2020 challenged many sales teams. It’s much harder today to attract clients and get them to move forward with technology investments.
In order to increase demand for your products and services, you have to challenge your target customer’s status quo and build demand for latent or unrecognized needs. To do this, you have to build awareness of pain points, articulate highly sophisticated value propositions, and be heard above the noise in the markets.
Your firm might be facing any number of challenging headwinds today:
Thought leadership is a broad (and often abused) term. It is content intended to educate a target audience about a specific issue, trend or topic in which the author has specialized knowledge. It should deliver facts, insights and SUBSTANCE in a digestible format. It should NOT be promotional.
When integrated into your overall content marketing strategy, thought leadership is a powerful way to build credibility and trust with your target market.
A 2017 Edelman and LinkedIn study proved that thought leadership influences executive purchasing decisions at every stage in the buying process.
The study was based on responses from 1329 senior level business decision-makers. You can find some of the results below.
Creators of thought leadership underestimate its value and ability to influence sales. Most senior executives are life-long learners. They’re constantly looking for insight that will give them an edge in their businesses, investments and careers.
Thought leadership builds awareness and directly attracts high quality leads. But the content has to be findable. So publish where your target audience is most likely to find it. Public relations, conferences, private events, podcasts and webinars all help promote thought leadership.
Business decision makers read thought leadership to get a sense of a firm’s approach and the caliber of its team. This is particularly important for fintech firms who need to challenge the status quo.
The credibility earned with high quality thought leadership enables firms to command higher prices than their competitors.
It’s important to take your thought leadership strategy seriously. While decision-makers will consider a firm because of useful content, they’ll also remove firms from consideration if the content is weak, overly promotional, or appears to lack professionalism.
What kind of content do buyers want?
want insight on new trends or issues they should know about
want analysis of the causes and drivers underlying important current events and issues
want data and analytics backing up the positions presented in the content
Instead of making one long white paper, chunk your thought leadership into short episodes. Then deliver the content in multiple formats over time and provide a place where readers can binge when ready. This allows you to attract opt-in subscribers who can be nurtured over time while instantly identifying sales-ready leads.
PropelGrowth’s thought leadership programs “use every part of the buffalo” to attract, engage and convert your target audience.
We help you develop a thought leadership strategy, collaborate with your subject matter experts, and produce a program with dozens of short pieces that can be published on your site and around the web to ensure it gets found by your target audience.
PropelGrowth helps companies improve their marketing and sales. We start with in-depth buyer research. Then we develop a marketing and sales strategy and customer-centric messaging. Then we coach your team and help you execute on the strategy by developing thought leadership programs, content for every stage in the buying process, sales collateral, and tools to help buyers buy.