Engage, Nurture, Convert: Exploring Thought Leadership’s Role in the B2B Marketing Funnel

Misha Joshi

Successful B2B marketing teams leverage thought leadership to engage leads at each stage in the marketing funnel and drive measurable ROI. Here’s how they do it.

The concept of a marketing funnel is hardly novel; for decades, organizations of all shapes and sizes have deployed them to drive awareness, engage leads, and ultimately produce new opportunities for sales teams to close.

But what many companies are realizing now is that something called “thought leadership” is an essential ingredient of the most powerful B2B funnels. By establishing their internal leaders as industry experts and offering prospective customers a peek behind the curtain (so to speak), these companies are building the levels of market awareness, product understanding, and, ultimately, brand trust that you need to turn leads into deals.

Interested in doing the same for your business? Let’s explore how.

1. Engage the Right Leads

It’s nice to say that you’re fostering awareness by driving large volumes of impressions of your ads, articles, social posts, etc. But if you aren’t targeting the right people, those big numbers represent nothing more than a nice ego boost. 

To ensure you’re introducing your brand to the right people — the kind of people who might purchase your product or service — you need to create content that speaks directly to their personal and professional pain points, goals, and needs. Simply by covering the right topics, you’re sending a powerful message about the relevance of your brand and offering to your target audience. 

2. Give Your Leads the Content You’d Want

Now that you’re on the same wavelength as your prospective buyers, you need to really hone in on the messages and perspectives that will communicate the full breadth of your industry knowledge and the value you and your business can bring. 

Whether you’re first engaging a lead at the top of the funnel or nurturing someone who has already expressed some level of interest in your company, remember the simple yet important fact that it’s an actual person working in the same field as you. What problems do you need help solving? What would you want to read about? The answers to these questions should serve as the foundation of your content strategy.

3. Stand out from the Pack

Of course, it’s extremely unlikely that you’re the only one in your industry building thought leadership and attempting to engage potential customers. That means you need to create content that not only speaks directly to your target audience, but is also differentiated from what your competitors are producing. 

This is a high bar to clear — especially in crowded spaces like software, healthcare, and retail (just to name a few). To that end, you must invest the necessary time and resources to conduct research and engage in deep analysis about what separates your brand and product or service from what else is out there.

Build Your Thought Leadership Machine with Thunderfoot

Integrating your thought leadership strategy with your efforts to engage leads throughout the marketing funnel is the only way B2B companies can truly demonstrate their expertise and value in a way that will win over prospective clients. 

If it sounds daunting to try to accomplish this alone or with just your in-house team, Thunderfoot can help your organization build an editorial program from the ground up and craft original, thought-leading content that promises to attract, nurture and convert your leads into paying customers.

Interested in learning more? Check out how we built a successful full-funnel marketing strategy for a fintech startup that drove a 300% increase in qualified leads.

Misha Joshi

Director of Content

Writer by nature, content manager by trade. More than ten years of experience driving SEO and thought leadership for B2B and B2C clients.

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