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Content Marketing

Know your content: Thought leadership vs. lead generation

By November 2, 2021February 22nd, 2022No Comments

Not all content is created equal. While I’m a strong believer in repurposing content, it’s essential to understand the differences between various formats and how they relate to your marketing goals.

As an outsource marketing agency, we’re regularly engaged by brands to write content.

Many come to us requesting public relations and thought leadership support. However, upon further inquiry, we often find that the clients’ primary goal is to generate more leads for their sales team. In which case, thought leadership content will leave them disappointed.

Knowing the purpose of different types of content is essential to running successful marketing campaigns.

Read on to learn the basics of thought leadership vs. lead generation content and how each is used to support your brand’s strategic initiatives.

Thought leadership content basics

Purpose: Brand awareness.

How do you recognize thought leadership content? It’s provocative, reaches a broad audience, and is ungated.

Where is thought leadership content used? Public relations outreach, blogs, podcasts, email newsletters, and speaking engagements.

Marketers use thought leadership content to: 

  • Build trust
  • Share big ideas
  • Engage in larger conversations
  • Establish brand as a go-to resource

How do you measure its success? Media placements, social engagement, page views, and time on page.

Lead generation content basics

Purpose: Generate leads.

How do you recognize lead generation content? It’s actionable or educational information, highly targeted, features a prominent call-to-action, and is often gated behind a form.

Where is lead generation content used? LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads, sponsored content, email nurturing sequences, and blogs.

Marketers use lead generation content to:

  • Initiate contact with target audiences
  • Nurture interest
  • Move prospects through the buyer’s journey
  • Convert leads into customers

How do you measure its success? Ads engagement, form completion rate, number of new leads, and cost per lead.

Thought Leadership vs Lead Generation

Map your content to your marketing goals

A strong content marketing strategy can help your brand share its successes while also meeting your marketing goals.

Learn about the benefits of engaging a healthcare marketing firm to develop the right content for every stage of the buyer’s journey.

Melanie Hilliard

Author Melanie Hilliard

Melanie is an Account Director and Content Lead at Clarity Quest. Nothing makes her heart sing more than fantastic marketing. To learn more about Melanie's experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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