Thought leadership has a direct impact on the full sales funnel — more than most marketers realize. The 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn Thought Leadership Impact study found that close to 70 percent of decision-makers decide if an organization can actually deliver based on their thought leadership, and 75 percent said it leads directly to signing on the dotted line.
A thought leadership strategy, or in other words, the way you coordinate your content across all of your channels and audiences, works to establish your expertise — which is important to B2b buyers. The study finds that 47 percent of C-suite executives shared their contact information after reading thought leadership. Now the drawback: while high-value decision-makers are willing to pay premium prices to work with companies that can demonstrate their vision and potential, the opposite is also true. 60 percent of business decision-makers say half or more of thought leadership they encounter does not provide valuable insights. If thought leadership isn’t valuable to your audience, it creates risks.
“The most effective thought leadership strategy is when you put the customer first. You’re showing you know who you’re addressing, where you’re addressing them, and why, because you understand their pain points.” says Gina Joseph Head of VB Lab and Strategic Partnerships at VentureBeat. The study found that 9 out of 10 business decision-makers believe it’s important for companies to define the future and analyze the market. “Buyers are likely to pay more to work with companies who have a clearly articulated vision — one that stands out with meaningful content and builds an authentic relationship with the audience. This impact can not be underestimated.” Joseph explains, “It’s also not just about creating valuable content, but also understanding where and how to distribute your content.”
Marketers should have access on best ways to reach their audience in the right channel at the right time, with the kind of content and insight that actually matters to them. You’re not just out pushing your product or service, but proving that you’re the kind of company that has a real stake in the success of your customers. And that’s where the trust — an increasingly essential brand differentiator — comes in.
Your customers, whether they’re B2B or B2C, have a world of choices at their fingertips and an array of ways to make a decision about what company they’re going to work with. To stand out in an oversaturated market, to develop brand loyalty, to wipe the floor with your competitors, you need to showcase your expertise and leadership in your industry. This means developing stand-out, meaningful content that builds an authentic relationship between the brand and the audience, across all the distribution channels that matter to your customers.
Leaders are sitting up and taking notice, says Joseph. “Over 90 percent of our partners, whether Fortune 50 or startups looking to get funded, tell us their top objective is thought leadership.”
These are the businesses that are actively hunting for new and industry-shaking ways to trailblaze through their industries, but are also aware that the risks can be tremendous. Thus, VB Lab was born. “We built VB Lab in direct response to our partners’ requests,” says Joseph, “along with its foundational offering, a Thought Leadership Platform aimed at giving companies a strategic road map for success and leadership growth.”
VB LAB THOUGHT LEADERSHIP PLATFORM
VB Lab is uniquely positioned to offer this kind of thought leadership expertise, delivering insights for its brand partners that influence decision-makers. It’s the home of analysts, researchers, and marketers steeped in this unique perspective, and they’re ready to leverage that expertise for their partners.
“We’re introducing a thoughtful marketing concept, based on listening to our clients, considering the market from our singular vantage point, and building out the entire strategy from there,” Joseph explains. “Every step of the way, we work with our partners to develop thought leadership that connects.”
VB Lab works to align and create content for each distribution channel, since the content readers consume via mobile is far different from the content they’re looking for in a research paper or webinar — and your thought leadership strategy needs to reflect that. That means VB Lab offers thought leaders an all-touch reach, as it partners with companies to develop the best ways to engage with their core audiences across each channel.
With VB Lab, brand partners benefit from strategic consulting and innovative, brand story development. The lab content development is customized for brands, including live podcasts, video series, interactive branded stories, speaking opportunities, and private events.
Its research and insights teams helps brand partners analyze the marketplace and develop comprehensive reports, surveys, infographics, and case studies built from the data that showcases a company’s expertise.
“We take time to listen to our partners – their objectives, challenges with thought leadership, and landscape, and then we innovate,” Joseph explains. “VB Lab is different from what we’ve seen in the industry, specifically for B2B marketers looking to reach business decision-makers who are in search for transformative technologies.” The lab designed a Thought Leadership Platform based on its comprehensive understanding of AI, gaming, business, and technology audiences and how they engage with content across different platforms. “We’re developing thought leadership opportunities that align the right content to different channels of distribution,” she adds,”with the audience’s needs first in mind.”
For more insights about the Thought Leadership Platform, visit VB Lab to learn more.