Why the time is right for B2B thought leadership content
Thought leadership content has been a buzzword in B2B marketing for a few years. The idea is to create content that informs and educates your audience while positioning your brand as an authority within your industry.
While thought leadership content (TLC) can help you differentiate your brand and influence buyer behaviour, the purpose should not be self-promotion or marketing your offering. Your mission is to help your audience gain greater insights and solve problems.
Becoming a thought leader is a great aspiration, but in practice many B2B brands find it challenging to produce this type of content. For brands who tend to focus on technical, product-related topics, providing a guiding vision may not come naturally at first.
In order to adapt to today’s market, it may be time for your brand to overcome those challenges and invest some time in creating thought leadership content. If you have experimented with thought leadership in the past, now’s the time to build on those learnings and use TLC to support your brand position and your sales goals.
As opportunities to meet face to face grow fewer, your customers are spending even more time online. In the coming months, TLC could be a pillar in your strategy to maintain relevance and customer relationships in these uncertain times.
Luckily, you have access to better and more affordable digital marketing tools than ever before. In the past, tracking ROI from thought leadership could be difficult, but by making TLC part of your inbound digital lead generation strategy, it becomes easier to track the impact your content has on lead creation and sales growth.
Get another opinion with research and market analysis
Anyone who expects to survive in today’s fast-paced business environment needs to make high-impact decisions. That’s why many businesspeople are looking for a beacon of light – a thought leader who offers unique guidance and sound information.
If you want to be that leader, you must stay customer-aligned, otherwise your content may be perceived as irrelevant. To deliver a message that resonates, conducting audience research is essential.
In addition to providing audience insights, original research also lends credibility to your content, encouraging others to cite your work with confidence. Non-partial, external voices can help convince cynical audiences, so third-party experts and analysts can also help add credence to your content.
Turn your customer’s challenges into commercial opportunities.
To help our clients create data-driven content, we work with the market research and consulting firm Lindberg International. By surveying and interviewing decision makers in our clients’ key markets, we can better understand their challenges and help our clients position themselves as problem solvers.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an ever more important part of thought leadership, and marketing in general. Helping your audience comply with stricter regulations or to meet standards such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals will position your brand as both responsible and reliable.
You can see an example in our work with MAN Energy Solutions, who created a thought leadership campaign aimed at helping customers in the marine industry deal with new emissions regulations. We targeted a niche audience with a multi-channel campaign consisting of ads, expert interviews and a thoroughly researched whitepaper. The result was not only increased share of voice, but also a 288% increase in sales of one of the client’s key product lines.
Use thought leadership across the entire sales funnel
By using TLC as part of your communications strategy, you can better align your sales and marketing content with your broader brand promise. Publishing a whitepaper or strategic guide allows you to create a value exchange with your audience in which you trade your hard-gained insight for their time, attention and contact info.
But thought leadership content isn’t only for your top-of-funnel audience – it should be used to nurture your potential customers with consistent and targeted messaging at each contact point with your brand. With a solid foundation under you, you can create a library of high-quality assets and publish them across a variety of channels, from blog posts, newsletters and social media to videos, webinars and online events.
Be the brand people remember
When it comes time to differentiate from your closest competitor, your thought leadership will help you claim a strong market position. If you’re ready to stand out from the crowd, we can help you create a thought leadership content strategy that strengthens your brand and supports your sales and marketing goals with measurable KPIs.
Ready to discuss your thought leadership strategy?
Contact Managing Partner Ralph Krøyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or +45 35 25 01 75.