Industry Thought Leaders and Content Marketing

This article will tell you how content marketing can make you into an industry thought leader. We’ll discuss what an industry thought leader is and some examples of the best thought leadership. 

How to Become a Thought Leader 

Become a Thought Leader 

There are several strategies you can use to help become a thought leader. One tactic we recommend for your path to thought leadership is content marketing. Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material, like blogs or social media. It does not explicitly promote a brand, but it is intended to increase interest in its products or services. In this case, you are producing content aimed at increasing your brand and expertise in your industry. 

Here is a step-by-step guide from the experts at SEO Design Chicago on how to become a thought leader, including some types of content marketing. 

Choose Your Niche and Become an Expert

The first step to becoming a thought leader is to determine what your niche is within your industry. What are you an expert on already? That is your niche, and how you can brand yourself as a thought leader. If you need to learn more or educate yourself further on that topic, do that before you take any additional steps. If you are already an expert, make sure to keep up with the latest trends by reading new publications, case studies, and blogs. 

Write a Blog

Speaking of blogs, starting a blog on the topic in which you’re an expert is another excellent way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. If you choose to start a blog, it is important to post on a regular basis and engage with your readers. You can post your own writing but also encourage discussions and sharing other content. 

If you don’t have time to regularly update and maintain a blog, another option is guest blogging for other websites. Or, if you need help with writing a blog, a web agency like SEO Design Chicago can help you. 

A blog is one example of a content marketing technique. Content marketing does not explicitly advertise a product or service; instead, it helps establish you as an expert. Which then makes it easier for you to sell products or services. 

Provide Expert Commentary for the Media

The media is always looking for experts to provide commentary on news stories in their industry. You can make yourself to the media by hiring a public relations agency to help you find opportunities. Or, you can network with the media and make connections yourself. Another option is to send out press releases to your local media outlets and make them aware that you’re available. Providing your expertise in interviews, whether for newspapers, radio, or TV, is a great way of establishing yourself as an expert on your chosen topic. 

Offer to Speak at Events

Speaking at events is another great way to demonstrate your expertise to the public and become well-known in your industry. Conferences are one option of events to speak at. You might consider preparing speeches on a few topics that are relevant to your industry and might be interesting for audiences. You will most likely not find opportunities like these unless you pursue them on your own when you are starting out, so go after it! 

Use Social Media to Promote Yourself and Network

Another way to develop your reputation as a thought leader in your industry is through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Social media provides a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise to a wide and captive audience. It also is a great opportunity for you to connect with other people in your industry. You can post your content (for example, your blog posts), share other important content in your industry, and share your commentary. 

Write Expert Content

In addition to blogs, there are other ways to publish expert content on your topic. There are several types of content marketing you can use to establish yourself as a thought leader. For example, you can write an ebook, guides, regular email newsletters, and more. Your target audience will appreciate valuable content that teaches them something, and it will help your reputation, too. 

For help with developing a content marketing strategy to establish yourself as a thought leader, contact SEO Design Chicago today. 

What is an Industry Thought Leader?

Industry Thought leader

Definition of a Thought Leader

An industry thought leader is an informed opinion leader and a go-to person in their field of expertise. Thought leaders are not only trusted sources, but they inspire people with their thoughts, commentary, and innovative ideas. Many thought leaders use their influence to change the world in impactful ways and inspire others to help them and do the same. 

Can Anyone Be An Industry Thought Leader? 

In theory, anyone can be a thought leader. There are no rules for who a thought leader must be, other than an expert in their field who has the desire and work ethic to get there. A thought leader can be any shape, size, age, gender, ethnicity, or come from any different community or any kind of background. 

Becoming a thought leader is much easier if you have already invented a great product or developed a service, program, initiative, or company. Those kinds of things give you a platform and an area of expertise to draw from and talk about. That being said, it is possible to become a thought leader in your area of expertise without having a product or service of your own yet. 

Benefits to Becoming a Thought Leader

If you’re reading this article, you likely already are interested in becoming a thought leader in your chosen field of expertise. Thought leaders not only attract customers for their products, services, and companies, but they influence change. Becoming a thought leader will lead to a new level of professional achievement and personal satisfaction. Thought leadership leads to exposure for your ideas, both inside and outside of your company and industry. 

Examples of the Best Content Marketing for Thought Leadership

Here are examples of some times content marketing was used in an excellent, strategic way to attain thought leadership. 

Best Content Marketing


The company REI utilizes a blog full of expert advice called the “REI Expert Advice Blog” to establish itself as the leading brand for outdoor and sports gear. It is an excellent resource for its clients full of valuable information. The blog serves their customers’ need for helpful content on everything in the indoors. 

MarieTV by Marie Forleo 

Thought leader Marie Forleo created the webseries “MarieTV”, which is promoted as “the place to be to create a business and life for you.” A web series is an excellent example of content marketing. Forleo has created a brand around creating a business and life you love every day. She excels at interacting with her audience, for example, by answering a question from a viewer once a week. 

American Express’s Open Forum

Yes, the credit card company American Express created an open forum (another effective form of content marketing.) It is full of thought leadership content from experts and other business owners. The forum contains tips and tricks to starting and running a business, from small to big, which is valuable content for American Express customers. In addition to establishing American Express as a thought leader, it is also a forum for other thought leaders to establish themselves. 

Examples of the Best Thought Leaders

Here are some examples of the best thought leaders. They can inspire you to create your own content marketing strategy and become a thought leader in your industry. 

Oprah Winfrey

Everyone knows Oprah. The former talk show host and media mogul has done it all – from hosting her own daily show, to running a TV network and having her very own website and magazine. (By the way, these are all examples of content marketing types and strategies.) She speaks at commencements and influences many people. Oprah is one of the most powerful examples of thought leadership in the world today. 

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert who is arguably America’s most prominent thought leader on money and business. Ramsey hosts his own national radio show, has written tons of books, and podcasts, all ways in which he utilizes content marketing. His podcast, which posts new shows almost daily, provides his listeners with valuable advice about how to manage their money. Podcasts are an excellent modern form of content marketing. 

Seth Godin

Commonly called the grandfather of modern day marketing, Seth Godin is an author, speaker, entrepreneur. Godin has published 17 books, and is on the majority of lists of prominent thought leaders. Godin is one of the few marketers who have made it into the Marketing Hall of Fame. Godin became a thought leader by delivering successful content, including speeches, books, and his blog. 

FAQs on Thought Leadership

  • How do you demonstrate thought leadership?
  • Can I become a thought leader?
  • Is it easy to be a thought leader?
  • Who are famous thought leaders?
  • What is the purpose of thought leadership?

Contact SEO Design Chicago today

For help with using content marketing to make you into an industry thought leader, contact SEO Design Chicago today. 

Contact Us Today!

Call Now