linkedin for b2b

In the dynamic landscape of B2B marketing, where relationships are paramount, thought leadership has emerged as a game-changer. Far beyond a mere marketing tactic, effective thought leadership on platforms like LinkedIn can elevate your brand, drive demand generation, attract top talent, and foster meaningful connections. At Marketing Hatchery, we understand the power of LinkedIn for B2B, and in this blog, we delve into strategies for building thought leadership, creating engaging content, and leveraging LinkedIn features to connect with industry professionals.

The Power of Thought Leadership on LinkedIn

Thought leadership, when done right, goes beyond a platform for selling. It serves as a conduit for sharing genuine expertise, insights, and experiences. This storytelling approach has become indispensable for effective marketing, enabling brands and executives to connect with their audience on a deeper level. Elevating thought leadership is not just about building credibility; it’s about creating meaningful connections that resonate with the expectations of today’s audience.

According to Havas’s 2023 Global Meaningful Brands report, 74% of people believe it’s crucial for brands to share their beliefs and opinions. In a world craving emotional connections, impersonal thought leadership no longer suffices. In the B2B realm, where trust is paramount, thought leadership becomes a linchpin for success.

Why Thought Leadership Matters in B2B

The 2021 LinkedIn-Edelman B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report highlights the significance of thought leadership in building credibility, especially when entering a new category. For 60% of buyers, thought leadership is the key to establishing trust in unfamiliar territory. Additionally, 64% of buyers trust an organization’s thought leadership content more than its marketing materials.

However, the impact of thought leadership extends beyond buyers. In the competitive landscape for talent, 50% of buyers believe thought leadership is crucial in attracting the best talent. As the workforce considers new career opportunities, organizations can leverage thought leadership to communicate their goals, values, and create meaningful connections with potential employees.

Creating Meaningful Connections on LinkedIn

To create meaningful connections on LinkedIn, focus on timeliness, brevity, and authenticity. LinkedIn found that 90% of decision-makers find thought leadership more compelling when it addresses topics they are currently working on or thinking about. Additionally, 72% find shorter and easy-to-absorb thought leadership more engaging.

Meaningful connections require substance, relevance, and insight in thought leadership. Explore new opportunities, discuss potential challenges, and provide guidance on addressing industry issues. Thought leadership should extend beyond industry-related content to include insights about your company, industry trends, and personal experiences.

Key Principles of Effective Thought Leadership

Whether you’re representing a brand or an executive voice, certain principles guide the creation of effective thought leadership:

  1. Presence: Create a LinkedIn profile that connects with your audience, reflects your personality, and provides an interesting reason to follow you.
  2. Cadence: Establish consistent content themes and posting schedules. Focus on one or two formats and explore topics aligned with your brand.
  3. Experimentation: Experiment with multiple content formats, post regularly, and engage in ongoing dialogue across the platform. Align executive content with brand themes.

Consistency is crucial. Constantly changing perspectives can alienate your audience, making it important to gradually introduce new forms of thought leadership to gauge audience resonance.

Types of Thought Leadership Content on LinkedIn

Thought leadership on LinkedIn can take various forms, including:

  • Articles, blogs, and newsletters
  • Social media posts
  • Podcasts
  • Live or virtual speaking events
  • Videos

LinkedIn’s Thought Leader Ads feature also allows advertisers to promote content from executives and employees, increasing reach and driving brand and campaign objectives.

Building Thought Leadership on LinkedIn: Steps to Success

To establish yourself or your brand as a thought leader on LinkedIn, follow these essential steps:

  1. Define Your Niche: Identify a clear and unique value proposition that sets you apart from competitors. Understand your audience’s pain points, challenges, and aspirations.
  2. Create High-Quality Content: Showcase your expertise, knowledge, and perspective through various formats. Be consistent, authentic, and original in content creation.
  3. Engage with Your Audience: Encourage feedback, comments, and questions. Participate in online communities, forums, and events. Collaborate with influencers and peers.
  4. Showcase Your Results: Highlight testimonials, case studies, metrics, and awards that demonstrate your impact and authority.
  5. Keep Learning and Improving: Stay updated on industry trends, seek feedback, and challenge yourself to explore new ideas. Be humble, acknowledge mistakes, and share resources generously.
  6. Be Humble and Generous: Acknowledge sources, admit mistakes, and share resources, tips, or best practices generously.

The Essentials of B2B Thought Leadership Marketing

In B2B marketing, thought leadership content falls into three categories:

  1. Industry: Insights about your industry’s direction and trends.
  2. Product: In-depth knowledge of your solution and how it addresses user needs.
  3. Organizational: Clear values, purpose, and brand perspective

Why is thought leadership important in B2B? LinkedIn and Edelman’s survey revealed that 61% of decision-makers believe it can be moderately or significantly more effective at conveying an organization’s benefits. Additionally, 55% of decision-makers emphasize the importance of high-quality thought leadership content for suppliers of non-essential goods and services during economic downturns.

Corporate vs. Personal Thought Leadership

There are two dynamics of thought leadership: personal and corporate. Personal thought leadership involves individuals sharing their views, while corporate thought leadership shapes a brand’s values and stances. LinkedIn emphasizes the importance of presenting executives authentically on key channels to build the brand in a more human way.

Creating a Thought Leadership Marketing Plan

To build or refine your thought leadership strategy, follow these steps:

  1. Align on Brand’s Perspective and Priorities: Establish consensus on strategic perspectives, priorities, and key points about your brand and industry.
  2. Determine Thought Leadership Goals: Define what you want to achieve, linking thought leadership to objectives such as brand awareness, engagement, or video views.
  3. Identify Tactics and Channels: Purposefully select content creation and distribution tactics, considering the context and mindset of your audience.
  4. Activate Employees and Leaders: Encourage thought leadership from individual voices within your organization, especially among leaders.
  5. Engage, Learn, Adjust: Continuously engage in conversations with your community, learn from feedback, and make adjustments to your thought leadership strategy.

Cornerstones of Effective Thought Leadership Marketing

Effectiveness in thought leadership marketing is rooted in tenets outlined in the Thought Leadership Flywheel:

  1. Capitalize on White Space: Analyze the market for opportunities to provide a fresh perspective.
  2. Be Relevant: Align thought leadership content with customer needs and interests.
  3. Set a Vision: Boldly lay out the future for your company, industry, and customer.
  4. Build Trust: Leverage executives, employees, and subject matter experts for authentic authority.
  5. Be Concise: Create bite-sized, easily consumable thought leadership content.
  6. Measure Progress: Map tactics to objectives and outcomes, aiming for greater sophistication in attribution.

Tips for Success with Thought Leadership on LinkedIn

To maximize your impact on LinkedIn, consider the following tips:

  1. Write What Decision-Makers Want to Read: Leverage data and trends to understand your audience’s interests and curiosities.
  2. Zero in on the Right Audience: Use LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities to orient thought leadership content toward those who will find it most valuable.
  3. Strike a Balance with Organic and Paid: Combine organic content with paid promotion using Sponsored Content and other advertising tools.
  4. Gain Inspiration from Your Feed, Groups, and Hashtags: Listen to others in your niche, follow influencers, groups, and hashtags to stay informed.
  5. Partner with Influencers: Extend your reach by collaborating with influencers who share your values.

In the world of B2B marketing, LinkedIn stands as a powerful platform for thought leadership. At Marketing Hatchery, we recognize the transformative potential of thought leadership, going beyond mere tactics to build lasting connections. By understanding the nuances of LinkedIn, creating meaningful content, and aligning with decision-makers’ expectations, you can elevate your brand and establish a strong foothold in the B2B landscape.

Ready to unlock the full potential of thought leadership on LinkedIn? Contact Marketing Hatchery at 615-208-5373 or visit our website. Let’s craft a thought leadership strategy that resonates and drives meaningful engagement on LinkedIn. Elevate your B2B presence with Marketing Hatchery today.