Every self-respected marketer knows what a blog is, but few of them leverage it to its full potential.
A thought leadership blog makes you achieve that.
It enables you to brand your content around one key topic and make it easy for your audience to follow up on your subsequent publications.
But what are the standard features of the best thought leadership blog and what do they look like? Here’s something to get you started.
What qualifies as a Thought Leadership blog?
From all the blogs that I’ve analyzed online, I’ve seen a lot of them being reduced to a repository of all the company’s past content. Marketers basically put all their content in there in the hope someone finds them.
The problem is that it makes your blog unappealing to your visitors. Moreover, it doesn’t enhance your brand or help your prospect get through the sales cycle.
Thought leadership blogs are the augmented version, as they turn your blog into its own marketing channel, delivering a clear message.
A blog like this includes specific components :
- A wording that conveys a strong point of view (POV) on one subject.
- A design and structure that enhances the reading experience.
- Clear call-to-action sections that push visitors to follow up on future publications or to ask more questions.
Besides that, it features a variety of content formats that help visitors navigate your POV:
- Any kind of blog posts (news, trends, opinions, educational).
- White papers, e-books, and reports.
- Video interviews.
How to find the topic of your thought leadership blog?
A thought leadership blog is all about the main topic that you want to address. You want to focus on content that is driven by the same issue keeping your prospect up at night or trend slowly shaping your industry. Your blog will be meant to answer the most to this unique question.
You can find your thought leadership blog topic by answering the following questions :
- What are prominent issues that are having a long-lasting impact on your industry? For example technological innovation, demographics, new consumer behaviors, social and political changes…
- What are the business issues that are in the mind of your customers right now? For example new regulations, seasonal sales, external events…
- What is the unique expertise that you’ve grown over your industry? For example, a feature of your software that is addressing a specific business issue, the best industrial equipment for specific applications, your unique understanding of the business needs of a specific sector…
Ideally, the best thought leadership topic checks all these boxes. It is both dealing with a topic relevant to your prospects at the moment, one deeper trend that will long shape the industry, and highlights your unique expertise.
6 Examples of thought leadership blog
Deloitte – Digital Transformation
No need to introduce Deloitte. This big consulting firm produces every day a ton of thought leadership content. To guide their prospect through all their insights, they have created blog sections on their website that combine all their content on very strategic topics. Digital transformation is one of them. It features :
- A compelling vision: C-suite leaders have a key role to play to make their businesses more resilient with digital transformation.
- A variety of content around digital transformation: reports, articles, and research.
- Content categories that the reader can freely explore depending on its interests.
- Clear call to action: read the stories, download the app, or talk to our experts.
CEO Thought Leadership – Open Text
Open Text is a provider of cloud content management systems for organizations struggling to keep up with all the information generated in their departments. It helps them leverage all this data to improve operational efficiency, customer experience, and resilience to changes. It makes sense that it primarily targets CEOs who want to step up on their digital transformation journey. The blog achieves to do that in three ways :
- Focus on one audience persona: the CEO that wants to make information management at the center of their organization strategy.
- Provides a variety of content formats: reports, opinion pieces, video interviews, e-books…
- Give categories to navigate to : information management, cloud services, digital experience…
Digital India – ServiceNow
ServiceNow is an IT workflow software that helps employees get more done with less time. It has closely followed the Indian government’s campaign aiming to go digital by 2025. To target Indian government services, they have put together a branded blog on digital transformation. It demonstrates the following elements:
- A clear purpose: helping Indian public services go digital by 2025.
- A variety of content formats: quick guides, checklists, infographics, customer cases, e-books…
- Multiple categories to navigate to : customer stories, solutions, events…
Work Life – Atlassian
Atlassian is a company that has designed some of the most popular collaboration tools for employees. They seek to make teamwork seamless among scattered organizations. To achieve that, they designed a web publication on the multiple ways to improve workplace rituals. This blog delivers value via :
- A compelling topic (making the workplace a better place for everyone) with specific collections and categories to navigate to.
- A wide variety of content formats: blogs, quizzes, podcasts, researches…
- Compelling blog page design : easy-to-read font, engaging pictures…
Sustainability Hub – Rubicon
Rubicon is a company that sells software to make recycling easier for businesses and governments. To promote this mission among organizations, they have created an educational hub that shares the best practices for recycling and sustainability. It demonstrates the best features of a thought leadership blog :
- An important question for businesses: recycling waste material and adopting sustainable practices.
- A wide variety of educational content formats: informative pages for every type of waste, practical guides, introductory articles…
- Clear CTAs: subscribing to the newsletters or contacting the team.
Under the Wing – CrowdStrike
Crowdstrike is a leading cybersecurity software for small and medium businesses. As it knows how much SMEs can struggle to understand the threats they are facing, they have produced a video series around the most common cybersecurity applications. It achieves thought leadership for several reasons :
- A compelling narrative that aims at a specific persona: small and medium businesses are the most common targets of cyberattacks.
- A video series that showcases some of the features that enable IT managers to prevent cybersecurity threats
- Engaging narrator and easy-to-follow demos of the platform
Now you know what a thought leadership blog looks like. Your turn to start your own blog!