The Best Format for Thought Leadership Content in 2023

What is the best format or medium for your thought leadership content in 2023? Is it video, audio, visuals or words?

In this post, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each of these mediums or content formats. Plus, I’ll give you three rules of thumb to help you pick the best one for you right now.

Video

Creating video content is a big opportunity because more people are watching video content and fewer people make it compared to other forms of content.

Of all the people on LinkedIn, only one person in a hundred publishes content on the platform. And only one person in a hundred of these content creators uses video.

This means that only one person in a thousand publishes video content on LinkedIn. That’s an obvious way to stand out and be noticed.

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/ – The Biggest Social Media Opportunity That You Aren’t Leveraging. Stat from Kinsa.

The trade-off here is that it does take longer and more skills to create good video content.

Publishing video on LinkedIn

Audio

The big advantage of audio over video is that you can listen to it while you’re driving your car, doing a workout, walking your dog or almost anything else.

This means you’re more likely to listen to a longer podcast than sit still and watch a shorter video. For me, I’ll watch 10–15 minute videos on YouTube, but I listen to 30-60 minute podcast episodes when I go for my daily walk. How does this compare to you?

Plus, it’s easier to record than video and I don’t have to comb my air for a podcast interview.

The big opportunity for audio or podcasting is to create content that expands your network. Identify the people you’d like to have a conversation with. Then use your podcast as the reason for doing this. Most people will be happy to be interviewed because it gives them a platform to share their ideas.

Who would you like to talk with?

Watch and Listen times for Video versus Audio

Visuals

Visuals include photos, diagrams, or infographics. They’re an important part of your toolkit as a thought leader because they provide a fast way to present your idea.

The big bonus of visuals is that they are a powerful way to create a signature brand. Showcase your signature style through the way you create your visuals and stick to a consistent set of colours.

This has been one of the big advantages for me in my Book Rapper pages, my Weekly Done books and my current book, The Ideas Architect Bible. When people see that style, they think of me!

But making great visuals does take a bit of time to create. The good news is if you don’t have the time or the skills to create consistent good quality visuals, you can pay a designer online to make them for you.

Geoff's Signature Style - Weekly Done pages

Words

How people readWe all know how to write. But some of us do it better than others.

Writing posts is fast and easy. I can write a LinkedIn post from scratch in about 15 minutes.

But because it is fast and easy to write a post, so many people do it and that means your post can easily be lost in the forest of words online.

Even worse, it becomes a default way for people to create content and they delude themselves into thinking it’s making an impact when it’s not.

And have you ever caught yourself saying, ‘I don’t want more things to read’? I know I have. And I bet your potential clients have said that too.

Just because you can write words quickly and easily doesn’t mean you should.

The exception here would be a good-quality report or book because this is such a powerful way to showcase your expertise.

How People Read

An important point to consider when writing in words is to consider how people read. You can no longer expect that people will read every word in your post or article.

According to a Harris Interactive poll of how people read the news in print or online, only 19% of people read every word. More people (25%) – skim read the entire article and the rest (56%) read mostly only the headlines.

How to Choose Your Best Content Format

Which of the four mediums or content formats is best for you?

Each of them has its pros and cons. Each of them can work.

The big question is which one is best for you, right now?

Here are three rules of thumb for deciding on the best content format for your thought leadership in 2023.

1 Show not tell

Show your expertise - writer, designer, speaker, trainer, coach

The big mistake too many people make with their content is that they’re telling people what to do.

Stop telling people how good you are and start showing them.

Choose your best medium or content format by showing people what you do. In some cases, this will be obvious.

  • If you’re a writer or author, then write.
  • If you’re a designer, then show us your designs.
  • For speakers then your content needs to include a video because we must see you speaking.
  • If you’re a trainer, then teach us something.
  • And, if you’re a coach, then the ideal is to see or hear you coaching people.

Nobody is going to say, ‘Let’s book the speaker who writes well.’

Your goal is to create a natural sell – make a natural and obvious connection in the minds of potential clients between how you deliver your value to your clients and the content you create.

What’s the best way to show your expertise?

2 People buy people

Would you work with this person? Geoff poking tongue out
Would you work with this guy

If you’re selling a generic product, then you can put it on a shelf in a supermarket and let people serve themselves.

But thought leaders are not separate from their ideas. When I buy your ideas, I also buy you.

Any potential buyer will ask the question: Would I work with this person?

And the best way to show this is through video because I can see and hear your personality and way of being. To do this you must create at least some video – even if it only appears on your About You page.

The next best option is audio because we can hear your emotions – when you love, how fast you talk, whether you give space for others to speak and so on.

And when you create your videos, don’t hide behind a fancy trailer with all the bells and whistles and avoid over-editing. We want to see an authentic you (including some of your human foibles). Be real in a short video clip.

3 Avoid Fast Food

Fast Food ContentThe big danger for thought leaders is producing fast-food content. This is content that is easy to produce, and easy to consume but provides no nutritional value.

Yes, you want our content to be easy to produce and consume. But you need to balance this with the value it provides. If you don’t, it can harm your reputation and business.

Creating fast food content happens when you churn out content for the sake of producing content. Or pick low values ways to create content (my pet hate here is sharing other people’s quotes all of the time).

Instead of fast-food content, consider producing fewer but higher quality content in the right medium or format for you.

Are you producing fast-food content? Do you have the right balance of speed and ease versus value?

Summary: The best format for Thought Leadership Content

Which is the best content type for you: video, audio, visuals, or words?

The three rules of thumb for picking your best medium or format for thought leadership content in 2023 is the one that:

  • Shows what you do
  • Presents YOU in your best light
  • And naturally sells your services.

If you have any questions about this or want some help to work this out for your situation, add a comment below and I’ll give you my best answer.

And here are three related posts to help you determine your best thought leadership content strategy for 2023:

  1. The Best Place to Publish Thought Leadership Content 2023
  2. Content Creation for Beginners – Five Big Mistakes to Avoid
  3. Content Strategy 2022 – Best framework for Thought Leaders

Which format or medium will you create your thought leadership content in during 2023?

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