"What's the ROI of a thought leadership video podcast actually going to be?"
I get asked this question all the time by CEOs and VPs of Sales/Marketing.
And rightfully so.
Why should any company invest in any sort of marketing strategy if it's not going to produce a return for them?
At the same time, the B2B buyers' journey has changed drastically over the past decade.
It's no longer a linear path like it used to be.
In fact, buyers are seeking to educate themselves about your product/service heavily before they ever want to talk to a sales rep.
And because of that, it's difficult to track how any video podcast episode, blog post, LinkedIn post, or YouTube video is directly attributing to the bottom line of the organization.
Usually, it's a culmination of all of these touches over weeks (even months and years) before a buyer feels confident to even reach out for a demo or a discovery call.
But just because the ROI can't always be tracked neatly by some sort of attribution software, doesn't mean it's not happening.
This is what the Edelman Group discovered in their 2020 impact study on the effects of thought leadership content in the buying cycle.
"49% Of Decision-Makers say that Thought Leadership can be effective in influencing their purchasing decisions."
(Source: 2020 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study. Q11 ENGAGED: How frequently has the following occurred after you have engaged with a piece of thought leadership. Data: average % who responded sometimes, often or almost all of the time among Global decision-makers.)
Not only that:
"42% Of Decision-Makers agree they are more willing to pay a premium to work with an organization that produces Thought Leadership versus those that do not."
(Source: 2020 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study. Q8 PREMIUM1: How much do you agree or disagree with these statements? Select one for each: strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, neither disagree nor agree, somewhat agree, strongly agree. Data: Top 2 Box Agree among Global decision-makers.)
The reason why this strategy works is that thought leadership content allows you to build a reputation with your buyers quickly, consistently, and even from a distance. When you consistently share your thinking about complex issues (particularly in video/audio form), you win trust with your buyers and give them confidence that you can solve their organizational problems as well.
So when you begin a thought leadership video podcast in order to distribute your thinking at scale, here are three timelines you should be observing to see the impact and the return your show is generating:
1. Short-term: Immediate relationships built with featured guests on your show (whether they're target accounts or other influential thought leaders in your industry)
- Have decision-makers that match your ICP on your show to mine their expertise and also better understand the pain points they're experiencing in their own organizations.
- Have thought leaders on your show that can help you build further credibility with your audience as well as theirs.
2. Medium-term: Leveraging your thought leadership content for sales enablement and paid media
- Talk to your sales team about common objections that they're experiencing in the sales cycle, and turn those topics into episodes that you discuss on your show. Then, equip your sales team with that content in the form of full episodes, micro-videos, ebooks, etc.
- Take micro-videos from your full episodes and run them as LinkedIn ads, targeting your ICP and offering to give them a free discovery call to try on that expertise for their own organization
3. Long-term: Playing the long game of consistently showing up and bringing value to your audience on LinkedIn, your blog, your email newsletters, etc.
- Use your thought leadership content weekly (even daily) on LinkedIn to generate meaningful dialogue with your audience
- Ask new buyers/prospects how they heard about your organization, and take note on how many of them reference the content that you've been producing.
I break down each of these timelines more in-depth in the 6min video below. Check it out and share it with your team.
Kap (CEO at Rveal Media)
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