Strengthen your Technology Thought Leadership Image with this Five-Step Strategy
How to build a strong Technology Thought Leadership image? This article provides you with a simple, five-step marketing strategy.
Companies with a strong Technology Thought Leadership image get more RFP invitations, gain buyers’ preferences, and simply sell more.It’s no surprise that Thought Leadership has become a critical marketing strategy for tech companies. By following this five-step strategy, you can make your company perceived as a Technology Thought Leader!
Thought Leadership is a rapidly growing concept in technology marketing. The Internet, easier access to information in general and the growth of different types of online marketing techniques transformed B2B buying behaviour from a vendor-driven push process into a pull process driven by B2B buyers who are specialists of their industry practices.
The transformation of B2B buying process has eventually made Thought Leadership marketing strategy a B2B marketing category of its own.
Today, more and more of the B2B buying process takes place without contacting vendors’ sales representatives. B2B buyers are technology-savvy professionals able to collect and compare information about competing technologies and offerings. Vendors are contacted later after preliminary shortlisting.
Consequently, it is of the utmost importance for companies to build a credible Technology ThoughtLeadership position to stay on the radar of technology buyers whenever they activate their B2B buying processes. The image must be highly visible on social media, industry media, key discussion forums, and search engines.
A research conducted by Edelman PR and LinkedIn with more than 1,300 decision makers and C-suite executives discovered that Thought Leadership plays a critical and defining role in the sales success of B2B companies. According to the research, a vendor’s Thought Leadership position attracts more RFP invitations and creates preferences with buyers and directly contributes to sales wins.
Technology purchase decision makers value timeliness and relevance of Thought Leadership content over pure originality of idea. ThoughtLeadership content is most credible when it is forwarded by a trusted party.
Still, the research found that majority of the decision makers and C-suite executives are disappointed in the quality of many technology vendors’ Thought Leadership content and are counterproductive. It results in lost sales opportunities.
How to build a strong Technology Thought Leadership image?
If Technology Thought Leadership image alone plays such a material role in a tech company’s sales success, every company should make it the center-piece of the firm’s marketing strategy.
Here is a five-step strategy for building a strong Technology Thought Leadership image!
1. Own a Technology Thought Leadership Position
If you want your company to become perceived as a Technology Thought Leader, you must develop a deep and broad knowledge about your industry. You have to stay ahead of the crowd and own key industry topics and discussion areas in which you want to become a distinguished specialist.
When you openly share your views, the media publishes your content and writes about your company. That enforces the positive spiral effect of Thought Leadership by increasing your credibility, and making your company known to a larger industry audience.
2. Create High-quality Technology Thought Leadership Content
Quality of Thought Leadership is of course subjective, but here is a run-down of key components that define high-quality Thought Leadership content.
Technology Thought Leadership content should provide answers and insights to the most important and topical industry challenges. It should share best practice solutions and methods, without being your own product pitch.
High-quality Technology Thought Leadership content is recognized by other companies as innovative, topical and insightful. It provides a depth of knowledge that most companies do not share in public. It should always be timely and relevant, but the ideas presented don’t necessarily have to be original, as the research discovered.
A Technology Thought Leader company provides new paradigms and perspectives, and future projections for the industry and market.
Credible Thought Leadership content, whether delivered in written, visual, audio or video format, doesn’t have to be boring! The most effective way to ensure that a Thought Leadership message becomes understood and remembered is to formulate it along the 5-stage storytelling template, which describes the why, what and how of a topic, and makes your content engaging and inspiring. Easy to understand storyline is crucial as your messages must sink in into readers’ minds instantly.
Decision makers are busy and overwhelmed by information. Deliver your Thought Leadership content in several small units, which address only one logical topic at a time. That makes your content easier to consume for time-constrained professionals and facilitates targeting on social media and search engines.
Design the topics so that you address all stages of the buying journey, including articles about which technologies to select for various applications, pros and cons of different choices and so on. Delivering material that serves buyers further down the process is important as the first personal touch point with a vendor takes place later.
3. Optimize your Thought Leadership content for Search Engines
Search Engines are the battleground of competing Thought Leadership messages! Make sure that your Thought Leadership content is optimized for the right keywords so that it ranks on the first Google search result page. Nobody will go to the second Google search result page to search for Technology Thought Leaders!
4. Use the Thought Leader Individuals to Convey the Message
While a Technology Thought Leadership image is primarily associated with a company’s brand, people are more inclined to follow other people rather than companies. The Thought Leadership position should therefore be built for the company brand and for those management and employee members who are the real thought leaders in your company. But beware … not too many however to get the benefits of focused attention. Additionally, well connected employees are a powerful social media marketing channel for the Thought Leadership message.
5. Publish Thought Leadership Articles on Technology Media
As the research discovered, the Technology ThoughtLeadership content is most credible when delivered by someone trusted. If you only use your company's own blog to publish your content, there is a risk it becomes “self-pitching”, and therefore less credible. However, when your message is provided on respected industry medias, it increases your credibility.
Additionally, publishing Thought Leadership articles on external industry medias provides access to a much wider audience!
Strong Technology Thought Leadership image has a potential to grow your sales. However, to become perceived as a strong Technology Thought Leader is not a walk in the park - you have to put in a lot of hard work!
Do you want to become a Technology Thought Leader?
Grip Agency has helped many international tech companies in creating and publishing Technology Thought Leadership content – Check our proposal!