In today's competitive SaaS landscape, thought leadership has transcended beyond a buzzword to become a pivotal tactic for customer acquisition and engagement. It's more than just having an authoritative voice in your industry — it's about harnessing this influence to drive demand and growth for your company.
The SaaS space is bustling with groundbreaking ideas and technologies, and these companies face the unique challenge of proving their solutions’ value in a market that is constantly redefining itself. However, when done correctly, this challenge can pave the way for a significant opportunity to define and shape the conversations surrounding your product and brand.
Let’s delve into the nuances of implementing thought leadership strategies effectively so your company doesn't just participate in the conversation but leads it.
The Benefits of Thought Leadership for SaaS Companies
The benefits of thought leadership for SaaS companies are numerous — and interconnected.
When your company spearheads industry discussions, it not only establishes authority and credibility but also captivates the market's attention. People naturally gravitate toward brands that are not just part of the conversation but leading it.
This leadership role in dialogue and thought sets you apart and makes your brand a go-to source in your industry. In turn, this enhances the overall value of your brand — contributing to brand differentiation and making your offerings more appealing.
These discussions — facilitated by your brand — create a platform for dialogue where meaningful interaction with your audience takes place. This engagement fosters a community around your brand, which further sets your brand apart from the crown.
Plus, engaged audiences are more likely to remain loyal and advocate for your brand, amplifying your reach and influence. This advocacy equates to natural word-of-mouth marketing, which, of course, contributes to more leads for your business.
In essence, thought leadership is a catalyst for a virtuous cycle: Establishing credibility leads to enhanced brand value, which in turn fosters engagement and drives demand. As each element supports and amplifies the others, your brand not only becomes a part of the conversation but leads it.
Practical Strategies for Implementing Thought Leadership
Dipping your toe into the waters of thought leadership is an exciting first step in establishing brand authority and increasing demand — but where do you start? Tara Robertson, Head of Demand Generation at Chili Piper, shared what tactics are working for her as well as what she’s seeing across the SaaS space.
1. Utilize Thought Leadership LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn is a goldmine for SaaS companies, and using thought leadership ads can amplify your reach. Promote key individuals in your organization to drive conversations in your industry and boost traffic — building a following directly on the platform where professionals connect.
Remember, the key is not just to promote content but to start conversations. Tailor your ads to initiate discussions, ask questions, and encourage LinkedIn users to think differently about prevailing industry trends.
2. Take Ownership of Thought Leadership Internally
Stepping into a thought leadership role requires some effort that CEOs and executives might not feel they have time for. If you don’t have an exec volunteering to be your company's thought leader, don’t throw in the towel — take on the role yourself.
Tara encourages anyone who’s willing to step up to the thought leadership plate. Not only will that help you create more engagement with the company you work for now, but it will also help you establish your own personal brand — which stays with you as you grow in your career.
It’s also important to encourage thought leadership from everyone on your team rather than just a few select individuals. Make time to implement internal workshops or 'idea incubators' that allow team members to develop and present content, which can then be amplified externally.
3. Use Video-First Content
You already know that video is important, but are you taking advantage of all that channel has to offer? Chili Piper uses video to capture and share their expertise, transforming interviews, company insights, and thought leadership conversations into compelling, digestible content that resonates with audiences and establishes industry authority.
Consider hosting webinars, live Q&A sessions, or short explainer videos to convey complex ideas in an easily digestible format. Share these videos on platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram to encourage shares and reach a wider audience — further solidifying your place as a leader in your space.
4. Maximize Content Across Different Channels
While recycling content across multiple channels is a known strategy, the key is to do it effectively. Tailor your content to suit each platform's unique audience and style, ensuring that the content feels native and engaging on each platform. For example, turn your podcasts into YouTube videos with engaging visuals or create bite-sized social media posts that link back to your in-depth blog content.
People engage with content in a variety of ways. Some prefer to read articles, while others like listening to podcasts or scrolling through short videos. By dispersing your thought leadership content across several channels, you’re able to expand your reach and engage your audience in ways that resonate with them.
5. Foster Two-Way Communication
Thought leadership should be more than just broadcasting your ideas and insights to the world; it's about creating a dynamic dialogue with your audience. This two-way communication is a great way to establish a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your community.
By engaging directly with your audience, whether that be through responding to comments, participating in industry forums, or actively soliciting feedback on social media, you demonstrate that your brand values their opinions and insights. This approach not only humanizes your brand but also provides invaluable insights into your audience's needs and preferences so you know what matters to them.
With these strategies, you’re primed and ready to take charge of thought leadership at your company.
Want to learn more about how to increase demand? Listen to Tara Robertson on Remotely Cultured.