Like every other industry, Covid-19 has upended the commercial construction and commercial design industries. Products and technologies that may have been overlooked are now being reexamined as people return to their workplaces. What’s safe? What’s unsafe? What products will be used in the future?
Understanding the media landscape – what’s being said and by who – is an effective tool to guide our clients and brands forward.
Virtually every trade magazine – and national media too – are writing about commercial building and interior design products.
Consulting giant McKinsey & Company recently published “How Companies are Planning a Safe Return to the Workplace.” Respondents to their survey cited in the article expect that 80% of their employees will return to the workplace by September.
We’ve been monitoring all this media coverage closely. Not just because we’re curious (we are!). But because understanding the media landscape – what’s being said and by who – is an effective tool to guide our clients and brands forward.
How to Share Your Thought Leadership Today
If your brand has a unique point of view, product, or service that can make a difference, that information deserves to be shared. By sharing your expertise or POV, you can shape critical conversations. At the same time, you can differentiate your brand from the competition.
Most importantly, you can help your customers, the industry, and the public at large. Your brand’s expertise can help us make sense of the complex issues and what might lie ahead.
If your brand has a unique point of view, product, or service that can make a difference, that information deserves to be shared.
According to a recent LinkedIn webinar, “Evolve Your Brand: How to Find Your Voice with Thought Leadership,” experts from the global consulting firm Accenture cited four main reasons for developing a thought-leadership campaign. The experts cite these benefits:
- Increase your brand’s reputation
- Increase your brand’s recognition
- Broaden the perception of your brand’s capabilities
- Increase trust with your brand’s key audiences
5 Steps for Sharing Your Thought Leadership
There are multiple ways to build your thought leadership marketing expertise. Here are 5 steps to get you started:
- Identify Your Area of Expertise – If you have not done so, conduct competitive research to determine what sets your brand apart. Whether it’s your people, processes, or products, this expertise needs to be verifiable in order to truly show how you’re different. It must be something that no one else can claim or can actually do. The Accenture experts call this “finding your space.”
Your brand’s expertise can help us make sense of the complex issues and what might lie ahead.
- Identify the Audience You Want to Reach – You have a specific area of expertise. Now you need to share that with a targeted audience who will care about it. Get specific: Who will that be; what is his or her title; what does he or she do day-to-day; what do they care about, etc.? Create an audience persona to get detailed.
- Answer How Your Audience Will Benefit – Oftentimes subject matter experts and marketers get caught up describing the nuts and bolts behind the innovation. But the real kicker is being able to fully articulate the benefits your expertise or your innovation brings. In other words, don’t just talk about your innovation; talk about how it will make things better.
Rather, the best way to maximize your brand’s thought leadership is to create a strategic plan that folds into your existing marketing.
- Create a Plan – As a potentially powerful Unique Selling Point (USP), your brand’s expertise should be leveraged to the fullest extent possible. It should not be relegated to one tactic, such as a white paper. That’s akin to creating one ad and calling it quits. Rather, the best way to maximize your brand’s thought leadership is to create a strategic plan that folds into your existing marketing. Take the time to develop a budget and a sustainable, strategic plan to organize, share, and measure your results over time. Accenture suggests your plan contains the following:
- A long-term vision for what you want to achieve
- Content themes that are authentic and relevant
- Multiple leaders across the enterprise that can be leveraged for building and sharing your content
- Consider Your Delivery Tools – Fortunately, when it comes to the delivery tools required to share your brand’s thought leadership, there are a lot to choose from. They range from providing expert commentary to the media and writing byline articles to white papers, podcasts, speaking events, and awards. Each of these can be utilized to start conversations, share a point of view, or position your brand as a leading authority.
Accenture advises that your content be developed or available in multiple formats. This allows people to engage with it the way they want – whether that’s in print, video, or audio format.
A strategic B2B public relations agency can be a great resource to help brands build and share their thought leadership. PR agencies are adept at helping brands find their expertise and then creating a strategic plan to drive results. When integrated with social media or other digital marketing initiatives, the effect can be powerful.
We have three different PR Plan Options for B2B brands in the commercial interiors and construction industry. Each option can be customized to build out your brand’s thought leadership capabilities. Click here to download a free PDF to consider your PR Plan Options.
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