People consider thought leaders as industry experts with great insights and valuable opinions.
Thought leadership has emerged as a term marketers use to refer to the content shared by these experts. It elevates the brand and the credibility of the thought leader.
A 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study surveyed around 1,200 US business decision makers, content creators and salespeople.
They wanted to see how each group value thought leaders for their business or the businesses they buy from.
While marketers often discuss about thought leadership, content creators see little value in it.
The study’s results show a major gap in understanding.
Brands are unaware of the golden opportunity thought leaders bring to their business.
Consumption of thought leadership content has grown from 50 percent to 58 percent year-on-year. And 55 percent of decision makers say they consider thought leadership as a way to assess businesses.
Decision makers work with new businesses not only for great content. They will also stop considering businesses if thought leadership is weak.
With more companies taking thought leadership as a key factor for investments, sales and marketing teams must awaken and see its value, and make it a priority.
Having high-ranking executives consume your content and share information with you voluntarily is a huge win.
You have won over their respect and added some prized new leads.
Unfortunately, only 39 percent of content creators see the value their work brings to the business.
Thought leadership matters at each sales stage. And it must have a role in planning for the top and bottom of the funnel sales and marketing campaigns.
If 58 percent of decision makers say they pick a business for their thought leaders, it is likely that your sales team has a strong top funnel.
But, they will lose the support of a decision maker while researching on the brand.
A big gap between what decision makers are saying and what sellers think is true exists.
Around 61 percent of decision makers are willing to pay more for a product or service based on thought leadership. Around 14 percent of sellers think thought leadership allows them to charge higher prices than the competition.
“Marketers who treat thought leadership solely as a means of driving awareness are likely to worry less about how fulfilled an audience is when reading content – and be more concerned that they notice it and engage with it in the first place. Our research proves that this is a costly mistake,” says LinkedIn’s Tom Pepper.
Consider carefully what you want to believe.
High-ranking executives care much about business image. And they want proof of intelligence and integrity before closing a deal.
More numbers in this study prove how important thought leaders are in today’s business.
Check out the rest here.