The Role of Thought Leadership Content in the B2B Buyer’s Journey

By Tim Asimos

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While many firms are already investing in content marketing, the latest research continues to underscore the importance of strong thought leadership content as a B2B marketing and sales tool.

A recent study by Edelman and LinkedIn revealed that thought leadership content containing valuable insights plays an important role throughout the entire B2B buyer’s journey—from firm awareness to consideration and selection. More than 1,300 C-level executives and decision makers across a wide range of industries were surveyed for the study titled “How Thought Leadership Impacts B2B Demand Generation.” The findings contain many valuable nuggets of insights into how B2B executives value and use content throughout the buyer’s journey.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

Decision makers value thought leadership AND spend considerable time on it

An overwhelming majority (90%) of C-suite executives and decision makers surveyed find thought leadership content important. In fact, half of executives surveyed reported that they spend more than an hour per week on thought leadership, and 20% spend more than 4 hours per week on thought leadership, emphasizing the importance of educational content to business decision makers.

Strong thought leadership content is also great for a brand’s reputation

Not only do executives spend considerable time on thought leadership, they also use it to evaluate firms that are publishing content. 90% of C-Suite executives surveyed agreed that their respect and admiration for an organization increased after engaging with strong thought leadership. And more than 80% said that thought leadership has increased their trust in a vendor organization. As author and keynote speaker Andrew Davis has said, “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”

Thought leadership content drives the middle of the marketing funnel

Despite the fact that only 33% of thought leaders surveyed thought that their content was generating contact from potential clients, the study found that in reality, 55% of C-suite executives had given an organization their contact information in exchange for content. And interestingly, 42% said that they’d actually reached out to an organization as a follow up to strong content.

Thought leadership content provides a window into a firm’s thinking

64% of executives agreed that reading thought leadership is one of the best ways to get a sense of the type and caliber of thinking an organization is likely to deliver. And in the process, 49% agreed that reading thought leadership is also an important way that they vet organizations.

Insightful content can earn new RFP opportunities

Content marketing can also help a firm earn new requests for proposal (RFP) opportunities. 41% of decision makers said that impressive thought leadership content led them to include a firm in an RFP opportunity, with 40% saying that good content directly contributed to their decision to trust a firm they were not previously familiar with.

It can also directly lead to new business and higher fees

When executives were surveyed about the impact of thought leadership on their buying decisions, 48% of C-level executives said that good content directly led them to award business to certain firms over others. And nearly half Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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