Thought leadership content is a term that, while not new, has been popping up quite a bit in the b2b marketing universe as of late. When you think of a thought leader, you probably invasion someone that’s likely been on a TED Talk or some other influential being, such as Seth Godin or maybe Oprah Winfrey – and you’re not wrong. However, when it comes to B2B thought leadership, there is so much more to it than simply identifying someone as an influential being in your brand.
What Exactly is A B2B Thought Leader?
B2B thought leadership content is most easily defined as discussions and free deliverables that your brand produces and shares on a particular topic within your industry/niche. However, what sets these deliverables apart from, say, your standard blog post is that the content is purely educational and does not promote yourself, your brand, and your products/services.
Instead, thought leadership content focuses on the needs of your audience in a much more intimate manner. Not only should this content be hyper-targeted for those in your niche, but it needs to address more than common pain points.
5 Tips for Creating Meaningful B2B Thought Leadership Content
If you think implementing B2B thought leadership content into your digital marketing strategy could be your next big move, then you’ll want to pay attention to these five tips to create meaningful thought leadership content.
1. Identify the Thought Leaders Currently on Your Team
When building your thought leadership strategy, you want to identify a few key players on your team to help represent your company. This is an essential step because consumers prefer to know who they are interacting with, even when they simply engage in reading content.
Including a byline with the name and even a photograph of the content’s author, you add a personalized, human touch to a digital interaction. According to an Edelman-LinkedIn B2B thought leadership impact study, 55% of B2B consumers stated that they use thought leadership content to vet organizations they may decide to work with. So, it’s important that you add this human touch to your work.
2. Know Who Your Audience Is
Once you’ve identified the thought leaders to represent your team, it’s vital you take the time to create detailed audience personas. This will help you better understand who makes up your audience and split them up into more concentrated groups, allowing you to later create content that is hyper-targeted to their specific needs.
3. Conduct Regular Competitor Research
Competitor research is vital to understanding what works and what doesn’t when it comes to thought leadership content. This research will help you identify topics that perform well and any potential gaps that may not be covered. These gaps will allow you to stand apart from your competitors, especially when you use your thought leadership content to present innovative solutions that your competitors haven’t even touched on.
This competitor research needs to be conducted regularly to ensure that you stay ahead of your top competitors.
4. Conduct Regular Market Research
While competitor research helps you stand apart from your competition, so does regular market research. This research should include:
- Current trends
- Current/Upcoming technology
- Current customer behaviors
- What influences your audience
You, of course, will also want to include information regarding competitors and your audience as well. All of this information becomes imperative when you create your B2B thought leadership content because, as a thought leader, you need to be presenting the latest and greatest and backing up all claims with relevant, up-to-date research.
5. Create Content and Make Sure You are Sharing It
Finally, you can start taking all the research you’ve compiled and identify significant trends and topics that your audience will want to engage with. While this content can come in the form of a blog post and/or infographic, you’re better off thinking outside the box.
Remember, your B2B audience is looking for educational content that they can take to their business’s decision-makers to convince them that there is a need for change in workflow, a need for new technology, etc. You’ll want to focus on content such as:
- Educational guides
- Explainer videos
- Guest posts that are shared on other relevant websites in your industry
- Research reports
- Webinars featuring other industry thought leaders
- Whitepapers/eBooks that contain both written copy and visual elements
Once you’ve created the content, it’s time to share it! Remember, you should be posting it wherever your B2B audience is spending their time.
Implement Thought Leadership Marketing into Your Digital Marketing Strategy Today
Thought leadership marketing tactics, such as creating thought leadership content, are an excellent way to stand apart from your competitors. If you’re interested in dipping your toes into thought leadership but not sure where to start, then let the team at CadenceSEO help!
Wondering how our team can help you implement thought leadership marketing into your larger digital marketing strategy? Then contact us today for more information!