Startups face the challenge of not yet having an established track record that serves to create trust. Since purchase decisions require trust, this challenge can be significant. Thought leadership content serves to bridge this gap in trust since it demonstrates that your company is an expert in the industry or problem that your product solves. Additionally, as you interact with the audience consuming your content over social media, you build trust. Thought leadership can also set your company apart from competitors, leading to more sales. Here’s how you can use thought leadership content in your content marketing strategy.
How Thought Leadership Content Helps Startups
Why is thought leadership so powerful? Here are four of the early and ongoing benefits of using thought leadership in your marketing.
- Boosts your reach — Sharing content that demonstrates your expertise is often rewarded by increases in social mentions, conversions, and referrals. Even when you’re first starting out, building thought leadership content will help position your new company as a leader in your area of expertise.
- Improves funding opportunities — Investors in early-stage startups want founders with industry experience and demonstrated knowledge. By developing thought leadership from the beginning, you provide investors with what they’re looking for when identifying prospective companies to invest in.
- Enhances your marketing efforts — Establishing your founders and team as thought leaders also provides fertile ground for growing your marketing efforts. You can repurpose this content into videos, infographics, and lead magnets.
- Builds trust with prospects — If your target market sees your company as an authority and on the forefront of innovation to help solve their pain points, they are more likely to jump on board early. If you develop ample content before your product even launches, you’ll give yourself a foundation to support trust-building.
Who Should be Creating Thought Leadership
The logical choice for thought leadership in any organization are the top leaders — in the case of a startup, the founders. The founders establish and drive the vision of the startup, including maintaining awareness of various market opportunities. So, it makes sense to have the founders front and center as a voice for your startup.
But your founders aren’t the only ones with a vision and a pulse on the market. Your sales team is out there regularly talking with customers, and they have insight into what topics and issues are of interest to prospects. They also generally have a robust understanding of the pain points of your target market.
Your product team is also a great place to go for thought leadership. They can provide thought leadership from a solution perspective, as they understand the role technology plays in meeting customer needs. Their expert insight can round out the focus of our thought leadership content to be product-focused as well as market-focused.
What to Say and How to Say It
What you say and how you say it are equally important when creating thought leadership content. Your content must stand out in order to get people to take notice, and it must be relevant to get the right people’s attention. Here are some ways to do just that:
- Take a unique point of view based on your mission or UVP — How is your company’s point of view that is different from the rest of the industry? What is your mission?
- Form a contrarian opinion — Give some thought to how you could share a different angle on a popular topic. Offering a contrarian opinion based on facts can be a powerful differentiator.
- Inject personality — Your target audience should be able to relate to your content.Consider your brand personality and let that flow through all of your content.
- Use personal experience — Don’t be just another piece of “faceless” content. Instead, share personal experience to make a connection with your readers. This also helps with engagement as personal sharing helps to increase interest.
- Tell a story — No one has the same story that your company does, and storytelling is a powerful way to build connection. Inject your unique background, history, and viewpoint into stories.
Thought leadership is one of the best ways to establish your company as an authority with your target market early on, even before your product has launched. It’s an important part of a content marketing strategy and serves to build the trust that’s essential to motivating a purchase.
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