The members of your company’s c-suite are making strategic moves, driving initiatives, and leading their teams, but no one outside of the company in question really knows who they are—and that’s a problem.
The main reason is quite simple: They aren’t considered thought leaders in their field.
So what? You might be asking. And sure, maybe it isn’t a big deal if you aren’t looking to grow your company, audience reach, and authority in the industry. But if you want any of these things, it’s time to get personal.
Let’s put the thought back in thought leadership, and go over why marketing your leadership team as leaders industrywide is such a strong digital PR and Marketing move.
1. Articles over Ads
Studies show that 70% of people prefer to get to know a company through articles over advertisements. Unlike ads, articles are authored by the individuals behind the company. They emanate that individual’s personality and real-world anecdotes, and there’s a human connection: the expert can actually respond to comments and feedback.
And let’s get real—articles written by executives that highlight behind-the-scenes details about a brand are so much more interesting than targeted paid ads. They give details. They give insights. And as a reader, you feel like they’re pulling back the curtain and showing you how things are made.
Company executives can use their expertise and personality to connect with and engage with the company’s audience, adding humanity to your brand and producing real business results.
Related post: What Goes into Branding and Thought Leadership Services?
2. Further the Company’s Agenda
Subject-matter experts, like those in a c-suite, command premium billing rates. Buyers are willing to pay 13 times more for the highest level of visible expert vs. a regular professional.
As an executive’s level of visibility increases (which is directly influenced by their thought leadership), their rates rise dramatically—and the company they work for can reap those benefits.
By establishing market leadership and credibility, boosting their firm’s reputation, and heightening overall brand recognition in the marketplace, 62% of visible experts report substantially contributing to building their firm’s brand.
Executives who become a recognizable presence in their company’s content impact brand transparency and strengthen the relationship with their audiences. When scandals occur (like, for example, Uber, Wells Fargo, and Facebook) and CEOs are accused of wrongdoings, it has a massive impact on their brand reputation.
Overall, just 44% of Americans trust CEOs, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, so executive leadership and trust are more important than ever before.
3. Build Relationships
As a newly minted thought leader, your c-suite should be doing more than just writing thought-provoking articles; they should be building relationships with potential customers and expanding your company’s demographic. Social media outlets are great places to build relationships with your audience; and every time your executive thoughtfully replies to a comment, they are further cementing to the reader why they want to be in business with your brand.
When your c-suite become thought leaders, they do more than merely showcasing their strengths; they articulate your organization’s clear vision—and they can make friends for the brand while they do it.
Look to some of the world’s most well-known executives. Many of them have a loyal following—and all of them are considered thought leaders in their chosen field. But how do they do it? Quite simply, actually: They interact, engage, and keep readers coming back for more. Sure, a presence takes time. But in the end, the benefit to your company far outweighs the added work.
4. Showcase Results
So your company—or one of its employees—won an award or some type of recognition; now what? That’s a great opportunity for your c-suite to highlight the award winner. Not only will giving public kudos help show off your outstanding company culture and supportive environment, but it will further grandstand why your company is a leader in the industry—and why potential customers are missing out by not working with you.
Having your c-suite post results, jaw-dropping statistics, and the overall success of the organization is the best free press you can get. And once they have an established following of potential customers and other fellow thought leaders, they’ll have an audience that will not just listen—they’ll want to see what your company is up to next.
B2Bs have to invest in thought leadership to grow their market share and earn clients’ trust—and trust is hard to come by nowadays. Topics can range from industry-specific topics to general business advice, and from personal hobbies to forecasting the future of the industry—the sky’s really the limit.
The question is: Will you be there to help them?
Members of c-suite teams are busy. We get that. But they don’t necessarily need to be the ones writing all of their content in order to develop themselves as thought leaders. Marketing teams—like ours at Zen Media—specialize in getting to know executives and doing the heavy lifting of drafting content calendars, creating poignant and interesting content, engaging on social media, building an B2B SEO strategy, and establishing an overall PR and marketing strategy.
Are you ready to take that step?
You can build a bulletproof LinkedIn strategy for your c-suite yourself. But if you want some help cultivating your c-suite as the next great thought leaders, reach out and let us know how we can help!