Leveraging Thought Leadership Online

Many of our clients are already demonstrating thought leadership in their communities. They are the people who get calls from the legislature asking their views on policy. They end up on local news programs, they’re quoted in local newspapers, they win awards. If you’re in this position, you — or your marketing director — probably wonder how you can best leverage local thought leadership online.

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Among these thought leaders we work with, there are plenty who are modest. They don’t always tell us before they do that radio interview or turn up in the “Best of” article. We respect this. But we wish they’d tell us ahead of time. We can ride the wave best when we know it’s coming.

So tell your web team when you know you’re receiving some recognition.

One of the great advantages of having a web team in this situation is that you have someone who can share these things without feeling inhibited by modesty. I don’t tell you the awesome feedback I get for my public speaking engagements, but you know I’m going to share these things for my clients.

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Fortunately, we don’t have to brag about our clients’ expertise. We can demonstrate it by adding that video, interview, article, or testimonial to their website.

When you are featured in media, especially when it’s not posted online, be sure to ask for the files. In our experience, journalists are usually happy to provide those files. We’ve even had clients ask TV stations to upload files to YouTube when they’e too large to host on the client’s website. Again, people are usually happy to oblige.

Make sure that your web team produces plenty of strong text to go with those media files. Just posting a video or a badge doesn’t get the attention of search engines the way written content will. Your website needs to reinforce the information with SEO optimized content

Engage

Social media is not the place to brag… or even to humble brag. “I’m so humbled by this award!” doesn’t add value to the lives of your followers and fans. As a thought leader, though, you have the opportunity to share about things that matter to you and your readers. Social media is definitely the place to be passionate about the causes you support in the real world. It’s the place to share information that can change people’s lives.

And it is increasingly a place where you can talk with people, encourage them, and show that you’re ready to listen as well as to share. Collaborate with your web team to get a good mix of your authentic engagement and the background of curated information that makes your social media platforms valuable to your readers. The best strategy will be different for different organizations, so your first step should always be a strategy.

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