Ideas—much like people—are known by the company they keep. This past month, I’ve been thinking about reputation management for thought leadership.
- Where will your organization’s ideas (thought leadership) appear?
- What other ideas will appear around it?
- Who will be talking about your ideas?
- Do your ideas appear in “brand safe” or “brand unsafe” environments?
It’s often hard to answer these questions, partly because we don’t have a good tech stack for the thought leadership function. Yet, if we want to crack the TL “metrics” challenge, we’re going to need clear answers to these questions.
The marketing world is having deep discussions about reputation management and advertising, debating where a brand’s advertising should or should not appear – and why. Due to the way digital advertising works, brands can’t always choose the exact sites where their ads are placed.
That’s a warning bell to the proper deployment of thought leadership.
I’ve seen three general ways that thought leadership is deployed:
- Broadcasting — Put ideas into mass-distribution environments, and hope the right people encounter them.
- Narrowcasting — Purposefully place your ideas on platforms and in spaces where your target audiences spend their time.
- Pointcasting — Delivering ideas to specific VIPs with concierge level attention.
The more we lean into broadcasting strategies, the less we rely on outdated ideas of placement and ways to target our best audience. We find vanity metrics (likes, reach, and engagement) deceiving and unreliable. We watch, as our best ideas flail in front of not-so-relevant audiences. But what else can we do?
Narrowcasting remains one of the most viable ways to deploy thought leadership, getting the right ideas in front of the right audience – every time. And pointcasting works for high-value individuals. It’s personalized, and succinct.
So, how will you protect, nurture, and elevate the reputation of your organization’s ideas?