Buyers have an innate risk aversion. And today, it’s tough to be a buyer. HubSpot says 67% of the buyers’ journey happens digitally, which means the interwebs are cluttered with product marketing, gimmicks, deals, demos and peer reviews. What’s a buyer to truly believe these days? Given this cacophony, thought leadership content has become a breath of fresh air. It enables brands to lead with authenticity and honesty, ultimately providing a bridge of trust for risk-averse buyers.
“Contrary to what most people believe, trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or you don’t; rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create.” – Stephen Covey
By including authentic thought leadership in your marketing mix, you’ll be more successful at all stages of the funnel (it also has added benefits on employee engagement and sentiment). There’s just one catch – creating a high volume of thought leadership requires 1) content creation resources and 2) executive buy-in. After all, executives need to author all this new thought leadership content, whether it’s audio, video or written.
The first challenge can be overcome with greater in-house, agency and budget allocation. But the second challenge requires you to educate your company’s leadership and persuade them to begin sharing their perspective on new channels – something that is commonly uncomfortable for non-digital natives and/or more private and introverted executives.
So, here are the top 8 stats to convince your C-suite that they should be personally active in your company’s thought leadership efforts:
Thought leadership has a greater impact of ideas on potential buyers than all other forms of content marketing (case studies, collateral, advertising, etc.) (source)
39% of C-suite execs and decision makers said thought leadership content had influenced them to ask a vendor to participate in the RFP process, and 47% said such content had a direct impact on awarding business. (source)
49% of B2B buyers said their opinion of a company had decreased after reading poor quality content, and a third had removed a company from consideration based on its thought leadership output. (source)
35% of B2B buyers are spending about 1-3 hours per week reviewing thought leadership content. (source)
63% of global citizens say CEOs are not at all or somewhat credible. (source)
About 50% of B2B marketers believe thought leadership builds trust in their organization. But among actual buyers, that number is more like 83%. (source)
American consumers say authenticity is one of the top qualities that would attract them to a brand. (source)
There’s a correlation between a company’s authenticity and the likelihood that customers become advocates for that brand. Authentic brands also get more share of high-value customers. (source)
Need some executive visibility inspiration? See how Alloy catapulted the CEO of a high-growth software startup, and read how we positioned multiple executives as thought leaders across several target verticals.