You may have built an innovative product with some amazing features — but if you don’t convince enough customers they can trust you can solve their problems better than your many direct and indirect competitors, your chances of failing are high.
Thought leadership Marketing is the best way you can build trust and stand out in a noisy world. Instead of wasting your time on traditional PR (Aka spamming journalists), thought leadership marketing provides a way to get on the radar of key customers, journalists and investors in an indirect way.
It positions you as a subject matter expert who understands what the future looks like and can lead your customers into that future. It leverages your unique perspectives, knowledge, and experience, and packages them in a way that builds trust and credibility with those who matter most to you.
Here are 5 reasons why thought leadership marketing — and all the trust it can bring to a startup — is more critical than ever before.
#1: There’s more noise than ever
In 2020 alone, 22,305 companies raised funding. That’s thousands of new startups battling for the attention of journalists, investors, and buyers. Maybe 10 years ago, being a tech company with an innovative solution was enough, but today, that story has been told already. To break through, you need to find a way to stand out, and that’s what thought leadership marketing provides.
#2: Buyer behavior has changed.
In addition to being overwhelmed with options, buyers spend more time doing their own research than ever. Before engaging with a company, they are already 70% of the way through the buying process. Failing to show up with helpful educational resources means you’re missing out on awareness and opportunities.
#3: Everyone is worried and anxious about the future
The pandemic left everyone with a deep feeling of uncertainty for what the future holds. They are more open than ever to new ideas, rethinking their habits, and ready for someone to step up to guide them into surviving and thriving in the future.
#4: Trust in technology startups is low
Over 70% of buyers say that brand trust is more important now than in the past, but the world has been fed a lot of bullshit from startups over the years. Companies like Theranos and WeWork have damaged the public perception that founders can be implicitly trusted. Buyers have been burned by startups that come in with a promise to use technology to transform their business. Not focusing on establishing trust is a costly mistake.
#5: Building your own audience puts you in control
As Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a post about Coinbase’s new initiative, “Every tech company should go direct to their audience and become a media company.” When you depend on a gatekeeper to access an audience, you are at their mercy. When you build and nurture your own audience, you take control of your narrative and message. Thought leadership marketing provides you with content to establish that audience.
The Ultimate Secret Weapon For Founders
It’s hard to change the status quo, but that’s exactly what the best companies do.
The world is more connected than ever. This new environment has created a unique opportunity for bold, visionary founders to step up and lead their customers into the future.
People crave useful insights from experts who can help solve their problems, navigate uncertainty, and prepare them to capitalize on new opportunities that will emerge.
They are looking for leaders they can trust who will step up and take them into the future. This is the opportunity that you have right now.
Think carefully about what you do next. Otherwise, the conversation around the future of your industry will be owned by someone else.
Whether it’s a direct competitor, indirect competitor, or another industry expert, someone will recognize this opportunity. Make sure that someone is you.