5 Video Content Ideas to Increase Thought Leadership

In content marketing, becoming a thought leader involves more than just sharing information. It’s about influencing opinions, setting trends, and becoming a trusted source in your industry. Video content, and its ability to share ideas, innovations, and solutions in an engaging way has made it a valuable tool for organizations looking to stand out from competitors.

However, busy schedules, apprehension about being on camera, or even a lack of understanding of video’s value can deter many leaders from stepping into the spotlight and creating video content. Recognizing these hurdles is the first step towards overcoming them and unlocking the potential of video content to enhance thought leadership.

The Power of Video Content Marketing for Thought Leadership

When pitted against traditional written content, video stands out for its unparalleled ability to convey messages in a more personal, engaging, and accessible manner. It hardly comes as a surprise, then, that 89% of customers want to see more videos from brands in 2024.

Here’s why a video marketing strategy is a game-changer for thought leadership:

  • Accessibility: Video content breaks down complex ideas into digestible pieces, making it easier for a wider audience to understand and appreciate your insights. It transcends the barriers of education, attention span, and even language (with the aid of subtitles), ensuring your message reaches far and wide.
  • Engagement: The dynamic nature of video—with its combination of visuals, sound, and motion—captures and retains the viewer’s attention more effectively than text or static images. This fosters a deeper connection with the audience, encouraging them to invest their time and attention in your content.
  • Storytelling Potential: Videos have the unique ability to weave narratives that resonate on an emotional level with viewers. Through storytelling, thought leaders can share their journeys, challenges, and successes, creating a relatable and inspirational experience that written content often struggles to match.

Of course, understanding the “video lift”—the effort required by executives to create effective video content—is crucial. Busy executives often see the obligations associated with video content creation as a significant barrier. However, with strategic planning, streamlined production processes, and a focus on authentic, conversational content, you can significantly reduce this lift to make video content creation more manageable for leaders.

5 Video Content Ideas to Increase Thought Leadership

1. Repurpose Existing Content (Low Lift)

One of the most efficient video strategy approaches for generating new content is repurposing what you already have. Most organizations have a treasure trove of existing materials—be it presentations, blog posts, or webinar recordings—that can be quickly transformed into engaging video content.

Imagine taking a live presentation that your executive recently delivered at a conference. Instead of letting it gather dust, you convert it into a compelling video. By adding visuals, text overlays, and perhaps some background music to emphasize key points, you breathe new life into the presentation. This not only extends the reach of the original content but also provides an engaging format for audiences who prefer watching over reading.

This approach saves significant time and resources, as the content creation process leverages work that’s already been done. It capitalizes on the existing expertise within your organization and presents it in a format that’s more likely to capture attention. Additionally, it reinforces key messages, ensuring they resonate with a wider audience.

Thought Leadership Content Example: Attabotics CEO/Founder Scott Gravelle Speaks at Collision Conference 2023

2. Talking Head Videos (Medium Lift)

The talking head video format is straightforward yet powerful, featuring the executive speaking directly to the camera. This setup mimics a one-on-one conversation, fostering a sense of intimacy and direct communication with viewers.

This format excels in making personal connections and delivering messages with clarity and impact. It’s relatively easy to produce, requiring minimal equipment and setup beyond a quality camera and microphone. The direct engagement feels personal, as if the executive is speaking directly to each member of the audience. This connection is instrumental in building trust and authority.

To elevate the talking head format, consider incorporating graphics to highlight key points, weaving in snippets from interviews to add diverse perspectives, or adopting a Q&A format to address common questions from your audience. These elements not only break up the visual monotony but also add layers of interest and information, making your content more engaging and informative.

Thought Leadership Content Example: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Talks AI

3. Explainers and How-Tos (Medium Lift)

Explainer videos and how-to tutorials are fantastic mediums for demonstrating industry expertise and providing viewers with tangible value. By breaking down complex ideas or processes into understandable segments, these videos can significantly enhance your audience’s knowledge and skills.

An executive could create a short video explaining the nuances of a new industry regulation or demonstrating how to navigate a specific tool or process your company offers. This direct display of expertise and utility serves multiple purposes, from educating the audience to showcasing the executive’s in-depth knowledge.

Producing explainer and how-to videos positions your company and its leaders as go-to resources within the industry, cementing your status as thought leaders. This type of video content offers practical value to viewers, helping them solve problems or understand complex topics, which in turn fosters loyalty and appreciation for your brand.

Thought Leadership Content Example: Arpedio CEO Ulrik Monberg Introduces the Arpedio Platform

4. Formal Interviews (High Lift)

Conducting in-depth interviews with your executives, facilitated by reputable industry experts, can offer a wealth of benefits. This format allows for a thorough exploration of complex topics, providing a platform for executives to share insights, experiences, and predictions that highlight their expertise.

These interviews delve deeper than surface-level conversations, enabling executives to discuss nuances and share stories that establish their authority and thought leadership. The high production value associated with professionally conducted interviews also reflects positively on your brand, enhancing its prestige.

To ensure these sessions are as time-efficient as possible, consider using pre-recorded questions and having a set of pre-planned talking points. This preparation helps streamline the filming process, ensuring that discussions remain focused and valuable time is not wasted on tangents or unproductive directions.

Thought Leadership Content Example: Kotter Managing Directors Vanessa Akhtar & Gaurav Gupta Share Strategies for Minimizing Threats & Seizing Opportunities

5. Industry Panel Discussions (High Lift)

Hosting or participating in a panel discussion with your executives and other thought leaders from your industry can offer a dynamic and engaging video content option. This format brings together diverse perspectives, enriching the dialogue and providing a more comprehensive view of the subjects at hand.

Panel discussions allow for a broader exploration of topics, as different experts contribute their unique viewpoints and experiences. This not only enhances the content’s credibility, but also broadens its appeal and reach. By featuring alongside other respected voices in the industry, your executives further cement their status as key influencers.

To accommodate various schedules and increase participation in these discussions, consider pre-recording sessions or opting for live-streamed events. Pre-recorded panels offer the advantage of editing for brevity and clarity, while live streams can generate real-time engagement and excitement among your audience. Both formats have their merits, so you can make your choice based on the goals and resources available for the project.

Thought Leadership Content Example: Equinix Asia-Pacific Managing Director Max Perry Joins Industry Leaders on Digital Infrastructure Transformation

Video Tips for Working with Busy Executives

When creating video content with executives who have their calendars bursting at the seams, consider these strategies to streamline the process and maximize efficiency.

Clear and Concise Communication

  • Be precise: When you’re vying for a slice of an executive’s time, clarity is key. Communicate the purpose, expected outcome, and how the video strategy aligns with broader business goals. A well-defined brief can save hours.
  • Set expectations early: Outline the time commitment, preparation needed, and the filming process upfront to prevent any surprises. This allows executives to mentally and physically allocate the necessary space in their schedules.

Flexible Scheduling

  • Adapt to their calendar: Flexibility is your friend. Offer multiple options for recording times, and be willing to work around their commitments. Early mornings or late afternoons often work well, as those times are less likely to conflict with core business hours.
  • Plan in advance: The further out you can schedule, the better. This respects the executive’s busy agenda and ensures you get a slot that works for both parties.

Bite-Sized Recording Sessions

  • Keep it short and sweet: Consider breaking down the recording into shorter segments. This makes it less daunting for the executive and easier to fit into tight schedules. It also allows for more focused content.
  • Efficiency over duration: Focus on hitting your main points in the time available rather than pushing for longer sessions. Quality trumps quantity, especially when it comes to executive time.

Prioritize Preparation

  • Provide a script or talking points: Help executives prepare by providing a script, key messages, or talking points in advance. This minimizes on-the-spot pressure and ensures you’re conveying key messages effectively.
  • Rehearsal runs: If possible, schedule a brief rehearsal or run-through before the actual recording. This can help ease any nerves and iron out any technical or content-related kinks.

Utilize Professional Support

  • Bring in experts: Where budget allows, consider hiring a professional videographer or a video production team to ensure the recording goes smoothly and efficiently. Their expertise can significantly enhance the final product’s quality.
  • Technical setup: Ensure the recording environment is professionally set up, with good lighting, sound, and minimal distractions. This not only improves the video’s quality, but also demonstrates respect for the executive’s time and contribution.

By adopting these strategies, you can navigate the challenges of working with busy executives on video content creation more smoothly. The key is to respect their time, communicate effectively, and focus on making the process as seamless and enjoyable as possible for all involved.

Make Your Brand An Industry Go-To With Thought Leadership Video Content

Video content is a powerful way to showcase thought leadership and connect with audiences on a deeper level. From low lift ideas that weave existing insights into engaging narratives, to high lift endeavors that capture the comprehensive expertise of your executives, each strategy offers unique advantages and challenges. By tailoring content creation to fit the availability and strengths of your leaders, employing best practices for video optimization, and embracing the nuances of presentation and distribution, your organization can effectively amplify its voice and reinforce its position as an industry leader.

Remember, creating successful video content is as much about strategic planning and execution as it is about creativity and storytelling. Video elevates the profile of your executives as thought leaders and strengthens the overall brand narrative by driving deeper connections and fostering a loyal community around your vision and values.

Ask The Content Strategist: FAQs About Video Content Marketing

How can companies measure the success of their thought leadership video content?

Measure the effectiveness of thought leadership videos by tracking lead generation, subscriber growth, website traffic spikes, and viewer feedback. You can also use surveys and social media sentiment to analyze brand perception changes and provide insights into the content’s impact.

What are the specific challenges of live video content for thought leadership, and how can they be mitigated?

Prepare for live video challenges with technical rehearsals, ready answers for potential questions, and a clear session structure. A skilled moderator can keep the conversation on track, and a backup plan for technical issues ensures professionalism.

Can small businesses or solo entrepreneurs with limited resources effectively use video content for thought leadership?

Small businesses can create impactful videos using smartphones, basic equipment, and free editing software. Distribute content on platforms where the target audience is active and consider partnerships for co-creation to extend reach without significant costs.

How does the strategy for video content differ between B2B and B2C companies aiming to establish thought leadership?

B2B videos should offer detailed, educational content focused on solving business challenges, while B2C content tends towards shorter, emotionally engaging videos for direct consumer connection. Choose distribution platforms based on the target audience—LinkedIn for B2B and platforms like Instagram for B2C.

What role does audience feedback play in shaping future thought leadership video content, and how can it be effectively integrated?

Actively seek and integrate viewer feedback through social media, comments, and surveys. Tailoring future content to address audience interests and questions not only enhances relevance but also builds a community by making viewers feel valued and heard.

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