The Most Vital Thought Leadership Best Practices to Keep in Mind


If you’re part of the 66% of marketers who consider thought leadership a top priority for your organization, here are some sobering statistics for you: 

  1. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Final Decision-Makers say that the market is oversaturated with thought leadership content.
  2. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Decision-Makers say that less than half of the thought leadership they consume gives them valuable insights.

This indicates a lack of quality thought leadership content (not for lack of trying), a wave of bandwagoners rushing to address this need (albeit poorly), as well as an opportunity to be seized by those who can create the right kind of thought leadership content.

To take advantage of this situation, here are some best practices to keep in mind before you start implementing thought leadership into your marketing plan.

Stay Up-to-Date on Current Industry Trends

One of the most important yet most commonly overlooked practice is a simple one: Staying up-to-date on current trends. 

Thought leaders must be up-to-date with the latest trends, innovations, and insights in their industry. This means regularly consuming industry news, attending conferences and events, and actively engaging with peers and experts in the field. Staying current helps thought leaders stay relevant and ensures that their content is always fresh and valuable to their audience.

You can take a leaf from Communardo’s book. As companies worldwide transitioned into hybrid/remote working due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Communardo released an informative pillar page guiding readers on how to set up frictionless and collaborative digital workspaces. 

Be Consistent in Sharing Content

Another oft-overlooked best practice of thought leadership is consistency. Being called a “one-hit wonder” isn’t a compliment—the same goes for thought leadership. 

It is important to produce high-quality thought leadership content regularly because sporadic efforts could lead to your business being viewed as opportunistic or worse, a bandwagoner. For example, if your fintech brand is investment-related and starts publishing an opinion piece on the latest trends in personal finance, but fails to follow up or continue the narrative, then your brand will lose credibility.

Consistency also refers to the channels you use to distribute your thought leadership content. For example, if you rely heavily on Twitter, you can refer to the best social media practices for keeping a consistent tone/style here. If you have your own podcast, you can check out how we structure our podcast topics, what we talk about, and how we keep a consistent tone/style as well.

Provide Original Solutions to Buyers’ Pains

Currently, 40% of buyers claim that existing thought leadership content contains unoriginal thinking or a lack of new ideas, which is where you can step in.

By providing unique and original solutions to industry problems, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and demonstrate your expertise in the field. To achieve this, you should 

  • approach industry problems with personalized, targeted messaging, 
  • display fresh perspectives to disrupt the status quo, and 
  • highlight what is needed to resolve said problems.

One way you can do this is by researching your customers’ buying patterns and preferences or conducting user interviews to generate insights uniquely available to your organization. Avontus leveraged this tactic and successfully launched a groundbreaking State of the Industry report

In the report, Avontus 

  • highlighted the industry’s transition from manual to digital solutions, 
  • presented readers with a clear transformation roadmap, and 
  • backed their report up with robust quantitative and qualitative research. 

Avoid Hard Selling to Make Your Point

The worst thing you can do as a thought leader is come across as overly salesy. It greatly diminishes the impact of whatever you are trying to convey due to your audience being wary of ulterior motives. In fact, you risk alienating your audience entirely and severely damaging your credibility. 

Sadly, this occurs more often than you think. Forty-six percent of buyers claim that existing thought leadership content is overly focused on selling or describing products rather than conveying valuable information. 

While it’s important to promote your brand, the focus should always be on providing value by sharing insights and knowledge that benefit your audience. By providing meaningful and useful content, you can build trust and credibility with potential customers, positioning your brand as an authority in your industry.

It’s a long game. If you’re running a company like Acorns, you should be sharing insights and tips on how to manage personal finances, not about how much higher your interest rates are or how low your fees are. That way, you’re at the top of your audiences’ minds after they’ve been prompted or motivated to save money by your content.

Leave Thought Leadership to the Experts

Thought leadership content is going to play a dominant role in any B2B marketing strategy moving forward. To successfully incorporate thought leadership in your marketing efforts, you should adhere to the best practices mentioned above, like staying up-to-date on current trends, providing original solutions, and avoiding the hard sell. 

If you’d rather leave your thought leadership efforts to a B2B marketing agency with a successful track record of strategic thought leadership campaigns, you can reach out to us for a discovery call!

The Author

David Ho

David hails from a rather unorthodox background in writing and applied linguistics. He wandered the wilderness of sales and tech recruitment for close to 3 years before coming home to content writing.

David Ho