What if I told you that 49 percent of your target audience were more likely to pay a premium price for your products and services? Would you be willing to make an investment in your brand program if you knew that 45 percent of business-to-business (B2B) decision makers would award your organization their business if you did this one thing?
That’s exactly what Edelman and LinkedIn found in their 2017 study, “How Thought Leadership Impacts B2B Demand Generation.” While the upside was clear, the downside of a mediocre program—which happens all too often—is loss of respect and business consideration. The lesson for brands: Do it well or don’t do it at all.
What is thought leadership?
For the majority of B2B companies, their value to customers and prospects is their insight on how to solve complex business issues facing their clients. This is where a thought leadership program becomes the brand platform to deliver that unique point of view.
I define thought leadership as a type of content marketing that is focused on ideas and insights, rather than products and services. Straddling the business and marketing strategies, it is also the outcome of a clearly defined, well-planned and flawlessly executed content strategy.
Done well, thought leadership can:
- Demonstrate your brand’s point of view on the issues that matter to your customers and the industry in which your business operates.
- Earn the trust and business of potential buyers by providing timely and relevant insights to address their most pressing business challenges.
A winning brand strategy involves being able to articulate your purpose to inspire a movement and to align all activities to the brand values. A successful thought leadership program resides inside this framework,...
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