A thought leader is an individual or company who is recognized by potential clients, referrals, intermediaries, and even competitors as the primary authority in their chosen areas of expertise, being the individual or organization associated with that expertise. As an approach to knowledge sharing from the perspective of experienced leaders, thought leadership also provides platforms for transferring best practices, sharing practical knowledge, and sharing hard experiences, success stories and social responsibility. Thoughtful guides can help fill these knowledge gaps with authoritative and expert information that builds trust and credibility – two essential ingredients of a successful B2B brand.
Thought leadership can affect your audience’s understanding of your skills and potential. 65% of buyers say thought leadership content has significantly improved their perception of the company. Thought leadership rules the world of B2B marketing and is quickly becoming a key strategy for building trust, building brand awareness, and educating potential customers throughout the purchase journey. The global crisis has impacted the B2B shopper journey and buying behavior in countless ways, so B2B marketers will need to continue to lead key decision-makers in the early buying journey with thought leadership content.
Your content will guide your customer through the purchase cycle and marketing funnel. Your content will have a greater impact on your audience if it is backed up by solid data and experience. A survey has found that reliable data and experience are the main factors that make content useful to potential technology buyers.
Building a reputation based on trust and authority is hard work and a long-term strategy, but it is critical to success and rewarding long-term and valuable customer relationships. Hence, to become thought leaders, CEOs and other executives must not only lead their companies with precision, efficiency, and a moral compass, but they must also become trusted sources in the wider community in the eyes of the public and those with whom they work.
The best B2B marketers understand two key goals: 1) build a new business and 2) become a thought leader. As others in their industry (and the public sector) point out, businesses can grow organically if the message from influencers causes customers to stop thinking of their products and services as substitutes for the best.
B2B companies are also focusing their marketing spend on developing intelligent content that positions the company and its executives as experts in their field. This form of content is commonly used to raise the name of a thought leader in tandem with their brand. Companies across all industries continue to position their influencers in their B2B digital marketing strategies.
Building a thought leader never ends, and those with a thoughtful approach that prioritizes community needs will have real, turnkey points of engagement with their target markets. In times of economic and market volatility, it is even more important to resonate with your customers, attract supporters, and find new ways to create value. Content that helps your shoppers learn to solve real-world problems can be an anchor not only in times of crisis, but also on an ongoing basis.
In addition to creating detailed content on your site, you can also blog on influential sites in your industry. Find blogs you really like, share their content, and leave thoughtful and engaging comments on their posts. At the very least, you should have a blog that is integrated with your company’s website.
You own the content, and people can easily connect your ideas to your business. LinkedIn is a popular destination for B2B people, and its publishing platform is a great place to publish original content, and sometimes you can republish content from your company blog.
Rich social media can help you reach a large number of people in your target audience. With 69% of B2B industry using social media, the opportunity to share relevant content is obvious. Buyers and B2B marketers turn to social media to gather their resources and find industry influencers there to share. During and post COVID-19, most of the businesses are operating remotely, and reaching out to potential buyers through digital channels is now critical to their success.
This year’s research highlighted a wave of content marketing that is making it increasingly difficult for businesses to connect with potential customers and potential B2B customers. As more and more brands adopt this style of communication and marketing, the perceived impact of strong, low-quality content on the behavior of decision-makers becomes more acute. Human-centered marketing that delivers authentic, thoughtful content that solves pain points will continue to be important, but marketers really need to understand how their audience’s behavior and preferences for content consumption have changed and adapt to those changes. High brand awareness and digital marketing will be part of the strategy, but the combination of branding and a well-crafted thought leadership strategy will make the difference.