How to Showcase Your Thought Leadership
Your members are at the heart of your organization’s content strategy. They’re experts in their fields. They’re passionate about their professions. Their collective knowledge is what makes your organization so vital, and the key to a comprehensive content strategy is effectively extracting that knowledge and expertise and disseminating it to members, prospective members, and the industry as a whole.
You’ve established the how of your content strategy—an online content hub, a newsletter schedule, social media outreach, a print publication, podcasts, videos and so on. Now comes the what and the who: What content will populate those platforms, and who is best qualified to help your team create it?
Here are some of the ways you can work with your membership to facilitate intelligent, timely, high-quality thought leadership content that can make your association—and especially your members—stand out:
- Ask the experts. Your organization is a community of experts who interact regularly with one another, and those experts are both embedded within the industry and well-connected with one another. Consider forming a committee of people in the know (or augmenting an existing committee), assigning each member a focus that aligns with their respective area of expertise and asking each volunteer to identify two to three people per month who can serve as content contributors or expert sources on a given topic. Even if everyone on the resulting list isn’t able to contribute thought leadership content, you’ll still have a healthy list of potential contributors and experts.
- Be authoritative. The concept of thought leadership has become diluted—with so many people publishing content online, it can become difficult to know who the true experts are. As a respected, established, member-based organization, your authority is your advantage. Leverage your association’s name, established membership and industry presence to convey the expertise of the content you provide and differentiate your group from all the other competing sources of content.
- Vary the voices. If your association has implemented an online publishing strategy centered around a content hub, you likely have already categorized content into based on subject areas to make it easier for different segments of your audience to find what’s most relevant to them. Organizing your content that way gives your members a platform to showcase their different areas of expertise. The same goes for other platforms, like highly focused podcasts or print columns dedicated to a specific subject area or industry segment.
- Know your audience(s). The overall goal of your comprehensive content strategy is to make your association a go-to destination for people in the industry or area you serve who are seeking reliable, credible, authoritative information. There are many ways you can engage your target audience, whether they are in one group or many—write compelling headlines, offer a varied mix of content types, cross-referencing related content components and more. The easier it is for people to find the thought leadership that’s most relevant and compelling to them, the more likely it is that they’ll become a regular consumer of your content.
The collective knowledge of your members puts your association in a prime position to establish itself as an authoritative provider of thought leadership content. The more organized your approach to extracting that thought leadership from your members, the more value it will provide to both existing and prospective members—and to the overall position and growth potential of your organization.
SmithBucklin Content helps you position your organization as an authoritative source of timely, relevant, comprehensive and engaging industry intelligence. Contact us to learn about partnering with SmithBucklin Content to create a customized content strategy for your organization.