Some people only think of thought leaders as established authors with recognizable names like Seth Godin, “the godfather of marketing,” or Dave Ramsey, a successful millionaire with a wealth of financial knowledge. However, you don’t have to publish 17 books or have a million dollars to be a thought leader. All you need is to discuss topics you’re passionate about and offer your unique perspective and knowledge to the respective audiences—this is what makes a thought leader.
This is where the value of contributing bylined articles comes into play for executives in the B2B tech space. Your client’s perspective on their industry is important and should be heard by potential buyers seeking the same information. Contributing articles will position the executive, and the company he or she represents, as an authoritative figure in the industry.
Value in contributing articles
While proactively pitching media to secure interviews on behalf of a client might seem more exciting, bylined articles are just as valuable. This type of media exposure is necessary to demonstrate the expertise of the source.
When potential buyers and other industry executives are conducting research online, they’re trying to keep with trends and find unique ways to solves the problems their company may be facing. For example, in the B2B technology market, companies are making large financial investments in high-tech products like data centers or solutions that automate manual tasks and protect against security threats. Decisions like this require extensive research, and business leaders want to make sure they’re well versed on where different industries are heading. This is a great opportunity for executives and subject matter experts to get their perspective in front of decision makers and share important industry trends and solutions.
Developing a strategy and aligning your message
There are a few things to keep in mind when developing a strategy for your client’s contributed articles—be selective with your messaging, audience and timing. It is also important to understand the client’s marketing and business goals to determine what messages are priority and most relevant in helping them achieve those goals.
Once you determine what your client is most interested in sharing and how that aligns with their business objectives, research the media outlets that discuss similar topics and reach the most appropriate audience. You can also tailor different messages to the specific industries your client serves to further focus your strategy.
Timing should also be a factor. For example, contributed content could also be considered when planning product announcements. If coordinated far enough in advance, a bylined article that discusses the benefits of this a certain type of technology and how it fits into industry trends could be published around the same time that a major product is announced. If the product announcement and the contributed article are aligned in messaging, this gives the client more credibility and helps position the product as a valuable resource.
Regardless of whether a contributed article is tied to a product announcement, they should always focus on industry trends. For example, if a client is adjusting their company vision to align with the direction their industry is headed, it would be a great opportunity to write an article discussing the movement in their market. As the client’s adjusted vision comes into play, that message will be aligned with previous discussions.
Tips to implementing a byline program
Bylines can require a significant amount of time to plan, write and pitch to the media. Below is a checklist of things to remember when creating a byline program for a client:
- Discuss messaging and important topics with the client
- Plan to contribute on a regular basis
- Identify key publications that cover the industry or top verticals and accept contributed articles
- Use editorial calendars to determine important topics to which the client can speak
- Determine the subject matter expert (SME) to whom the article can be attributed
- Create an abstract for the byline topic and pitch to media before writing the full article
- Share on social media once the article is published
Remember, being a thought leader can take time and requires a commitment to contributing articles regularly. But it is well worth the effort to stay relevant and be portrayed as an expert in this fast-paced world of business.