It’s no secret: Consumers won’t buy from just any company; they want to connect with brands before giving their loyalty — and dollars — to them.
When rebranding your company, a fresh look alone won’t get your new brand noticed and trusted. Unfortunately, many marketers mistakenly think a thought leadership strategy can wait until the chaos of a rebrand fizzles. But this is actually the perfect time to launch a strategy.
For many of our clients, developing a thought leadership strategy allows them to better understand the key issues, trends, best practices, and news within their industries. Most importantly, they start thinking from an audience perspective, which helps them discover what elements they need to highlight or brand differently.
A thought leadership strategy can help drive your rebrand by:
One of the first steps of a rebrand is nailing down your company’s values, voice, and positioning. And outlining your thought leadership strategy requires this same type of brand introspection. By clarifying your positioning early on and communicating it across all platforms, you can transform your company’s image and eliminate confusion.
For example, this year, Influence & Co. changed its brand positioning to focus on its secret sauce: content creation fueled by expertise. We paired this shift in messaging with an entire content marketing campaign focused on our tried-and-true process, knowledge sharing.
This campaign included off-site content that key leaders in our company contributed to publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, and SmartBlog, content for our blog, and gated content about knowledge sharing. Our strategy allowed us to spread our message in a way that was more impactful than a simple press release or social media post. We shared our story and, better yet, showed our readers why we’re the experts in our industry rather than simply relying on our website to convey our new messaging.
Developing a documented strategy forces you to take a deeper dive into your brand and truly understand your target audience — from where they live to the type of content they consume. This is crucial during a rebrand because your messaging has to resonate with your audience to make a lasting impact. And you’ll find that it pays off; 70 percent of consumers say that content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company.
By reflecting on your brand through a content strategy, you can find your brand voice early on and infuse that into all rebranding materials to create consistency. Do you want to appear straightforward and authoritative? Or would your audience respond better to a light-hearted yet impactful approach? By working through questions like these, you’ll be equipped to set the right tone for your branding materials across the board.
Finding your competitive edge is crucial for staying relevant throughout a rebrand. You have to figure out what others are doing in your space and where their weaknesses and strengths lie to position yourself as an obvious solution. The same goes for a thought leadership strategy. By understanding your industry and competitors, you can highlight aspects of your brand that thrive in comparison to others, helping you stand out to consumers.
Writing content that engages your audience can lead to lucrative, organic opportunities in every direction. You’ll boost web traffic, attract new leads, and earn SEO credibility, which is a major challenge when branding. As you start publishing content that answers pressing audience questions, your content will naturally appear in front of interested prospects. It’s the true secret to successful SEO.
Once you’ve become a trusted industry voice, you won’t have to fight to gain opportunities to speak, write, or provide commentary on particular subjects. These opportunities will find their way to you.
Let’s face it: Uprooting your brand will inevitably confuse your audience. But by speaking openly about the changes and why they’ll help you better serve your customers, you’ll appear more approachable than if you’d done it behind closed doors.
Throughout your TLS journey, your content will become an extension of your new brand. As you make the transition, coverage of your old branding will still exist, so you need to beat consumers to the punch and alleviate their doubts or questions. Whether it’s your “About” page, company blog, or guest blog posts, make sure you’re the one in control of the conversation when it comes to your new brand position.
I'm the president of Intero Digital's Content & PR Division. Intero Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency whose Content & PR Division helps businesses improve their lead generation, SEO, sales enablement, and thought leadership — all powered by content marketing and PR.