How to Empower and Build Rapport with the IT Audience Through Educational Content

January 10, 2018

IT guy with laptop

To kickoff the year with fresh perspective, taking a closer look at your customer base and their influences can be a great start. For technology marketers, this means investing in unsolved pain-points and catering to the preferences, career aspirations, and business needs of your core audiences — from end-users to IT specialists.

In 2017, we leveraged LinkedIn Marketing Solutions platform data to bring you closer into the content-flooded psyche of today’s tech buyers in Tapping Into the Minds of Today’s Tech Professionals, uncovering:

  • How — and where — tech professionals are really engaging with content. Namely on-the-go, before/after work, and through news and company updates.
  • Whose opinions do tech professionals trust most. No surprise, techies value content shared from peers and trusted industry experts.
  • Why content plays a bigger role than ever in shaping the decision journey of those in the tech industry. What techies read and choose to spend their time consuming impacts their knowledge-set, careers, and shapes their impression of key players within the landscape.
  • What tech marketers can do to create content that resonates with tech professionals and draws them to take action. Key takeaway: be concise, include important details, have a sense of humor and a point-of-view!

Given that insights around skills and knowledge-sharing are paramount components of content that tech professionals prefer to consume, we turned to insights from our friends at LinkedIn Learning. Their recent work in optimized learning and skill development opportunities for business and IT decision-makers is an inspirational starting point for marketers aiming to gain trust, empower their buyers or end-users, and help them achieve long-term success.

Here are valuable pieces of information we pooled from LinkedIn Learning eBooks and infographics on IT leaders and technology professionals, including how marketers can leverage this information to take action today.

  • When analyzing the top non-tech skills listed on IT leader’s profiles against top skills recruiters are hiring for, LinkedIn Learning found that particular non-tech skills are "mission-critical" at different stages of the tech pros career. Grouped by seniority level, they are: 
  1. Manager: Business Strategy, Data Analysis, Risk Management
  2. VP: Leadership, BizDev/Sales, Change Management
  3. CTO/CIO: Mentoring, Thought Leadership, Finance
  • 68% of IT pros say mastering both hard and soft skills are critical for them moving into a leadership role. LinkedIn Learning’s recent learning path on technology leadership is a great example of producing and curating content that is relevant and easily consumable for tech pros in their careers. Think about crafting similarly dynamic and educational experiences for your customers and buyers as they proceed through the customer journey.
  • According to a LinkedIn Learning and Spiceworks survey, many IT professionals have earned bachelor’s or master’s degrees and some are self-taught experts equipped with advanced certifications. Whether education comes from the classroom or on-the-job experience, one thing holds true—to remain relevant in the IT industry today requires constant sourcing of content with deep expertise. For marketers, ask yourself how you are tapping into these skill-based, educational, and career advancing moments.
  • A majority of the surveyed IT pros by LinkedIn Learning and Spiceworks identified technologies relevant to security (73%), virtualization (65%), cloud (61%), and networking and infrastructure (52%) as key areas for further development. Through tailored, informative content your business could help these individuals become a more well-rounded IT pro and business decision-maker.
  • An “always be learning" mindset is more important in IT than ever before, as database software tools, network management, operating systems, programming languages and emerging areas like machine learning and mobile development are constantly evolving. To stay up to speed, professionals turn to certifications, training courses, peers, video-based subscription services, conferences, virtual classrooms, and video-enabled platforms. Have you thought about where your marketing messages could be more present within these mediums?

From these five takeaways, marketers should glean that unleashing the power of online learning and content that speaks to their audience’s appetite for mastering new skills is a very valuable content asset to include in future marketing materials. At LinkedIn, we encourage you to test out your most empowering, informative pieces of information speaking to your sector or product set.

For more technology marketing insights, tactics, and thought leadership please subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog!