At TribalVision, we talk a lot about the concept of thought leadership: what it is, how it works for your business, and how to position yourself and your company as thought leaders. The concept is fairly simple. When you provide great content, free resources, and useful information, you are actively working on your content marketing, and in the process, you’re establishing thought leadership, which ultimately positions you, your staff, and your company as trustworthy experts in your field.
For example, when you produce a high quality, informative white paper and make it freely available on your website, that’s content marketing. You share links to that white paper via social media and e-newsletters, and that broadens your reach. Once people read the content, they gain useful information while forming a positive opinion of your firm for helping them become informed consumers, for properly utilizing social media for information sharing (not blatant self-promotion), and for sharing your knowledge to anyone who’s interested. This all establishes thought leadership, which is essential in today’s content marketing environment.
Today, Google is getting in on the whole concept of establishing and maintaining thought leadership. With the release and steady increase in popularity of their social networking arm, Google+, those thinkers and tinkers at Google have branched out even further into the realm of blurring the lines between social media, personal Internet experience, and content marketing. Introducing “Search, Plus Your World,” which some social media marketers are calling, “Google Social Search” because the official name is a bit of a mouthful and doesn’t mention Google.
The gist of Google’s new search functionality is that, when logged into Google+, users can opt-in to the social search function, which will not only provide the full Google search results one would expect but also provides images, content, and Google+ posts from “circle” members all right there in the results feed. Imagine one of your Google+ connections is searching on Google for information about your industry. Wouldn’t you want your information, your recommendations, your content to be front and center for that searcher? Well, if you’re active on Google+ as part of your content marketing, you will be. And not only does that keep your name in the searcher’s mind, it further establishes and maintains your position as a thought leader and a trusted resource.
With so much potential in this new search functionality from Google, we highly recommend you look over your website and ensure that your social media sharing and following links include a Google+ option. Let your visitors know where to find you, and encourage them to do so.
How are you utilizing Google+? Are your social media followers joining you there? We want to hear from you!