Any agency interested in building a presence online invests in content marketing. So everyone writes about the same topics and uses the same promotion strategies to get reach. If you really want your agency to stand out from the competition, you need to become a thought leader.

Illustrating expertise in your niche topic can help you build clout and attract a dedicated audience to your business. Here are 6 strategies you can use to position your agency as a thought leader:

1. Invest in Blogging

Blogging is one of the best ways to get visibility for your agency online. Each post you publish creates new opportunities to reach your target audience. Blogging also helps you present yourself as an expert and a thought leader.

Regularly publishing evergreen content on your blog improves your domain authority and can help your content rank well in search results. Publish unique, quality content so your agency becomes renowned as an expert in your niche area.

You should cover all the major topics that your competitors write about, but develop your own perspective. You can also branch out by brainstorming new ways of thinking about and discussing industry topics on your blog. The more original your content is, the more it will stand out from the competition. 2. Make It Personal

To position your agency as a thought leader, there must be an individual personality behind the content you create. You can’t just publish advice and opinions from a faceless entity. It needs to come from real people with credentials and experience to back up their assertions.

Most agencies sign thought leadership content from the company owner or CEO. But you could also branch out and publish thought leadership from your CTO or other important players in the agency. Whoever you choose, make sure their content tells a story. Position their opinions and advice as coming from personal experiences at their role in the agency. Discuss challenges the business has overcome and learning experiences that provided wisdom.

3. Do Interviews

Thought leaders are experts at both conducting and giving interviews. Whenever you have trouble coming up with unique content ideas for your blog, conducting an interview can help. Enlist other thought leaders in your industry to provide quotes and anecdotes for your blog content. This adds extra value that sets you apart from the competition. When you quote other thought leaders in your content, they’re often more than happy to share it with their audience as well. This broadens your agency’s reach to a new audience.

Take advantage of opportunities to give interviews as well as conducting them. Other industry players may want to quote you on their blog as well. This builds your authority as a respected thought leader in your industry.

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a great tool you can use to actively seek out interview opportunities. HARO is a platform that connects journalists with sources for their news stories. Journalists post queries to the platform that potential sources can pitch a quote for. Doing this could land you an expert reference in major media outlets like these:

4. Use Credible Data

Building your credibility as a thought leader can be a challenge in the beginning. Why should people take your agency’s opinions and advice at face value? Backing up your statements with credible data is a great way to build confidence with your audience. Data shows that you’re not just giving your opinion about topics. You’ve actually done the research to back it up.

An even better way to build clout as a thought leader is by citing some of your own data. Create a research study to explore different facets of your industry. It’s easy to create your own actionable industry data by surveying your current customers. Creating case studies can also help you illustrate the effectiveness of different business approaches.

5. Market Your Content

You can create the best blog content in your industry, but it will never see the light of day unless you market it aggressively. Search engine marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising are great options to invest in. Social media marketing is a must because it offers the most opportunity to gain visibility.

Promote your thought leadership from your social accounts, and partner up with influencers to broaden your reach. Influencers are members of your audience that you can enlist to share your content with their followers.

There are lots of free and paid tools out there you can use to find influencers, like Social Mention, Hootsuite Insights, or BuzzSumo. On BuzzSumo, for example, you can search for top influencers by keyword, then reach out to them to share your content:

6. Network

If you want to become a thought leader, then other experts in your industry need to see you as one. Don’t let your content speak for itself. Actively build relationships with other industry players to spread your message.

You can do this online to a certain extent, especially on Twitter and niche online forms. But the best way to leave a lasting impact is through in-person networking. Make it a priority for your agency to be present at several industry events around the year. Having a booth is great, but you should also take advantage of presentations and public speaking opportunities. Once other industry leaders see you as a thought leader, convincing your audience will be 100X easier.

Keep Prioritizing Thought Leadership

Positioning your agency as a thought leader in your industry is the best way to stand out from the competition. Building expertise and notoriety can also attract new clients and business partnerships organically. In the long run, the benefits of being a thought leader make the time and money invested in achieving it all the more worth it. So no matter how your agency changes in the future, keep prioritizing thought leadership to drive important business goals overall.

AUTHOR
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Elsbeth Russell
Elsbeth is the Marketing Content Manager at SharpSpring. Through the creation of lead-generating content, including white papers, blogs, infographics, and thought leadership articles, she leverages her nearly 15 years of experience in journalism, marketing and communications.

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