Setting Goals and Expectations: 5 Outcomes Executive Thought Leadership Can Achieve

August 4, 2021

Portrait of a woman standing in an office looking directly in to the camera.

Make no bones about it: creating executive thought leadership content is not a fluffy, feel-good undertaking. As we know by now, it has evolved into a valuable, complementary marketing strategy — one that can build trust, drive behavior, and resonate with current (and new) audiences in an authentic, human-centric way that other marketing efforts simply cannot. 

But what tangible outcomes could your organization see from an executive thought leadership approach?

For that answer and much more on the subject, we recently created a downloadable Quick Start Guide to Executive Thought Leadership packed with insights from industry leaders, key research, and high-level data analysis. For the purposes of this post, we’ll zero in on some core benefits executive thought leadership can achieve, and how to measure progress and success. 

Benefits and Impacts of Executive Thought Leadership

By being generous with advice, demonstrating expertise, and sharing industry insights from the C-suite level, you elevate your company’s status in the minds of key decision makers (not to mention those they share that content with) while humanizing the brand. 

With consistency, these strategic communications can significantly impact your company’s awareness with target audiences, your differentiation in the marketplace, and your business pipeline. It can also be a driving factor for those who choose to work for you, and whether they stick around. 

Here are five benefits of executive thought leadership content that could translate to concrete business outcomes, as covered in our guide:

  1. Brand and Reputation: “Who are you, what do you do, and how can you help me?” On social media and elsewhere, people are drawn to human voices and relatable stories. Channeling your brand's message and values through executive profiles can vastly increase reach and relevance in ways that are plainly measurable.
  2. Market Consideration: Lead from the front by differentiating yourself from the rest of the field. Highlight what makes your organization special, stay top-of-mind when decisions are made, and help everyone understand, “why you.” If your competitors’ company leaders aren’t outspoken on the channels where your customers spend time, and yours are, the opportunity for an advantage is obvious.
  3. Demand Generation: According to the 2020 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study by LinkedIn and Edelman, 48% of decision makers say that thought leadership can be effective in influencing their purchase decisions. This type of content, when done well, moves the needle.
  4. Talent Attraction: Globally, CEOs rank bringing in top talent as one of their primary challenges. Demonstrate the leadership that draws in the best and the brightest, and show candidates why you’re the best fit for them. Favorable words from current employees shared socially leave an impression, too. Which leads to...
  5. Employee Engagement: Employee churn and the costs associated with retraining new hires are bottom-line nightmares. Quality executive thought leadership helps more employees feel engaged in their role, and understand the company’s direction. When they are inspired and excited by the vocal thought leadership of organizational leaders, they’re more likely to share this content into their own networks, thus feeding back into Outcome No. 1 and forming a complete circle.

Measurements of Success for Executive Thought Leadership

Monitoring the results of your executive thought leadership strategy will guide your efforts as you move forward. Stay the course? Pivot tactically? Depending on what goals you establish, it can be worthwhile to focus on these three organic profile metrics on LinkedIn:

  • Audience Growth
  • Content Views
  • Profile Views

When more people are viewing an executive’s profile and content, it equates to more opportunities for authentic awareness and engagement. You can then assess and adjust the corresponding impact on your organization’s LinkedIn Page by focusing on these metrics:

  • LinkedIn Page followers growth: Growing the overall audiences for organic content on your Page helps raise visibility, reach, and awareness across the LinkedIn landscape. Executive thought leadership contributes to this initiative by drawing people to the company’s LinkedIn Page with a curious mindset.
  • Page visitors and followers insights: LinkedIn’s analytics can help you understand the industries, job functions, and seniorities of people visiting your LinkedIn Page so you can shape executive content to serve those audiences.
  • Page update performance: Knowing what organic LinkedIn Page updates are resonating with your audience can inform both executive thought leadership content themes and related paid campaigns to emphasize key topics and messages.

Increase Visibility and Drive Results

Fact is, leaders of organizations already exercise great thought leadership every day. With the Executive Thought Leadership: Quick Start Guide you’ll find key insights on ways to not only put this tactic into practice, but how to measure, evaluate, and grow it as well. 

Download the guide today to get in front and stay in front. And subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog to get more tips.