Throughout history, credibility and clout have consistently served as catalysts for amplifying messages, and this dynamic holds true in modern society. Consequently, B2B marketers continue to leverage the power of thought leadership content to build connections and drive leads.
However, standing out amidst digital content overload has become a formidable challenge. With organizations and individuals vying for attention across platforms, the need to differentiate has never been more critical. In this blog, we present strategies to help your content rise above the noise, making it resonate with your target audience and truly stand out in the crowded digital landscape.
How to Create B2B Thought Leadership Content That Stands Out
In the competitive landscape of B2B marketing, thought leadership content has become ubiquitous. As a result, simply producing the same types of assets as everyone else won’t guarantee differentiation. To truly stand out among the rest, it requires a thoughtful approach and creative execution. Explore innovative concepts and adopt unique angles to give your content legs. Here are a few ways to execute on this concept:
Boost credibility with trusted data
Data that is trusted and well-sourced can elevate your information. Adding results or statistics from a recent study or even a survey you distribute will add an extra sense of credibility to the thought leadership content.
Add a personal touch
Consuming a piece of content that is monotone and information-only might not be the most effective approach. Adding a personal touch, such as personal experiences or advice, can go a long way. When a reader can make a personal connection to some portion of your content, your brand becomes more memorable to them, thus increasing brand awareness.
Mix it up and get creative
Producing the same types of content isn’t necessarily bad practice, but it’s always nice to mix it up. While the types of content will be similar, adding a creative or unique touch can help make yours stand out. For example, adding new, bold elements to the design of a video or white paper might make the content more appealing, thus drawing more attention and increasing the number of people that come across it.
How to Present or Repurpose Thought Leadership Content
White papers: Like a research report, white papers are a complete guide to a complex topic or focus area. A white paper should deliver research- and data-backed content to audiences so they can then utilize that information in their organization. Due to their extended length (often longer than blogs or articles), white papers offer actionable tips, best practices, and invaluable strategies. These insights help prospects address a problem and assist sales leaders in overcoming objections.
Videos: Videos have become increasingly popular in the new digital age, so utilizing this component as a thought leader is essential. There are many different avenues to take when creating a video, but it’s important to focus on the content, audience and what you want them to take away from the information you present. Videos can also be more personable if you film them yourself.
Articles: Articles serve as a prevalent form of thought leadership content, allowing the author to become the primary source of crucial data points and extensive research. By showcasing your expertise through these articles, readers naturally associate you with industry knowledge and authority. Learn how articles differentiate from a standard blog post.
Podcasts: Podcasts are becoming utilized more and more by B2B leaders. The great thing about podcasts? It can be almost anything you want it to be! You can host other B2B industry leaders, customers and even team members. Presenting relevant information, whether it be from yourself or the individuals you have on your podcast, will bring listeners back for more because of your trustworthy, impactful information.
How to Generate Leads with B2B Thought Leadership Content
Gate the content resource
There are two approaches to housing content on a website: gated and ungated. Ungated content exists on the site without requiring a user to submit a form to receive the asset. Gated content lives behind a landing page with a form. The form requires the user to enter basic contact information to access the resource. If lead generation is the primary goal, it’s important to gate the content to learn how to reach the potential prospect. There are several ways to customize form fields. Here are a few examples:
- First and last name
- Phone number
- E-mail address
- Job title
- Company name
Distribute to sales team and internal stakeholders
It might surprise you that sales teams are often left out of the loop when a marketing team member creates a new content piece. It’s easy for a marketing team to get caught up in production and external distribution mode and forget to establish a process for internal distribution.
To enable sales teams to perform at the highest level, we recommend introducing a regular form of communication to inform them as new assets are available. One way to do this is to build an email template for an internal sales newsletter. The newsletter should:
- Contain a link to the asset landing page (to share with new prospects)
- Share access to the ungated version of the asset (for follow-up with existing clients)
- Suggest social media captions and graphics to use to promote the new asset on LinkedIn or other social accounts in use for business purposes
- Draft an e-mail template with messaging formulate to streamline outreach
Expand reach with influencer partnerships
Partner with other thought leaders or influencers in your space to expand beyond your inner circle of contacts. There are a few ways to approach this:
- Ask the partner to collaborate on the project: If the partner provides a quote, provides unique data, or is featured in the resource, they will likely help promote and share with their network.
- Conduct backlink outreach: Share thought leadership pieces with other industry content creators or publishers to encourage that they link to the piece on their website in a related blog post or web page. If you need inspiration, check out these outreach templates from HubSpot. The more credible websites that link to the piece, the better the content will perform in search engine rankings.
- Repurpose the content for speaking opportunities: The basis of this new asset can be used to formulate a presentation on the same subject matter. Use this presentation as an opportunity to speak at a conference, partner webinar series, or networking event.
Amplify efforts with digital advertising
Digital advertising methods are a sure-fire way to get new thought leadership content in front of the right audience. Platforms like Google, YouTube, LinkedIn and Meta have lead generation campaign options for this purpose.
To get started:
- Select the platform that best aligns with your target audience and budget
- Define your target audience using the platform’s built-in targeting solutions
- Create your ad creative using the platforms recommendations for optimal performance
- A/B test ad creative to see what resonates best with your audience
- Measure campaign performance
- Optimize your ad creative or targeting settings to improve results
Access our eBook, “B2B Content Marketing Strategies for Successful Lead Gen” to continue learning.
B2B Thought-Leadership Examples
We have successfully guided more than 200 clients in leveraging the potential of thought leadership content for B2B lead generation. In this section, we present curated collection of our notable works, along with inspiring pieces from B2B organization that we admire. These examples vividly demonstrate the impact of this approach to lead generation.
Launch Marketing: B2B Thought Leadership Pieces
External: B2B Thought Leadership Content Resources
Sprout Social: Navigating Social Media Compliance Across Regulated Industries
The GaryVee Content Model: How I Make 300+ Pieces of Content From a Single Keynote
Neil Patel: How Marketers Are Spending Their Money in 2023
SEM Rush: The State of Search 2023
Dive deeper by downloading Actionable Tips for B2B Leaders to Accelerate Marketing in Today’s Market, or request a free marketing consultation. We provide B2B tech marketing services in Austin and beyond.
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