With all the self-described “experts” out there, it can be difficult to tell who’s really a thought leader in the tech world. And for this reason, it’s critical to make thought-leadership a key component of your B2B tech marketing strategy.
Using thought-leadership, you can tap into the experience, passion and knowledge of your team to create fresh ideas and trustworthy answers to the questions of your readers, which will speak volumes when it comes time for them to decide on who to go with for interactive solutions.
One study found that 70 percent of tech professionals turn to recognized industry experts for information, compared to just 47 percent of professionals in other sectors. If you want to gain credibility while genuinely engaging executives in tech companies, being a leader is how you get there.
3 Steps to Thought Leadership for Tech Execs
Establishing yourself as a tech leader is more than just being unique. It's merging your expertise with the needs and problems of your potential customers. Follow these steps to start reaching your target readers:
- Know Your Audience. A detailed buyer persona is a must for any marketing tactic, but it’s pivotal in establishing thought leadership in B2B tech marketing. You need a deep understanding of what drives tech execs, and what their challenges are, so you can speak their language. Then, you need to know where and how they find answers.
For example, a study of tech professionals found that 30 percent will download and read whitepapers while only 9 percent of other consumers are likely to do the same. Tech professionals are also more likely to listen to podcasts and watch webcasts than other segments of consumers. Your particular segment of the tech market might be different, so be sure to examine what your audience wants.
- Be Valuable. Thought leadership content isn't meant to get readers to immediately click on a "buy now" button. Instead, it's intended to slowly drive readers to buy into your company's concepts, ideas and solutions. Thought leadership pieces for tech execs need to deliver expertise, practical applications, and remove roadblocks by answering questions. They need to solve current problems while also demonstrating a forward-thinking mentality.
Being valuable to tech execs also means respecting the time and intelligence of your audience. That means getting the delivery methods and the language right. Although you don't want to alienate readers with too much industry jargon, you run the risk of boring experienced people when you spend too much time breaking down known concepts. You have to find the right balance between keeping things brief — execs are busy! — and helping people make sense of complex ideas.
It's also important to not be afraid of offering opinions and sharing your personal point of view on current tech topics and events. Reciting facts and statistics might be convincing on your marketing collateral pieces, but they tend to be tuned out during a podcast. Dig in! Be exciting and differentiate yourself from the rest by offering your expert insight.
- Publish Regularly. A single thought leadership piece might get some attention, but busy executives may not ever see it. Instead, aim to build a regular following of readers by publishing content on a regular basis. When you do this, you're showing your readers that you're connected to what's going on right now and that you're constantly thinking about new ways to solve problems.
While you might actually have other things to do besides generate content, your audience only sees and interacts with what you publish. Make yourself a regular part of your audience's work week by sticking to a schedule. Every follower may not engage with every single word, but they are likely to check in and see what this week's communication is about when you deliver consistently.
In the end, you want busy tech executives to trust you. Thought leadership in B2B tech marketing establishes your credibility in the industry, and that trust will spill over into your products and services. When people see from what you're publishing, researching, and talking about, that you really are an expert in the space, they'll know they can trust the products and services that come from you.