In a crowded marketplace, the competitive nature of IT services is stiff, and it can be difficult to differentiate your company from the rest. From a business perspective, there are a few key differentiators that can set your company apart: service offerings, quality of services, pricing, and thought leadership content.
Services and the quality of those services get tougher and tougher to differentiate with, and commoditizing your services through pricing is a race to the bottom where you don't want to be.
From MSPs to Cybersecurity to Cloud services, thought leadership content is one of the most important differentiators you can have as an IT services company. It shows that you are an expert in your field, and it can help you attract new clients and retain existing ones. Quality content is also essential for building brand awareness and credibility.
By definition, thought leadership content is a piece of content that demonstrates the author's expertise on a particular topic but also should be as engaging and innovative as possible.
Through sharing original research and insights on relevant industry topics, IT services companies can establish themselves as thought leaders and build trust with their target audiences. This not only strengthens the company's brand, but also helps educate potential clients about the problems they may be facing and how the company can provide solutions.
Drive Company Awareness
Awareness is one of the most important aspects of any business. Without it, you cannot hope to reach your target audience or make sales. And in a competitive marketplace, it’s more important than ever to make sure your company is top-of-mind with potential clients.
There are several ways to drive awareness for your company: through outbound marketing initiatives, PR efforts, and thought leadership content. Thought-leadership content is one of the most effective methods, as it combines the specific intent of people finding your company with providing innovative solutions and education to those people who have an intent. According to a
study, 86% of B2B marketers say that content marketing has increased their brand awareness.
When potential clients are searching for information online, your company's thought-leadership content will come up in the search results and help position your company as an expert in your industry. It's essential your content aligns with the questions and challenges people are searching to solve. To that end, by doing keyword research, you can identify the right keywords to target and create content that is relevant and useful to your audience.
When looking for keywords, you want to consider both the intent and the challenges of your potential clients. The intent is what someone is looking to do (e.g. buy a car, find a job, etc.), while the challenge is what's preventing them from achieving their goal (e.g. not having enough money, not knowing where to start, etc.).
Establish Your Company as a Trustworthy Leader
In addition to driving awareness, producing thought leadership content also helps establish your IT services company as a trustworthy leader in the industry.
When it comes to making decisions about which IT services company to work with, trust is a critical factor for b2b decision makers. They need to be confident that the company they choose will be able to deliver on its promises and provide value for their money.
Thought leadership content is one of the best ways to build trust with b2b decision makers. By providing valuable insights and original research, your company is positioned as a go-to expert for potential clients. Establishing trust is essential for any business relationship, and it's no different for IT services companies.
By producing high-quality content that demonstrates your expertise on relevant topics, you can help build trust with your target audiences and position your company as a leader in your industry.
Boost Lead Generation with Thought Leadership
In addition to driving awareness, thought leadership content can also generate leads. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, nearly 60% of businesses that increased their content marketing budget, even by small amounts, saw an increase in leads.
Put simply, if your target audience finds your thought-leadership content valuable, they will be more likely to reach out to your company for additional information or to inquire about your services. Also, by keeping your content updated and relevant, you can continue to attract new leads who are interested in what you have to say.
So if you’re looking to make lead generation easier, and honestly, who in IT Services isn't.... start by creating quality content that speaks to your target audience.
How Thought Leadership Enhances Sales Conversions
Thought-leadership content can also help close sales. When prospects are considering doing business with your company, they will likely look for online reviews or testimonials from past clients, but content also plays a part in the decision making process.
It is now more than ever that businesses are realizing the importance of psychology in the purchase decision-making process. In fact, 95% of purchase decisions are subconscious in nature, so by providing high-quality content that speaks to your target audience, you can help influence their buying decisions.
This is why understanding the psychological factors at play in the consumer’s mind is so important for businesses. When you know what appeals to your target customer emotionally, you can craft content that resonates with them and induces them to take action.
It's also important because it helps you build relationships with potential clients and by establishing you as a trusted advisor.
In essence, it can be used as a behind the scenes sales tool by providing valuable information to potential clients during the decision-making process. By presenting your company as a knowledgeable and trusted source, it can help move prospects to their ultimate decision and increase the chances that they will choose to do business with you over your competitors.
Retain & Gain from Existing Clients
Producing thought leadership content also helps with client retention. By consistently providing valuable insights, you're showing your clients that you are dedicated to staying current on industry trends and providing them with the best solutions. This can lead to more trust and loyalty from clients, ultimately resulting in long-term partnerships.
In addition, sharing thought leadership content with existing clients can also lead to new business opportunities. Your clients could opt for an upsell opportunity due to your content, or may share your content with their network, leading to potential new leads for your company.
Generating Content for Thought Leadership
If you want to create successful thought leadership content, you need to start with a strong strategy and let that define the development of the content, while also using the best tactics to develop and promote the content. Here's a quick distilled list:
1. Figure out what your target audience is interested in
To produce effective thought leadership content, you first need to understand what your target audience is interested in. What are their biggest challenges and concerns? What kind of content would they find most valuable?
2. Research the latest IT industry trends/keywords
In order to provide insights that your target audience will find valuable, you need to stay current on the latest industry trends. This research can help you come up with new ideas for content and better understand the challenges your target audience is facing. Make sure SEO keyword analysis is a part of your research process.
3. Audit what content you have that meets the criteria
Conduct a thought leadership content analysis and research other aspects of your content that could cover each of the topic areas needed. You need to have a baseline to start with prior to creating new content.
4. Create valuable content that provides insights and solutions
Once you understand what your target audience is interested in, it's important to create content that provides insights and solutions to their problems. This type of valuable content will help position your company as a leader in the industry and attract new clients.
Thought leadership content can take many forms, such as blog posts, articles, whitepapers, eBooks, infographics, and webinars. Also, make sure to enhance your content with imagery, linking, and SEO aspects that increase the value of the content.
4. Share your content through multiple channels
To maximize the reach of your thought leadership content, it's important to share it through multiple channels, including your company website and social media platforms. In addition, consider reaching out to industry publications or websites for potential guest blogging opportunities. This can help expand your reach and position you as a thought leader in the industry.
Creating great thought leadership content is not easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding. If you put in the time and effort, you will be able to stand out from the competition and build a successful business.
If you’re not currently producing thought leadership content, now is the time to start. It takes time and effort to create quality content, but the results are well worth it.
If you're looking for a way to differentiate your IT services company in the marketplace and gain the attention of your target audience, developing thought leadership content is a great solution. Not only does it drive awareness, but it can also generate leads and sales for your business. So what are you waiting for? Get started on developing thought-leadership content today!