Developing marketing plans (and the content to support them) can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. But by thoughtfully using what you already have – namely the expertise and ideas of your people – you can elevate your brand as well as the people within it.

Showcasing the ideas, insights, and developments of your experts is an effective and relatively inexpensive way to build your brand, and increase your credibility. And because of the emphasis on the individual sharing it, thought leadership content tends to make an organization feel more personable and connected to the people it’s serving and trying to reach.

A common way for thought leaders of an organization to share their insight is through blog posts, and this approach can be extremely successful in terms of both driving traffic to your site, as well as elevating the perception of your organization’s level of expertise.

We also encourage marketing teams to use their own people as sourced experts in digital content, making sure to link back to bio pages wherever possible. Using real quotes from leaders shifts what can sometimes be fairly evergreen content, into a more personable and actionable space.

Here are some additional thoughts to make your thought leadership development successful:

  • Cross pollinate: Encourage your experts to maintain an active social media presence. They should be highlighting their blogs, insights, and articles on social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Company accounts should also be mentioning and reposting.
  • Coach on tone: Some experts will have a warm, strong and engaging personal tone right off the bat. Some may need help defining their tone – and how best to say what they’re trying to say. The goal is not to have every one of your thought leaders sound the same – but you do want to make sure they sound like someone other people will want to listen to. Highlight the expert’s personality – often they’re doing something interesting. It’s your job to help make it come alive.
  • Monitor performance: The thought leaders of your organization are busy people. They’re not going to be sitting at their desk refreshing the company’s google analytics dashboard. Help them keep track of how their content is performing – whether through page views, click throughs on social media, or mentions by other media outlets. Sharing the performance metrics with your experts – both individually as well as collectively – can help encourage more activity from everyone in the organization.
  • Grow the collective: In any organization, there’ll be a group of people who enjoy speaking out and being in the center of activity. Consider creating a group of frequently active leaders, who either meet in person or virtually, to talk about what they’re thinking, what they’re developing, and what they’re getting ready to share. Using these connections and networks can make your (and their) reach go farther.