May 2, 2024

How To Add Thought Leadership to B2B SaaS Content Strategies

Ryan Sargent
Ryan Sargent


If you’re reading this, you could be one. 

And, no, we don’t mean you need to start learning TikTok dances. (But if you want to, that’s your prerogative.) 

Through content, you have the power to truly influence the B2B SaaS world.

Let your experience and expertise show through thought leadership content. You’ll connect with more people, establish yourself as an innovative thinker and leading figure in your industry, and support your sales initiatives. 

Want to know how? We’re diving into the best ways to add thought leadership content to your B2B SaaS content marketing strategy. 

The value of thought leadership in B2B SaaS

If your content calendar is feeling bland — or, worse, you haven’t even thought about your content calendar in ages — it’s time to dig into thought leadership opportunities. To understand why thought leadership content is so important, we have to understand what it is. 

Much like squares and rectangles, thought leadership content can be SEO content, but not all SEO content is thought leadership. Unlike traditional SEO content that often targets users in specific parts of the sales funnel and increases brand awareness, thought leadership content focuses on a narrower audience of industry peers and increases brand authority. 

This is done through familiar avenues: blog posts, social media profiles, podcasts, emails — the list goes on. The difference is the intention, not the channel. 

Thought leadership content specifically positions an individual as a knowledgeable entity. These thought leaders are extensions of their current companies, but they are also the sum of all of their parts. The content they create by pulling from their unique experiences and perspectives shapes the perception of their companies. You’ll diversify your content plan by giving your company’s experts a platform and enriching your existing content strategies. 

This achieves two major things for a company: 

  • Showcasing authenticity: Whereas SEO content is laser-focused on delivering a higher search engine ranking and driving organic results, thought leadership content is about connection and contemplation. Whether posting thought leadership content on your blog or LinkedIn, your readers will be able to relate to you on a more personal level
  • Driving engagement: Your online presence is bolstered by thought leadership content because thought-provoking content promotes interaction. Whether it’s a social media post, an email newsletter, or a podcast, you’ll find people are more likely to comment, repost, and share your insights. With the right thought leadership strategy, your following will grow, your brand recognition will rise, and your bottom line will rise. 

Identifying opportunities for thought leadership in existing strategies

Incorporating thought leadership content into your strategy is easier than you think. The expertise already exists at your company — you just need to tap into it. Let’s take a look at a few key tactics that will make kickstarting thought leadership content a breeze.

Analyze your content performance

Before you kick off your content creation, it’s a good idea to take a look back at your top-performing pieces of content. Take inventory of what is working — and what isn’t — to find content buckets that resonate with your target audience. 

Analytics offer invaluable insights and help you decide what kinds of content to make more of. Measuring your content’s performance should directly align with what you hope your content will accomplish. Here, you’re ultimately looking for high-quality content that generates traffic, has extended page view times, and promotes the most engagement. 

Once you’ve identified those pieces of content, you’ll be able to develop thought leadership content on high-traffic platforms that dives deeper into those high-performing subjects. 

Keep track of industry trends

Because the crux of thought leadership is innovative forward-thinking, it is more important than ever to follow industry trends and hot topics. 

Developing hypotheses and testing emerging technologies that impact your industry showcases your willingness to dig your hands in and learn — not just follow the crowd. It’s okay if you get it wrong sometimes. Your followers will value a transparent look into the inner workings of your company. 

To follow trends, you’ll want to use a combination of sources to keep an eye on both industry-wide topics and platform-specific fads. Edelman and Forrester are great resources for overarching tech sphere updates, whereas BuzzSumo can help you track trending keywords, and Feedly condenses the World Wide Web into one easy-to-follow feed. 

Leverage internal expertise

There is a reason everyone on your team was hired. When it comes to content creation, these subject matter experts are the perfect resource. 

Connecting with your team is an incredible way to inform your thought leadership content and generate new content ideas. Regularly meet with team members outside the marketing team to glean insights from their roles, hear new industry pain points, and learn how their experiences shape the company. Then, you’ll be able to build off those insights to create impactful, out-of-the-box content that will stand out from the crowd. 

By creating processes that allow you to tap into your team’s existing knowledge, you’ll expedite your thought leadership creation while making more meaningful content. 

Harness your brand’s foundational knowledge

Your brand exists because you’re here to solve a problem. How you solve it, what you believe is your mission, and your one-of-a-kind approach is the foundation of your SaaS product. 

Opinions are great, but they aren’t enough. Thought leadership content thrives when leaders explore how their beliefs were developed. Lived experience, tested hypotheses, and trial and error all act as crucial supporting evidence. Explore your target audience’s hardships and how you’ve created a workaround. Examine how your founders started the company. Share ways your team is iterating on your product with emerging tech. 

With the right content, you’ll build a bridge between your ideal customer and your company’s solution. 

How to integrate thought leadership into your existing content marketing strategy

Valuable content — particularly thought leadership content — is well-researched, well-articulated, and well-strategized. Let’s look into a few of the best ways to implement thought leadership within your content strategy. 

Repurpose popular content

Remember that content audit you did? Here’s where it comes in handy. By identifying high-performing content, you’ll be able to repurpose that content into powerhouse thought leadership. 

But It’s not enough to simply regurgitate it onto another platform. To create impactful thought leadership, the content needs to evolve. Give your content a boost by layering in deeper analysis, a stronger personal perspective, and additional assets — such as infographics or links to other resources. 

Embed thought leadership in all content types

Adding thought leadership content can be done across all of your usual content channels. 

  • Blog posts: Long-form blog articles are a great chance to dig into the nitty gritty. Outline your point of view on a trending industry topic — or partner with a guest contributor to bring in another unique perspective and broaden the potential reach. While these posts likely won’t generate the same SEO results you’re used to, they can be beneficial for increasing authority.
  • Social media posts: LinkedIn is the leading social media platform for B2B SaaS thought leadership, and it’s the perfect place to share visual data and video clips.
  • Podcasts: In-depth conversations are a greenhouse for expert insights, and nowhere is that more prevalent than in podcasts. Whether hosting it on your own or being joined by guests, podcasts invite interesting discussion around trending industry topics, and that’s what thought leadership content is all about.
  • White papers: One of the most compelling aspects of thought leadership marketing is original research. White papers are an excellent vessel for sharing data analysis with peers.
  • Webinars: Discussions and demonstrations both work well at thought leadership webinars. Consider partnering with additional innovators in your industry to multiply your reach, broaden your brand awareness, and connect with more potential customers.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to follow best practices for each content type. However, your messaging and presentation should be streamlined across all platforms. 

Collaborate for co-created content

If you want to reach a larger audience, one of the best ways is to team up with other leading experts and industry influencers. Not only will creating joint content benefit both parties’ credibility, but you’ll both gain visibility and increase engagement opportunities. By letting their areas of expertise shine, your content will reap the rewards — and vice versa!

Co-created thought leadership content might look like putting your heads together to create a report or survey that investigates the intersection of your brands, hosting a series of interactive webinars, taking over each other’s social media profiles for the day, or swapping guest blog posts. 

Prioritize quality over quantity

As with all marketing efforts, valuable content will always outweigh thin content. The research that goes into an insightful piece of content doesn’t happen overnight. Great content takes time to create. And great thought leadership often takes longer. 

Instead of stressing about your output, focus on building high-quality content with meat on its bones. One impactful industry report will go further than a handful of throwaway LinkedIn posts posing as leadership articles. 

Use storytelling to convey experience and expertise

Take a look at your highest-performing content pieces. You’ll likely notice one similar element: storytelling. 

When you infuse narrative elements into your content, you’ll distill complex ideas down to their most digestible, making your content more accessible and more engaging. 

Don’t be surprised if you see an increase in lead generation when you start implementing storytelling devices in your content! Narrative elements humanize your company, aiding in conversion and retention because it’s easier to recall a story than it is to remember a brand name. 

Demonstrate your unique value proposition

Your brand has to offer something different from the next business. Likely, you already know what this secret sauce is. You’ll hear it in sales enablement content, your brand messaging, and your internal meetings. 

Adding your value proposition to your content ensures your target audience knows it, too. 

Communicating your core values through content that isn’t intended to sell something saves your content from feeling too transactional. Overly sales-heavy content can push potential customers away. Instead, focus on what makes you you and how that ties into your company’s mission. 

Tips for promoting B2B SaaS thought leadership content in your marketing strategy

Your marketing strategy needs thought leadership content to stand apart from your competitors. Your unique insights and one-of-a-kind perspective could mean the difference between a potential customer choosing your SaaS product or someone else’s. Here are our top tips for incorporating thought leadership content into your existing strategies. 

Focus on the right distribution channels

Not all distribution channels are created equally, and your mileage may vary between platforms. Thought leadership content excels on social media where insights are easily shared and conversations accessible in the comments sections. Podcasts are also top contenders, followed by email newsletters and live events. 

The metrics you track to measure success may look different than your typical content through these channels as you’ll want to focus on nurturing high-quality engagement. 

Use your professional networks

When two experts put their heads together, the benefit multiplies. Tap into your professional network to bounce ideas around, co-create content, and create powerful partnerships. 

Thought leadership networking can be as simple as responding to other industry peers in the comments of your LinkedIn post. Other ways to connect include community forums and live event attendance. Any connections you make increase the likelihood of engagement on your content and could lead to successful collaboration down the line. 

Expand your distribution processes 

Distributing content is a pivotal part of any content strategy. In the same way that a wider net catches more fish, expanding the ways people can interact with your thought leadership content captures more traffic. 

Common distribution avenues include search engines, social media, and email newsletters — but don’t be afraid to draw outside the lines. Add your insights on industry forums and community groups, co-host webinars with other SaaS leaders, or host a virtual event that isn’t a webinar lecture. 

The more active you are on each marketing channel, the more likely someone is to engage with what you create. This increases brand recognition, cements your brand’s position in the market, and cultivates a community around your content. 

Amplify your voice in the B2B SaaS world with Ten Speed

Thought leadership content helps you build trust, connect with new business opportunities, and establish yourself and your brand as industry leaders. 

At Ten Speed, we’re equipped to tackle thought leadership from beginning to end. Your B2B SaaS business needs great thought leadership, and we’ve got the expertise and experience to make it happen. 

When you’re ready to take your content to the next level, book a call with our team to get started.

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