Thought leadership play a huge role in large businesses, being intricately involved with major decisions on development, mergers, investment, etc. and consulting firms are highly competitive when trying to outdo the other for the top positions. As such many firms have a wide range of practices, and models, alongside different objectives and outlooks. That being said, observing current trends gives us a good idea of the context behind much of the current happenings within the industry. Firms that specialized in providing high quality, thought leadership oriented content were given a preference rating of 96%, although it is considered one of the most competitive approaches as poor results equate to lack of expertise within the industries. As high as 94% prefer quality driven content, because low quality content directly lowers the opinion of the firm.
Firms have established that the most effective manner of thought leadership can occur through SEO, consulting firm seminars, conference presentations, mentions in the press, and additional platforms and external publications. When it comes to online presence, a dramatic shift has been observed towards optimizing data analytics for targeted topics. Search engine presence is a highly prioritized due to the outreach capabilities of content that is curated for target demographics. As such here are some tips and practices to help consulting firms rise to the top of thought leadership.
Specialization- Leaders distinguish themselves by being outspoken about a few distinct issues. Thought leadership content is most effective when their creators are not aiming for a broad scope of topics to discuss- rather, firms that isolate key aspects and apply their expertise in these limited places, the results are more effective due to their coherence and manner of execution. A single topic with a series of sub-topics that can be discussed at length throughout the year becomes hugely important. While volume certain gains presence, it is not altogether desirable and by its nature, wholly incompatible with effective thought leadership.
Balancing Research and Consultancy Advice- Firms will find it easier to conduct public surveys and collect questionnaires than conduct constructed interviews with consultants. However, leadership content is best suited to a more curated, quality oriented experience which generates client interest. This is best done to avoid generating imbalanced insights and maintain the quality of the firm’s thought leadership.
Avoiding Vague Insights- Strong opinion and outspoken presentation skills can take several years to develop over a period of time, especially with leadership consulting firms. While having market presence is important, firms must take care to note that they do not put out too many smaller pieces of content for the sake of ensuring their presence in the market is not compromised or lost to a competitor. This does a lot more harm than good in the long run. Customers desire an in-depth understanding and clear image of what to expect and have concepts and opinion properly laid out before them as opposed to small, easily digestible information, or a quick take on the matter. Carefully created and well-informed opinion often finds itself on the top.
Increased Online Presence- Interactivity and communication go a long way in the growth of a firm and social platforms online revolutionized the manner in which much of these leadership consulting firms did business. While other kinds of content consumption are very significant, the highest rate of content consumption has been a result of the internet. As such, many firms dedicate over 50% of their budgets to curating their online experience and presence, alongside focusing on demographic expansion. Clients value interactive layered content which takes, time and money to create, and this reflects in their content consumption.