Based on the types above, let’s look at some brands that are doing great with their thought leadership content. Take inspiration from these brands so you can create effective content for thought leadership.
Grow by Acorns and CNBC
Acorns may be a company offering financial investments, but they know not to oversell their services with their content. Instead, they make good use of their blog to tackle the more interesting side of financing.
To appeal to their audience, they publish content revolving around saving, spending, and earning that people could highly relate to. They also partnered with news provider CNBC and built a team of financial experts to boost the blog’s credibility.
This sincerity to help people make the most out of their money earns them a spot on this list.
Takeaway: Be helpful.
When it comes to building authority, publishing whitepapers is a surefire way to get the job done. Education technology company Degreed recognizes this, which is made evident by their thorough and well-designed whitepapers.
It is a smart move for Degreed to leverage this type of content as whitepapers are often perceived to be highly-authoritative. This especially works when your target markets are entrepreneurs and businesses, who usually look for real value from brands.
Takeaway: Provide real value to your audience.
Burning Glass Technologies
Data is a powerful tool to establish thought leadership. And for for-profit enterprise Burning Glass Technologies, it is one key to stand out from the competition.
The said brand uses data to become a formidable name in its field. Together with industry authorities like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Burning Glass Technologies offers a wealth of original content from raw info about labor and the job market.
As the brand brings something new to the table, it gets a huge chunk of attention from the community.
Takeaway: Add to the conversation.
MarieTV by Marie Forleo
When it comes to creating video content for thought leadership, Marie Forleo does it spot-on.
It is truly impressive how she handles her web series, MarieTV. Not only does she create videos that help people create a business and life they love. She also goes the extra mile addressing her audience’s problems.
One notable thing about her content is her effort to answer questions from her viewers every week. She does this with much gusto, not only answering on her YouTube channel but also on her website. This genuine care to help her audience has earned her a loyal following.
Takeaway: Engage with your community.
From one host to another, Oprah Winfrey’s brand is built around authenticity.
People follow Oprah’s content because it’s genuine. She opens her stories to the world to empower other people. She isn’t afraid to share her experiences, joyful or sad, to encourage her audience to embrace their own stories. And this genuineness translates well to her content, whatever the format.
Throughout the years, she remained herself and taught us that thought leadership isn’t just about your knowledge. It is also about being who you are, not just as a brand, but as a person. And that this genuineness should reflect on your content.
Takeaway: Be authentic.
Build a Better Agency Podcast by Drew McLellan
In industries like digital marketing, agency leaders are often strapped for time. If you’re targeting these people, how do you get them to consume your content?
Drew McLellan knew exactly what agency heads need, that’s why he created the Build a Better Agency Podcast. His 30-45 minutes long podcasts are just what busy leaders need to get educated on how they can improve their agencies.
By thinking of his audience’s needs, he was able to appeal to them and get a fair share of their time.
Takeaway: Think of your audience’s needs.
First Round Review
While getting interviewed sure can help with your thought leadership journey, interviewing people can also boost your reputation. The First Round Review blog is proof of that.
The said venture capital firm spends its time interviewing entrepreneurs. The people behind the blog seek thought leadership advice from real companies to feature on the website.
Through this approach, the First Round Review blog has managed to get media attention as well as a positive response from the community.
Takeaway: Reach out to other experts in your field.
Business Class by American Express
Here’s another brand that doesn’t just rely on its own expertise.
Business Class by American Express is a blog for small businesses. Previously called Open Forum, this blog lets their business customers post content on their website.
Along with their team of writers, content from business owners make up American Express’s blog. This cumulative effort to provide a thought leadership hub gives Business Class a spot on our list.
Takeaway: Build a community.
In the marketing world, HubSpot is a respected brand well-known for its top-notch automation tools. However, people’s recognition of this brand doesn’t just end with their software products.
This company brand is also admired for its free online knowledge hub, HubSpot Academy. Here, you will find training resources for professionals and entrepreneurs aiming to grow their careers and businesses. They offer certification programs and practical courses to help their customer base and visitors.
Takeaway: Educate your audience. Successful thought leaders aren’t only experts, but they are also excellent teachers.