The challenges of creating great thought leadership

The challenges of creating great thought leadership

In 2020’s dystopia of fake news, confused political stances and a world of work turned upside down, voices of reason are needed more than ever.

In marketing, a brand that can deliver credible, balanced and nuanced content will cut through the noise. Audiences are seeking businesses to help them navigate this new terrain, and those that succeed will gain trust and loyalty – well beyond the current climate.

Demand for thought leadership content from our clients has been on the up in the last few years, with a noticeable increase in readership. Increasingly, it’s becoming a crucial port of call for those in market. Half of decision-makers spend an hour or more a week reading thought leadership content from other companies, with 55% saying they use it as a way to vet organisations, according to the Edelman-LinkedIn 2020 B2B Thought Leadership Impact study. 

Why then do only 15% of marketers think their thought leadership is good quality? It’s no easy feat to bring a fresh new perspective to a hot topic, or to change the conversation entirely. Here’s my perspective, as an Earnest content writer, on what it takes to get people talking.

How do you create thought leadership that is genuinely useful? 

Great thought leadership should help shine a light on a new way forward. It might be the road less travelled – provocative and exciting – or a straight and narrow strategy that gives guidance in uncertain times. Informed by industry experts and Earnest Insight, we create great thought leadership to help customers see the path ahead. 

How do you create thought leadership that gets attention?

Great thought leadership should cut through the noise to attract those who need to hear it most. Sometimes this calls for innovative experiments. With Earnest Labs, we create great thought leadership that amplifies the message.

How do you create thought leadership that has real reach? 

Great thought leadership knows where it’s going. With a clear role to play in the buying cycle, it has the flexibility and shareability to make the most of different channels. With Earnest’s Strategy team, we create great thought leadership with a solid trajectory to success. 

Take our most recent award-winning piece of work, for example: the Frictionless Future Campaign for Mastercard. This thought leadership campaign achieved a global reach of more than 767,000 people and almost 7,300 content downloads. At the heart of this project were a series of narrated short stories that illustrated how science fiction is becoming a reality with Mastercard. We chose a format that was sure to stand out in the world of B2B, and engaged readers by turning an abstract concept into real-world scenarios. 

It may sound a bit Black Mirror, but that’s what is at the heart of great thought leadership – empathetic content that creates an excited response from the audience, all while bringing to the surface a topic that doesn’t just reflect the world we live in, but expands it.

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[Header photo: Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash]

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Rebecca Ley

Content Writer

I'm a Content Writer at Earnest. I only use the good words. When I'm not making stuff up at work, I like making stuff up at home and writing fiction.