Would you like to become the authority in your industry?
To have customers, partners – even other thought leaders! – beating down your door because they know you to be the preeminent expert in your field?
Well, video marketing can help you achieve it!
Establishing your thought leadership isn’t easy, or quick… but it’s one of the best long-term investments you can make in your brand. And in today’s article, we’ll show you how to do this using the knowledge and resources you already have.
So, without further ado, here are 7 ways to use video for building your “thought leadership muscles”! Read on:
1. Predict industry trends
Can you make a prognosis about what will happen in your industry next month – or next year? How about 5, or even 10, years from now?
Well, it’s rude to keep these insights to yourself! Use them to build your image as a thought leader. There are two main ways you can do this:
- Publish videos with predictions at the beginning (or at the end) of every year, talking about the important trends that await your market in the future. Don’t just make bold claims – put them into perspective and show what they mean for the people watching. Give your viewers actionable advice on how to navigate the coming changes.
- Whenever something happens that rattles your industry and promises to change the landscape in your space, put out a video where you discuss it. Again, stick to the same guidelines as #1 – make predictions about how the situation might develop, add all-important context and perspective, and advise your viewers on how to deal with this.
You might ask: “OK, but what if I believe that things will remain mostly the same in my industry? That’s hardly thought leadership.” Well, you’d be surprised… but it is!
If you don’t think your industry is facing sweeping changes any time soon, you can talk about that, too. There are so many different thought leaders who speculate wildly about the future without much evidence… You can act as the voice of reason among them, providing reassurance and guidance to your target market.
As fashionable as it is to talk about “disruption” and tidal shifts in the market, there’s value in saying that some core principles remain the same, and certain things will still matter even in a rapidly evolving industry. So if you think so, say it! It’s another way of being a thought leader.
2. Deconstruct successes and failures
Astounding successes and spectacular failures happen in your industry all the time. Do you want to be known as a thought leader? Then talk about them – not only yours, but other people’s as well.
Everybody in your target market passionately wants to achieve success and avoid failure. But it’s usually about as easy as chasing a black cat in a dark room – lots of stubbed toes and elbows, abundant falling and cursing… but not a lot of progress.
Every big hit and every notorious bust provide an opportunity for you to contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way. Can you shine a light on why you, or some other industry player, succeeded – or failed – at something? Then use this superpower to become a thought leader and an authority in your space.
Create video content that explores your own and others’ achievements in your industry – or analyzes failures and flops (or both). It could be case studies, “how did we/they do it” breakdowns, postmortems of campaigns, launches, or events, and so on. The sky is the limit!
And don’t just break things down for your viewers – give them advice on how to reproduce the successes or avoid the mistakes.
Also, it’s important to note something: making this kind of video content is a bit tricky. Of course, you can talk about your successes or failures all you want! But you don’t want to antagonize other people and brands you may talk about in these videos. This kind of deconstruction should be done in good faith – or not at all.
And if you’re not sure you can pull it off, you can try strategy #3 instead…
3. Enlist the help of other experts
Here’s a neat shortcut to becoming a thought leader: invite experts to share their insights with your target market.
Even though you won’t be the one dispensing wisdom and blowing minds, people will still come to you – how can they not, when you’ve got all these experts giving amazing advice! Borrowed authority is still authority, and you can use it to elevate your own brand in your customers’ minds.
One obvious way to implement this strategy is to create a regular video show where you sit down with your favorite experts and pick their brain. But it’s far from the only option!
For starters, it doesn’t have to be regular – making a video like that occasionally is still very powerful. Also, it doesn’t have to be a cut-and-dry interview! You can:
- Ask the expert to do a solo appearance discussing what they do…
- Film a tutorial video where the guest expert teaches something…
- Or just do something fun together – and talk shop while you’re at it!
This last one is one of our favorite video formats to watch. To have an idea of what we mean, think about shows like “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” or any cooking show with celebrity guests. Unrelated activities (like driving or cooking) provide the perfect framing device and backdrop for all sorts of deep conversations, engaging stories, and fun shenanigans.
You can do something similar, if less ambitious, with your marketing videos – just use your imagination!
4. Reveal your “secret sauce”
Entrepreneurship is about looking at the world differently. It’s about having unique solutions to problems, distinctive ways of doing things.
Good companies keep their “secret sauce” to themselves. Great companies pursue thought leadership by sharing what makes them unique with the world.
That’s why we are so open about our video production process – it’s right here, for everyone to see. We aren’t worried that someone might steal it and compete with us, because:
a) our success is not just about the process (although it’s important), and
b) we’ve refined it over many years and thousands of videos – any competitor will be waaay behind us, and will never be as efficient and as consistent as we are.
Here’s another example:
The good people at Basecamp are always open about how exactly they hire people, manage employees, and even program their software. And wouldn’t you know it, nobody stole their secrets! Their openness actually helped Basecamp to become thought leaders in the world of entrepreneurship and SaaS.
5. Teach what you know
“Always be teaching.”
If you want to achieve thought leadership in your industry, write out this saying and put it where you can see it. This is now your core value, your mantra, and your call to arms. If you’re Kramer in Seinfeld, this is your “Giddyup!” You get the idea.
Make teaching the cornerstone of your video marketing efforts. Here are just a few things you can do:
- Record tutorial videos and how-to’s that help your target market.
- Deliver masterclasses and webinars on topics you’re an expert in.
- Share any talks or presentations you give with the rest of the world.
Basically, find any excuse to spread your expertise far and wide – like the flu… of knowledge!
(Gotta admit, this sounded way better in our head.)
Here’s a great example: Mailshake sells automated cold emailing software, and they consistently publish high-quality high-quality tutorials on how to market your business with cold email. They have found the perfect intersection of what their target market deeply cares about and what they can teach effectively. You can find a similar “sweet spot” in your marketing videos, too!
6. Document your work in progress
What if you’re a brand-new company and don’t have a lot of credibility or accomplishments to leverage? How do you cultivate thought leadership then?
Glad you asked! In this case, you can show people your journey towards your business goals. Your target market is hungry to hear from voices who are figuring things out on the fly – just like them.
In his wonderful book “Show Your Work,” author and artist Austin Kleon writes, “You have to turn the invisible into something people can see. … Become a documentarian of what you do.”
Sharing your work in progress is an excellent way to build credibility and thought leadership. Sure, it’s not as sexy as a keynote speech at the biggest industry event of the year, or a knockout case study that makes your brand look good. But it still works!
This strategy is especially helpful if you’re pursuing a long-term milestone for your brand or creating something entirely new and unheard-of in your space. In both these cases, you want to document and publicize the process every step of the way.
Record short videos that capture your progress, convey interesting details about your work, show inspiring wins (or amusing losses) – and put them out there in the world. These make for terrific social media videos, by the way!
Here’s a great example: this SpaceX “crash compilation.” It’s nothing but a bunch of crashes and explosions that occurred at SpaceX as they were trying to create the world’s first reusable rocket. It shows an incredible amount of work, resilience, and dedication. And even though the clip shows a lot of failed landings, it still speaks to the brand’s thought leadership and credibility.
7. Answer burning questions
Here’s the easiest, most natural way to cultivate thought leadership:
Find out the most relevant, burning questions your target market is struggling with – and answer them.
That’s it! This is such a simple strategy, but it works wonders. If your potential customers come to think of you as the source of guidance and advice on their most pressing issues, they will naturally come to you for answers.
And when they reach the stage of making a buying decision, who do you think will be their first choice? Some random company that never bothered to address what is most important to them…
…or you, who took the time to establish trust and provide value – without asking for anything in return? The choice is obvious.
Record and publish regular Q&A sessions for your audience. You can tackle one question at a time in short-and-sweet videos, or do lengthy “fireside chats” where you go through a bunch of questions at once – doesn’t matter. Just make sure that:
- You are talking about issues that actually matter to your target market. Questions that keep them up at night. Things they really want to know.
- You give people an easy way to send these questions your way. In the beginning, you can research them on your own or do customer development interviews. But you want to establish a line of communication as early as possible, so the questions come to you naturally.
One of the best examples of this “question-driven” thought leadership is Marie Forleo’s video series. You can learn a lot about how to make this type of content just by watching her short videos.
(Q&A videos also make for perfect social media posts – just saying!)
Build thought leadership with custom-made marketing videos
As we said at the beginning, becoming the preeminent expert in your space takes time and hard work. But there’s no doubt you can do it! All you need is the right strategy…
Let us give you a free audit of your video marketing strategy, and we’ll show you the path towards becoming a thought leader in your industry – and enjoying the prestige and profits that come with the title!
Just head over to this page and apply for your risk-free pow wow today!