Where do leaders go for information, why do they share ideas and how are trends around thought leadership content changing over time? A new report shines a light on thought leadership content.

Thinkers360, a leading B2B thought leader community and freelancer marketplace, today announced the release of its 2022 B2B Thought Leadership Outlook Research Report. The report’s supporting research was conducted, in part, in association with BCS.

The purpose of the research was to better understand current and future trends with regard to both thought leadership creators - such as individuals, agencies and brands - and thought leadership consumers and their plans for 2022.

Key findings from the study include:

Thought Leadership Consumers (current State)

  • Specialist communities gain over social media: Specialist communities (62%) forged even further ahead of social media (46%) as the primary source for thought leadership content compared to last year.
  • It’s all about insight and relevance: The key is insightful (95%), forward-looking (90%) and relevant (89%) content that’s engaging and impactful.
  • Authors remain top with academics on the rise: Authors (52%), academics (39%), influencers (36%) and consultants (35%) are the primary sources of thought leadership content.
  • Informing strategy and aiding decisions: Building subject matter expertise (84%), informing strategy (82%) and aiding decision making (75%) are the main motivations.

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Thought Leadership Creators (current State)

  • Driving a powerful brand premium: Close to 33 percent of respondents see thought leadership adding over 75% to the brand premium they command in the marketplace.
  • Unique perspectives drive customer trust: Competitive differentiation (81%), brand perception (80%) and customer trust (74%) are the main business benefits of thought leadership content creation.
  • The new ‘any time’ cadence: Thought leadership content has evolved from a weekly and monthly cadence with creators choosing an any time cadence.

Thought Leadership Creators (plans for 2022)

  • Scaling up: 60% of thought leadership creators plan to produce more thought leadership in 2022 than in 2021.
  • Specialist communities are key: Social media (78%) and specialist communities (66%) are at the tip of the spear for disseminating thought leadership content in 2022.

The complete report, including extensive analysis and interpretation, is now available to Thinkers360 members at the Pro Plan level and above.

The primary research survey was conducted between 24 August and 5 October 2021 among Thinkers360 members, BCS members, and other creators and consumers of B2B thought leadership content.