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LinkedIn Shares New Research into Effective, and Ineffective, Thought Leadership Approaches



Looking to set a clearer direction for your content efforts, and better establish yourself or your business as a thought leader in your niche?

This will definitely help – this week, LinkedIn has published its 2021 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, created in conjunction with Edelman, which highlights the key challenges and issues in the modern content landscape, and the elements you need to focus on in your efforts.

The study incorporates responses from 3,593 global business executives, from a wide range of industries and company sizes, providing key insight into B2B market shifts, and how decision-makers see the current landscape.

Which could be great for your planning – first off, respondents indicated that the pandemic has sparked a flood of thought-leadership content, but much of it is… well, not great.

LinkedIn Edelman B2B Thought Leadership report

While 54% of decision-makers say that they spend more than an hour per week reading and reviewing thought leadership, much of what they’re seeing isn’t winning them over, with 71% noting that less than half of the thought leadership they consume gives them valuable insights.

LinkedIn Edelman B2B Thought Leadership report

Which means it’s not really thought leadership at all. In order to lead the way, you need to be sharing your own, unique thoughts, and providing a new way of looking at common problems or challenges, which can then establish you as a go-to voice in your niche.

In other words, many aspiring thought leaders are ‘doing the things’, but they’re failing to differentiate themselves or their ideas, instead choosing to copy key elements, and regurgitate common lines and mantras.

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Which presents a significant opportunity. As has always been the case in the thought-leadership sphere, while anyone can write blog posts and distribute them across the world, very few people can actually communicate effectively, and provide a valuable perspective on the key shifts happening in their industry. Being able to write is one element, but taking the time to take a broader view, and consider what you, personally, think that each trend means, then having the courage to communicate that, is what truly defines a real thought ‘leader’ in this respect.

And that can have real, direct benefits.

LinkedIn Edelman B2B Thought Leadership report

In addition to this, effective thought leadership can also boost your branding efforts, with 63% of buyers saying that thought leadership “is important in providing proof that an organization genuinely understands or can solve your specific business challenges”.

The benefits are clear, but the challenge clearly lies in effective communication. You can’t simply assign a junior staff member to put together a few social media posts, nor can you expect your senior executives to be masters of written communication. Each element takes time and experience, and you need to invest in that effort, with a structured, defined process and approach, that will help to build your brand with every post and update.


And again, while anyone can write, great communication is a learned skill, and if you don’t have that capacity, you will fall short.

LinkedIn Edelman B2B Thought Leadership report

The same with research and expertise:

LinkedIn Edelman B2B Thought Leadership report

In essence, the guide underlines the value of taking a more dedicated, focused approach to your content marketing effort, not just posting the latest news on your website and hoping to generate response. You need to consider the purpose of every post, every article you create. What value will your audience glean from this? What unique perspective are you providing that they can’t get anywhere else?

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Filling your content calendar to keep your social media profiles active is not a strategy – you need to consider how every update you share relates back to your brand goals, and further underlines your brand as a key leader in your niche.

This takes time and effort, and dedicated investment for most organizations. But as shown in these responses, that process can pay off, especially as more low quality content spills across the web.

You can read the full Edelman/LinkedIn 2021 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study here.



Twitter Adds New Spaces Recording and Management Tools as it Continues to Focus on Audio Options



Twitter Adds New Spaces Recording and Management Tools as it Continues to Focus on Audio Options

I remain unconvinced that Twitter Spaces will ever become a thing, but Twitter itself seems certain that there’s major growth potential there, as evidenced by its continued push to add more elements to its Spaces offering, in order to lure more listeners across to its Spaces tab, and maximize listenership within its audio broadcasts.

This week, Twitter has rolled out another set of Spaces updates, including permanent recordings (as opposed to them deleting after 30 days), the capacity to save recordings after broadcast, and new details within the Spaces bar at the top of the app.

First off, on permanent recordings – after initially launching its Spaces recording feature to all users back in January, Twitter is now extending the life of those recordings beyond the initial 30 day period.

That’ll provide more capacity to attract listeners over the longer term, and keep your conversations alive in the app.

In addition to this, Twitter’s also adding a new listing of your recorded Spaces within your app settings menu, where you’ll be able to play each session back, delete those that you don’t want to keep, or share a recording direct from the list.


That’ll enhance the functional value of Spaces chats, making them more podcast-like, and more of a vehicle for ongoing promotion and audience building – though it does seem to also maybe go against what made audio platforms like Clubhouse so attractive to begin with, in that they were live, in-the-moment chats that you had to be there to catch.

But podcasts is clearly more of the angle that Twitter’s now going for, based on these example screens of another new test in the back end of the app.

Twitter Spaces Stations test

As you can see in these images (shared by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi), Twitter’s also developing ‘Stations’ within the Spaces tab, which would incorporate podcasts into its audio stream, providing even more options for tuning into on-demand audio content within the app.

That could make Spaces recordings even more valuable, and potentially help Spaces broadcasters translate their work into a monetizable podcast process – but do Twitter users really want to tune into podcasts from the app? I mean, we have Spoitify and Apple Podcasts and various other options available.

Could Twitter really become a key hub for audio content like this?

In some ways, it seems unnecessary, but then again, the real-time nature of tweets lends itself to topical discussion, and that could make it a good hub for all of these types of discussions and content, including Spaces, Spaces recordings, podcasts, etc.

And again, that would better facilitate connection between Spaces and recorded audio. It just depends on whether Twitter users will actually come to rely on the app for their latest podcast content.

On another front, Twitter will now also enable iOS users to record a Space when the broadcast is over, even if they didn’t hit ‘Record’ during the session.

Twitter Spaces recordings

Which also means that the ‘REC’ marker would not have been present during the session, alerting participants to the fact that this was being recorded, which could be problematic for some contributors.

In some ways, it seems like Twitter didn’t offer these options initially because it thought that it wouldn’t be able to facilitate the data storage required to keep all of the many recordings in its data banks, but now, with so few people broadcasting, it’s maybe found that this won’t actually be a problem.


A sort of ‘glass half full’ element, I guess.

Finally, Twitter’s also adding new details into the Spaces bar on Android, including additional, scrolling insights into who’s hosting, the topics being discussed, who’s shared a Tweet in the chat and more.

Twitter Spaces info

That could entice more users into the session – or at the least, bring even more attention to the Spaces bar at the top of the app by providing more, bigger info.

Though again, I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like Spaces is really catching on, going on the participant numbers in the Spaces stream. And while the addition of podcasts could be interesting, I don’t see Twitter becoming a key app for audio content, especially as the Clubhouse-led audio trend continues to die down.

But maybe the engagement numbers are better than it seems. I mean, you’d have to assume that they are, given Twitter’s ongoing investment in the functionality – through Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal did note last month, that the company had not hit intermediate milestones on its growth plans, based on its investment in new functionalities like Spaces, Communities and Twitter Blue.

Twitter hasn’t shared specific data, so maybe there’s more to it, and that’s why it’s so keen to push ahead with more Spaces tools. But either way, it’s giving it its best opportunity to succeed, and it’s seemingly not done yet with its Spaces development.

Will that, eventually, result in Spaces becoming a thing? Only time will tell.

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