“Lead, follow, or get out of the way!”

This statement is used in one form or another in a number of different contexts – from motivational speeches to action movies. While it may seem a bit cliché, it is repeated so often because it is applicable to so many situations, including business. Particularly online business.

Web users and search engines expect content from your website. This is true no matter what business you are in. And the kind of content you produce will help determine where you stand in the lineup of leaders, followers and those that sit on the sidelines. You want to be a leader. Not just because it feels good, but because it generates more business.

What is a content leader?

Becoming a content leader means producing content that causes you to be considered an authority in your field or area of expertise, in relation to your business. This means that you educate potential customers or clients on the benefits, uses and proper application of your offering. Your content creation will help them solve their problem, so that they think of you first when they need help.

The more you can educate your audience in a unique and compelling way, the more you stand out in their minds as a leader in your industry. You help them solve complex problems through your own unique content creation, showing them a better way.

Advantages of content leadership

Content leadership offers you the opportunity to educate your visitors which induces advantages for your business, including:

Increased brand awareness

The purpose of advertisements is to let people know you are there. But ads are often ignored for this very reason. It takes a really funny ad, or a really annoying one, to make people pay attention. There is a better way to increase brand awareness.

Content leadership causes potential customers to seek you out, instead of you having to go after them. If you are a plumbing company, you will struggle to make your ad stand out among all of the other ads for plumbers. However, if you become a go-to resource for information on plumbing problems, then your audience will often come to you. In turn they may even tell their friends about that great insightful article they read on unclogging the sink.

This desire for your content, and possibly regular readership, can cause your brand to reach a substantial number of people organically.

Reaching audiences across multiple platforms

When your content creation is great, you can leverage it in a number of ways. Compelling content can be shared across a wide range of platforms, including email campaigns, social media websites and various sales processes.

This can greatly expand the diversity of your audience. Some people will come to your website from search engine results. But others will come from seeing your content on a social media website like Facebook or Twitter. Others will come from an email campaign, while still more will come from more traditional marketing channels like ads and sales brochures.

Improving your website’s SEO

One of the primary goals of search engines like Google and Bing is to direct people to the best available answers to their queries. This is why the search engine algorithms are being constantly updated, to generate search results that have real, useful content – as opposed to spam.

The more useful, quality content your website offers, the better it looks to these search engines. This means your website will show up higher on search results, and will be more likely to receive visitors as a result. There are countless websites out there selling products that are probably similar to yours, but far fewer that focus on unique, insightful content creation.

Solving complex problems

One of the keys to content leadership is solving complex problems. NVidia, a graphics card manufacturer, is an excellent example of this type of leadership. NVidia produces optimization guides to help people build their own computers. It does not push its products on customers, but instead offers them solutions only it can offer. Users of the guides tend to buy NVidia products as a result.

Enhance your content marketing efforts

The concept of content creation is not new, but the goal of becoming a content leader is certainly unique. Thought leadership gives you an edge over your competition. Your content can make you an industry-recognized leader, and the default source for information on your particular industry. This requires a little more work upfront, including developing unique ideas and packaging those ideas into something an audience can use, but the extra effort delivers significant long-term dividends.

A New Way Of Doing Things

To stand out to modern consumers, you have to be a leader in your industry. Excellent content is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal. This will instill confidence in potential clients, ensuring them that you are a reliable source for their needs.