Marketing, Blogging  /  10.13.15  / 2-min read

Why “Thought Leadership” Doesn’t Work—and a Better Way to Blog

If your answer to, “Why does our company have a blog?” is “To demonstrate thought leadership!”, then pause right there.

Marketing has changed from the inside-out. When business blogs first became popular, it was totally acceptable to write about your musings, your company, and anything remotely related to your industry. (In fact, pre-Google Analytics, no one was really sure anyone was even reading their content, so many people just wrote for themselves and their employees.)

 

When you write with “thought leadership” as your only goal:

 

  • You end up talking about yourself too much (no one cares)
  • You pontificate (and can border on sounding arrogant)
  • You regurgitate (saying things others have covered sooner or better)
  • You don’t deliver information that solves problems for your customers

 

Now, don’t get me wrong: to some degree, it is OK to write about your company and your opinions, especially when your goal is to attract new employees or demonstrate expertise on relevant topics. But with millions of companies competing for millions of eyeballs—and with more and more content available (some good, most useless), the bar has been raised. You need a better way to blog.

 

A Better Way to Blog in 4 Steps:

 

1) We’ll assume, for the moment, that you’ve taken the time to get a full and accurate picture of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, including where you sit in the competitive marketplace. (If you’ve never completed an exercise like this with your team, it’s time well spent—and we’ve got a tool that can help.)

 

2) Let’s say you manage marketing for a medium-sized, independently run hotel. If you’ve completed a formal SWOT analysis, take a look at your company strengths, which might look something like this:

  • Family-owned business with low turnover
  • Most comfortable beds in the region
  • Centrally located in city
  • Successful customer loyalty program


3) Next, brainstorm a list of what your potential customers (i.e., people who are visiting your city) are concerned with. This list might include:

  • Things to do in the city
  • Deals or ways to spend wisely while traveling
  • Best places to stay
  • Best places to eat


4) Now, connect the dots: turn your strengths into content your customers and prospects care about. Examples could include:

  • Blog post: “3 Secrets to Stretching Your Money When You Travel” (mention loyalty or rewards programs, but don’t put on the hard sell for yours)

  • Video: A high-speed tour of the city, shot with a GoPro camera, that begins at your hotel and showcases your central location

  • Testimonials: Share Yelp reviews when customers mention your comfy beds (or other great parts of their stay)

 

It’s no big secret: content that helps your audience and solves a problem is what gets readers clicking and coming back—and converting to loyal, happy customers.


Post written by

Sarah Flaherty

The Busy Marketer's Content Calendar + Worksheet

Carefully planned content can help you grow your business. This interactive worksheet will help you define your goals, plan your campaigns, and ready your marketing efforts for success.

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