Thought Leadership vs Content Marketing [VIDEO]

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In this video blog, Lee Frederiksen addresses the differences between the two similar concepts, thought leadership and content marketing.

Video Transcription

Hi. I want to talk about the difference between thought leadership and content marketing, and this is something a lot of people kind of struggle with.

They’re not the same thing.

Thought Leadership vs. Content Marketing

Thought leadership is a process where you’re creating new, unknown, novel insights about things that are important to people within your profession. It…are the kind of insights that actually get adopted, and they influence future practice by the whole profession, and, of course, you have to make those insights visible. Having those insights and sitting in a Starbucks by yourself isn’t going to cut it. You have to make them visible to the world.

Content Marketing

Now, content marketing is something different. It’s where you’re providing useful content. It isn’t necessarily thought leadership, but it’s useful to the person, the audience you’re reaching. It’s also related to the services you do. Therefore, you’re helping people understand what kind of work you do, and, of course, you have to make that visible to the target audience.


So, if you think about them together, thought leadership is kind of a subset of content marketing, where content marketing is more general. If you want to get to the bottom of this, and increase your thought leadership or master content marketing, go to and check out the Visible Expert course. I think you’ll find it very helpful.


Author: Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D. Who wears the boots in our office? That would be Lee, our managing partner, who suits up in a pair of cowboy boots every day and drives strategy and research for our clients. With a Ph.D. in behavioral psychology, Lee is a former researcher and tenured professor at Virginia Tech, where he became a national authority on organizational behavior management and marketing. He left academia to start up and run three high-growth companies, including an $80 million runaway success story.

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