Table of Contents

Everything You Need to Know About Thought Leadership Content Marketing for B2B SaaS

thought leadership content marketing for b2b saas
Table of Contents

“According to a study published by LinkedIn and Edelman, 66% of decision-makers say the pandemic caused a massive upswing to the amount of thought leadership in the marketplace. Yet 71% of them say that less than half of the thought leadership content they consume gives them valuable insights. If you want your brand to stand out from the crowd, writing a few posts on LinkedIn isn’t enough. You need to create a B2B thought leadership plan.”

What is thought leadership?

In today’s competitive landscape of B2B SaaS companies, establishing credibility and driving business growth are paramount. One powerful strategy that has emerged as a game-changer in this domain is thought leadership. And yes, we know everyone on LinkedIn is harping about this term today.

Thought leadership goes beyond traditional marketing tactics, focusing on positioning oneself as an industry expert and providing valuable insights to the target audience. Companies that successfully embrace thought leadership can differentiate themselves from competitors, build trust with potential customers, and ultimately drive business growth.

Thought leadership is increasingly becoming a priority for organizations to reach consumers. However, there is a gap between where content marketers want to be and where their programs currently stand.

Two-thirds of marketers (66%) consider thought leadership a ‘top priority’ for their marketing org. However, only 26% consider their current program ‘very successful’ and 65% say that it is moderately successful.

To delve into the concept of thought leadership and its impact on B2B SaaS companies, this technical explainer will explore various aspects, including the benefits of thought leadership and how to develop an effective thought leadership content strategy.

What does thought leadership content include?

While the internet has a way with redefining different content marketing strategies to suit their narrative, let’s look into what thought leadership content actually includes: 

  1. Valuable Insights: It offers practical solutions, data-driven analysis, and expert advice that can help professionals make informed decisions and drive business growth.
  2. Originality: It goes beyond generic or generalized content and focuses on providing tailored insights that are relevant and specific to the B2B audience.
  3. Authoritative Voice: It showcases deep understanding, experience, and proven success in solving complex challenges faced by professionals.
  4. Industry Relevance: It provides insights into industry best practices, regulatory changes, market trends, and advancements that impact B2B operations.
  5. Actionability: It focuses on driving tangible results, optimizing processes, increasing efficiency, and achieving business objectives.
  6. Engaging Format: It leverages visual aids, real-world examples, and interactive elements to engage B2B professionals and deliver information in a format that suits their preferences.
  7. Consistency and Durability: It remains relevant and valuable as the industry evolves, capturing the latest trends, market shifts, and technological advancements to keep professionals informed and competitive.

To effectively establish thought leadership, it’s important to develop a comprehensive content marketing strategy that encompasses various content pieces such as blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, podcasts, and social media presence on the correct channels.

Best examples of B2B thought leadership content marketing 

While there are a lot of individuals and companies now focusing on thought leadership content marketing, let’s look at some of the best examples from B2B SaaS: 

  1. One notable example is HubSpot‘s ‘Inbound Marketing’ concept which revolutionized the way businesses approach digital marketing strategies. By championing this approach through educational resources such as blog posts and ebooks, HubSpot positioned itself at the forefront of inbound marketing thought leadership.
  2. Another exemplary case is Salesforce‘s ‘Trailblazer Community’ which encourages users to share their success stories and best practices with fellow Salesforce users. This community-driven approach not only fosters collaboration but also establishes Salesforce as a trusted advisor among its user base.
  3. A third example would be Autodesk, Inc., an American multinational software corporation that makes software products and services for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, education, and entertainment industries. Its certification, blog and university are all considered to be good examples of thought leadership.

Benefits of thought leadership content marketing 

Thought leadership enables businesses to establish credibility, attract customers, and differentiate themselves from competitors. Here are a few benefits it brings: 

1. Establishing brand authority and credibility

By consistently sharing valuable insights, industry expertise, and innovative perspectives through thought leadership content, these companies position themselves as trusted experts and thought leaders. This helps to build trust with potential customers, investors, and industry stakeholders. When a B2B SaaS company is recognized as a thought leader, it enhances its reputation and credibility, instilling confidence in its solutions and attracting a loyal following.

5.54% of decision-makers – and 48% of the C-Suite – say they spend more than 1 hour per week reading and reviewing thought leadership.

2. Enhancing demand generation and lead nurturing

By offering valuable insights and addressing the pain points of their target audience, these companies can attract and engage high-quality leads. Thought leadership content educates and empowers potential customers, guiding them through their buying journey and establishing the company as a trusted advisor. Moreover, thought leadership content can be repurposed and shared across various channels, such as social media, industry publications, and online communities, to expand reach and attract a broader audience.

7.47% marketers engage with 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a salesperson.

3. Fostering trust and loyalty among customers

By consistently delivering relevant and valuable insights, these companies demonstrate their commitment to their customers’ success and showcase their ongoing support. Companies can moreover deepen customer relationships, increase customer satisfaction, and drive customer retention, ultimately leading to long-term loyalty and advocacy.

14.64% of buyers say that an organization’s thought leadership content is a more trustworthy basis for assessing its capabilities and competency than its marketing materials and product sheets.

Developing a thought leadership content strategy for B2B SaaS

To develop an effective thought leadership content strategy, here’s how you need to approach it: 

  • Identify your target audience: Understanding the specific needs and pain points of your target audience is crucial. 
  • Understand your niche: Differentiating yourself from the competition is vital in this saturated market. Define what sets your product or service apart and focus on delivering unique insights.
  • Create valuable content on the correct channels: As mentioned before, choosing the right channels to distribute your thought leadership content is critical. Whether it’s through blogs, whitepapers, or social media platforms, ensure that your content reaches the intended audience. 
  • Collaborate with industry thought leaders: Partnering with established thought leaders in your industry can enhance your credibility and expand your reach. Platforms like LinkedIn offer opportunities for collaboration, such as joint whitepaper publications. LinkedIn and Edelman collaborated on a study that highlighted the surge in thought leadership content during the pandemic (which was the introduction of this blog).
  • Measure, improve and stay consistent: The one thing common about the different tactics of content marketing is the need for consistency. You don’t become a thought leader overnight; remember to pace yourself, remain consistent, measure and improve your approach and create content with an audience-first approach. 

Best practices for thought leadership in B2B SaaS 

While there is no one way to approach thought leadership content marketing, here are a few best practices we recommend following: 

  1. Cultivate unconventional perspectives: By bringing new insights to the forefront, you can captivate your audience and establish yourself as a visionary thought leader in the industry.
  2. Embrace data-driven thought leadership: In an era driven by data, infuse your thought leadership content with compelling research and analytical rigor. Leverage data, surveys, case studies, and industry trends to support your arguments and provide evidence-backed insights. 
  3. Foster meaningful engagement: Encourage feedback, questions, and discussions from your audience to create a sense of community around your content. Engage in thoughtful conversations, respond to comments, and participate in industry forums to advance the discourse and establish yourself as an active participant in industry conversations.
  4. Humanize your thought leadership content: While thought leadership often revolves around industry trends and expertise, it is essential to infuse a human element into your content. Share relatable anecdotes, personal experiences, and stories of overcoming challenges that can resonate with your audience on an emotional level. 

Get started with thought leadership content marketing today! 

Thought leadership content marketing is a powerful tactic for B2B SaaS companies to differentiate themselves and establish credibility within their industry. 

By crafting a well-defined thought leadership content strategy and following best practices, companies can position themselves as trusted authorities and drive sustainable business growth – especially in times when the internet is getting noisier by the day. 

Not sure how to get started with thought leadership content marketing? 

Reach out to our team of B2B SaaS marketers today

Frequently asked questions on thought leadership content

How long will it take to see results?

At the end of the day, this is still content, and it’s still SEO. Meaning, success is still monitored using all the regular metrics like retention rate and pageviews per user. And, like regular SEO, success may start appearing within a few weeks, or a few months.

How often should you post thought leadership content?

It’s reasonable that no company wants to go five months without any content focused on authority, hence it’s encouraged to evaluate what’s most suited for your situation. One approach to implementation could be:

  • First 12 weeks: 100% authority – Only content like “What are the inefficiencies of X?”
  • Next 12 weeks: 50% authority, 50% awareness – An even mix between “How to mitigate the issues of X” and “How do I implement…?”
  • Next 12 weeks: 20% authority, 80% awareness – Content aimed to maintain and increase authority, though heavily focused on generating traffic

What is a trend you see coming soon in the B2B sector?

Emotional connection will become more critical to B2B marketing. Emotions drive purchasing decisions, employee engagement and wellbeing in these turbulent times. 

Recommended Reads

Scroll to Top

Hey, there!

Like this post?

Subscribe to our blog to get a monthly newsletter with the best of our resources.

Ready to use content to tell your Shopify store’s story? We’d love to work with your brand

Can content marketing really help your business grow?

Contact us for a FREE audit and we’ll come back with market opportunities that content can get you.