Creator-led newsletters & the opportunity for B2B brands right now.

February 12, 2024 0 Comments

Creator-led newsletters & the opportunity for B2B brands right now.


Niche, independent newsletters in areas like AI, health tech and finance are emerging as the go-to source for industry insights right now, offering a unique blend of personal perspective and subject matter expertise. As we dive deeper into 2024, the resurgence of newsletters is more than just a nostalgic nod to the past; it’s a testament to our cravings for curated content that resonates with our professional lives.


So What’s Behind the B2B Creator Newsletter Renaissance?

(Mostly) gone are the days of routine morning catch-ups and small talk by the office coffee machine. The digital, wfh era for highly skilled workers demands a new kind of morning ritual, one that delivers tailored news and thought leadership directly to inboxes. And with this shift in corporate culture, creator-led newsletters like Alex Lieberman’s Morning Brew are not brewing coffee; they’re brewing up a storm in the way we consume information.


From Blogging to Newsletter Writing: The Evolution of Content Creation

Newsletters written by industry thought leaders and SME’s are the natural progression from blogging, offering a more intimate and direct channel to engage with an audience. Platforms like LinkedIn and Substack have become the go-to spaces for B2B writers, each with its own set of features and functionality. Substack offers ‘no-code’ options for highly customised newsletter templates, the ability for creators to own their subscriber/email data as well as the opportunity to monetise newsletters through subscriber only, premium content (with favourable rev share terms for writers). And while LinkedIn may not offer direct monetisation options or the ability to send emails directly, the platform does offer a baked-in way for gaining subscribers, allowing users to effortlessly invite their Followers and Connections to opt-in to newsletters. For Top Voices and influencers who are already prolific on the platform but who want to publish longer reads, newsletters are increasingly attractive. All of this brings in a new era for independent publishing.


A World of Independent Voices

The B2B sector is brimming with newsletters made for readers who want quality and industry specialism. These voices offer a fresh perspective, distinct from the mainstream narratives of major trade publications, providing readers with content that feels like insider knowledge shared amongst peers.


Looking for examples? We’ve compiled a list below to demonstrate the diversity in B2B niches:

Artificial Intelligence: Andreas Welsch’ Intelligence Briefing

Biotechnology: Andrii Buvailo’s Where Tech Meets Bio

Entrepreneurship: Chris Donnelly’s The Step by Step Newsletter

Women in Tech: Amber Shand’s Own Your Wins

Cybersecurity: Daniel Miessler’s Unsupervised Learning

Marketing: Shama Hyder’s It’s Not Magic, It’s Marketing

Software Development: Alex Xu’s ByteByteGo

Business Strategy: Tom Alder’s Strategy Breakdown

Sales: Tom Boston’s No Nonsense Sales


The Win-Win of Brand-Newsletter Partnerships

Why should business-to-business brands get in on the newsletter game? Simple. The authenticity and credibility of creator-led newsletters provide a golden opportunity for brands to connect with audiences in a meaningful way. Benefits include:

Niche Targeting

Newsletter content caters to very specific interests and industries, offering B2B brands an opportunity to target their content and ads with precision. Many creators can also share their subscriber analytics and insights back with brands, such as job titles, job seniority and company data.

Engaged Audiences

Newsletter readers are not passive consumers; they actively choose to subscribe and engage with content, indicating higher potential for lead generation.

Content Integration

Sponsorships can be seamlessly integrated into the content, offering a more organic and less intrusive form of advertising. For the B2B thought leaders and SME’s who spend a great deal of time researching, writing and publishing, brand partnerships offer a monetisation option that does not depend directly on paid subscribers. Not to mention that content collaboration can open doors with brands that writers already view as category or market leaders in their industry.


The Nuts and Bolts of Collaboration

Newsletter sponsorship can take many forms, from featured articles to text ads, each offering a unique way to engage with readers and drive action.

Let’s start with promoted content. Some creators host branded content, or cover company announcements within their newsletters or articles, giving companies exposure to net-new or untapped audiences.

This method of content distribution can be quick to implement, but many creators like to have more control over the content their audience is reading. In these instances, another approach is for creators to produce sponsored articles. An example of co-created content for newsletters can be found from Helen Yu’s CXO Spice Newsletter:

Lastly, many industry newsletters we see offer standardised text ads or newsletter insertions. These typically have a character limit, a clear call to action/link and an image, akin to a search or native ad. An example from Strategy Breakdowns can be found here:

Despite the simplicity of some formats, their effectiveness in reaching and resonating with target audiences can be profound.


Measuring Success with Newsletter Sponsorships

In B2B marketing, the quest for measurable impact is never-ending. Newsletters, with their inherently engaging format, offer a promising avenue for brands to predict reach by using the writer’s benchmarks for email open rates. This can be helpful when compared to forecasting reach for promoted social posts, where reach rate can vary.

We also see a lot of briefs that want to see increased web traffic or whitepaper downloads off the back of activity. Newsletter sponsorships offer an element of partnership that aligns more closely with these KPI’s – although that isn’t to say that brands should stop creator partnerships there. The most beneficial partnerships should also incorporate sponsored social posts or new content creation with influencers and thought leaders as well. Examples include podcasts/vodcasts, influencer-led events or promoted social posts across LinkedIn or X.


Getting Started

The untapped potential of creator-led newsletters in the B2B space is staggering. Beyond the immediate benefits of audience engagement and brand visibility, newsletters offer a low-risk testing ground for broader influencer marketing strategies. Our advice? Run a proof of concept with a few creators on newsletter sponsorships to feel out the ways of working and determine how well these collaborations complement existing marketing activity like paid social, lead gen or affiliates. The seeds of collaboration can blossom into long-term influencer marketing partnerships that work well across b2b industries. Looking for more advice on who the right creators and writers are for your brand or how to get started? Get in touch.