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Thought Leadership Video Guide: How to Create One & Best Examples

Elevate your brand with thought leadership videos. Learn how to create and see the best examples in this comprehensive guide.
Lisa Harroy
Creator Partnerships Lead
April 25, 2023
Last Updated:
January 23, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Looking to become a leader in your industry? Establish your expertise, build credibility, and create community and a following around ideas by becoming a thought leader. 

Thought leadership content is a type of marketing strategy that positions a person or organization as an expert in their field or industry. This type of content can be shared through articles, social media, videos, and more. These videos are generally inspiring and thought-provoking content that is meant to share unique perspectives and innovations. 

This guide will outline the best types of thought leadership videos, as well as creative examples and best practices for content marketing on all platforms. We’ll share the benefits of creating thought leadership videos, where you should publish your content, and what makes thought leadership successful. 

What is a thought leadership video?

A thought leadership video is a type of video content showcasing people who are experts in their field or industry. Thought leadership content inspires and educates. You can do this by offering a unique perspective, influencing change, or offering guidance. Thought leadership can also provide commentary or opinion, explore trends, and industry research. You can make this type of video in many different styles, including as an interview, lecture, panel discussion, documentary, and more. 

Why should you create a thought leadership video?

You can establish your expertise in your industry or field, build a brand, and increase engagement by creating a thought leadership video. 

According to research produced by Edelman and LinkedIn, this new way of marketing content is making waves. In the survey, 65 percent of buyers said their perception of a company was improved due to thought leadership content. As well, 47 percent of buyers said thought leadership led them to discover and ultimately purchase from a company.

Below are some benefits of creating thought leadership content and videos.

Benefits of thought leadership videos

Thought leadership videos provide numerous benefits, including creating awareness of you and your brand, establishing credibility, increasing reach, improving SEO, and more. 

Establish expertise and increase credibility

Thought leadership videos can make you a leading voice in your industry or niche, as well as better your reputation. Establish your expertise by producing quality content with your insights and perspectives and build a community of people interested in your message. This lets you build trust and credibility with peers, followers, and potential customers. 

Thought leadership can also help differentiate you from competitors and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. 

Better engagement and wider reach

Thought leadership videos can engage followers more than traditional marketing videos. Videos can be more memorable than written content, as it has both visual and auditory elements to stimulate viewers’ senses. Using emotion and personality to tell your story will make your message resonate. If successful, thought leadership videos can become widely shared on social media. 

Increase business opportunities

Thought leadership videos can lead to new business opportunities. This can include additional revenue streams, speaking events, book deals, sponsorships, brand partnerships and more. 

Improved SEO

Video content performs well with search engines and drives more traffic to your social media feeds and website. As mentioned above, video can hold a viewer’s attention for longer as it’s more engaging than written content. Search engines like Google favor content with higher engagement rates, which looks at metrics like time spent viewing content, likes, and click-through rates. Google will also display snippets of videos relevant to the search topic within search results, allowing you to pop up to more people.  

Thought leadership video types 

There are several different ways that you can shoot and frame your thought leadership videos. Consider the below styles to determine the best fit for you and your message.

Interview Style

An interview-style thought leadership video focuses on a single person's story, perspective, or opinion. This video has a host asking the thought leader well-researched, provocative questions about their expertise. Repurpose interview-style videos into articles, podcasts, and social media content for added bang for your buck.


With the rise of TikTok, video blogs or vlogs are everywhere. These videos involve a thought leader talking straight to the camera, sharing their daily routines, habits, insights, and thoughts. These videos can be the easiest to make because you don’t need to schedule with other people or have a complicated production schedule.

Lecture Style or Keynote

Lecture-style thought leadership videos are a type of keynote speech or presentation similar to what you’d watch at a conference or industry event. For example, look at popular TED-talk videos with one thought leader sharing their message to a crowd. 

Panel Discussion

Panel or roundtable discussion videos can provide multiple voices and perspectives on a topic by bringing together a group of thought leaders or experts. Structure these types of videos as a debate of ideas or a moderated discussion on a topic of interest. 

Documentary Style

A documentary-style thought leadership video combines both subject matter expert interviews and footage. This type of video is betting for showing rather than telling, as you can include clips related to your subject matter or additional people. 


Use an FAQ video to clarify your message, discuss multiple topics, and answer inquiries you receive from followers or customers. Ask on your social channels what questions people have for you and use these to drive your video content. With just a bit of research, FAQ videos can be made without difficulty. 


Webinars are live online classes or events where you can share your thought leadership message and inspire and engage with viewers in real-time. Record a webinar remotely with people from around the world to offer multiple perspectives on a topic. 

Tutorial Video or “How to”

Use a tutorial or how-to videos to showcase your message, product, or services. How-to guides can provide step-by-step instructions on how to do something. This style of video provides value to viewers looking to learn about new topics and acquire skills. Check out our how-to ideas for some inspiration.

What makes a thought leadership video successful?

For your thought leadership video to be successful, it must be engaging, informative, and provide value. 

Clear messaging:

Thought leadership can sometimes explore complex topics and trends, but videos should also still provide a single clear message for the audience to digest.

Provide value:

Thought leadership videos need to provide value to viewers, whether through educating on a topic, inspiring, or motivating. The video should also be relevant to your particular audience and provide useful insights. 

Stay away from sales tactics:

Thought leadership is a type of business, but your videos shouldn’t have typical sales tactics. Your video should be able to inspire and motivate viewers rather than hard-selling. 

Evoke the human aspect:

Thought leadership is about inspiring, motivating, and teaching, which you can achieve best by telling real, impactful stories about people. Successful thought leaders may have viewers thinking about larger issues or about their own behavior.

Share widely: 

In order to be successful, thought leadership videos must be shared and promoted through social media, email, websites, and other channels. Tag associated people, brands, and companies and encourage followers to share your content. 

Be consistent: 

It’s difficult to find success in thought leadership with a single video. By consistently producing quality thought leadership content, you’ll be able to build a following and brand authority over time. 

Right length: 

Generally, shorter videos perform better on social media platforms, especially TikTok and Instagram, though both now allow longer content. On the other hand, webinars, interviews, keynote speeches, and the like can be longer in up to an hour of video. 

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How to make a thought leadership video in 7 easy steps

Follow the below easy steps to make a successful and impactful thought leadership video.  

Step 1: Define your brand

Before you make a thought leadership video, make sure you have defined your brand and who you are as a thought leader. Thought leaders must have a deep understanding of their industry or area. You also need strong communication skills to become a leading voice in your field. Clarify your expertise and research what others are doing in your field. 

Step 2: Clarify your message

Once you’ve defined your brand as a thought leader, begin to brainstorm topics for your content leadership video. Thought leadership is a way to offer guidance and insight, provide informed opinions, and recognize trends. Focus on what you know best and can teach others about. Your videos should have one core message and have supported research and data from multiple sources. 

Step 3: Choose your format and tell a story

After you have defined your brand and clarified your message, choose the most appropriate format or style of video, as listed above. If interviewing another expert, research and focus on asking the right questions. For the most impact, consider how to weave storytelling into your message. 

Step 4: Set up and test your equipment

Now that you know what type of video and story you’ll make, consider where and how you’ll film your video. You can use a desktop, smartphone, tablet, or DSLR camera to film yourself. Using an external microphone can improve your sound quality but internal mics also work. 

Make sure that you and any other speakers are well lit and that your background is simple, clean and uncluttered. Record your video in a place without any background noise, away from appliances that make any buzzing noises. Do a test run with your chosen software and set up to make sure you’re looking and sounding great. 

Step 5: Record your video

Once you’ve defined your brand, message, and story, you’re ready to record! This can be done in a number of ways, including just with a smartphone or camera. For an all-in-one online solution for remote and local recording, consider It’s free to start out with Riverside and provides you with a recording studio on your phone or computer. 

Learn more: How to Film a YouTube Video in Professional Quality: 7 Steps 

Step 6: Editing and post production

After recording your video, it’s time to make it look good. Within Riverside you can use our text-based editor to make cuts and changes like you would with a word document. Your video’s audio can be easily enhanced with the normal audio levels and remove background noise tools. You can also search your timeline for words and easily navigate there to make shorter clips for social. 

Learn more: How to Edit Videos: Easy Steps and 15 Tips for Beginners

Step 7: Share widely

Once your thought leadership video is complete, upload it to a platform like YouTube, adding additional information like SEO keywords and links. Share the video with your social networks and promote it on your website or newsletter. 

Where should you publish a thought leadership video?

First, publish your thought leadership video on a hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo. YouTube is more popular as it will help with sharing your content with more people. Next, embed the video on your website, share it in an email newsletter, or in other communications you use. Share the video on the social media platforms where you have built a community. For example, LinkedIn is a good place to share professional career-oriented thought leadership. 

It’s also good sharing practice to tag any people, companies, or brands featured in your video. Encouraging people to share with their own audiences will help your thought leadership video have a larger reach. 

Best thought leadership video examples to learn from

The power of vulnerability | Brené Brown 

One of the best-known thought leaders is Brené Brown. Brené Brown is a professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host and is a thought leader about human and social psychology. She mainly uses lecture-style videos to discuss her research on topics like vulnerability, shame, and courage.

What to learn: Use personal stories and humor to share your message and connect with a crowd 

What AI is and isn't. What AI can do, and what it cannot.

NYU Stern created a video series of thought leaders discussing important topics. In this video, a scientist and author talks with an NYU professor about what AI is and what it can do.

What to learn: Explore complex topics through interviews with thought leaders

Tim Cook on the Future of the Internet, Crypto, Mental Health and More | DealBook Online Summit

This interview-style thought leadership video was made with Here Tim Cook, Apple CEO talks about various topics with an interviewer.

What to learn: Build credibility in your industry by explaining your expertise and discussing trends

FAQs on Thought Leadership Videos

Where can I find thought leadership video content?

The best place to find thought leadership video content right now is probably on YouTube. It's a popular platform for thought leaders on a wide range of topics. LinkedIn is also a popular platform for industry experts and leaders to share their perspectives through thought leadership. Thought leaders are also proliferating on social platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where it’s easy to make short videos. 

How long should thought leadership videos be?

The length of thought leadership videos depends on the format, type, and platform, but on the shorter end should be three to five minutes long, especially for social media like TikTok. Note that it may be better to explain a more complicated concept in a series of shorter videos. Some styles of thought leadership videos do warrant a longer length, such as TED types of lecture videos. These types of videos can easily run from 45 minutes to one hour. Consider publishing longer videos between a few shorter ones to keep people’s attention span on your page. 

Who is the best thought leader for video?

Some of the best thought leaders for video include Simon Sinek, Brené Brown, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, and Satya Nadella. Many large brands, like TED and leading corporations, are also producing good thought leadership content.  

What are good thought leadership topics for video?

There is a wide range of good topics for thought leadership videos. Many motivational videos are about personal development, including topics like psychology, resilience, and behavior. Personal finance, debt management, and career development are all popular topics. Many thought leaders talk about business topics such as corporate social responsibility, sustainability, leadership, and the future of work. Trends in technology are also very popular, including about AI, data, analytics, and globalization. 

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What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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