According to the recent Edelman / LinkedIn report on Thought Leadership, 84% of Business Decision-Makers value content forwarded to them by someone they know and respect. Moreover, relevance & timeliness is more important than the topic or originality.
This firmly underlines the importance of the trusted adviser and adds more weight to the idea that content is an extremely valuable commodity when used in a very targeted fashion.
In short, it doesn't really matter if you aren't sending the most original piece of content in the world, it matters that YOU (someone they know & trust) are sending something which is relevant to them. This is the essence of E2E communication. Moreover, it's one of the nicest ways to reach out to someone.
Why? Well, instead of lifting the phone or sending an email to directly influence someone (perhaps you need them to sign an order form or to confirm the next meeting), you could send them a piece of interesting content which they will enjoy reading and which is of real use.
It shows you care, have thought about them in a non-commercial manner and shows that you understand their problems/issues and can crucially, can help solve them. This is a consultative sale.
How can you make your content more relevant?
- Jot down the little details when you are having a conversation: These little details can help you send an increasingly relevant piece of content which answers a question or tells them something they didn't already know.
- Every communication you should be adding a little more value to the relationship: In every communication, see how you can send something of interest or of value.
- Involve marketing in your specific clients and customers needs. If they are producing extremely relevant content / insights / research for your target market, forwarding this on with a personalised note will be a nice touch and shows that both you & your team understand that client's needs, reinforcing/validating their trust in you.
- Write it yourself: Nobody can possibly replicate your expertise and knowledge. Make the effort and write a bespoke piece of content then send it to them.
84% of BDMs said that they valued thought leadership that was forwarded by someone they know and respect. 68% of BDMs said that they valued thought leadership that was forwarded by their bosses. Timeliness and relevance really is more important than the topic originality – says 63% of BDMs and CXOs.