When marketers consider the positive impact their thought leadership could have, they rightly focus on the final output and how it will be used. But this doesn’t avoid the fact that a lot of good content opportunities are usually missed. As the old adage goes: sometimes the journey can be just as important as the destination.
Of course, there’s no substitute for high quality thought leadership content that adds value for your target audience. But four opportunities are often missed—each of which can help provide additional compelling content (on the cheap), forge stronger relationships with clients and prospects, and bolster your brand’s reputation.
Making interviews work harder
- Most projects involve some element of securing and conducting interviews with senior, respected experts and executives. In an interview setting, these folks are usually very comfortable discussing the challenges they face each day. But most of these insights end up on the cutting room floor, with just a few quotes making it through to the report. There is nearly always scope to extract a compelling Q&A, or standalone case study, or article for another in-house publication.
Getting more mileage from the research phase
- We’re big advocates of making good use of
- and interviews, but it also helps to take a more creative approach when the right topic comes along. For example, when investigating topics of wider interest, putting together roundtable discussions could be a great way to grow relationships. Assembling a strong mix of academics and industry leaders, while a suitable company representative chairs the discussion, can do wonders in helping forge new connections—and extending your brand.
Opening up to your audience
- In the age of social media, many multinationals are growing large networks of relevant professionals on
- and other channels. But many companies struggle to build genuine back-and-forth interactions with their audience. As an engagement tactic, why not involve clients and prospects in deciding the most exciting research topics for you to pursue, almost like a digital focus group? Doing so can help build their anticipation and lead to further involvement as the research process steps up.
Being proactive in the follow-up
- It’s obviously good practice to share your finished thought leadership content with all of the clients and prospects you may have involved in the research process. But there is so much more that can be achieved at this point. If they are willing, why not do a follow-up call or meeting to find out whether the report has been of practical use to them – did it break new ground? Has it raised fresh questions for them? Would they like to be involved in a follow-up study?
The bottom line: in the rush towards the finish, be sure to stop and think of any fresh ways of making the journey a bit more valuable.