Six Rules to Help Your Thought Leadership Content Stand Out

Tom Popomaronis | August 4, 2020

In today’s digital landscape, crafting relevant, well-placed content is one of the most important elements of positioning yourself as an executive influencer. If you’d like to maintain this level of influence, you have to strategically curate this content on an ongoing basis —  here are six rules to help ensure that you do:

1. Create evergreen content.

“Evergreen” means to have enduring freshness, success, or popularity. Evergreen content has staying power. The problem with content that tries too hard to keep up with the latest trends is that it has only a brief shelf life. Ironically, it will soon become dated and useless. Producing content that will still be valuable months or years down the road is a more efficient use of time and resources.

2. Create quality content.

Perhaps this goes without saying, but — content is only king when it has real worth. Effective thought leadership content offers readers real value. For example, your articles should be informative and interesting. Serious research and a significant time commitment is often required to produce great content. Pushing out poor-quality content simply for the sake of publishing something will not create your desired effect.

3. Keep it simple.

While your content should be informative, that doesn’t mean it should get bogged down in technical details or attempt to be exhaustive. Simple content that focuses on the big picture will have much broader reader appeal. Most people searching online are looking for actionable advice that is both easy and digestible.

4. Storytell.

There’s nothing more engaging than a story. Content that assumes the form of a story can turn what would otherwise be dry, dull information into something that will have a real impact on the reader. We naturally tend to remember narratives better than we do pure information, especially if our emotions are engaged. So, tell one of your stories.

5. Target a specific audience.

You must decide who your audience is and create accordingly. The reason is simple: content that might be perfect for one audience group could be worthless for another. Awareness of the target audience should always be foremost when creating a thought leadership piece.

6. Don’t sell directly.

The goal here is to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry — if your content is blatantly promoting your brand or company, it becomes an advertisement and easily identifiable as disingenuous. In fact, publications will not accept a piece like this, so make sure to keep things educational rather than promotional.

Contents’ role in becoming a thought leader cannot be disputed. It is what gets your name, your insights, and your brand out in a powerful, legacy-building way. Following the six rules above will help you ensure your content has the effect you desire and solidify your executive influence

Tom Popomaronis
EVP, Innovation
Tom is a serial entrepreneur, product development expert, and content management strategist. Every hour of every day (perhaps too many hours) he focuses on strategies for our Executive Leadership Branding clients to build a powerful and credible online reputation.