Thought leadership

Thought leadership videos: Standing out as a CEO

Thought leadership videos are an important – but overlooked – part of any executive profiling campaign, argues Isaac Raymond.

In today's fast-paced world of short-form content flooding social media, it's become increasingly tricky to make an impression.

Two million posts, articles, and videos are published on LinkedIn every day. The reality of a post going viral may seem like a far cry for many – with many people thinking that the market is simply oversaturated with thought leadership content.

Yet, amid all this noise, strong, compelling, and well-edited videos can give your content an competitive edge, especially on social media. But how and why?

What is a thought leadership video?

Before we go any further, let’s discuss what an average thought leadership video looks like.

A thought leadership video is a short-form video that packages up the insights and thoughts of an industry leader to be shared with the wider public online.

It helps to diversify the content thought leaders produce and make them appear more engaging to their audiences. 

Isaac Raymond

It particularly allows the leader to adopt a more personal tone, elevate their voice, and appear more genuine to their audiences to position them as experts in their fields and build their brand and that of the organisations they lead.

Usually, thought leadership videos will be no longer than 2 minutes, captioned, tightly edited, and soundtracked with a light melody to maximise engagement.

How thought leadership videos make you stand out

LinkedIn is the second most effective video marketing platform, meaning that posts that include thought leadership videos will strengthen your outreach.

CEOs like Richard Branson continue to be so successful because their LinkedIn accounts do this:

  • They keep their content personal. They focus on topics and interests that they are passionate about and directly link to their work.

  • They understand the importance of high-quality multimedia content to convey their message. Their accounts are full of a mix of engaging photos and videos that elevate their content.

  • They keep their video snippets short. The CEOs who are the most successful on LinkedIn understand video content should be short and snappy. This keeps their audience engaged and returning for more content.

On the other hand, CEOs who fail to use multimedia effectively are often forgotten. 

Controlling your narrative

By regularly creating and posting videos, audiences can build familiarity with executive leaders and CEOs, helping them control their narrative.

Before long, audiences will regularly check in on the leader, seek their views on various industry-related issues, and share their thoughts with their own connections.

Isaac Raymond

By building this relationship with their audiences, boosting outreach, and fostering greater trust, leaders can, more crucially, protect themselves in the face of a crisis that risks damaging their brand and the organisations they lead.

Thought leadership video topics

Speaking about what you know best and are most passionate about speaks volumes to your audience. If you care about your subject matter, your viewers will too.

It is possible to capture thought leadership videos in a studio or on-site. Source: Profile.

This is why keeping your subject matter topical and specific to industry insights personal to you is the best way to engage your audience.

It doesn’t matter whether you specialise in law, finance, politics, or tech, any CEO or executive can create impactful thought leadership videos. You just need to make sure what you say is fresh, timely, and thought-provoking.

Creating thought leadership videos

But simply turning on a camera, sharing some thoughts, and posting them will not automatically transform your online presence. When creating thought leadership videos, it is important to bear in mind these basic principles:

  • Your audience won’t wait around to watch a long-winded thought leadership video that feels unengaging. Instead, 30-90 seconds is the ideal length for LinkedIn.

  • You also need to ensure you edit your thought leadership videos well. Keep cuts dynamic and use eye-catching graphics that enhance your message.

  • But avoid over-editing your thought leadership videos to maintain a professional tone, and steer clear of distracting your audience.

Boosting your credibility

When you get thought leadership videos right, you boost your credibility and visibility among potential investors.

Whether they are browsing your LinkedIn or flicking through your Google News results, they will be looking for someone well-presented and well-informed.

Photos play a large role in that visibility too. For example, nearly all publications will require a high-quality photo for their articles. This will show up and stand out when the article ranks on Google or is shared on social media.

Without a high-quality photo, journalists will often run a story with stock images. This is a missed opportunity for audiences to build familiarity with you each time a piece of content about you goes up online.

Isaac Raymond

Photos can also be used for graphics, particularly when creating thumbnails for thought leadership videos.

Thought leadership video thumbnails

Thought leadership video thumbnails are important. They will show up on any platform a video is posted on and on the Google Videos tab.

This is why it is important to create professional, high-quality thumbnails that fit your branding as a CEO or executive thought leader. Otherwise:

  • Viewers will not be able to grasp what your thought leadership videos are about.

  • Your thought leadership video click-through rate will be poor.

  • Your Google Videos tab will leave a poor first impression of you and your brand.

Final thoughts

Think of it this way: if a potential investor searches your name and is not met with a plethora of clear, positive, and professional content, why would they invest?

It is for this very reason that high-quality thought leadership videos must always be a priority when positioning yourself.

Although creating and posting social-first content can become unnecessarily complicated if overthought, the basic principles of creating thought leadership videos can and should be embraced by anyone.

Always remember to be clear, concise, and engaging. If you talk about what you know best and are passionate about, your audience will always find you.

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