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The renewed importance of thought leadership in 2020

Thought leadership at a distance

No-one would blame you if you were to rapidly re-evaluate your marketing priorities in 2020. We are facing an unprecedented rate of change that will surely affect the way business will be done in the future.

But already now, I believe a new foundation for business is being established. Let’s face it. Even at a time when digital communications is the norm for most, many have still relied on face-to-face meetings for effective collaboration or to truly seal a relationship.

Out of necessity, however, this belief is currently challenged, and many are already adopting – and beginning to cope with – a new reality.

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Is COVID-19 the Voldemort of business?

“Can we use the term, COVID-19, in our marketing?” “Will people think we’re trying to take advantage of the situation?” “Is it OK to mention COVID-19 when our products don’t protect or help cure people?” – does this sound like you?

COVID-19, for some businesses, has become the disease whose name must not be mentioned in the context of commercial gain. But could this be doing more harm than good?

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Big thought leadership ideas for big industry

“There’s a seat for everyone at the Thought Leadership table,” says Morten Floee Knudsen, Thought Leadership Content Manager at global engineering company FLSmidth. In a highly competitive market with discerning buyers, thought leadership is an important tool in the B2B marcomms toolset.

“People can be intimidated,” said Morten Floee Knudsen, when I asked him about thought leadership as a marketing mechanism in heavy industry.

“The idea of spending resources on creating or sharing inspiring, thought-provoking content that does not talk about your product and won’t sell products tomorrow can be a scary thought. But raising issues and debating broader industry challenges show that you care, that you take ownership of the market, and that you speak the same language as your customers.

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What do gates have to do with content? A guide to paid, earned, owned and shared media

Two gates that are locked up to represent gated content

Promoting your B2B brand, its products and services is an essential part of successfully marketing yourself. But it can be tricky to navigate the multiple media types and with a lot of marketing jargon flying around.

What is the difference between paid, earned, owned, shared media? And what is gated and non-gated content? Here is a quick overview of how you can use these four media types to enhance your content marketing strategy.

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Have you forgotten what thought leadership is truly about?

Boy shouting into a microphone, making an announcement

Public service announcement: this serves as a gentle reminder for why you set about adopting thought leadership in the first place.

If you work in a B2B company and haven’t yet implemented a content marketing strategy with a thought leadership undertone, then you are way behind. While not a novel concept (it came to a head around eight years ago), not all B2B companies have adopted the approach. On the other hand, some have been doing it for years.

For old time’s sake, let’s revisit the definition of thought leadership:

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