Curating Content for Thought Leadership: How to Build Authority and Influence in your Industry

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Curating Content for Thought Leadership: How to Build Authority and Influence in your Industry

Thought Leadership, combined with content curation, is used to deliver unique opinions and viewpoints by subject matter experts to inform, educate, entertain, and impart wisdom to others.

In a survey conducted in 2022, Thought Leadership was an effective tool used by organizations to provide value to customers during tough times. It was considered more effective compared to traditional advertisement or product marketing and has created a buzz in the industry. If done correctly, the type of content helps build awareness and positions your brand as an industry expert.

If you are planning to incorporate thought leadership with content curation, then you’re not late. In this article, we’ll explain how you can achieve this and stand out using it while connecting with more customers.

What is Thought Leadership?

Thought leadership is the delivery of unique opinions or viewpoints created by subject matter experts to inform, educate, entertain, and impart wisdom to others.

You can argue that thought leadership is all about taking a stand and presenting a strong opinion to challenge the way people think. Some of the arguments may be controversial, and it might entail taking an outspoken stand that is debatable within the industry.

Some will say that thought leadership is being a subject matter expert who will leverage their position to influence a particular niche.

But it is a mixture of both and is basically somebody who is an expert and knows what they are talking about and offers an unbiased opinion in a valuable way. Thought leaders can share both knowledge and perspective on topics of relevance to enhance their reputation in the space.

Benefits of Thought Leadership?

Thought leadership is a great tool, allowing you to stand out from the cluttered market. Below are some benefits that will aid your company’s growth.

  1. Build credibility and authority- An original thought process and opinion help establish your brand in the market. Over time your brand will be more established, creating an authority in the space.
  2. Attract clients and feeds publicity- Unlike lead generation tools, thought leadership doesn’t convert prospects directly. However, it works wonders if you want to build a loyal audience and lure customers making it great for follower growth.
  3. Get backlinks and mentions- Thought leadership is not an SEO strategy.  However, it can easily increase the likelihood of people liking and sharing your content. This would ultimately strengthen your SEO profile.

Drive Thought Leadership Through Content Curation

Content curation is a key parameter for enterprise and business content marketers. It helps select content gathered from reputable sources and share it with your followers. If you’re producing blogs and posts for social media, then content curation can save you time and capital.

Using thought leadership with content curation can help create a monopoly in any niche. We’ll talk below about how developing a solid content curation strategy will optimize your work and drive thought leadership.

1.    Define your target audience

Identifying your target audience is a key parameter to base your content curation on. Ideally, these people should be aligned with the personality of your buyers.  A critical part of thought leadership is to understand who will benefit from hearing what you have to say.

Base your content not only on existing customers but also include potential buyers. You would want to reach a wider audience who will spread awareness, join the community or become brand advocates.

2.     Research Users Preferred Platform and Channels

Identifying your target audience is just the start, but getting your content to them is a whole different ball game. The world of social media has completely revolutionized how people consume content.

Social media statistics offer valuable insight into your audience and help find what they like and dislike. This helps you tailor your content accordingly to suit their needs to boost your ROI and engagement.

For example, if you’re trying to run a referral program and most of your customers or followers are using TikTok, then short-form content is the way forward. However, YouTube or LinkedIn users prefer slightly longer form content.

3.    Social Media to Curate Content

It is no secret; everybody is glued to social media. It is projected that by 2027, over 6 million users will be using different social channels. Curating content is a way to provide extra value to your followers on social channels. Here, you can highlight your thought leadership based on your industry expertise.

Time is money, and constantly researching, sitting through articles and databases is very hectic. RSS feeds offer an easy way to stay updated with every piece of content a site has published.

If a website offers an RSS feed, then you will be notified whenever a post goes up. Thought leadership requires you to stay up to date with the latest trends and implement them in your content whenever required.

4.    Tools for Content Discovery and Curation

Content discovery and curation are two important aspects for a thought leader. These tools are in demand as they provide marketing teams and businesses value to drive sales and conversions. Some of the common tools include:

  1. BuzzSumo- It is a cloud platform used to discover, research, and monitor online content. BuzzSumo allows you to explore trends and real-time statistics for content related to a specific niche.
  1. SocialPilot- It is a great tool for curating content and improving your presence on social media. The platform searches Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media content. Here, you can find popular posts and publish them on your social profiles.
  1. UpContent- UpContent is a platform designed to discover, curate and distribute compelling media to your audience. It analyses millions of new articles, posts, and media to keep you updated with the latest trends.
  1. Feedzy- The platform is an excellent choice if you want the content to be curated on your WordPress website. The RRS aggregator helps automatically collect the latest data from online content to add to your site.

Importance of Quality Content for Thought Leadership

Thought leadership can be communicated effectively using high-quality content on topics that customers really care about. Therefore, it is important to conduct in-depth topic research to put out content that is unique and engaging.

Creating content that resonates is not an easy feat; here are four tips to make it less tedious and enjoyable.

1. Select the right topic- There are various topics and options available to discuss. However, a thought leader will provide topics that offer valuable insights that matter to the audience.

When you are deciding on a topic, you have to ask yourself the following questions

a.  What makes your content unique to appeal to your audience?

b. Why will the audience care about the topic?

c.  Is a topic you are writing a trending issue? How will you add your own touch to it so the content is not repetitive?

2. Take authority- Being authoritative means that you know what you are talking about and are an expert in the space. A thought leader will share fresh insights that stand out for users in a certain industry.

3. Be consistent- Consistency is key to anything. Thought leadership is designed to help people, so content needs to be uploaded or updated consistently to reach more people.

4. Cover and align your business goals- A thought leader knows how to serve the audience while also being aligned with their business goals. It may not result in conversions but it helps you attain key performance metrics.

5. Give satisfaction- Ultimately, content that is valuable offers satisfaction. New knowledge helps replace the confusion, and readers feel fulfilled. Customer satisfaction is essential to help create thought leadership content.

Role of Curation in Thought Leadership

Content curation helps you add the latest insights and snippets to your content. However, it is crucial to add your own commentary or annotation to make your footing firm as a thought leader. This allows you to differentiate from other sources, fair use requirements, and boost the overall SEO offerings.

Content curation is great for promoting thought leadership, but only if you distinguish your offering from other source material. This is very relevant if you are directly excerpting curated content rather than syndicating it outright.

When you are extracting a piece of content, you should add content that is half as long as the original content. Further, you should include brand-appropriate keywords to position your authority as an expert in the space.

There are also other methods of annotation to create original content that builds on curated content. We’ve listed six different approaches below:

  1. Abstract- This is typically for users that are new to curation. Here, you have to just excerpt a portion of the original article. Repost the title, initial sentences of the article, or an image from the extract. This form of annotation can put you at risk of being called out for copyright or plagiarism.
  2. Summary- In a summary, the curator crafts a short summary of the article. It requires more effort, and if done properly, it will look original as there is nothing like it online.
  3. Quoting- A curator in quoting will find interesting blocks of text and wraps their commentary on it. The ranking value of a quoted piece is very high, and so are your chances of establishing yourself as a thought leader.
  4. Retitling- Retitling is simply a user changing the title to make it more attractive to garner more clicks. This approach is effective when sharing on social media or mobile-operated sites.
  5. Storyboarding- Storyboarding allows a curator to weave together multiple pieces of content and craft them into a new narrative. This requires a lot of effort, but it may work as it offers higher value to the reader.
  6. Parallelizing- A thought leader can parallelize content that is unrelated to the topic. The curator can draw connections between both topics and tie his viewpoint to a larger issue.

Selecting the Right Channels for Distribution

You can create the best and most insightful content, but it will be not worth it if no one can find it online. Making the correct strategies around the distribution and promotion of thought leadership content are vital components of the campaign.

Thought Leadership Distribution Recommendations

You can promote your content depending on your business. Established thought leaders already have a network willing to help and promote their thought leadership campaign. 

Small businesses and startups find it slightly difficult to get exposure. If it is the case, then you should consider these tactics. 

  1. Pitch to publications, journalists, and other industry influencers to generate extra attention and interest.
  2. Promote your content on internal and external company channels.
  3. Collaborate with brands that you are not competing with.
  4. Reach out to opinion leaders to get contributions.
  5. Analyze content creators and find what they’re talking about and create content encouraging them to share it.
  6. Add sponsored content to your strategy if you have a budget.

 Measure the Success of Curated Content

As with any campaign, it is important to measure the performance of thought leadership. This will indicate whether you’ve managed to reach your goals. The metrics can be based on organic traffic, social media engagement, backlinks, email subscribers, actual leads/sales, PR mentions, and more.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Curating Content

Some content curation things simply don’t help you in the thought leadership campaign. And the last thing you would want to do is come off as shady and unprofessional. This may land you in legal problems, issues with the Google ranking system and get your site penalized. The most common mistakes are

  • Publishing plagiarised or copyrighted content leads to major problems.
  • Linking to poor quality content.
  • Utilization of the same websites or sources.
  • Posting more or less content
  • Share content from the wrong sources
  • Not engaging with followers
  • Not updating old content
  • Making the content all about you


Thought leadership requires authenticity having deep expertise that strives to challenge the conventional ways of thinking and acting. To communicate thought leadership effectively, you need high-quality content on relevant topics.

Content curation helps makes the process simple and less time-consuming. You can conduct in-depth research to generate engaging and unique content. This lets you create a monopoly and garner more leads and acquire customers.

Being the person to answer people’s questions is extremely valuable. However, assuming that you need to create answers to all your prospect’s questions to become a thought leader is flawed. Your audience is not looking for your answer, but they are looking for the best answer to help them out.

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About the Author

Mark Quadros
Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer that helps brands create and distribute rad content. On a similar note, Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs like HubSpot, CoSchedule, Foundr, etc. Connect with him via LinkedIN or twitter.