Influence through expertise
If you’ve been googling ‘marketing trends for 2024’ you will have seen loads of really fantastic articles that are full of the latest trends and tips - largely aimed at the consumer and product markets.
But what about service based businesses whose clients are decision makers in other organisations? Here’s how you can use some of those trends to supercharge your thought leadership (and why that’s super important) in 2024 for your B2B or service based business.
What is thought leadership?
You can leverage thought leadership in 2024 to attract the right clients and stand out for your expertise and authority in your industry or niche.
Thought leadership is a chance to publish content across platforms to share best practice, to educate, inspire, solve problems, offer perspective, provide trusted advice, respond to industry updates, and help people in your target audience avoid problems you’ve seen others experience.
Why is it so important for B2B Marketing?
It's important for all service based businesses because it's a way to use your experience, expertise and knowledge on a larger scale, creating more visibility for what you want to be known for, and allowing potential clients to get to know like and trust your brand and business.
Companies that elevate their individual brand to the level of thought leadership can accrue much more than notoriety: They can become a trusted source of information in the minds of their clients and prospects.
Think of it as influence through expertise and insight rather than social media and celebrity.
No matter what your content preference, video, livestream, webinars, articles and newsletters, statistics and news articles, you can share your thought leadership.
Here's just a few of the 2024 marketing trends and how they can help you elevate your thought leadership in 2024.
No matter what your content preference, you can share your thought leadership.
Here's just a few of the 2024 marketing trends and how they relate to it.
Relating current marketing trends to thought leadership:
Thought Leadership & Trend Number 1 - Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is 'a collaboration between popular social-media users and brands to promote brands’ products or services' (McKinsey&Company)
It’s unlikely a potential client of yours is checking influencers on TikTok to make a decision about an important business service they need in 2024. Makeup and fashion ? Yes. Accounting, marketing, HR? Probs not.
The good news is that your organisation can still make the most of this growing trend by using thought leadership.
Leverage your deep industry knowledge and experience to share opinions and start conversations via meaningful and helpful content such as articles, blogs, videos, workshop/webinars and so on. The aim is to influence others and build your brand visibility for that knowledge and expertise.
You have to want to have an opinion and be known for it of course, but why wouldn’t you? Luckily you don't have to show up like a typical social media influencer or a Kardashian.
Thought Leadership and Trend number 2 - AI
Obviously with more than 100 million active weekly users on chatGPT in its first year, we can’t ignore the rise and rise of AI. You’re already using it through chat bots on your website, predictive text in your emails, using Siri or Alexa, but how can AI help you build your thought leadership strategy in 2024?
I'm sure anyone reading this blog has already used ChatGPT for one thing or another. The most common one I hear is 'create 10 social media posts about <topic>.
The problem with that of course, is the less specific the prompt, the more generic the response.
Also I find that rather than using it at the start of a content process, using it for really specific things during the process gets better results.
I ask it to
change the tone of voice
rewrite in plain English
And I DEFINITELY include who the intended audience is, and what outcome or goal I have in mind for the content.
Here's an example from another blog I wrote a couple of weeks ago, to make current marketing trends made sense for B2B businesses, AND specifically AI as the trend:
Exactly how can AI support my corporate client to optimise the customer journey? give examples for large organisation decision makers in the HR field with specific steps and apps or software you are referring to
This combats the issue that often ChatGPT often returns some fluffy 'motherhood' style language, and we need to make it super specific to our needs.
You can use it to support your article righting efforts by putting your topic in (with the intended audience and goals you have) for:
Keyword research around the topic
Statistics or quotes that relate
...just to name a few. Remember to edit for empathy, authority and personality or this is the OPPOSITE of thought leadership!
Marketmuse - even better!
Choosing the right keywords for your blogs and articles is When was the last time to checked your SEO strategy? Why not check out the same tool Monday.com used to increase their search results by 1570%.
Marketmuse is an AI tool that will give you keyword ideas unique to your website and provides outlines for the content itself so it ranks better as well as saving you time creating it. What a gamechanger. (I'll be testing this out during January).
Link this to your thought leadership and you have a truly winning strategy I reckon.
Thought Leadership and Trend number 3 - Video Marketing
I’ve been banging on about video since 2015, and every year it’s been one of the marketing trends.
This time it’s about producing short form content - anything under a minute usually, as it works for stories on Facebook and Instagram and shorts on YouTube as well as TikTok.
But I bet you’re thinking - 'what on earth would we create short videos about for our thought leadership? We are a financial management company, we are an HR or business consultancy, we are serious professional types.'
I hear you - there’s loads of marketing trends that suit products and feel really unauthentic and potentially awkward for service based businesses. And given you’re not a full time ‘content creator’ and this is simply part of a much bigger marketing picture, what would that video content look like in your thought leadership strategy?
1. Customer testimonials/reviews
2. Collages of short snippets of multiple reviews
3. State of your industry snippets on video (think of that last white paper you wrote, there will be loads of shorter video opportunities in there)
4. Simple videos alerting to a new industry report or problem specific article or blog you've created (like the examples I've included here from an old blog about video confidence)
5. Team image collages
6. Month in review with a mixture of stats (shows authority) and the team or clients with team (for personality…)
7. Just to name a few…
There is always something you can create video content about.
And if you're really stuck, check out my video related blogs, or you can use AI apps like Lumen5 (example above) by adding your article or blog and it will create a video for you. It's saves time and can be fully customised if you want it to be.
Just beware that it's very clearly AI generated unless you add your own VoiceOver, images and footage.
So there you have it - thought leadership for your service based business in 2024
Thought leadership and how you can leverage three of the biggest marketing trends, reimagined just for you, the service based business owner, decision maker or leader.
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