Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thought Leadership: It's Not What You Think

Content marketing agency Grist asked 200 execs to assess thought leadership. Their responses will surprise you:
  • 84% say thought leadership adds value to their roles as executives, and 66% say they count on it to stay ahead of trends. Only 36% say they use thought leadership to gauge the expertise of an author; but 40% will contact an author, if they find a piece worthwhile.

  • 46% want thought leadership that offers fresh perspectives; only 26% want content that's action-oriented. 63% say thought leadership fails when it's conventional; and 58%, when it's unoriginal. Only 31% ever read all the thought leadership they uncover; and only 28% say it actually influences their decisions.

  • 63% prefer short (800-word) articles; and 57% prefer short (300- to 500-word ) blog posts. Only 45% will read 1,200-word pieces; and only 28%, 4,000-word pieces. Only 26% will devote attention to videos; and only 25%, to podcasts.
So how can you please executives?
  • Create thought leadership content that's provocative, original, forward-looking, and issue-oriented. Execs don't need one more post on "10 Ways to Modernize Your [Fill in the Blank]."

  • Avoid not only stale, but fluffy topics; and shun sales-talk. Create content your industry's leading media outlets would reprint.

  • Don't just record (as in videos and podcasts). Write. And write short.
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