Marketing teams everywhere are fine-tuning their thought leadership strategies for 2021 and beyond.
While many thought leadership trends will remain the same, such as the need for research and constant communication between you and your audience, there are several areas that brands will want to pay particular attention to as we move into the new year.
8 Thought Leadership Trends
Are you still working on your thought leadership strategy planned for 2021? Times are changing, and you'll want to keep these eight thought leadership trends in mind:
1. Blending In-Person and Digital Conversations
One of the first things you will want to consider as you move into 2021 is how you'll balance your in-person and digital conversations with your community.
In 2020, it was almost impossible to attend in-person events, making it hard for thought leaders to interact one-on-one with their audience members. As we move into 2021, there seems to be a favourable outlook on in-person events, meaning that there may be opportunities for one-on-one interactions.
However, it's crucial to remember that things are still up in the air as far as the pandemic goes. So you'll want to make sure you're paying particular attention to your digital conversations. That might mean including more virtual events in your schedule while still maintaining an active social media presence.
2. Building Trust
Unfortunately, you can't turn on the television without hearing about the uncertainty surrounding everyday life. Members of your audience are likely to be very apprehensive about trusting people labelled as "leaders," especially those who self-label as leaders.
Instead of focusing on self-promoting your status as a thought leader, focus on communicating with your audience and fostering those all-important relationships. Talk with them, get to know them, and go out of your way to assure them that you are a leader focused on helping them achieve success in these trying times.
3. Need for Increased Agility
If we learned anything from 2020, it was that industries could change at a moment's notice. That's why thought leaders in 2021 need to hone their skills and work on being more agile than ever before.
As a thought leader, stay in front of your competitors. You must take new information, process it, and turn it into something actionable, all in a short amount of time. There's only a tiny window of opportunity before somebody else jumps in front of you.
4. Making an Impact with Fewer Resources
There is no denying that the economy was massively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, that led enterprises of all sizes to make budget cuts wherever they could to avoid complete shutdowns.
Thought leaders in 2021 and beyond will have to learn how to impact their audience with fewer resources. That might mean cutting down on ineffective social media presence or focusing their attention more on content creation and distribution over attending virtual conferences.
5. Utilizing Emotion in B2B Content
When it comes to your B2B consumers, it's been a longstanding tradition to assume that they are rational beings and use everything but emotion when making their decisions. However, it's essential to realize that these individuals are just as human as anyone else.
With so much economic uncertainty, it's never been more important to treat your B2B consumers as humans with real emotions. Don't be afraid to address their concerns in your content. Show them that you are fully aware of their fears and anxieties and help them find solutions for coping and overcoming.
6. Prioritizing the User Experience
With more people having to turn online for their needs, whether for information or for purchasing products, the online user experience has never been more critical for those trying to maintain their audience's attention.
Whether creating new chatbots to help your customers get in touch with your team in a prompter manner or improving your overall website speed – so your readers stay on your blog longer – you need to focus your attention on creating the absolute best user experience you can.
7. Creating and Using Event-Driven Content
At this point, you understand that, as a thought leader, you need to be able to take in information and act on it right away. It's this ability to be agile that gets you in front of your competitors.
That said, you'll want to focus your attention on creating very event-driven content. You'll want to pay particular attention to your community's events and your industry to find ways to help your B2B audience navigate them as they arise.
8. Customer Reviews and Testimonials Becoming More Vital than Ever
Finally, it's never been more critical to pay attention to customer reviews and testimonials. People look to these for where to turn for quality and trustworthy services.
To boost your online presence and your online reputation, make sure you collect and share your clients' thoughts and opinions on your offerings.
Honing Your Thought Leadership Strategy for 2021
Whether you're still working out the kinks of your 2021 thought leadership strategy or you're starting over from scratch, these eight thought leadership trends are worth considering to continue building trust amongst your audience in the months to come.
Do any of these trends jump out? Get in touch with a thought leadership expert to find out moreEmail us
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