Your target audience probably wants to know about a host of topics, from which promotional products are best for their business to how many items they should order for an upcoming event. Experts at your company can answer their questions through thought leadership.

Anyone at your organization can become thought leaders. Becky Ruyle, the VP of marketing at Influence & Co., says your thought leaders could be executives or customer service representatives. As long as they have deep expertise and they’re excited to share it, she says these individuals can stand out in a big way.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share Ruyle’s wisdom on ways you can bolster your organization’s thought leaders.

1. Use more bylines. Look at your company’s blog. Do you see any generic bylines like “Marketing Department” or “Content Team?” If you’re not using individual contributors’ names, you’re missing an opportunity to promote thought leaders, Ruyle says. Share the contributor’s expertise in a quick bio to help spur an emotional connection with readers.

2. Play the long game. Thought leaders don’t develop overnight. It takes time and consistency to build authority in your subject area. Nurture the process, Ruyle says, even when other priorities vie for your attention.

3. Know who you’re talking to. You can’t build influence unless you know whom you’re trying to influence, Ruyle says. Instead of focusing on a wide business audience, niche down. The more fine-tuned your audience, the easier it becomes to tailor your thought leadership delivery, tone and information, Ruyle says. So, before publishing that podcast episode, video or podcast, make sure it speaks to a specific audience.

4. Put your own spin on things. Consider how you and others at your company might be able to give a fresh take on a theory or idea. Unique is a crucial word when it comes to thought leadership, Ruyle says, so unless you can bring something new to the table, you’re limiting your influence.

5. Expand your reach. It’s great to publish thought leadership pieces on your company’s channels, but look for ways to share with other publications or outlets. Ruyle says you could make yourself available to journalists, editors or columnists when they need quotes or information. And as a side benefit, you’ll get some nice SEO juice if the writer links their piece to your company site.

You and your colleagues know the promotional products industry better than your potential clients. Showcase your knowledge and become the go-to source for your target audience by developing your thought leadership skills.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Becky Ruyle is the VP of marketing at Influence & Co., a content marketing agency that helps its clients achieve measurable business results through content marketing.