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The difference between Thought Leadership and Content Marketing

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Many of the business leaders I speak to know they need to be doing something related to content marketing or thought leadership, but they don't know the difference between the two.
This slideshare was produced by Humanicity Copywriting as part of our client success series. For more content, go to humanicitycopy.com/stories/

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The difference between Thought Leadership and Content Marketing

  1. 1. Distinguishing between TL, CM, and BS in your blogging effort
  2. 2. If your business has a blog, you need to understand the difference between the three types of content:
  3. 3. If your business has a blog, you need to understand the difference between the three types of content: TL
  4. 4. If your business has a blog, you need to understand the difference between the three types of content: TL CM
  5. 5. If your business has a blog, you need to understand the difference between the three types of content: TL CM BS
  6. 6. TL:
  7. 7. TL: Thought Leadership
  8. 8. CM:
  9. 9. CM: Content Marketing
  10. 10. B.S.:
  11. 11. B.S.: Did you think this stood for something else?
  12. 12. Most marketers end up producing B.S. even though they aim to produce a quality piece of Thought Leadership or Content Marketing.
  13. 13. Most marketers end up producing B.S. even though they aim to produce a quality piece of Thought Leadership or Content Marketing. And most people don’t understand that content marketing and thought leadership are not the same thing.
  14. 14. So I’ve created a guideline to hopefully clear this up.
  15. 15. Let’s start with Thought Leadership
  16. 16. Rule No. 1
  17. 17. Rule No. 1 Thought leadership is about calling for change.
  18. 18. To qualify as true thought leadership, you have to express new, controversial, or unpopular ideas.
  19. 19. The point of thought leadership is NOT to elevate your brand.
  20. 20. The point of thought leadership is NOT to elevate your brand. The goal is to
  21. 21. The point of thought leadership is NOT to elevate your brand. The goal is to define the direction in your industry,
  22. 22. The point of thought leadership is NOT to elevate your brand. The goal is to define the direction in your industry, rebuild ecosystems, and
  23. 23. The point of thought leadership is NOT to elevate your brand. The goal is to define the direction in your industry, rebuild ecosystems, and introduce innovative ways to solve problems.
  24. 24. The difference between thought leadership and B.S. is similar to the difference between being a leader and a boss.
  25. 25. The difference between thought leadership and B.S. is similar to the difference between being a leader and a boss. “A boss knows how, a leader shows how.”
  26. 26. A lot of thought leadership attempts end up with an author saying exactly what everyone else is saying, but just SAYING IT LOUDER to draw attention to himself.
  27. 27. A lot of thought leadership attempts end up with an author saying exactly what everyone else is saying, but just SAYING IT LOUDER to draw attention to himself. “LOOK HOW MUCH I KNOW. I’M THE THOUGHT BOSS AROUND HERE.”
  28. 28. Rule No. 2
  29. 29. Rule No. 2 Real thought leadership provokes a reaction.
  30. 30. For some people, that reaction will be a standing ovation from their desk.
  31. 31. For others, especially insecure internet trolls, that reaction might be to call you fat, stupid, entitled, or a bitch in an attempt to silence you.
  32. 32. You should view this feedback as a win.
  33. 33. You should view this feedback as a win. You got their attention, and now they’re taking cheap shots at you because they don’t have a leg to stand on.
  34. 34. You should view this feedback as a win. You got their attention, and now they’re taking cheap shots at you because they don’t have a leg to stand on.
  35. 35. But sometimes, feedback comes in the form of your mom, or your sister, or your board chair, or your organization’s biggest donor saying they’re worried about you.
  36. 36. When that happens, be respectful, hear them out, look for nuggets of wisdomthat will help you deliver your message with the most impact.
  37. 37. When that happens, be respectful, hear them out, look for nuggets of wisdomthat will help you deliver your message with the most impact. But ultimately, refer them to Rule No. 1 (and 2).
  38. 38. If you’re not provoking the beast, you’re doing it wrong.
  39. 39. If you’re not provoking the beast, you’re doing it wrong. Thought leaders aren’t here to make nice or play by the rules of respectability.
  40. 40. Rule No. 3
  41. 41. Rule No. 3 Thought leadership shows how it’s done.
  42. 42. As important as it is to call out injustice and warped thinking, it’s also vitally important to show a better way.
  43. 43. If you’re only in this game to sow discord and raise self- righteous hell, you’re not a thought leader.
  44. 44. If you’re only in this game to sow discord and raise self- righteous hell, you’re not a thought leader. Sorry, Alex Jones.
  45. 45. You have to offer solutions, and the best solutions come from your own experience.
  46. 46. You have to offer solutions, and the best solutions come from your own experience. To be a thought leader, you first need to be an action leader.
  47. 47. If you look through your experience, and you can’t find anything that stands outas unique or contrarian or innovative,
  48. 48. If you look through your experience, and you can’t find anything that stands outas unique or contrarian or innovative, then you may need to accept that you’re not ready to be a thought leader.
  49. 49. If you look through your experience, and you can’t find anything that stands outas unique or contrarian or innovative, then you may need to accept that you’re not ready to be a thought leader.
  50. 50. Rule No. 4
  51. 51. Rule No. 4 Thought leadership embraces the humanity of the author and the reader.
  52. 52. It’s real talk.
  53. 53. It’s real talk. It’s owning up to the real challenges, sharing a vision for your plan of attack, and celebrating the wins you are truly proud of.
  54. 54. It’s speaking from your heart, to the hearts of your listeners.
  55. 55. You speak with respect and compassion, but you don’t water down your message. b
  56. 56. You speak with respect and compassion, but you don’t water down your message. You speak with confidence in your mission and your methods, but with the humility to engage in discussion.
  57. 57. Now let’s talk Content Marketing
  58. 58. Content marketing is more about equipping your clients to succeed in the status quo than it is about speaking to your entire industry and calling for change.
  59. 59. The goal of content marketing is to build relationships with your ideal customers.
  60. 60. Content marketing is like the advice you’d give to a friend who was trying to make a decision and you had expertise that could help.
  61. 61. Content marketing is like the advice you’d give to a friend who was trying to make a decision and you had expertise that could help. Thought leadership is the rant you’d make before flipping over the desk and quitting the job at the unethical company.
  62. 62. Content marketing is like the advice you’d give to a friend who was trying to make a decision and you had expertise that could help. Thought leadership is the rant you’d make before flipping over the desk and quitting the job at the unethical company.
  63. 63. With CM, we’re looking for how-tos, bulleted lists of practical tips, unbiased pros & cons.
  64. 64. ● Content marketing always provides value, never a sales pitch
  65. 65. ● Content marketing always provides value, never a sales pitch ● Content marketing helps your customers succeed, whether they buy your products or not
  66. 66. ● Content marketing always provides value, never a sales pitch ● Content marketing helps your customers succeed, whether they buy your products or not ● Content marketing offers practical advice that relates to your field
  67. 67. ● Content marketing gets to the point quickly
  68. 68. ● Content marketing gets to the point quickly ● Content marketing saves time for you and your clients by answering FAQs and clearing up points of confusion
  69. 69. Some examples of CM:
  70. 70. (THIS GUIDE IS AN EXAMPLE OF CONTENT MARKETING)
  71. 71. Finally, we get to the Promotional B.S.
  72. 72. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know when you’ve produced a piece of B.S.
  73. 73. The tricky part is when you mix B.S. with some of the principles of CM and TL.
  74. 74. The tricky part is when you mix B.S. with some of the principles of CM and TL. Things get a little fuzzy.
  75. 75. You read the piece, and you realize that you’re asking people to buy your stuff or sign up for your event,
  76. 76. You read the piece, and you realize that you’re asking people to buy your stuff or sign up for your event, but you rationalize that it’s ok because you’re ALSO giving them good advice!
  77. 77. No.
  78. 78. No. You can’t mix them.
  79. 79. No. You can’t mix them. Don’t mix TL with CM, and don’t mix either with BS.
  80. 80. Do Not...
  81. 81. Do Not... ● Start with the question: “What message do wemost want to get in people’s brains?”
  82. 82. Do Not... ● Start with the question: “What message do wemost want to get in people’s brains?” ● Mix self-promotion, or event-promotion, or fundraising promotion with half-assed thought leadership or content marketing.
  83. 83. ● Use a headline no one would click on. Do Not...
  84. 84. ● Use a headline no one would click on. ● Be inauthentic because you’re afraid of how people will react if you speak the truth. Do Not...
  85. 85. ● Use a headline no one would click on. ● Be inauthentic because you’re afraid of how people will react if you speak the truth. ● Speak for the sake of speaking. Do Not...
  86. 86. ● Use a headline no one would click on. ● Be inauthentic because you’re afraid of how people will react if you speak the truth. ● Speak for the sake of speaking. ● Share shallow, pump-up content that tells a trivial story and asks for engagement on a trivial subject. Do Not...
  87. 87. ● Use a headline no one would click on. ● Be inauthentic because you’re afraid of how people will react if you speak the truth. ● Speak for the sake of speaking. ● Share shallow, pump-up content that tells a trivial story and asks for engagement on a trivial subject. ● Repeat what everyone else is saying. Do Not...
  88. 88. ● Use a headline no one would click on. ● Be inauthentic because you’re afraid of how people will react if you speak the truth. ● Speak for the sake of speaking. ● Share shallow, pump-up content that tells a trivial story and asks for engagement on a trivial subject. ● Repeat what everyone else is saying. ● Make a lame sales pitch. Do Not...
  89. 89. ● Use a headline no one would click on. ● Be inauthentic because you’re afraid of how people will react if you speak the truth. ● Speak for the sake of speaking. ● Share shallow, pump-up content that tells a trivial story and asks for engagement on a trivial subject. ● Repeat what everyone else is saying. ● Make a lame sales pitch. ● Offer super-biased advice. Do Not...
  90. 90. Too Long: Didn’t Read (TL: DR)
  91. 91. Thought leadership answers questions like, “What’s next? Why does it matter? Why should I care?”
  92. 92. Content marketing answers questions like, “How do I...? What is…? Where can I find…?”
  93. 93. Promotional bull shit answers the question, “Are you a self-centered, tone-deaf blabbermouth who wastes your customers’ time?”
  94. 94. Any questions?
  95. 95. Any questions? Let’s talk.
  96. 96. Any questions? Let’s talk. obarrow12@gmail.com

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