time. But it has to be memorable too – show the world what makes your thinking and brand special.