5 reasons B2B thought leadership delivers better quality leads

Tweets, Tik Toks, Slacks, IMs, WhatsApps, Insta feeds.

If you are like the vast majority of business people your next twenty four hours will be a blizzard of micro content. Your personal and professional lives will blur into one. The demands for your attention will be unrelenting, thirty seconds here, five seconds there. An assault on your senses. Your challenge? To simply make sense of and order the information coming at you in a way that allows you to make thoughtful, coherent decisions. 

As B2B Marketers and sellers, the temptation is to join the frenzy, amp up the volume of content we fire at our hapless target audiences, Buyer personas and (worst of all) our actual identified leads.

"Surely if we do enough of it some of it will stick, right?"

However there is a multitude of research that suggests this might just be the exact opposite of the right approach.

  • Buying journeys at B2B firms are more complex than ever before.
  • More stakeholders are involved than ever before.
  • Buying decisions are taking longer to make than ever before. 

Your role is not to blast your target audience with the features and functions of your solution, or to twist the arm of your leads to buy. Your role is to listen, understand, help, assist and educate your target audience. To help them buy. To ease their path to a decision. 

Enter stage right: Thought Leadership Content

The 5 reasons thought leadership works:

1) Focusing on specific pain points:

Thought leaders who can provide valuable insights into the specific pain points of their target audience are more likely to attract new leads. The tighter you focus and the deeper your expertise in a niche the better. This demonstrates a genuine understanding the challenges and problems that potential customers face and a real desire to help fix them. All before you attempt to show them how good you are at providing solutions that address those issues. 

Tip: Undertake some qualitative market research inside your target niche. Publish your findings freely. A genuine attempt to understand and share your findings establishes trust and shows your authenticity.

2) The one social media platform that works:

LinkedIn is a powerful channel to distribute your B2B thought leadership. By sharing content and engaging with your audience on this platform, thought leaders can increase their visibility and attract new conversations and connections...via thoughtful, helpful commentary and advice.

It's a much shorter step from here to starting a conversation with a real, new business opportunity.

Of course much of LinkedIn is plagued by terrible content, none worse than the humble brag. "I'm so honoured to have been awarded best salesperson of the year for the third year in a row."  Please don't be that person! Excellent salespeople would actually be finding, publishing and commenting on content that genuinely helps their customers and leads with their daily headaches and challenges. 

3) Collaborating with other influencers:

Partnering with influencers and other thought leaders in your industry can help increase your reach and credibility. This involves sharing each other's content and working together to create new content that appeals to both of your audiences. Increasingly organisations are investing in an ecosystem of solutions, underpinned by a single platform.

Example: g2m partners with HubSpot to provide CRM, marketing, fund raising and service automation for the non profit sector. By pooling our combined experience our thought leadership carries a great deal more weight and (hopefully) induces a sense of confidence with others in the sector.

4) Providing actionable insights:

Thought leaders who can provide actionable insights that their audience can use to improve their business are more likely to attract new leads. This involves going beyond generic advice and providing specific, practical tips and strategies that can be implemented immediately.

Tip: Many buyers struggle to articulate:

  • What the problem they face really is
  • What good looks like when this problem is fixed. 

Good thought leadership sets the broader scene, such as a change in Government regulations or the availability of a new technology but also provides a specific, relevant diagnosis of the challenge faced and the optimum outcome. What changes to a businesses processes, to human or capital resources, might the buyer expect. How long should they expect the ROI to take. What case studies exist of organisations who have successfully been through the journey.  What pitfalls and hurdles should they expect to encounter along the way. 

Thought Leadership done this way triggers buying decisions and helps buyers learn what good looks like, (the two early stages of the buying journey) and lets you move the conversation towards your solution.

5) Utilise multimedia content:

Consider creating a variety of content types such as videos, webinars, and podcasts from the central piece of thought leadership work. This helps reach new leads who prefer consuming information in different formats. This can also help amplify your message across different channels and increase your visibility.

Example: As discussed earlier in this article imagine you have conducted a short piece of qualitative market research for a chosen vertical market. You publish those results in a short PDF on your website, you and your sales team share that content and their insights on LinkedIn, joining into any conversations that ensue. You organise a webinar with a partner to share what you think the research means to that community. 

A thought leadership content strategy is a must for B2B organisations who wish to engage in an authentic trusted dialogue with their target audience. 

If you'd like to discuss how to build a thought leadership strategy for your business, feel free to book some time with me here.




Topics: content marketing b2b lead generation Thought Leadership Marketing