Brands need to rethink their content marketing strategies in innovative and creative ways in order to stand out from the crowd.
In recent years, the power of being seen as an industry thought leader has become evident as companies reported results directly attributable to a robust strategy built around producing thought leadership content.
Now, white papers and infographics are commonplace in content strategies, so brands need to keep reinventing if they want to stay ahead of their competition.
Writing for Search Engine Watch, Brad Miller of Fathom claimed being an industry expert is no longer enough. "Your expertise needs to be shared in a way that is viewable and accessible by everyone," he noted. "By focusing on a creative content marketing strategy, you will attract links, likes, shares, referrals and – most importantly – visitors."
Visual appeal and designing for purpose
Quality content that is well-written and thoroughly researched should be a given when it comes to creating thought leadership content. However, a sometimes overlooked element of such content types is design. Often, excellent content does not get the coverage it deserves, because the same amount of thought and creativity were not invested in making information visually appealing.
Robert Rose, strategist in residence at the Content Marketing Institute, said he believes beautiful design plays a part in rising above the online noise. "Great visuals won’t help crappy content for sure – but great content deserves great visuals," he explained, adding that "if you’re going to take the time to invest in great content – take the time to invest in great visuals to make it come alive".
In addition to creating thought leadership that is visually appealing, brands also need to consider their audience and how they consume each type of content.
This might mean thinking about presenting information in tablet-friendly ways, creating interactive infographics or animated videos explaining complex information, depending on the audience.