Thought Leadership Studio Podcast Episodes:

Endless Content Marketing Ideas in Three Stages

Episode Nine: How to Always Have Plenty of Internet Marketing Topic, Copy, and Media Ideas... and do it in a way that is supported by a solid strategic direction.


#contentmarketing, #contentwriting, #innovation, #inspiration, #leadership, #marketingresearch, #marketingstrategy, #marketlistening, #marketresearch, #strategicthoughtleadership, #thoughtleadership, #thoughtleadershipexamples, #thoughtleadershipmarketing

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Problem: We Need Internet Content - but What to Write or Produce?
Solution: A Three Stage Process That Generates a Flow of Topics With Meaning and Power.

The LEO 3-Stage Model of Thought Leadership Provides Endless Content Ideas When Utilized This Way.

LEO Process Summary:
  1. Listen for Insight into audience thinking. Discover opportunities where audience values can be better satisfied with a new model.
  2. Envision new thinking for your audience and organize it into the Building Blocks of Strategic Thought Leadership.
  3. Output this new thinking as persuasive content, informed by the high-impact talking points developed in Stage 2

Stage One: Listening for Insight

Listening for Audience Insight

What Unmet Values are in Your Audience or Market Segment?

What feelings are important to your audience? What is meaningful to them that they are really satisfying by purchasing from you or your client? What other higher values do they have that they may not yet attach to what you sell .... but could if you led them to a new way of thinking about it?

How do they think about what you sell?

What are their mental models? Mental models also go by the moniker "belief systems" or, in NLP, "beliefs". They are statements we act on as if they are true. Since they connect two things, they can always be defined as "if-then" statements. And we want to get them into that structure because, as we'll see further down the process, that gives us the opportunity to apply patterns of influence to generate talking points that fuel content.

Example: Telsa

Tesla's audience has the higher value of ecology or saving the earth. Historically, the values of enjoyment and prestige/status were not connected to electric cars. Before Telsa introduced the Model S, most consumers' mental model was Driving an electric car bring boredom. or It's a sacrifice.

Example: Thaut Strategic Thought Leadership

Many business leaders have the unmet higher value of leadership when it comes to web content because they have the mental model that Filler content is good enough.

Stage Two: Using Inspiration to Envision a Thought Leadership Model

Here is where learning to access the creative states comes in handy. What new mental model will help your audience...
  • ...learn to use your product or service in a new or better way?
  • ...better appreciate the unique benefits of the product or service you are representing?
  • ...elevate its use to a whole new purpose?
  • ...make better buying decisions when choosing within your category?

Example: Telsa

Tesla's audience had the unmet higher value of ecology or saving the earth. Since a prevalent old mental model in their marketplace was If you drive an electric car, you will be bored, the other side of the vector is a new mental model of If you drive our electric car, you will enjoy it and have greater status while you feel good by helping save the earth.

Example: Thaut Strategic Thought Leadership

We can lead many businesspeople to experience more of the higher value of leadership with their web content by bringing them to a better mental model of Only content that leads to new thinking really works.

Make sure you have packaged the Thought Leadership Model properly.

Thought Leadership InspirationIt should include
  1. Identifying one or more higher values your audience holds that you can help them better satisfy with new thinking.
  2. Their old thinking you are leading them away from - their origin mental model defined as an if-then statement.
  3. The new thinking you are leading them to - their destination mental model - also defined as an if-then statement.

Getting the Thought Leadership Path into the above structure allows applying multiple language patterns derived from NLP that beget subconsciously persuasive talking points and provide a powerful back-story to content marketing and PR.

Some of these language patterns I mentioned in the podcast:
  1. A-B outcome prediction: Connecting the old thinking with pain and bad outcomes while connecting the new thinking with pleasure and good outcomes.
  2. Higher Values Outcome Attachment: Using a negative contraction + an important audience value + the new thinking in a sentence.
  3. Metaphor: Translating the Thought Leadership Path to a new context.
  4. Shift the outcome: Changing the purpose- i.e. "It isn't about this, it's about that."
  5. Larger system: Shifting the meaning by taking in more information.

Example: Thaut Strategic Thought Leadership

  1. A-B outcome prediction: If you are satisfied with filler content, then you will be reduced to a commodity and have to lower prices and profits to compete.
    By creating a clear thought leadership position, however, you will bring your business to a leadership position in both market share (which bring higher profits) and in the mind of the marketplace.
  2. Higher Values Outcome Attachment: Doesn't it demonstrate your excellence to also stand out in your content leadership?
  3. Metaphor: If you aren't the lead dog on the sled, your view never changes.
  4. Shift the outcome: It isn't about just filling the text area on a nice design, it's about leading the market to new thinking that sets you and your company apart as the obvious only choice.
  5. Larger system:If you back up and see the bigger picture where your media is part of the system that defines your company, innovation is especially important in the differentiated market education you bring with media - the "quick start instruction book" that teaches how to extract maximum value from whatever it is you sell.

Output Thought Leadership

Stage Three: Using the Persuasion-Engineered Talking Points, Output the Thought Leadership as Content

The usual media and methods of digital marketing apply - SEO, email marketing, content marketing, online PR - and they work so much better when they are infused with a powerful message that comes from building a robust Thought Leadership Model.

As mentioned in the recent blog post on Tesla, Impact comes from having enough frequency of media exposure of your well-constructed message to enough of the right people, with enough "stickiness" and readability. Tesla's viral product means they get organic PR. For most others, that should be supplemented with digital marketing and actively created PR.

In any case, following the 3-stage process of LEO, including generating a library of high-impact talking points using persuasive language patterns, provides plenty of content marketing ideas.

This Method Gives Your Content Marketing Depth Because It Has a Deeper Strategy Behind It.

There are many idea-generating strategies available for coming up with post and content ideas. Most of them are organized simply around getting the click with a catchy headline but have no connection to a deeper strategy that can lead to coherent audience building. This method ties the content with a deeper purpose of positively impacting an audience's mental models and expanding their worlds in a way that highlights the unique benefits you or your organization offers.

So, the LEO method of assembling the building blocks of Strategic Thought Leadership both provides endless content ideas and ties them to a strong, coherent overall strategy. For a deeper dive, click here to register for member-only content (currently free) including the Marketers Guide to Strategic Thought Leadership, also linked to below.

Free Stuff and Offers Mentioned in Podcast


Written by Chris McNeil, Strategic Thought Leadership NLP Coach and Consultant, Founder of Thaut, host of Thought Leadership Studio podcast, and Creator of the Thaut Process of Strategic Thought Leadership.

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