Blogging conundrum: Thought leadership vs. educational content

In our Beginner’s Guide to Blogging for Your Business post, we recommend outlining clear, measurable goals for your blog before beginning to write. One of the main reasons we suggest this is to avoid the age-old blogging conundrum: thought leadership vs. educational content. Educational posts are the cornerstone of content marketing and inbound marketing strategy. They boost SEO, help your customers onboard successfully, and provide deep brand value. Thought leadership, however, gives you a chance to expand your brand, encourage new product innovations, and express your unique opinions in a relevant and meaningful forum.

Understanding the difference

To determine which type of blogging content is best for you and your business, carefully consider the differences between thought leadership and educational content.

  • Educational content: Educational content provides practice insight into your industry or product. For example, you may create a “how to” article, discuss what certain industry terms are, or how the market is performing. Typically, this content is highly rated by search engines because it is very relevant for customers searching for answers to their search queries and provides direct insight into your product or brand. Educational blogging keeps your content relevant, bolsters the chances of organic traffic and inbound marketing efforts taking hold, and helps customers with their day-to-day needs.
  • Thought leadership content: Thought leadership, on the other hand, is more editorial and allows you to express opinions or experiment with new ideas. Blogging with thought leadership in mind encourages more freedom and creativity, and may generate more viral, shareable content. In this way, both content types have benefits, but thought leadership focuses less on search metrics and more on engagement or social share ability.

Resource centers and blogging

If you find yourself drawn to both types of content, consider simply segmenting your posts into two buckets. There’s no denying that educational content is extremely beneficial for customers, but the creative writer in us all secretly longs for a platform to share our ideas and innovations. The solution? Resource centers and blogs.

  • Resource centers: Resource centers are a great place to share and store educational content. This allows you to take advantage of all the inbound marketing and SEO benefits of this type of writing, without feeling guilty about filling your blog with straightforward information and FAQ’s. Resource centers can be tagged and indexed across your site for deep organic search benefits and provide a searchable library of product information and facts. 
  • Blogging: Use blogging for your most creative thoughts and posts. Unlike educational content that has a definitive answer, your blog can be as subjective as you want. Blog posts tend to be more viral and shareable, so ensuring your posts are connected to all your social sites is crucial. For lead generation, having highly engaging and unique content is key. There’s no need to get caught up in the dry facts and figures customers expect to find in your homepage search bar and resource center. This is your opportunity to showcase your personality.

Both forms of content are highly valuable in their own rights. It’s up to you to choose the balance that’s best for your business and what your individual content strategy goals are. Depending on your resources and availability to write, you may choose one over the other, or try to do a bit of both. Either way, as long as your content serves your over arches business strategy, you are on target.

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