Thought Leadership vs. Organic Search Content: Why They Both Matter

If content is king, it will reign for quite some time–if not forever. The statistics on content are a resounding affirmation of its spot at the forefront of digital marketing. 72 percent of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are producing more content than they were a year ago (Content Marketing Institute). 86 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers use content marketing (Content Marketing Institute). And, in 2014, 71 percent of marketers said they would increase their investment in content “without a doubt” (Curata). For businesses small and large alike, navigating the content craze can be challenging. So to make it easier, let’s break content into two main types: thought leadership content and organic search content. Both are essential to your marketing strategy, and here’s why:


Thought leadership is arguably one of the most overused terms in digital marketing. But when it comes to content, there’s no better way to capture the attention of your audience than by creating and disseminating true thought leadership content.

The goal of this type of content is to position the writer and/or brand as an industry expert. This is your best method for showcasing your expertise, and while there is certainly an element of education involved, your primary goal is to offer compelling ideas and perspectives that trigger an emotional response. The key to thought leadership content is pairing your content with the right outlet in order to reach the right audience.


It’s common marketing knowledge that blogging drives long-term search engine optimization (SEO). But on a micro-level, every piece of content you create for your company’s blog should have a clear objective. A successful blog is populated and constantly updated with organic search content–that is, content that answers common questions typed into search engines.

The key to developing effective organic search content is to consider and analyze the way people search for information on the web. The base of your research is a combination of common sense and trial and error, with more refined content strategies utilizing SEO tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner. In the end, you want to strike the right balance of showcasing your knowledge (just like with thought leadership content) and capturing customers.


The obvious question here is, “Which type of content should you create?”

The answer depends on your business model. Thought leadership content usually works well in the B2B arena because it allows a business to demonstrate the intellectual value they bring to the market while indirectly promoting their services. A B2B transaction usually involves a longer buyer journey, and thought leadership content helps to facilitate the early communications higher up in the sales funnel. It powers both your blog and digital PR outreach, eventually circling back around to your general marketing efforts online and in print.

Organic search content, on the other hand, is more geared toward product-based businesses that see quicker transactions. We also recommend it for service-based brands speaking directly to consumers. Organic search content allows you to accelerate your content marketing when you filter each article through your blog, website, social media, SEO and e-blasts. By hitting all of these channels at once, you are establishing your business as an informational resource for prospective customers.


It’s not always a matter of choosing one or the other. With many clients, we end up carving out a content strategy that incorporates both thought leadership content and organic search content.

There’s no need to try to figure this all out for yourself. Raindrop Marketing can help you with all things content-related, from ideation and planning through creation and distribution. Click here to see a collection of our recent work.