The Return of the Big Read: Think Deep and Grow your Business
Saturday, June 24th, 2017
Why this Edinburgh PR agency encourages you to play the long game
YOU could be forgiven for thinking that to make an impact on your audience in 2017, your content has to be short, snappy, grab you by the lapels and leave you feeling shaken.
Social media channels and their scrolling newsfeeds have fertilised the growth of quick, straight to the point videos and memes. If it’s not instantly interesting, nine times out of 10 you’ll swipe past it.
This is all well and good and it certainly has its place. But it should never be at the cost of carefully considered, detailed, informative prose.
Here at Holyrood HQ we’re big advocates of establishing thought leadership, primarily through opinion type articles written in the first person.
We have always instinctively believed that a business that is both open and articulate – as well as not being afraid of sharing a little of its specialist knowledge – will be seen more positively by prospective clients.
To us, as content creators with an insatiable hunger to consume information this is simply common sense. So thankfully for our own sanity, the evidence overwhelmingly backs this up.
How to reach time-poor business leaders? Big, detailed articles
It may seem counterintuitive that to reach busy c-suite execs your best bet is a detailed, thought leadership article.
A Forbes Insights study from earlier this year surveyed more than 300 CXOs to identify how different marketing content influenced the behaviour of business leaders.
Top of the pile? Feature length articles with 22% of the vote share. Compare this to videos’ 4% and poor old infographics which received a big fat zero – and it is very evident that playing the long game is the way to reach those people capable of green-lighting the big bucks investment in your business.
But perhaps, like us even, more often than not you need to grab the eye of a department manager or director.
If so then don’t divert from this course of action.
Overwhelming evidence states that 72% of businesses are more likely to give you a tendering opportunity should you be seen as a thought leader, or have something interesting to say.
Our top tips for a great thought leadership article:
Hopefully, by now, you are no longer swithering about whether or not to engage in this type of content.
However, simply writing something isn’t by itself going to achieve anything – unless it ticks certain boxes and strikes a chord with your target reader. The below tips may seem blindingly obvious, but keep them front of mind and you’ll not go too far wrong.
– Know your audience. Whether writing for your website or for a contribution to an article, put some thought into the reader – you have to keep their attention. Avoid the pitfall of getting lost in your own industry terms – not even those within the sector will thank you for it.
– Say something interesting. This may seem obvious, but try to offer real advice that could either help somebody in a certain situation, or provide them with a kernel of information they can then take with them to further their own knowledge (and success at dinner parties).
A short to the point intro is essential – and it should read quickly too, ensuring your reader gets to the meat of the article.
– Back up your statements with evidence, both anecdotal and empirical. Make sure what you say stacks up and doesn’t just leave you sounding like a tinfoil-hat-donning conspiracy theorist berating a brick wall.
– Share it! Whether looking to drive traffic on your website, or to highlight to certain circles within your Linkedin network, make sure you put the article in front of them. Be that little bit shameless, get it on your e-newsletter and send it direct to contacts too.
Thought Leadership in Action
We’ve worked closely with our contacts at Scotland’s oldest newspaper, The Scotsman, for its current Scotsman 200 series, securing a place in the chosen 200 contributors (marking the paper’s 200th anniversary), with them each securing five contributions over the course of the year.
These take the form of approximately 500 word articles of non-commercial but bona fide thought leadership articles, with individuals at each of the below organisations given an opportunity to provide insights on an area of their own expertise.
Click on the links below to see articles from each client represented:
Looking to establish yourself as a thought leader but feel you need guidance from our Edinburgh PR agency?
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of multi-award winning communicators, who have been passionate about the big reads (long before Forbes confirmed them as fashionable).
Get in touch, either by using the form below – or if you’d rather – give us a call on 0131 561 2244.
Chris Fairbairn is an Account Director with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood Partnership. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.View Chris's Profile
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