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Marketing is all about how a business or company can get in front of their intended buyers or clients, and convince them to buy or use a particular purchase. While this is still the overall goal of thought leadership, a bit of a twist applies to the methodology. Thought leadership focuses primarily on the message a company communicates to the public and deals with how a brand will depict itself as an expert in their field.

A company might have great content and a fantastic message but fail to reach the right readers. One way to catch their attention is with thought leadership pieces and PR. Find out what your audience likes to see, what their interests are, what problems or questions they might have, and package your ideas with them in mind. In doing so, you’ll not only get traffic to your site, but will improve your overall reputation and position your company as trustworthy to consumers.

Here are a few examples of brands that have picked up on thought leadership marketing and are using it to their advantage.

1. Story Brand

Story Brand is a marketing workshop founded by author Donald Miller and deals with content creation while offering courses and videos to help companies clarify their brand message. Story Brand offers private lessons, as well as licenses and certifications, implying that they’re knowledgable enough to provide detailed instructions and information on how to grow a successful marketing business. The company knows its audience and has built their website and content with their target readers in mind.

2. Burning Glass Technologies

Burning Glass Technologies is a company that generates resources and research based on real-time data for the labor and job market. Their website is professional and focuses on trends in the market, including predictions for the economy and analysis of data regarding the effects of COVID-19 on employment and labor.

For its thought-leadership content, the company creates blogs and case studies that detail their research findings in a way that’s digestible to regular readers. Their latest research, for example, discusses “lifeboat” jobs that are intended to carry those who are out of work until the economy recovers.

3. Drew McLellan’s Build a Better Agency Podcast

Drew McLellan is well-known in the digital marketing world. As a business owner, writer and speaker, his experience building marketing companies and coming up with creative and high-impact campaigns has made him someone that marketing professionals look to for thought leadership.

His podcast, called Build a Better Agency, is a great example of how he uses his authority in the industry to generate content that both appeals to his listeners and positions himself as a leader. Podcasts also allow him to reach people who are likely to have less time to read a book or watch a video.

4. Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2020

Trends in technology is always a hot and popular topic. Deloitte, a professional services network that focuses on accounting and financial advisory, publishes an annual Tech Trends report that is meant to provide insights and inspiration for the coming year.

With tech trends being such a common topic, making the content stand out in the crowd can be a challenge. Deloitte approached their report by using eye-catching images paired with easy-to-read articles and interesting videos. By diversifying the type of content they used, they were able to cover more details in their trend report and present the information in a well-rounded, thought-out manner.

5. REI Expert Advice Blog

REI has grown to become a leading brand for outdoor gear. But many enthusiasts are also familiar with the company for their Expert Advice Blog, a source they can rely on when in need of helpful advice regarding the best camping gear, how to read maps, where to find the best trails and more. The articles on the REI blog are long-form and often cover more than one aspect of a topic, making them a valuable, trusted resource for runners, bikers, campers and the like.

6. CEO Think Tank

For those interested in strategic business partnerships, CEO Think Tank is the place to look. Their top-level executives partner with mid-market CEOs and business owners to help them increase their ROI and learn to grow their companies. Their thought leadership content, including foundational courses, executive roundtables and more, has positioned them as well-known authorities for leadership and teams looking for growth.

7. First Round Review

First Round Review allows business owners to connect with investors. With 300+ companies in their portfolio, including Uber and Blue Apron, they’re well-positioned to use their content to demonstrate leadership in the financial field.

Their blog, called First Round Review, offers a variety of blogs dedicated to the business owner: comprehensive guides, tips on personal and professional development, leadership insights and more.

To make your content stand out, think outside the box. Brainstorm ways you can position your business as a thought leader in your particular industry. After all, marketing yourself and your company as experts is the best way to gain trust and build a positive reputation!


Devanny (dev-uh-knee) is a Social Media Marketer based in Las Vegas. She's a dog lover with a propensity for mystery novels, and when she's not at her laptop working on comprehensive marketing campaigns, she can probably be found running around Disneyland or curled up with a good book!