14 Examples of Great Thought Leadership Content

16 Mar 2021

14 EXAMPLES OF GREAT THOUGHT LEADERSHIP CONTENT

Thought Leaders

We all know of and admire thought leaders. We can appreciate the fact that entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, Tony Robins, and Mark Zuckerberg are thought leaders with considerable followings.

And the list goes on throughout history to include politicians, philosophers, inventors, scientists, and scholars. But you don’t have to be a Bill Gates or a Gandhi to become a thought leader.

So, what makes one a thought leader? Brand Yourself lists the commonly named attributes of thought leaders:

  • Expertise in a particular niche
  • Ongoing involvement in that niche
  • A clearly identified point of view
  • Credibility
  • A supportive following

Thought Leadership Content

Definition

When we consider these attributes, thought leadership content becomes easier to grasp. According to Marketing Insider Group, thought leadership content is a type of marketing in which you tap into the talent, experience, and passion inside your business—or from your community—to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience on a particular topic.

It’s geared at exhibiting expertise, continuing to demonstrate that expertise, setting one’s business apart with a clearly identified edge, establishing credibility, and making fans of your audience.

Content

Thought leadership content provides educational, helpful, and inspirational content to readers, viewers, and listeners via any of the multiple types of communication.

By providing true thought leadership content, you or your company can become a go-to source of information. That is, people want to “follow” you on whatever platform or platforms you choose to engage your audience.

Voice

In addition to providing helpful, credible information, you must be knowledgeable, genuine, and convincing. It’s about creating a name for yourself as an information source and a problem solver, while giving your company a voice and personality.

Make sure your company personality is well defined and well understood within your organization so that it is consistently presented in every piece of thought leadership content you create.

Effectiveness and Possibilities

So how effective is thought leadership content?

The obvious answer is that it depends on the quality of your content, whether you succeed in growing your audience, and whether you have a mechanism for tracking its effect on your business.

As it turns out, according to a 2020 B2B thought leadership study that surveyed decision makers and marketers over a three-year period, only 26 percent of the surveyed marketers had implemented a way to tie thought leadership to sales and business wins. There are ways to do that, and some of the examples we’ll introduce will have information on the topic.

But the important thing to gain from this study is an appreciation for thought leadership content’s potential for your organization. Decision-makers gave thought leadership content an 89 percent effectiveness rating in enhancing their perceptions of an organization.

In addition, they gave thought leadership content an effectiveness rating of 49 percent in influencing their purchasing decisions. Surprisingly, 48 percent of decision-makers report reading thought leadership content for an hour or more each week.

That’s an important statistic to consider, given how many things pull at decision-makers’ time and attention. 

Thought Leadership Platforms

Now that we’ve defined thought leadership content and talked about its potential, we’ll follow the adage that “seeing is believing.” Thought leadership content is communicated through a variety of platforms. These include:

  • Public speaking
  • White papers
  • Books
  • Blogs
  • Websites
  • Social media
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Online learning platforms

We’re going to focus on the last six—the content that is solely electronic.

The examples we’ve chosen not only enable you to see how excellent thought leadership content is presented, but they will also provide you with information to help you in the pursuit of growing your business. Among the examples we provide, you will find content focusing on:

  • Customer service
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Analytics
  • Video marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Building a successful advertising and marketing agency
  • The many pitfalls entrepreneurs face in building their businesses

You might want to start small, focusing on one platform you feel comfortable with. However, remember that ultimately you will need to spread your thought leadership content onto as many platforms as you can possibly manage.

Directimages.com advocates transforming old content to use on other platforms. “A blog post can become a video script and vice versa.” Additionally, you’re advised to “break up and distribute your content.” Create a teaser for your video on social media, or edit the outtakes into a behind-the-scenes video for Instagram . . . Simply put, wherever your audience is, be sure that your content reaches them.”

14 Great Thought Leadership Examples

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Image by Pixabay

Blogs and Landing Pages

Zendesk’s The Library (formerly named Relate):

Zendesk® is a customer service software company. Its blog site, recommended by Bluleadz.com, was created out of the realization that customer service software can’t answer all the issues related to customer service.

The focus of these blog posts is to provide ideas for creating great customer service. Each blog has a link to a story or an invitation to download a guide that describes how Zendesk can help provide a particular solution.

Wistia:

Wistia®, recommended by Directimages.com, is a video hosting platform that enables businesses to present videos on their own website to help drive traffic to their sites. Wistia provides the analytics that create engagement graphs and “heatmaps” that reveal how individual viewers are watching.

Wistia’s blog targets businesses new to online video or those endeavoring to implement new strategies. It offers readers tips and tricks to perfecting video marketing.

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Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Websites

Redshift by Autodesk:

Marketing Insider Group included Redshift® by Autodesk in its examples of excellent thought leadership content. “The editorial team at Redshift aims to stay at the forefront of architecture, construction, infrastructure, manufacturing technology, and sustainability.”

Redshift was also noted by blueleads.com, which said the site’s thought leadership content demonstrates Autodesk’s credentials by providing a kind of “visual magazine packed with resources for potential customers at every skill level.”

Txchnologist powered by GE:

Mcguireeditorial.com lists this GE microsite as an excellent example of an online magazine. The site is “filled with fascinating content” covering nine themes—all areas where GE wants to remind potential B2B customers of GE’s innovation and expertise.

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Photo by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

Podcasts

These thought leaders’ podcasts were recommended by Directimages.com and author, speaker, and authority marketing expert Angela Pointon.

Gary Vee:

Gary Vaynerchuk’s expertise is in social media marketing. He brands himself as a “contemporary communicator,” which he says is someone who “knows where people are paying attention, be it Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, and can then produce the ‘creative’—the video, the pictures, and the written word—that are contextual to those platforms.”

The Get Paid Podcast:

Claire Pelletreau’s expertise is in online entrepreneurship. She is a Facebook and Instagram ads consultant for companies that spend $10,000 and up per month on advertising. The full name of her podcast is “The Get Paid Podcast: The Stark Reality of Entrepreneurship and Being Your Own Boss.”

Build a Better Agency Podcast:

These podcasts by Drew McLellan are targeted to mid-sized advertising and marketing agency owners. A leader in the world of digital marketing, McLellan hosts people who’ve either built successful ad agencies or who are experts in things that agency owners need to master in order to grow their businesses.

Available on iTunes, Google, and Stitcher, there are hundreds of podcasts featuring McLellan and other experts.

Image by Tymon Oziemblewski from Pixabay

YouTube Channels

These thought leaders’ YouTube channels were recommended by directimages.com.

Marie Forloe’s Marie TV:

Marie Forleo’s name appeared in multiple discussions of excellent thought leadership content. Described as a life coach and entrepreneur, Forleo says her videos are designed to help the new or aspiring entrepreneur identify “who you are, what you believe in, and, most importantly, the difference you were born to make.”

Video Creators by Tim Schmoyer:

Tim Schmoyer specializes in YouTube marketing, providing helpful content for video creators of all skill levels. Videos featuring Schmoyer’s own insights and those of his guests offer guidance on video creation, SEO, and distribution.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Online Learning Platforms

HubSpot Academy:

The HubSpot Academy is an online training resource for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service professionals. Much of the training is free. The platform specializes in comprehensive certifications, singular-topic courses, and bite-sized lessons for professionals looking to grow their career and business. (Bluleadz.com).

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand:

Miller is a public speaker, author, and CEO of Business Made Simple. StoryBrand offers courses, videos, and workshops to help companies develop and clarify their brand message. (Angela-pointon.com).

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Image by chan mina from Pixabay

Social Media—in This Instance, LinkedIn

These examples were provided in an article on LinkedIn. They are listed here as examples of various types of thought leadership content you’ll find on its site.

Deloitte Tech Trends:

Tech Trends succinctly captures top trends that enable readers to explore what lies ahead. The Tech Trends 2021 report enables readers to explore nine emerging trends and download the full report.

Aurecon:

Aurecon, an engineering, design, and advisory company, offers its Engineering Reimagined podcast and gives LinkedIn members access to its full library of episodes.

Philips:

The LinkedIn article asks, “What better way to demonstrate your problem-solving approach than by telling the story via the employees who live it?” Philips’ #LinkedInLive videos spotlight the health technology company’s approach to solving problems. The videos feature Philips employees who are implementing the company’s problem-solving approach to create novel solutions.

Takeaways

Now you’ve seen and heard some examples of great thought leadership content. Perhaps you’ve found a company, blog, podcast, or YouTube channel you intend to follow.

You know business leaders pay attention to thought leadership content. You know your content can enhance their perception of your company and influence their purchasing decisions.

And you know three more things: It takes a lot of work. The competition is fierce. And the bar for excellent content is set high!

Speaking of a Lot of Work

If you’re just starting out, it means that you will need to clearly identify your brand image, decide where to start, and create the content.

However, if you’re already up and running with your web presence, you know you have to expand your presence across multiple digital platforms and continually update and reshape your content.

A Possibility for Lightening the Load

Whether your marketing department is just beginning the journey, or it is overwhelmed with work, hiring professional web content writers can help lighten the load.

Content writers will produce blogs, social media campaigns, and thought leadership content, while optimizing SEO to ensure the content delivers traffic to your business.

Whatever your goals, professional web content writers will draw upon their experience in marketing, journalism, content marketing, and social media to craft stand-out thought leadership content that will showcase your expertise and your brand excellence.

Author
Martha Scott 
Martha Scott’s technical writing career began on a contract at Houston’s Johnson Space Center. She edited papers for scientific journal publication, documents for departments across the site, and a book about a proposed crew escape vehicle. She produced a yearly booklet describing Shuttle contract cost-saving measures, the mission managers’ Flight Data Pack, and a 45-page booklet called Charting a Course to the Year 2000 and Beyond describing plans to develop additional space vehicles and prepare for manned Mars explorations. At Invesco, Martha edited and contributed to two company newsletters (online and hardcopy). She wrote software user manuals, Help files, Training and Benefits department documents, and, finally, shareholder reports. She returned to aerospace for the Shuttle Program’s last 5 years where she attended and produced detailed descriptions of presentations and subsequent discussions at the Orbiter Configuration Control Board’s weekly meetings. She also documented crew debriefings for 17 flights. Martha’s most recent experience was on Jacobs Engineering’s contract with a Texas City refinery for which she wrote and edited Engineering, Safety, Inspection, and Information Systems documents.
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