Rule #2 for Getting Thought Leadership Content – Make it Fast

This is the second post in my series of how to get thought leaders to generate compelling and differentiated content…

Traditional Thought Leadership formats are Intimidating and Time Consuming

Two of the more popular original content instruments of the past decade are the white paper and the webcast.  However, these instruments are decreasing in popularity due to the time commitment required by both the creator and the audience.  Writing a white paper is an intimidating process for most SMEs as the process can take the equivalent of 3-5 days even for the strongest writers.  Webcasts can seem overwhelming too.  Creating the slides and ideas for a webcast requires a few days worth of effort as well.  White papers and webcasts are challenging for end-users too.  Most end-users tasked with making purchasing recommendations are overwhelmed with marketing collateral from technology vendors.  As a result, they are seeking something concise, but complete to use as the basis for evaluation.  2 to 4 pages is the ideal length.

Less is More

The good news is that since both the content creators and the target audience are starved for time, marketing departments can create shorter instruments that satisfy both groups. 

  • Podcasts – One of the best formats I have found for creating a high volume of compelling content with minimal effort is the interview-style podcast.  Ideally the podcast recording only consists of 2-3 questions with a total duration of 5-7 minutes.  A short podcast should only require 20 minutes of preparation by the subject matter expert to think through the topic.  And it will be much easier to for the audience to listen to.
  • Blog Posts – Corporate blog posts are an excellent vehicle for documenting original content ideas with a low time commitment.  Ideally, a blog post is ¾ pages in length.  Even longer blogs which might be 2 pages are relatively short compared to a white paper.  Encouraging opinion leaders to write shorter, more frequent bursts of content on a blog not only reduces the intimidation factor for the author, but also reduces read time for the end-user.

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