1. Speaking Engagements
Nothing tops thought leadership in visual form. That’s why video content beats the written word for engagement and why industry events are such big business. To maintain or increase the “mind-share” needed to boost market share, you should book as many speaking gigs as possible.
There’s no stronger start to a content marketing/sales funnel and to build thought leadership than when you “own the room” and have an opportunity to showcase your expertise. The virtual engagement world of 2020 makes this much easier to accomplish, including more targeted efforts — i.e., more niche speaking opportunities — at a higher frequency – with way less in travel costs.
2. Content Is Still King
You stay visible with action, clicks, and engagement, in other words, the results of pushing out fresh, relevant content. Write, write, write! Yes, that means keeping the blog content pipeline full and pushing those posts out on social media regularly. Make sure your content is timely and relevant to your audience at all times. And stay on top of trending topics so you can be part of the conversation.
You should also think in a more comprehensive way about content and the marketing thereof. That new white paper could be turned into two feature articles, which could yield a half dozen blog posts, which obviously then fuels your social channels.
3. Use Your News
Professors teach that a good article has multiple “entry points” — a great photo, an intriguing pull quote and perhaps a research graph, in addition to the intro. Think of news as entry points to your company and its main story.
It’s a no-brainer to cover big things like a product launch or special anniversary, but it’s also important to tout other milestones that may warrant a press release and/or outreach to local and trade publications. Think about promotions or new hires within the company or reaching a high level of customers or winning an industry award.
Putting out company news doesn’t always generate media coverage but provides fresh content for your website, social platforms and communication to your customers, internal team and shareholders.
4. Get the Show on the Virtual Road
2020 has been largely uneventful in all the routine and regular business ways and eventful in all the unwanted ways. So, it may be a good time to host your company’s first virtual conference or event.
The social need for business engagement and connection, even if only on GoToWebinar or Zoom, has perhaps never been greater, and the cost and effort of organizing a thought leadership conference, panel or roundtable has never been lower. Many tech vendors out there can help you stage the event if you are not comfortable.
Discussions for a panel event or webinar shouldn’t be promotional about your company but help reinforce your value proposition in subtle ways. Create an agenda focused on areas you may help solve for a particular industry and round up leaders in similar sectors for a well-rounded discussion on timely topics that will engage a wide range of viewers.
You should create a marketing plan with visuals to push out the information (eblast, social, personal emails etc.) to generate RSVPs. Do plan to record the event so you can repurpose it for fresh content on social afterwards.
5. Give, It’s the Season for It
Giving is good, and when your company supports a charity it’s a win-win — for the cause and for your marketing mission. Seventy percent of consumers want to know how brands are addressing social and environmental issues, according to a 2019 study co-authored by Certus Insights. And Millennials, whose support of a range of industries from tech to cannabis will only continue to grow with their expanding purchasing power, lead the way in demanding corporate social responsibility.
2020 has proved challenging for businesses of all sizes. Its important to keep your marketing and PR programs moving along to sustain visibility in the marketplace as we all shift into a new business norm.
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