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How to become a marketing industry thought leader

Being a marketing industry thought leader is within your grasp – if you follow these three tips from Rashan Dixon.

5 min read

MarketingMarketing Strategy

How to become a marketing thought leader, by Rashan Dixon

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You want to stand out. What business professional doesn’t? But becoming a marketing industry thought leader can seem more challenging than ever before. New brands pop up every day, producing sophisticated content. Plus, technology is moving faster than the speed of light and driving previously unheard-of marketing techniques.

Becoming a marketing industry thought leader is doable as long as you pursue a well-thought-out strategy. To be visible, you need to develop a unique voice while using it to connect with others. You can also learn from the successful maneuvers of other marketing leaders and make them your own. Here’s how.

Fine-tune your approach to SEO

Search engine optimization is every content marketer’s ticket to visibility. At least in the digital sense, it is. Your online content almost certainly won’t be seen without a solid SEO strategy behind it.

But effective SEO strategies are constantly evolving, moving in line with the criteria of search engine giants like Google. It’s no longer just about keywords. The SEO strategies behind content marketing involve thinking through what your brand has to say and who will listen.   

You’ve got to match your brand’s voice with a target audience’s thirst for information. What are they searching for, and what decisions will your content influence? Are they ready to buy, or are they browsing through possibilities?

These aren’t the only questions to ask, but they cover the basics. Once you know how to align your content with your audience, it’s time to dig into the technical and creative details.

Executing an SEO strategy that puts audiences first takes extensive knowledge and expertise in the field. For this reason, brands often recruit outside experts to handle the details. Relevance, a growth marketing agency, suggests prioritizing high-quality content on your website before acquiring SEO links. Doing so will showcase your business as a trustworthy, authoritative source in your industry and boost your SEO — and thought leadership — efforts.

Be a social butterfly

Social connections tend to increase a person’s clout in the real world. The more you mingle, the more people see who you are. They also find reasons to like and get to know you better. 

The digital world works in a similar way, albeit less spur-of-the-moment and face-to-face. Small talk skills aren’t mandatory here. But you do have to be active on social platforms while making your content engaging and shareable.

The social platforms you’ll want to get active on will depend on where your audience is. You’ll also need to consider the format. For instance, YouTube has more than 2.56 billion users worldwide. Will long-form videos and Shorts appeal to your target market? More importantly, are enough people from your ideal audience searching for content on YouTube? If so, it’s a platform you want to publish timely and relevant content on.

That said, you’ll want to research your competition before you do. With around 500 hours of video uploaded on YouTube each minute, there’s a high probability someone else is already speaking to your audience. Publishing the exact same content is a surefire way to get overlooked and buried in the mass of information. YouTube marketing expert Aleric Heck, CEO of AdOutreach, advises companies to appeal to the “learning mindset” of the platform’s visitors. Put a distinct angle on your subject matter, develop a niche or cover what others are missing.   

You may also want to consider diversifying your content and online social networks. Some content you can easily repurpose into blog posts, infographics, snippets and even podcasts. A few YouTube creators execute this well by going into topics more in-depth with Substack articles and Spotify podcasts. They grow their audiences on multiple platforms by leveraging followers they already have.

Pair up with your peers

Yes, people have been known to survive all by themselves on deserted islands. But when you’re becoming a marketing industry thought leader, you don’t want to go it alone. Collaborating with other leaders in your space or adjacent ones can expand your reach and advance your online conversations.

Perhaps your peers will elevate your content by adding insights you didn’t think of before. Maybe there’s an overlap between your expertise and theirs that can bring exceptional value to an audience.

Sometimes collaborating with someone more well-known than you can boost your brand’s visibility. The other person’s authority might also add to your credibility, helping to build trust with skeptical listeners and readers.

As you climb the thought leadership ranks, you can return the favor to up-and-comers. You’ll boost your exposure, be seen as a team player, and advance your authority. Live video discussions, webinars and podcasts are all great ways to leverage peer collaborations to raise your visibility.

Becoming a marketing thought leader   

It might seem impossible in a crowded digital space, but becoming a marketing leader remains a goal within reach. You can get there with a road map that matches what you have to say and whom you want to speak to. And remember, you don’t have to tackle your goals alone. Growth marketing experts, social media platforms and industry peers are there to help you along the way.


Rashan Dixon is a senior business systems analyst at Microsoft, entrepreneur and a writer for various business publications.

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