Thought leadership is the key to B2B’s heart
63% of B2B decision-makers believe thought leadership is the best way to gauge the quality of service a supplier can deliver, according to an insightful study from Edelman.
And, thought leadership really does convert into leads. 48% of c-suite execs have awarded business as a direct result of thought leadership from a B2B vendor.
Even those who don’t commit to purchase have a healthy respect for thought leadership:
- 42% have contacted the company directly to find out more about their product or service
- 55% of c-suite execs have provided contact info in return for thought leadership insight
- 82% of business decision-makers say thought leadership has increased their trust in a vendor
- 90% of c-suite execs say good thought leadership has also increased their respect and admiration for vendors
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you’ll know that thought leadership and content marketing are cosy bedfellows.
You can demonstrate thought leadership by speaking at industry events, or by looking to crack the hard nut that is the mainstream media.
But, the best way to communicate thought leadership is to regularly publish a range of insightful content in the form of:
So, how can B2B vendors go about creating thought leadership content? Well, here are some of the tactics you should keep in mind:
- Conduct and communicate new research that provides value for customers and the wider industry
- Talk about recent technological or legislative developments, or trade events that impact your customers
- Get those prediction juices flowing: what will your industry look like in five to ten years’ time?
- Address the hurdles your customers need to vault and go into greater depth than the info already out there
Don’t forget that you have so much thought leadership-worthy insight and expertise within your company right now! It’s just a matter of using content marketing to communicate your unique position to prospective customers – who will reward you in kind!
Location and context matter – a lot!
Deloitte’s ‘Retail, Wholesale, and Distribution Industry Outlook 2017‘ report indicates that customers expect more convenience than ever from retailers.
There’s a host of ways in which you can make things easier for customers: improving website UX, reviewing your delivery timescales, being available 24/7 etc. But, content marketing is now a crucial ingredient too.
Conducting research into products or services, and reading reviews, is now just part-and-parcel of the consumer journey. And, the advent of mobile technology means this research can be done anywhere, from the home to the high street.
Customer mindsets – and the content you need to persuade them to commit to a purchase – will differ, depending on the scenario.
When describing the importance of location and context-specific content in providing this granular appeal, Content Marketing Institute’s Jodi Harris commented:
“This desire for instant gratification with zero friction is driving an increased need for marketers to offer location-based and context-specific content that makes it easier for customers to find, compare, and select the best product for their needs – no matter where or when they decide to shop.”
To achieve this, you’ll need to produce more content that focuses on local trends and customer interests. You should also back it up with location-specific long-tail keywords. You should also think about how to make the step from consideration to purchase as convenient as possible, by integrating purchasing options into blogs and widgets.
Spotted in the news…
One of its most popular features is its ‘Tasty’ range of recipes and videos. To build upon this content, Buzzfeed has teamed up with General Electric to create ‘TastyOneTop’: a Bluetooth-enabled hot plate that syncs with Buzzfeed’s recipes and cooks them to perfection.
Whether you think it’s a great idea, pointless gimmick, or dystopian nightmare, this development demonstrates something new about content marketing. When content is good enough, it can create its own ecosystem. It can also become tangible and end up being a product in its own right.