Top 5 Thought Leadership Content Writing Agencies
Top 5 Thought Leadership Content Writing Agencies you can explore for your brand:
- Financial Times - Longitude
- With Content
Thought leadership is not an easy format to pull off as it requires hands-on experience in the industry to create original content. This is something that most general SEO agencies or Content mills cannot really pull off. An individual thought leadership writer can only provide a few blogs a month. If you're planning to scale your publishing of thought leadership formats, it would require a dedicated thought leadership content agency.
We have compiled the top 5 content agencies that specialize in thought leadership content strategy based on the following:
- Access to experts for creating content
- Content formats supported
- Publication ownership
Why should you outsource thought leadership content creation?
Thought leadership requires subject matter expertise and special skill sets.
It simply doesn't make sense to hire a dedicated writer on a full-time basis - that would turn out more expensive than hiring an agency. Although, setting up an internal content team is better if you run a full-scale industry publication like Harvard Business Review by Harvard University.
For example, First Round Review by First Round Capital has a dedicated content manager. The manager manages a few writers to achieve a publishing cadence of 3-4 blogs per month. Read more about First Round Review's content strategy case study in our Media First brand newsletter.
The thought leadership approach to content creation isn't about mass churning content either - so hiring content mills doesn't make any sense too.
For example, publishing a report requires crafting insights by conducting surveys and speaking with subject matter experts for quotes. For data storytelling, getting an analyst on board to conduct original research and visualize the data helps get better quality results than a B2B SaaS writer.
Thus, as a brand, it's important to figure out how big your thought leadership program needs to be.
- If it's 1 report per year - hire freelance talent.
- If you have a per-month budget, hire a thought leadership agency.
- If it is a dedicated publication - set up an internal content team.
In our experience, most companies would lie on the 2nd spectrum because they need to test the ROI of their thought leadership efforts.
Thought leadership content format options to choose from
Saying 'We want thought leadership' is not the right ask when approaching any content agency.
Moreover, since thought leadership requires subject matter expertise, quality specialist agencies will not focus on 'anything and everything' under the hood. As a brand, you should also zero down on what content formats you want to have for your content library.
Check out our article on identifying content archetypes to help you fix your requirements.
Here are the 5 major types of thought leadership content formats that you can choose from for your strategy and agency search:
Here, you perform original research backed by data and publish it as a whitepaper, research paper, industry analysis, trend reporting, or case study for your readers. Such content pieces usually get cited and backlinked by other content libraries - thus helping you increase domain authority and brand value.
For example, The World Economic Forum has published 'The Future of Jobs Report 2023', which is a data story format. If you scroll down, you can observe they have repurposed the full report into smaller content pieces too.
In this, you hire a ghostwriter, ideally with an experience in storytelling, to take insights from your management or business to craft narratives unique to the brand. Here, the writer conducts journalistic-style interviews and creates a narrative as per the brand's content guidelines.
For example, StarterStory interviews indie makers and entrepreneurs who have successfully bootstrapped their businesses. Merrative is also featured in this publication - and we shared answers about the early days of our community and how we plan to grow it further.
Organizing webinars, events, AMAs or panel discussions fall under this thought leadership content format. Organizing such experiences is a one-time effort because you can repurpose them into multiple other content formats. It also helps you tap into video, audio and social media content formats apart from text.
For example, Niche Pursuits is an authority on building niche businesses. Here, they conduct podcast interview, which is available in both audio and YouTube video format. Then, it is converted into an engaging blog post format. They also send a newsletter with every new feature published.
Books are also a form of narrative content type - but having a bestseller published under your brand is the God level of industry authority. One can start with branded eBooks about industry concepts. You can gradually level up by publishing the company's story or founder's journey.
For example, 37Signals is a perfect example of branded book publishing. They have published bestsellers in the field of remote work - an industry where their core product belongs, Basecamp and Hey.
Your company can choose any combination from the above formats as per its available resources.
At Merrative - we help you start small to test the waters. Contact us to know more details about our Starter Package - Book a call
Explore the top 5 thought leadership content writing services to choose from
Now that you have an introduction to various thought leadership content formats, it is easy to prospect an agency that delivers them. They are not in any specific order.
We have curated the best authors, journalists, research scholars and professional writers who are capable of crafting thought leadership for any individual and brand. At Merrative, we have also collaborated with think tanks, educational institutions and publishers to bring the best literature piece into the world. We cater to nothing but thought leadership space - and have built a community of 4000+ folks who appreciate this industry.
We understand that the main aim of thought leadership content is to create a community of people who trust your brand. Since we ourselves are a community and run 3 publications, we know what it takes to pull it off.
- We are a community of 4000+ readers, writers, journalists and research scholars. We have handpicked top 5% of creators to build our talent pool of thought leaders who are available to craft original content for your brand.
- We help with all 4 thought leadership content format types mentioned.
- Apart from helping hire talent, we help with thought leadership content strategy and scaling your present content team.
Book a call to know about how we work with our clients.
ThoughtLDR is an agency that focuses on thought leadership content strategy - but predominantly in US and UK markets. They also take care of PR and personal branding for business leaders. Their team consists of designers, experts, writers, PR networkers, etc who help craft thought leadership content. You can check out the ThoughtLDR website to know more about their services.
Longitude is a service by the Financial Times Group and is specifically into B2B thought leadership. Their promise as per the website is to make create engaging B2B content. With an impressive clientele, Longitude is a great option for B2B brands. Being primarily a reputed media company also helps with their authority. Although they might be limited in their approach to B2C brands and smaller B2B companies. Check out FT Longitude's website to know more about their service.
Animalz is a content marketing agency with a focus on B2B SaaS, venture capital, and enterprise industries. As per their website, they help create whitepapers, eBooks, articles, and much more. They also help with SEO consulting and link-building campaigns. You can check their existing case studies and blog to understand how they work with clients. Check out Animalz's website to know more about their services.
With Content is a thought leadership agency that focuses on the Southeast Asian markets. As per their website, they provide services across content strategy, creation and repurposing. Formats they support include articles, whitepapers, infographics, and case studies. Check out With Content's website to know more about their services.
How to choose the right thought leadership writing agency?
One chooses an agency to scale their content marketing efforts. For this, it is very important to know what your business requires. Moreover, thought leadership is an expensive exercise to carry out, especially if you plan on running an active publication.
While making a decision, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you plan to scale your thought leadership efforts? If yes, you may want to choose a thought leadership agency that has the bandwidth to scale with the business.
- What is your budget per month? Remember that thought leadership content formats can get more expensive than usual because general writers or AI writing tools are not able to deliver the required results.
- What are your timelines for where you want to be? Choosing a small or new thought leadership agency means more time in reaching the desired outcomes from the content creation efforts. Also, making smaller agencies rush to scale efforts may result in a compromise in delivered quality.
Prepare a content agency selection checklist which are non-negotiables for your business. When running down with the agency's sales teams, use the checklist to keep the meeting short and focused.
At Merrative, we are a community-led marketplace for the thought leadership space. This means, our services are scalable with a genuine subject matter expert talent pool.
Know more if we are a fit for your business - book a call. Happy to read what you've been doing with your content and how we can help you.