Only 17% of Thought Leadership is Excellent. Here’s How to Improve Yours.

Only 17% of thought leadership content is considered excellent, according to the 2020 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, which surveyed 1,164 U.S. business executives. That equals wasted time, money and resources as well as other missed opportunities. Survey respondents have an appetite for quality thought leadership, as evidenced by the fact that:

  • 53% spend 1 hour or more per week reading thought leadership.
  • 88% believe thought leadership can enhance an organization’s perception.
  • 59% find thought leadership more trustworthy for assessing a business’ capabilities than marketing materials.
  • 48% say thought leadership can influence their purchase decisions.

Content marketers can capitalize on this interest, but they must be intentional about producing content that is high-quality. Here are 3 things you can do to achieve excellent thought leadership content:

1. Deliver new perspectives and valuable insights in your content.

Decision-makers are looking for more valuable insights in what they read. Survey respondents report that they want to consume content that opens their eyes to challenges and opportunities they may have overlooked as well as guidance on how to respond to the issues presented. A pet peeve noted by participants was content that favors making a sale over imparting value. Don’t cross-contaminate your sales collateral with your content marketing.

2. Master effective distribution.

Nearly half of those surveyed said that they discover thought leadership by researching a specific topic or come across it organically. Only 32% received the content directly from someone else, and 19% found content through promotion on paid channels. This suggests that optimizing your content for search is not just smart, but necessary.

Check out our blog on writing to boost your search rankings to get started.

3. Be timely and brief.

Survey respondents reported that they want to consume content that is relevant to the challenges they are facing today. Understanding what your audience wants is essential to timely thought leadership. Many decision-makers are also short on time and appreciate content that pulls out key findings in short, easy-to-consume bites.

Learn how to discover what your audience wants on our podcast. Listen now.