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How to Effectively Communicate Your Financial Services Thought Leadership

So you have a data-rich, creatively insightful white paper to show the world. How do you make sure people read it?

In this latest blog post, our thought leadership superheroes, Captain Content and The Leading Light,  talk us through how to ensure your thought leadership lands in the way you want.

Our research on thought leadership in financial services found that 57% of thought leadership creators and digesters are most likely to trust research-led content. 69% said it was very important to include research-based evidence and data in thought leadership content (Source: Leading Lights: Focus on Financial Services).

Step two: The medium

Thought leadership can be delivered through long-form content like white papers, eBooks and brochures, research reports, media-published articles and blogs, or short-form content such as social media posts.

Written long-form thought leadership content is impactful and authoritative, even if readers only have time for the executive summary. Well-designed reports look impressive and convey that a company has an intellectual footprint. And journalists often pick up on your data and solutions.

One of the most fast-growing and popular forms of communication is video. A Forbes Insights survey found that 59% of senior executives prefer video over written copy.

Imagery, such as concept and data visualisation, play a huge role in communicating thought leadership and help enliven white papers and social with easy-to-digest ideas and numbers.

Podcasts, webinars and interviews are also a great niche medium for thought leadership.

Step three: Your communication channels

There is no one formula for communicating thought leadership. How you deliver it depends on your audience, your brand, and the problem you are helping to solve (your thought leadership story).

What are the preferred communications channels for promoting and communicating thought leadership in the financial services sector?

Our research revealed the top preferences for communicating B2B thought leadership:

  • 65% of creators and 79% of digesters say digital media is their first preference.
  • 52% of creators and 58% of digesters say online events is their second preference.
  • 44% of creators say print media is their third preference, while 42% of digesters say social media.
  • Creators primarily rely on digital media (62%) and online events (54%) when sharing thought leadership.

(Source: Leading Lights: Focus on Financial Services)

  • Digital and social media: Write blogs, infographics and industry snapshots. Share your unique insights on social media. Create video content around your thought leaders. Remember to respond to discussions and feedback on social too.

In our research, we revealed that the preferred social media platforms for financial services creators of thought leadership were Facebook (30%), Instagram (28%) and YouTube (21%). LinkedIn came in at 16%, and TikTok at 8%.

Research by Sprout Social also found Facebook tops preferences for followers of business pages, particularly among older audiences, followed by Instagram.

However, reputable channels like LinkedIn provide an excellent platform for B2B thought leadership in the professional services sector, particularly as other platforms lose their way.

  • Public speaking: Participate in conferences, webinars, podcasts, and other industry events to share your expertise and connect with a broader audience.
  • Guest blogging and collaborations: Write guest posts for other authoritative blogs in your industry. Collaborate with other thought leaders on joint projects or co-authored content.
  • PR: If you have great research and new insights, the media will want to hear about it. Micro-target publications and journalists that are talking about your subject and publications that are read and engaged with by your target audiences.
  • Network: Engage with your peers, followers, and potential clients. Participate in online discussions, attend industry events, and actively participate in your community. Building meaningful connections can amplify your thought leadership reach.
  • Internal communications: Thought leadership can be transformative for your organization. In our research, 91% of creators of thought leadership strived to involve all their employees in thought leadership content (Source: Leading Lights: Focus on Financial Services).

Captain Content adds: “The digital and print media world is changing constantly. Consider, for example, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on face-to-face events, or what happened to Twitter in 2023. Avoid dependency on one channel and be agile.”

Step four: Measure and pivot

Above all, a good communications strategy needs effective analytics to determine what is and isn’t working. That’s why we created an interactive tool to help measure the impact of thought leadership using diverse data sources.

Our superhero Major Measure says:

“You need to monitor the performance of your content and communications strategy – analyse metrics such as engagement, website traffic, and audience growth.

“Use these insights to refine your approach and focus on what resonates best with your audience. Be prepared to change your strategy, which is what all great superheroes do when confronted with new challenges!”

Get in touch today to find out how you can inject your content with thought leadership superpowers.

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