Thought leaders are respected.
People look to leaders for guidance. So as a brand, why not use your company’s respected industry experts to your advantage? According to Forbes, 88 percent of business decision makers indicate their respect for an organization grows after engaging with its thought leadership content. And 83 percent of buyers requested a proposal based on similar content.
Think of a thought leadership blog as a coach’s game plan. Before each game, a coach will present a strategy to the team, one based on a pedigree of success and experience. The players trust the coach not only because of their experience but also because of the respect they have earned. Do you have a successful and respected coach on your team? It’s time to get them blogging and sharing their knowledge within your industry.
Getting personal creates connections with audiences.
Putting a face to your products will improve trust for your business. Oftentimes, customers only see and interact with a product or logo. Why not give them an opportunity to interact with a person behind the brand?
Gilbarco Veeder-Root did just that by positioning their vice president of marketing, Chris Whitley, as the face of their retail and commercial petroleum sector. After only a few timely, well-conceived blogs, he’s already averaging 139 social media interactions on each. Whitley is also seeing increased traffic to his LinkedIn profile, positioning him and Gilbarco Veeder-Root as trusted resources in their space. As an industry veteran, he uses his own experiences and knowledge to connect with audiences. (To see what I mean, go check out his post on dog-poop bags.)
But he’s just one example of this. If you’re curious about what other B2B leaders are doing, please review the thought leadership content generated from Andre Patenaude at Emerson or Dane Parker at General Motors.
Thought leaders create new relationships.
In B2B marketing, relationships are paramount. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers predicted a more personal marketing model in 1993 in their prophetic book, The One to One Future. They wrote, “People buy from people they like. People buy from companies they like. There’s no easy button for this, but it’s not hard. You just need to care enough to want to build relationships.” The right executive turned thought leader can help your organization achieve the B2B relationships needed to humanize your brand.
Social media can be an important part of your organization’s content game plan. Customers for your products are on social media, and a solid content strategy has the potential to score big if you’re creative and provide value. LinkedIn is “the” place for making connections in the professional space and the number one channel for B2B marketers to distribute thought leadership content digitally. According to the latest LinkedIn statistics from Omnicore, there are 675 million LinkedIn users; 90 million of them are senior-level influencers. Additionally, 80 percent of B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn and 94 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing.