5 Types of Thought Leadership Content To Help You Build Authority

5 Types Of Thought Leadership Content To Help You Build Authority

By Sogi Chukwuanu

Over the last decade or so, thought leadership content has gained momentum, and if you’ve followed any of our previous blogs, you’ll know that it’s an excellent way to build credibility and establish yourself as an authority within your niche.

But how exactly do you “thought lead”? 

What secrets, unique perspectives, and experiences can you offer your audience? And what’s the best medium for sharing these ideas? 

If you ever find yourself sitting in front of a blank Google Doc wondering what to write, here are some types of thought leadership content to help you build authority within your niche.

  1. Data from original research
  2. Infographics
  3. Blogs/articles with counter-narrative opinions
  4. Educational, analytical webinars and podcasts
  5. A high-quality, informative book

Data from original research

A lot of the information we digest on the internet is a copy of a copy of a copy of one piece of great content. There’s hardly any originality or authenticity out there because it’s easier to simply replicate what already exists. 

Conducting original research requires more time and expertise – and your audience knows this. That’s why it’s one of the best ways to showcase your thought leadership. By putting in the work to gather data and present your audience with a fresh perspective, you’ll establish credibility and showcase yourself as a pioneer within your industry.

But where do you start? 

The first thing you want to do is select a topic – whether it’s a trending topic in your industry or one that’s surrounded by speculation and fluff, without any hard data. Once you’ve selected your topic, you can collect data by studying patterns and conducting surveys or opinion polls on the internet. 

Here’s a pretty good example of this type of thought leadership content from Semrush:

It’s worth noting that data-based thought leadership content (or any other type of content at all) shouldn’t just be created for your target audience. It should also be considered valuable by other industry leaders and experts. This way, it will garner even more reach and credibility. 


Fun fact: infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than written articles. What’s more, websites that use infographics within their content generate 12 per cent more traffic than those that don’t.

And there’s an entire science behind this. Studies have shown that humans are visual creatures. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text. This explains why visual content, such as infographics, significantly impacts information retention and how well people listen to what you’re saying.

Bearing this in mind, infographics are a great way to showcase thought leadership, especially if you’ve already conducted your research and collected data. This will make your content highly shareable, visually appealing, and easily digestible. 

Plus, it can be repurposed into further pieces of high-quality content, which will come in handy on days when you can’t seem to come up with anything. 

P.S: Check out our blog on how to beat the blank page and de-stress content creation here

Blogs/articles with counter-narrative opinions

In many cases, strong op-eds that go against the conventional wisdom of your industry can be great pieces of thought leadership content. Not only does this kind of content set you apart from the crowd, but it also offers your audience a fresh perspective. It encourages them to step away from the norm and think outside the box.

A note of warning, however: it’s not enough to be contrarian or go against the grain just for the sake of it. This type of thought leadership content still has to ring true and be backed by evidence, or else you’ll only be blowing hot air. What’s more, creating controversial content without evidence or logic to back your arguments could damage your credibility in the long run. 

Educational, analytical webinars and podcasts

One defining feature of high-quality thought leadership content is how well it dissects relevant trends, data, and developments in the space around you. If you can pay attention to what’s happening within your industry and recognise what’s working, what’s not working and why, you’ve got yourself some credible material.

And what better way to share this knowledge with your target audience than through a webinar or podcast? 

A webinar helps you to engage audiences in real time (ensuring you’re talking WITH them, not TO them). A podcast, meanwhile, allows you to provide in-depth discussions and expert interviews for your tribe of active listeners.

Regardless of the route you choose to take, you can achieve incredible results when you start sharing consistent, educational and analytical content.

A high-quality, informative book

Ever thought about writing a book

Books are the original form of thought leadership content, and now they’re more accessible than ever. A well-written book that highlights a counter-narrative, includes data-based storytelling, or shares a revolutionary personal narrative can significantly impact not just your audience but also your content strategy as a whole. 

However, a book requires far more commitment than any thought leadership article or webinar. If you’re creating longer-form content, you’ll need three key ingredients: 

a) Data to support your opinions 

b) Engaging stories to keep the reader interested till the very last chapter 

c) Actionable takeaways the reader can implement – all of which significantly boost credibility. 

A lot of this comes down to knowing who your audience is, what makes them tick, and what level of information they already have.

Where should you share your thought leadership content? 

The best place to share your thought leadership content is where your audience is.

Think of it this way: If you wanted to speak to a dentist, the best place to find one would be a dental clinic or a dental convention. Sure, there’s an off-chance that you may run into one at a hair salon or bar, but I guarantee you that no one wants to talk about plaque or dental infections over a glass of beer.

It’s the same with thought leadership content. You need to consider where your audience is most active and engaged, and what type of content they consume and share. You can then optimise and align your content with the channel and your audience’s expectations and preferences. That’s when you’ll get the best results.

Hopefully, this blog has inspired you to begin or move forward with your thought leadership strategy. If you’d like some support to get started on this journey, book a free Clarity Call to find out how our team of experts can help.

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