B2B businesses and their leadership teams have understood the value of a thought leadership strategy for some time now. Tech companies operating in the growing Build to Rent / Multifamily sector are actively looking to establish themselves as ‘thought leaders’ or the ‘go-to’ organisations for commentary and opinion-forming within their real estate category.
To be a clear specialist and leader in your company’s segment of proptech is a core goal of any definitive B2B PR strategy. Having a strong thought leadership plan in place is an excellent way of developing the company’s public-facing expertise and crucially, gaining a competitive edge.
According to The Economist Groups’ ‘Thought Leadership Disrupted’ report, marketers see thought leadership as a flexible strategy that can help with a range of goals including differentiation, recognition for company or individuals, building brand awareness, increasing revenue, paving the way for a change of direction or entry into a new market or supporting a policy agenda.
Thought leadership is all about having the answers to the fundamental questions that are of concern to your buyers as well as having the ability to include your own unique perspective on topics that are currently relevant in the Build to Rent / Multifamily industry.
Also according to The Economist Group, after consuming compelling thought leadership, seven in ten executives will consume more from that same source; 76% are influenced in their purchasing decisions, 67% would be willing to advocate for that brand and 83% are influenced in the choice of a potential business partner.
In order to develop a winning thought leadership strategy, there are five key elements that work together to help create and maintain momentum and ensure that what you are producing and delivering is innovative, big picture, credible and transformative:
Creating consistent, compelling and first-rate content
A thought leader positioning is not created in a vacuum. It requires context as well as having a solid body of evidence to show ‘proof’ of your expertise. This body of evidence is best proven through creating enticing, interesting and thought-provoking content.
This content can be in the form of LinkedIn articles, blog posts, research papers, white papers or vlogs. The key here is that it is quality and well executed.
Using media relations as a tool for showcasing your ideas and insight is also vital. Having opinion editorials and by-lined articles featured in trade and business media is an important vehicle for transporting your insight beyond your own networks.
Speaking with authority at conferences
Experts within a field of knowledge who are happy to share that knowledge with their peers make great speakers. Why? Because they add value to the pool of understanding, as well as move on understanding and help to improve ‘best practice’. Any significant thought leadership strategy also needs to include a robust speaking schedule.
A thought leader who can also speak beyond their niche subject and discuss ‘higher level’ issues, challenges, trends, legislation and other topics within a larger travel and tourism context, is usually in demand.
There are now plenty of opportunities to provide your unique insight by speaking at the growing number of conferences and events servicing the real estate and proptech industries.
Providing insight and expert opinion to the press
It takes time and consistency to build relationships with the media and for them to trust you as a ‘go-to’ authority on your subject or a theme within the industry. However, once that trust has been built, journalists tend to be loyal to the sources they use for opinion and commentary around topics that are of interest to their audiences.
By working with a PR agency and participating in press interviews and regularly briefing journalists on relevant company announcements is a great way of building rapport. Once an interview has been secured, ensure that you provide helpful, insightful commentary and are really easy (and pleasant) to work with.
Using social media to engage your audience
Opinion formers, policymakers, the media, investors, customers and other stakeholders all use social media to obtain information, make connections, refine their views and to make comments.
Make sure that consistent social media use, especially Twitter and LinkedIn, plays a strategic role in your thought leadership development.
Entering industry awards
Sponsoring, entering, winning and even being short-listed for relevant industry awards can also add credibility and authority to your thought leadership position.
Some of the challenges to developing a thought leadership strategy include ‘owning your voice’ in a competitive environment. It’s not easy to ensure that your opinion is heard over and above the general noise. However, if you have genuine expertise and are authentic and passionate in what you say and do, then given time and consistency, a well planned and executed thought leadership strategy can really pay off.
About Abode PR
Abode PR, is an award-winning B2B public relations consultancy and agency focused on raising the profile of transformative technology solutions operating within the global short-term rental, hotel and real estate ecosystems. The agency sits at the heart of the developing intersection between work, life and play in the property and hospitality markets and partners with technology solutions playing a lead role in this transformation.