Research & Thought Leadership: Top 10 Content Creation Ideas

leadership-contestOver the last few years the digital marketing landscape has changed. The search engines and major social media channels are rapidly evolving. The data that search engines are now able to extract from link profiles and social signals mean that reputation and influence is now fundamental to digital marketing success.

Research and thought leadership is now one of the most effective ways to build your online reputation. So, how do you produce content that will attract links, social shares, help you build your community and engage your target audience?

Here are our top 10 content ideas.

1. Recycle What You Know

If you have ever spoken at an industry event, then you have probably spent hours researching a particular topic – making you a resource of untapped, high value content ideas. So, why not recycle this knowledge into something that is valuable and shareable? Blog posts, whitepapers and case studies of what you have learned add power to your voice while allowing you to assert yourself as an expert in your field.

2. Interview the Industry Leaders

Interviewing your industry connections provides a source for creating the type of content your audience craves: deep, insightful content provided by leaders and visionaries in their field. By displaying these insights in the form of blog posts or webinars, you're generating high quality, link-worthy content while exposing your colleagues to a whole new audience – meaning that both sides win!

3. Curate the News

Sometimes the greatest value can be in curating content, rather than creating content. By providing a weekly roundup of industry specific news you create a valuable resource for visitors, which illustrate that you are up-to-date on the latest developments, trends, and topics. This is also a great opportunity to link to other key thought leaders within your industry.

If content curation seems like too much of a time investment, you may want to explore the dozens of content curation services available on the web. Services like Scoop.it and Curata are designed to help you quickly and easily find relevant news, which can be posted directly to your blog or web page.

4. Conduct a Survey

Another way to make the most of your online community is to conduct a survey. There are many online survey platforms which make the gathering of important data both free and easy. Administering surveys through your LinkedIn groups, community forums, and your Facebook fan page is an ideal way to start exploring the pulse of your community without committing to a major investment.

5. Create Visual Appeal

While infographics have seemingly been around forever, they have only more recently become a staple of the successful online marketing strategy. Through the art of representing data visually, infographics are used to increase awareness about a particular brand, product, industry phenomenon, or up-and-coming trend. It’s this dual threat of providing visual appeal and real value that allows the infographic to attract more links and social shares than just about any other type of online content.

6. Become a Reporter for Your Industry

Have you recently attended an important industry event? Have you read a great white paper or viewed a shareable webinar? Then why not write a blog post which outlines your "takeaway points"? You could even relay some interesting conversations you may have had with other industry leaders. Or you can write a review about a relevant industry book or news article.

7. Share Presentations

When you give a speech, presentation, or webinar, you will usually have an accompanying slideshow. Don’t keep this great information to yourself! Share it with your community. Online tools like SlideShare make it quick and easy to share visual presentation slides. This is a great opportunity for showcasing your expertise and drawing attention to your next public event.

8. Conduct an Interview… With Yourself

Though this may seem a little strange, it has become a proven way to generate quality content. Prepare a list of questions on the latest industry developments or trends. Then, have someone off camera ask you each question. When done well, the video should come across as relaxed and informal, demonstrating both your personality and expertise.

9. Answer the Burning Questions

If you regularly speak at industry events, interact through social media channels or blog on your website, you will inevitably begin to recognize the common questions and dilemmas faced by the members of your community. These questions can be used as the basis for a blog post, SlideShare, video, or even white paper. And because this information is relevant to your audience’s specific needs, it is virtually guaranteed to garner interest.

10. Showcase Your Talents through Video Tutorials

There’s no better way to improve and highlight your skills than to teach others. Video gives you a unique opportunity to showcase your personality whilst sharing your knowledge with others. Why not produce a weekly tutorial that’s published on the same day each week?

For example, SEOmoz produce their weekly Whiteboard Friday tutorials that attract a significant weekly following.

Summary

It’s no longer enough to simply just be an industry expert. Your expertise needs to be shared in a way that is viewable and accessible by everyone. By focusing on a creative content marketing strategy, you will attract links, likes, shares, referrals, and – most importantly – visitors.