Crafting Thought Leadership Articles (Part One of Three)

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Do you consider your company a thought leader? Over the last couple of years, there’s been so much written about thought leadership – from the US mainstream business media to digital marketing specialist sites – that it’s enough to make an operator’s head spin like a Vegas slot.

The miles of digital column inches devoted to the subject are online for a reason. Thought leadership is an incredibly powerful marketing tool – if, that is, operators’ approach is sophisticated enough.  To become a true thought leader, you need to go beyond the old content marketing stalwart that is the company blog. You need to craft subtle, insightful articles for the B2B and B2C iGaming media.

In the first of a three-part series on thought leadership articles, we show you how to prepare your pieces. In part two we’ll look at writing your articles, while the final post will discuss editing and sharing

The Blueprint: Think Before You Write

Writing editorials is how you’ll establish your company as a thought leader, but the actual writing should be one of the final steps in the process. First comes careful preparation.

  • Begin by brainstorming internally about the insights you’d like to share. The article’s theme should relate to your brands, even though you won’t be directly promoting them. If you’re about to launch a new poker app, maybe it’s time to share your expertise on mobile’s impact on the poker vertical.
  • Once you’ve worked out the theme, you should clearly define the article’s objective. While the broad subtext of the piece is to establish you as a thought leader in your vertical, you need to establish a very specific objective. If you’re planning to write about the convergence between social gaming and real-money gaming, your goal could be to develop new industry partnerships for your social brands.
  • If, however, your target audience is players, you need to research leading B2C outlets such as CardPlayer, Pokerfuse and others to develop your media database.
  • Next, pitch your article idea via email to the group of B2B or B2C media outlets you’re targeting.
  • Once a publication has approved your theme, you need to carry out extensive research. Your insights in the article should be supported by your own internal data (on players, affiliates, etc.), but to create an in-depth piece, you need to include facts and figures from external sources.
  • Based on your research, you can then draft your article outline. This is made up of 10 to 12 bullet points outlining the structure of your article.
  • The first couple of bullets should be devoted to your lead, the opening paragraphs that establish the piece’s focus and hook the reader’s attention.
  • The bulk of your outline’s bullets should describe the main body text of the article, while the final bullet should be your conclusion, where you summarise but also look beyond your theme to other areas of discussion.
  • Most publications require the submission of the outline to ensure that everyone’s on the same proverbial page when it comes to the finished editorial.

Once your outline has been approved, then the real fun starts – the writing! In our next post we’ll look at the fine art of putting fingers to keyboard to sculpt a content masterpiece. Until then, share your thoughts on developing a thought leadership article in the comments section below or email us them.