In 2013 LinkedIn launched global research with comScore, The Social Bridge to the IT Committee, which identified an influential group of tech decision makers, called the IT Committee. This research looked at why the IT Committee are using social media to inform their purchasing decisions, and why marketers need to engage them on social.
This research showed how critical it is that we change as fast as possible or continue to hurt the growth potential of our companies. As well as the ability to retain clients.
This year we wanted to understand how IT marketers can best educate and engage the IT Committee through content that is truly valuable.
Buying decisions are made by a broader
group than IT
95% of the IT Committee use social
networks for business
More likely to engage with vendors on
LinkedIn than other networks
IT Committee on Social
We surveyed over 2,300 IT Committee members globally
How do you earn TRUST with the IT Committee?
* LOCAL LANGUAGE / LinkedIn Survey and Internal Data: Q2 2014
The Netherlands, N=204
Hong Kong, N=155
Saudi Arabia, N=155
The Growing IT Committee
Who are they and how do you engage them?
The Power of Education without Bias
If you’re talking about yourself, you’re doing it wrong
The Expertise You Don’t Know You Have
The definition of an expert is broader than you think
Nurture, don’t Disrupt
Gating content too early and too often is counter-productive
The IT Committee
members who influence IT decisions across departments and seniorities
faster than general member growth
IT decision making goes beyond the senior IT department
of the IT Committee works
outside of IT
contributors or managers
control part or all of
the IT Budget
In which department do you work?
In which of the following stages of IT decision-making are you currently involved?
They’re hungry for IT news and information on social
How frequently do you visit each of the following sources to get IT related news and information?
Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4
Visit LinkedIn Visit Facebook Visit Google+ Visit Twitter
75% 44% 41% 32%
83% use social media for IT News and
Information each month
% content from each source very or extremely trustworthy
They trust content on LinkedIn more than any other source
How frequently do you visit each of the following sources to get IT related news and information? How trustworthy do you feel the content you see from each of the below sources is?
Visitation │ High Medium Low
of the IT Committee require education to sustain or make a change to their IT ecosystem
How significant is the role education plays in the following types of decisions undertaken by your organization?
More likely to consider an IT vendor who educates me through each stage of the decision process
Educating throughout the purchase funnel makes generating leads more effective
Education with broad-themed, non branded content is preferred
Most interested in non-branded / non-sales focused content
More favorable toward an IT Vendor who publishes content about my industry and topics of interest
More likely to consider an IT vendor who publishes content about my industry and topics of interest
Start with content about general industry topics, prioritized for your audience
Author or promote expert content on the direction and use of your industry’s products
Promote branded user reviews and case studies to drive consideration and selection of your company
Three types of education
Influence on tech purchases
(by purchase stage and content source)
Experts Rule the Day. But, the Definition of Expert has Evolved
Thinking of a recent or upcoming company-wide technology purchase, how influential is the SOURCE of the information you consume at each stage of the purchase cycle?
EXPERT CONTENT INFLUENCE
USER / PEER REVIEW INFLUENCE
BRANDED CONTENT INFLUENCE
Not necessarily on title or connections
Expertise is based on references from others and demonstrated knowledge
References from coworkers and other professionals in their field
Published author or presenter in their field
Has a (on average) 8.5 years of experience
Manages a team
Has a Master's Degree or higher
Is a vice president or more senior
Has 500 or more connections on LinkedIn
Third Party scores (Klout, Kred, PeerIndex, etc.)
Other (Please specify)
When you think of a technology subject matter expert (SME), what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Below you see some additional qualities a subject matter expert may have. Please select all the attributes below that are required to be a technology SME.
% Who Believe Each Statement Defines an Expert
The IT Committee is positively impacted
by the actions of your employees
Are more favorable toward a
vendor whose employees
participate in LinkedIn Groups
Are more favorable toward a
vendor whose employees
share content on LinkedIn
Are more likely to consider
if vendors have experts
publishing on LinkedIn
Utilize the expertise in your organization to earn trust
On the world’s largest professional publishing platform
The IT Committee is anxious about gated content
fear SPAM or sales calls
leave the site completely
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you try to download an article or access a product page and are forced to enter your contact information?
of the IT Committee provides fake information when they complete a lead capture form
A Lead Capture for is a technique used by companies to collect contact information, usually when someone downloads a piece of information the company has published or a webinar they have held. Is the information you provide on Lead Capture forms truthful?
How many of you have had Mickey Mouse download your content?
Those in market for IT solutions are more likely to provide fake information
At least sometimes provide fake info
Not in market
IT Committee Members actively looking for an enterprise IT Solution (in-market)
Gating content too early or too often decreases consideration
How likely are you to consider an IT vendor whose first piece of content you see requires you to provide your contact information?
are less likely to consider a vendor who gates the FIRST piece of content
are less likely to consider a vendor who gates ALL content
Nurturing leads through content is vital because most are not ready to talk to sales
When researching a specific major enterprise IT / security solution, how many pieces of content related to that solution do you typically need to consume before you are ready to be contacted by a sales representative?
of content before they are ready to talk to a sales rep.
IT Committee member needs to consume
Lead gen and branding don’t need to be separate
Publish and promote your content in places on LinkedIn where the IT Committee is engaging the most
1LinkedIn Internal Data – 4/1/2014 through 4/30/2014
The Feed starts the conversation
2x as active on desktop in the feed than members1
Groups for expert articles & content
2x as active in groups than members1
Ensure content is mobile friendly
25% more active on mobile than members1
What does the IT Committee want to hear about from experts?
Base: IT Committee n=181, circle size shows relative % ranked BIGGEST impact
Which of these topics do you see having the biggest impact for your organization and which you would share with your network?
Discussions on how technology
is changing the way we work
“First Look” at new products or solutions
Enterprise Social Networking
Industry Event Promotion and
% Would Share with Network
% Ranked Top 4 Topics
IT Topics and Intent to Share
Earn trust with broad-based content that goes beyond your brand’s self-interests
Incorporate an “always on” content strategy with a variety of content – gated and un- gated
Leverage your employees and company specialists as experts
Utilize LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Score to optimize and measure your content
Prepare for the future of LinkedIn