Engineering Copywriter Blog

Content marketing tips and insights to help grow your engineering audience

March 22, 2021

What Exactly is Thought Leadership and How Can it Benefit your Engineering Firm?

If you have heard of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates, then you have been influenced by thought leaders in the engineering industry whether you realize it or not. Thought leadership is an effective approach made by public relations and marketing teams to boost a company’s image and authority within their field of expertise. But thought leadership is more than just fame and popularity. It is also a key element of many content marketing strategies.

What is thought leadership?

Thought leadership is often defined as the work of an individual or a company that is recognized for their authority within a specialized field and is sought out for their expertise. They are industry leaders (thus the name ‘thought leaders’) who build relationships and gain trust. Thought leaders contribute to their niche-specific industry conversations through the regular publication of educational and entertaining content from a first-person viewpoint.

Over the years, the term ‘thought leadership’ has received some backlash because of oversaturation and overuse by PR and marketing firms who sought to capitalize on it. But whatever the perception of the term itself, the concept can still benefit your engineering firm in the long run. After all, engineers rely more on the opinion of proven tech experts than outsiders.

Benefits of being a thought leader in the engineering industry

Benefits of being a thought leader Thought leadership in engineering can be used extensively to highlight a company’s accomplishments and services as well as increase brand awareness. To gain some insight on what it means to be a thought leader, let’s look at what such a status can do for your engineering firm:

1. Differentiate your company from the competition.

Getting ahead of the competition is tough, especially if they happen to provide the same products, services, and expertise as you. If you can establish your engineering firm as a thought leader, you’ll open up new opportunities and attract valuable new clients within the market. This can afford you the chance to provide unique services to other clients that are not usually offered by your competition.

2. Improve services and products through innovation.

Thought leadership can become a culture wherein employees are driven to do more and be more. This sort of forward-thinking attitude from an entire engineering firm can lead to unanticipated improvement and innovation on current services and products. Furthermore, it tends to make management more willing to invest in research and innovation to further increase the value of the services on offer.

3. Increase sales.

Engineering firms with thought leadership programs are often on top of people’s minds when the need for a certain product or service arises. Thought leaders can also promote the work of the other departments in their company. Aside from various work opportunities, thought leaders are also frequently invited to join in competitions and bidding opportunities and receive requests for proposals (RFP).

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4. Increase profits.

Thought leadership can increase profitability by creating higher-than-average margins and encouraging efficiency and work quality within the company. Engineering firms become confident in pricing their services and products because of an increase in their expertise value. Similarly, it nurtures a deep and lasting relationship with customers and positions your company as a trusted partner.

5. Reinforce your brand.

As a thought leader, your business gains a unique selling proposition that makes you stand out from the competition. This will make your customers view you as a visionary and an expert to whom they can turn to for advice and guidance. Aside from that, there can also be an attendant increase in employee morale because employees will feel that working for you is professionally rewarding.

6. Increase influence.

Thought leaders are recognized as experts in their field and their ideas and opinions carry greater weight. As an engineering firm with thought-leadership status, you have greater influence within the industry. You can introduce new concepts and new technology to the market that your competitors either haven’t thought of or would have more trouble marketing.

7. Increase company value and growth.

Being a thought leader helps increase your value as a brand. This is good leverage for owners and investors who want to branch out to additional profit-gaining endeavors. Investors will feel more confident in a thought leader, and so will be more willing to invest in the company.

Who can be thought leaders?

Thought leaders are often identified as subject matter experts (SMEs) who are passionate about the chosen subject matter and who are committed to doing the work required to innovate within their field. They may be a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or another senior member of a company’s management. Thought leaders do not necessarily have to be individuals, however, the term can also apply to a whole company with the passion to share their knowledge. As an organization that is aiming for this status, your content output will matter more than ever.

Why do you need to incorporate thought leadership into your content?

Incorporate thought leadership into your content Thought leadership benefits companies in technical fields more than others because engineering readers are hard-wired to seek out expertise and innovation. This gives a thought leader added opportunities to convert readers into customers. Engineering firms can succeed in these conversions by providing high-quality content that engages engineers and gives insights into their team’s expertise on the subject at hand. They can also discuss solutions within the context of their product’s capabilities.

Thought leadership marketing campaigns require excellent content marketing strategies to gain traction. These campaigns are often especially necessary for engineering firms who are just starting. By optimizing your content, you are assured that organic traffic is coming into your site.

Thought leadership content often requires a considerable time and effort to put together. More often, CEOs and SMEs are hard-pressed to create this content for your website. To gain a foothold, some engineering firms turn to experienced outside organizations to help in building this type of content. Aside from conducting interviews, these experts can craft and publish optimized content for their products and help position the company as an industry leader.

Becoming a thought leader in your industry is a strategic choice that not all companies invest in. It requires not only a technical expert but a team who consistently and diligently work on it. If you need help with developing content for your thought leadership campaign, drop us a line!

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