(If you've decided to add thought leadership marketing in 2022, or if you need to improve your thought leadership program next year, the time to start planning is now. This post describes three steps B2B marketers can take to elevate their thought leadership efforts in 2022.)
It's now abundantly clear that compelling thought leadership content is a vital component of effective marketing for many B2B companies. Numerous studies conducted over the past several years have shown that business buyers are relying more and more on thought leadership content and that it has a substantial impact on purchase decisions.
The latest significant research on this topic is the 2021 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study by Edelman and LinkedIn, which was released last month. This study involved a survey of 3,593 global business executives across a wide range of industries and company sizes. The survey was conducted in June and July of this year and included respondents from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia and India.
The new Edelman/LinkedIn study confirms the importance and value of compelling thought leadership content. For example:
- Fifty-four percent of Decision Makers* and 48% of C-level survey respondents said they spend more than one hour per week reading and reviewing thought leadership content.
- Sixty-three percent of the survey respondents said thought leadership is important in providing proof that a company understands or can solve their business challenges.
- Sixty-five percent of the respondents said they had significantly changed their perception of a company for the better because of a piece of thought leadership content.
There are, however, three notable exceptions to this general rule.
- First, a broad topic may have been already discussed, but specific aspects of the topic may not have been thoroughly covered. These particular aspects can be good subjects for thought leadership content if they are relevant and important to potential customers.
- Second, if a topic has not been addressed for a considerable period of time, it can be appropriate to take a fresh look at that topic.
- And third, if a topic has already been addressed but the existing treatments are flawed or incomplete, that can be an appropriate subject for thought leadership content.
Image courtesy of Erdonzello via Flickr (Public Domain).