Thought Leadership Marketing

How to Identify Topics to Establish Thought Leadership In

Our Thought Leadership Marketing Process follows five key steps. This post will explore step 1: Identifying your strategic topics.

Step 1 Objective: Identify the four most important topics in which you want to establish yourself as an expert.

This step is all about helping you choose the right topics that support your objectives. As we’ve already discussed, thought leadership begins by establishing yourself as an expert for carefully chosen topics. 

How to Think About Strategic Topics

A primary goal of your Thought Leadership Marketing should be to make sure that when your customer searches for a topic, they find your blog posts, ebooks, media articles, podcast interviews, and guest posts that showcase your expertise and demonstrate to them that you know what you’re talking about. Over time, there should be no doubt that you are the definitive expert for these topics.

Your goal is to add more value to these topics than anyone else.

Strategic Topic Example: 

For our client Raydiant, one of their target strategic topics was “consumer behavior.” This was a good strategic topic because it’s exactly what their customers (retailers) are actively thinking about. 

When a potential customer or journalist searches for “state of consumer behavior,” two consumer surveys we conducted (one in 2020 and one in 2021) come up, along with a piece of guest content from their CEO that was published on Forbes. 

This is the perfect example of contributing unique ideas to a topic that customers are interested in and using it as a way to generate top of funnel awareness. 

Founder Tip: Inbound PR is the Future of PR

Journalists are just like buyers. They do their research online before engaging. Let your competitors spam the inboxes of journalists while you focus on getting your content to rank for targeted keywords that will bring a consistent flow of opportunity to you over the long term. Inbound PR is the future of PR. 

Strategic Topic Questions to Ask [Workbook]

To guide your thinking, ask yourself these questions below and list all the possible answers worth considering.

Your topics can typically be divided into the following groups:

Selecting Your Four Strategic Topics [Workbook]

Go through your answers on page X, then identify and write down the four most important topics you want to begin with. 

Strategic Topics Example 


Continuing with our example of a made-up lab-grown meat startup that sells its products directly to restaurants, here’s what this could look like: 

Now imagine if this was your startup and your customers viewed you as an expert in these topics.

  • When an investor is wondering about the future of meat — everywhere they look, they come across your thought leadership assets. 
  • When a journalist is writing about the trend of consumers giving up meat, everywhere they look, they come across your thought leadership assets. 
  • When an employee is looking to join a company that has a purpose they believe in, everywhere they look, they find your thought leadership assets. 
  • When a restaurant is looking for ways to bring lab-grown meat into their restaurants, everywhere they look, they find your thought leadership assets that show them everything they need to know about bringing it to their restaurant.


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