How Social Media Puts Professional Content Center Stage

New Research Reveals Professional Content Sharing Trends

April 22, 2014

Where do you find trust on the Internet? Sounds like a hard question. But if you are reaching out to professionals, the content they consume as part of their careers  -- business & finance news, world events, updates on technology -- is what they trust the most, according to a new study from Millward Brown Digital and LinkedIn. Partly for that reason, it’s content that they welcome outside the working environment. In fact, professionals spend 62% more time consuming professional content at home than they do at work. And increasingly, this continuous content consumption takes place on professional social networks.

The professional content playbook: a preview

Social media has arrived as a professional content platform, used by 59% of professionals on an almost daily basis to access news, insights and ideas. For modern marketers, social media represents a uniquely powerful opportunity to engage through content. But to take advantage, marketing strategies need to take into account professionals’ rules of engagement on social media. Here are some top tips for engaging professional audiences through content.

Deliver credible content in a trusted forum. Professional content is already among the most trusted content on the internet. LinkedIn is social media’s most trusted professional content platform, and that’s where your content needs to be to build credibility. Seven out of ten professionals describe LinkedIn as a trustworthy source of professional content, and 74% describe it as a suitable environment for sharing such content.

Use different social platforms for different roles. Build engagement, start debate and generate social validation on LinkedIn. Integrate it with Twitter and you can use this credibility to help content spread even faster.

Ensure you are reaching professionals across multiple devices. Professional content is consumed habitually throughout the day, at home even more often than in the office. Content delivery platforms that work across tablet and mobile greatly increase reach and influence.

Make sure your content pushes the right buttons for your platform. On LinkedIn, for instance, well-written pieces with editorial standards are vital.

Be timely – and anticipate the issues that matter. Being first to know is a driving force in professionals’ relationship to content; being ahead of the curve on emerging issues and opinions is even better; 67% of professionals say they want to be the first to receive and share professional content that others might find useful.

Encourage your audience to go deeper. Once professionals start consuming content, they want more; 62% agree that “when I read, watch and/or listen to professional content, I often find myself looking for more professional content.” Help them with links back to more in-depth content on your website or company page.

Invite comments and invite shares. The credibility of professional content hits the next level when it starts being shared extensively on social media. Invite comments on LinkedIn and that credibility grows far faster.

Consider different types of professional content. The professional audience is broader than you think – and so is the content that they value receiving. Mine insights on what your key audience members need – and what they are currently reading.

Download the full report "The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content" from LinkedIn and Millward Brown Digital here.