When it comes to creating thought leadership content in the B2B space, it’s all about quality over quantity.
That’s not just an opinion. Thanks to the 2021 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study from Edelman and LinkedIn it’s backed up by cold hard statistics.
For example, 71% of global business decision-makers reported that less than half of the thought leadership they consume gives them valuable insights. At the same time, 83% of a typical B2B purchasing decision happens before the buyer directly engages with a provider, so it’s never been more important to produce engaging content that converts.
To help you shape your marketing strategy with insightful thought leadership content that adds value, we’ve read the study from cover to cover and summarised the key findings below.
Why is thought leadership important?
Good thought leadership content can significantly influence how B2B buyers perceive, trust, and interact with a brand in the following ways:
- 65% said it positively changes their perception of a brand
- 64% said it was more trustworthy than marketing materials
- 60% said it builds brand credibility when entering a new category
- 47% said it led to them purchasing from a company not considered to be a market leader
Too much information
With more companies moving their marketing efforts online due to the pandemic, there was an inevitable rise in the amount of B2B content in the marketplace.
Yet the quality was not matched by quality – four in 10 final decision-makers said that there was more thought leadership content that they could manage and 55% said they quickly move on if the content doesn’t pique their interest within the first minute.
So, what can be done to ensure your content rises to the top?
The thought leadership sweet spot
The best performing thought leadership content was a mixture of authoritative, provocative, human, and fun.
47% felt it wasn’t created with them in mind, highlighting the importance of creating content that directly addresses your audience’s needs.
81% of decision-makers welcomed thought leadership that offered ideas that challenged their assumptions, in a less formal tone of voice (64%), and that strongly featured the author’s POV (67%).
One of the biggest turn-offs was content that was overly salesy (46%), swiftly followed by unoriginal thinking (40%)
One size doesn’t fit all
The study highlights the importance of ensuring that content is tailored to the target audience. No less than 58% of respondents said they wanted content that offered insights that help them better perform their day job.
At the same time, never lose sight of your own strategic business objectives, such as building brand awareness or earning trust in a new category.
This, coupled with authoritative and provocative subject matter in a fun and approachable tone, will help your thought leadership stand out to B2B decision-makers.
Want to discuss your thought leadership content marketing strategy? Book your free consultation here.