Thought leadership as a PR and link building tactic

By Diana Popescu | 25 Mar 2019

Thought leadership is a key component of a PR strategy, allowing brands to leverage the credibility and authority of experts from within their business, or from expert collaborators in the case of content marketing campaigns. If carefully executed, a strategy employing thought leadership will get your content published in top tier publications, raise the profile of your business and pass SEO value on to your webpage. But how do you ensure the thought leadership piece you’ve propose will be of interest for high-profile media outlets? Here are my tips:

Think about what makes the publication’s audience tick

Because you’re essentially crafting a pitch with the aim of guest posting on a high-profile publication, you need to think less about your traditional audience and more about the audience you’re writing for. Start by reading the publication you have in mind and make note of the profile of their readership and their editorial style. Do they write about fun lifestyle topics with a general audience in mind or is it a more serious tone of voice directed at an expert audience?

Leverage your expertise and credibility the smart way
Play to your strengths and be very specific in your topic selection while ensuring it’s something that’ll be relevant for your selected publication – overall, avoid being too generic. For example, a business insurance expert could be the right person to speak about what small and medium enterprises (SMEs) want when they look for insurance, an idea which would resonate with SME and business publications, whereas a general insurance topic might not be as appealing. Once your pitch has been successful, make sure your expert’s authority is easy to verify, by including a bio on your business website and social media, as well as referencing any previous media features.

Use news hijacking tactics
Ensure your pitch is timely, and be creative when it comes to using events that impact the news cycle as a hook. Don’t be afraid to jump on trends and currents events that relate to your expertise or industry. For example, the Veganuary trend might be a good opportunity to pitch expert advice on how to choose nutritional vegan food and could work well for brands in the food industry.

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind

Thought leadership pieces showcase expert advice and information, so don’t be afraid to showcase this in an opinion article. The appeal of experts comes from their trustworthiness and knowledge in their niche fields. Examples based on experience and a unique perspective on a topic will increase your chances of being featured in top tier publications.

Thought leadership is a great tactic to give your PR and content marketing strategy the missing spark. Consult the editorial guidelines of the publishers you aim to get coverage from and fire away your pitch.

Read more about how thought leadership can get your content in high profile publications here.