As a CEO, you are the force driving your business to success. Your decisions help shape the values and the future of your company. And, while you can do so much behind the scenes, studies show that by coming out from behind your corporate image and engaging with your customers, you can help build trust, relationships and even profits. ‘Edelman Trust Barometer 2021’ revealed that 63% of the participants believed that CEOs should hold themselves accountable to the public and not just to the board of directors or shareholders. This highlights the importance of CEO leadership and trust even further and gives rise to the growing need for solid thought leadership as it helps you show the public and your customers what you stand for and why they should put their trust in you.
Insights into the Benefits of Thought Leadership
According to a study conducted by the Economist in 2016, about 80% of marketers believe that thought leadership is a worthwhile effort and are inclined to increase this kind of content as it brings in results. Another study by Edelman and LinkedIn revealed that B2B thought leadership contributed directly to sales. However, this study also highlighted the importance of the quality of thought leadership content, as poor quality can be responsible for the loss of new business opportunities.
All this data shows why it is so important for you as a CEO to showcase your thoughts, beliefs and personal perspectives to the public. Consumers today not only want to know what your business stands for, but they also expect to learn more about your opinions and your way of doing things. To further highlight the importance of quality thought leadership as a CEO, research from Edelman shows that 56% of consumers “have no respect for CEOs who remain silent on social issues.” Hence it is absolutely essential for you to voice your opinions, not only on topics in your industry, but also on social issues, in order to humanise and gain the trust of your current and future customers.
Now that you know the kind of impact strong thought leadership can have on your business, let’s take a closer look at what the term really means and how you can leverage thought leadership to lead your business to success.
Definition of Thought Leadership Marketing
Thought leadership can be defined as the practice of content marketing in which individuals and companies are recognised as the most reliable and trustworthy experts in their field, making them the go-to authority for anything that arises related to their field of expertise.
This practice of content marketing is extremely effective in growing purchase intent, building trust, increasing visibility and lead generation. One of the most famous thought leaders today is Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft. He is known all over the world and still posts regularly on LinkedIn, sharing quality information to inspire people from all walks of life. This has established him as an authority figure and helped to create a reputable company status.
Leveraging Thought Leadership for Brand Building
As a leader, you are expected to show up and add value to those who follow you. But how can you do so? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Create your personal social media profiles on platforms relevant to your industry
- Create quality content that adds value to your target audience in the format required by the social platform. For example, Twitter needs short format content that fits in 280 characters, LinkedIn can be used as a mini blog to showcase your opinions in detail, etc.
- Be consistent with dispersing quality content as this incentivises people to follow you
- Engage regularly with your audience by replying to comments and also commenting on other trending posts relevant to your industry
To learn more about quality thought leadership as a CEO, make sure to pre-register here for our event to be held in May that is designed to help you succeed.