Is Your Thought Leadership Really Thought Leading?

Is Your Thought Leadership Really Thought Leading?

Is Your Thought Leadership Really Thought Leading?. As a B2B marketer, a big part of your role will be producing content designed to engage your clients and prospects, but it is increasingly difficult to achieve cut-through. Thought leadership is marketing content based on ideas that lead. Some 84% of FTSE 350 executives surveyed by Grist believe that strong thought leadership content adds value to their role. Asked why it fails to grab their attention, the C-Suite’s top three complaints were: it’s too generic (cited by 63%) it lacks original insight or ideas (58%) it promotes the firm that produced it, rather than addressing their needs (53%) The audience test Strong original ideas – leading ideas – resonate with clients, prospects, the business and the media. It’s not thought leadership, it’s thought followership. You need to be first to find the ‘white space’: the emerging themes not being discussed elsewhere. The business Your content also needs to be subtly aligned with the expertise you offer. Explore the major, macro-economic issues that affect markets and create headaches for your target audience. Getting this right involves a collaborative planning process, which includes your subject matter experts, client-facing teams, marketing departments and not forgetting your target audience.

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Is Your Thought Leadership Really Thought Leading?

As a B2B marketer, a big part of your role will be producing content designed to engage your clients and prospects, but it is increasingly difficult to achieve cut-through. Our latest blog looks at what makes your content stand out – and what doesn’t.

Thought leadership is a phrase that’s used to cover a multitude of sins, and means different things to different people. So what actually constitutes thought leadership?

Well, the clue’s in the name. Thought leadership is marketing content based on ideas that lead.

Properly executed, thought leadership is the ultimate expression of a B2B firm’s authority. It can cement your reputation as a trusted advisor, by underlining your expertise. It can generate sales leads, and help to close deals.

Executive Business Case for Content Marketing

And the good news is, business leaders want it. Some 84% of FTSE 350 executives surveyed by Grist believe that strong thought leadership content adds value to their role.

Almost as many emphasise its importance in keeping them abreast of important business issues (79%); informing their decision-making (76%); and helping them to take a view on the future (76%).

Encouragingly, two in five leaders will contact the firm behind a piece of thought leadership if they feel it hits the mark.

Leadership means leadership

But the reality is that not much of it manages to hit the mark.

Despite their enthusiasm for thought leadership, these senior executives only read 31% of the material that comes across their desk, assuming it reaches there in the first place. And just 28% of that actually influences their decisions.

So why does the vast majority fall by the wayside?

Asked why it fails to grab their attention, the C-Suite’s top three complaints were:

  • it’s too generic (cited by 63%)
  • it lacks original insight or ideas (58%)
  • it promotes the firm that produced it, rather than addressing their needs (53%)

The audience test

Strong original ideas…

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