News & Insights

Becoming a Thought Leader on LinkedIn: A Guide for Business Executives

By Kevin Duggan

Cartoon characters at a table talking in front of the LinkedIn logo

In today’s digital landscape, thought leadership has become an indispensable element of an integrated communications strategy for business executives, with 83% of B2B buyers stating that thought leadership content helps to build trust with an organization. Thought leadership has become a powerful means to establish credibility, enhance your personal brand, and unlock new business opportunities.

As the leading B2B social networking platform, LinkedIn stands out as a particularly powerful place for executives to demonstrate their expertise and engage with a qualified audience at scale, and has even become the new “cool” place to hang out on social media.

In this post, we will explore how business executives can leverage LinkedIn to become thought leaders by utilizing LinkedIn’s creator mode, creating and sharing valuable content, engaging with their company’s content, and harnessing the potential of LinkedIn’s new thought leader ads.

Utilize LinkedIn’s Creator Mode

LinkedIn’s creator mode is a free, easy-to-use feature available to all users but specifically designed to support content creators and thought leaders. Here’s how you can make the most of it:

  • Enhance Your Profile: Activate creator mode to optimize your LinkedIn profile for content creation. This mode highlights your content, provides visibility for your most relevant hashtags, and allows you to add featured sections to showcase your best work.
  • Unlock Creator Analytics: Creator mode will give you access to more in-depth metrics and analysis of who is engaging with your content. These insights can be leveraged to better tailor your future content to the users who are most likely to take action from it.
  • Engage in Conversations: Creator mode amplifies your visibility and encourages engagement. Be proactive in responding to comments, initiating discussions, and participating in industry-specific conversations. This helps you build a strong community around your thought leadership.

Create & Share Valuable Content

To establish thought leadership on LinkedIn, it’s crucial to share valuable and relevant content, ideally at least once per week. Here are some content ideas that resonate well with your LinkedIn audience:

  • Thought-provoking Articles: Craft well-researched and insightful articles that provide industry analysis, trends, and strategic insights. Share unique perspectives and actionable advice to position yourself as an authority in your field.
  • Engaging Videos: Create short videos that address common challenges, offer practical tips, or share success stories. Video content is highly engaging and helps to establish a personal connection with your audience.
  • Infographics and Visuals: Present complex information in a visually appealing format. Infographics, charts, and slideshows can effectively communicate data-driven insights or summarize key points.
  • Repost With Your Thoughts: Don’t have time to create your own content? No problem. LinkedIn allows you to repost another user’s update and add your own thoughts on top of it. “Repost with your thoughts” is an effective way to share your thoughts on an existing piece of content while still providing additional value to your audience.

Interact With Your Company’s Content

While posting your own content on LinkedIn is important for thought leadership, it’s equally vital to engage with your company’s content. Here’s why:

  • Showcase Company Alignment: By actively interacting with your company’s content, such as articles, updates, and announcements, you demonstrate your alignment with the organization’s mission and values. This fosters a sense of trust and authenticity among your audience.
  • Amplify Brand Messaging: Engaging with your company’s content allows you to amplify and reinforce the key messages and initiatives of your organization. Liking, commenting, and sharing relevant posts can expand the reach of your company’s updates and attract more visibility to your personal brand.
  • Foster Internal Collaboration: LinkedIn is not only a platform for external visibility but also an internal tool to foster collaboration within your organization. By engaging with your colleagues’ posts, sharing insights, and contributing to discussions, you strengthen internal relationships and create a cohesive team environment.
  • Demonstrate Thought Leadership Support: When you engage with your company’s content, especially by providing valuable comments and insights, you position yourself as a supportive thought leader within your organization. This showcases your commitment to driving innovation, sharing knowledge, and contributing to the overall success of your company.
  • Drive Employee Advocacy: Engaging with your company’s content on LinkedIn can inspire and encourage your colleagues to do the same. By setting an example, you can foster a culture of employee advocacy where your team members actively share and engage with the company’s content, amplifying its reach and impact.

Remember to interact genuinely with your company’s content, offering meaningful comments, insights, and sharing valuable perspectives. This not only reinforces your thought leadership within your industry but also strengthens your position as a trusted and valuable member of your organization.

Leverage LinkedIn Thought Leader Ads

LinkedIn’s new thought leader ads format provides a powerful avenue to expand your reach, increase engagement, and solidify your position as a thought leader. Similar to traditional sponsored content ads, which are typically run through a LinkedIn company page, these thought leader ads allow individual users to boost their content to new audiences via an ad account. Best practices for LinkedIn’s thought leader ads include:

  • Promote Engaging Content: Thought leader ads allow you to amplify your most compelling content to a targeted audience. Whether it’s an article, video, or infographic, select content that showcases your expertise and resonates with your desired audience. Craft captivating headlines and compelling visuals to grab attention and entice clicks.
  • Target Specific Audiences: LinkedIn provides a range of targeting options to ensure your thought leader ads reach the right professionals. Define your target audience based on industry, job titles, company size, seniority, and other relevant criteria. This precision targeting increases the likelihood of reaching individuals who are interested in your content and more likely to engage with it.
  • Measure Ad Performance: LinkedIn’s ad analytics allow you to track the performance of your thought leader ads. Monitor key metrics such as impressions, clicks, engagement, and conversions to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns. Continuously optimize your ads based on these insights to achieve better results over time.
  • Test and Optimize Your Ads: Successful thought leader ads are often a result of iterative testing and optimization. Experiment with different ad formats, visuals, headlines, and targeting parameters to identify what resonates best with your audience. Continuously refine and optimize your campaigns based on the data and feedback you receive.

LinkedIn provides a powerful platform for business executives to establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries. By utilizing LinkedIn’s creator mode, consistently sharing valuable content, engaging with your company’s content, and leveraging thought leader ads, executives can build a strong personal brand, enhance their professional reputation, and unlock new business opportunities. Embrace the opportunities LinkedIn offers and seize the chance to become a thought leader who inspires and influences others in your field.

Need help putting these tips into action? Our team would love to help! Contact us to speak to our experts about how you can become a thought leader today.

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