Business size determines thought leader content consumption

27 October 2022 | 4 min read | Digital
Paul MacKenzie-Cummins
Paul MacKenzie-Cummins

In a study of over 500 CEOs and Managing Directors, conducted by Clearly, we found that the amount of thought leadership content (articles, podcasts, newsletters, or video content) consumed by business leaders depends on the size of the organisation they represent.

The bigger the business, the more content its leaders consume

Taken as a whole, the average time spent consuming thought leadership content is 21.6 minutes per day (108 minutes per week). But there are notable differences when we break down the data.

Leaders with 500 or more employees typically spend 133 minutes each week on consuming thought leadership content.

This number dips slightly for those with workforces numbering between 250-499 to 117 minutes.

It falls once again to 74 minutes per week for those employing between 50-249 people.

Leaders of businesses whose workforces number below 50 people were found to spend just 37 minutes per week, with one in three (35 per cent) admitting to never consuming any content at all.

Women consume more content than men

Differences in the amount of business related content consumed also varied between the sexes. The research revealed that female business leaders and executives spend an average of 22 minutes more than men each week engaging in such content.

One possible explanation for this could be the differences in how much more ‘engaged’ women are than men. Indeed, our data found that one in three (31 per cent) male leaders are more likely to find the content they’re exposed to as ‘boring’ compared to just 25 per cent of female leaders.

The pandemic has seen business leaders and key decision makers grapple with an ever-changing set of new and often-complex challenges.

Business leaders are increasingly seeking insights and expertise from among their peers to gain a greater understanding and support over some of the challenges they are currently facing such as political instability, the impact of the rising cost of living, and soaring energy costs to name but a few.

They know they don’t have all the answers. No one has. But some of the solutions they seek might be found in the content produced by their peers – the ‘thought leaders’ in their industry.

Business leaders are increasingly seeking insights and expertise from among their peers to gain a greater understanding and support over some of the challenges they are currently facing. Cue the demand for thought leadership content

Indeed, the research shows that the more complex things become the greater the need to access information from those we consider to be ‘experts’.

In fact, our study found that 59 per cent of CEOs and Managing Directors in the UK believe that accessing sound business related content will become more important in the coming months.

Do women make better leaders than men?

Of particular note to us is the finding that female leaders consume around a quarter more thought leadership than their male colleagues. It follows that as women are accessing and processing more business related content, they have a greater breadth of valuable insights that can be drawn upon.

We’re not positing that women make ‘better’ leaders than men simply because they clearly possess more information – that would be over simplifying things. Rather, it should be a consideration for those organisations who have yet to achieve greater female representation on their Boards.

How can a thought leadership content strategy help your organisation?

Clearly, as an agency, has been creating sound thought leadership content for clients since 2014. They value it because:

  • It creates and builds a strong personal brand for the organisation’s key people.
  • It positions leaders as trusted experts in their space, which in turn attracts loyal customers.
  • It establishes a brand identity that stands the organisation apart from its competitors.
  • It enhances the organisation’s digital profile and make it more ‘discoverable’ online.
  • It serves as a powerful lead generator and sales consolidator.

If you are looking to position you and your key people as industry thought leaders, we can help you. Feel free to call or email me any time and I and my team can help to develop your thought leadership strategy and give your brand the elevation it deserves.