Typically thought leadership content is created to act as heavyweight, gravitas building, brand muscle at the top of the sales and marketing funnel. It’s the credibility play that says to the world ‘we know what we’re doing’. However, it typically comes in a long-read PDF, printable, format that is simply too unwieldy for sales people to effectively use other than in the obligatory post-meeting-follow-up-email or as a physical leave behind. It poses the question that with the amount of investment required to create effective thought leadership content surely it should be developed in such a way that it can be put to use at all stages of the sales cycle?
The obvious answer to this question is of course, yes. And it’s exactly what we did for our client OnlineDIRECT when we conceived and developed ‘Being Adaptable: Life in the Business Energy Sector’. At its core it is a sizeable piece of thought leadership but importantly it was designed to be a flexible system of content that can be flexed to meet the needs of different formats, channels and scenarios:
- A 24-page ‘Insight Paper’ is a serious and involved read that promotes OnlineDIRECT as an industry pioneer and innovator.
- An 8-page ‘light touch’ Executive Summary version of the Insight Paper for use in post-engagement cycles with customers and prospects
- A 10-chapter series of content to be used across a 6 month period as part of a social selling strategy on LinkedIn
- A page of content on the OnlineDIRECT website that highlights some of the key insights and drives web users through a gate to request the full in depth read