LinkedIn is a mainstay for professional services audiences and a favorite for B2B content marketers. The social media platform also holds considerable appeal to technical audiences, with 81% of engineers surveyed for a report [download page] by GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing saying they use the platform.
Moreover, about two-thirds (66%) report that LinkedIn is either extremely (8%), very (21%) or somewhat (37%) valuable to them when seeking information on the latest engineering technologies, industry trends, and products. That value is held even more by younger technical buyers: 42% of respondents ages 35 and younger find LinkedIn to be “extremely” or “very” valuable to them for these purposes, compared to 29% of respondents overall.
Asked what they find eye-catching when they visit LinkedIn, technical buyers point to research data, with 77% saying they always (27%) or sometimes (50%) stop scrolling when they see this type of content to check it out. Product/service information (73%), industry news (78%), visuals (76%) and company news (78%) are also engaging enough for about three-quarters of respondents to at least sometimes stop scrolling to read more.
By comparison, far fewer are interested in stopping to look at memes, industry polls and customer testimonials.
When it comes to sharing work-related content themselves, technical buyers are most likely to say that they are encouraged to do so when the content is authored by a respected industry expert or published by a respected organization.
Other Survey Highlights:
- When researching a product or service for a work-related purchase, respondents are most apt to turn to supplier and vendor websites (82%) rather than trade publications (48%) or industry directory websites (45%).
- Technical buyers prefer B2B vendors to organize content on their websites by product/solution type (72%) than by industry/application area (41%).
- Respondents are most likely to review 1-5 (53% share) pieces of content from technical vendors under heavy consideration in the purchase consideration, though about one-third (34%) say they typically review 6-10 pieces of content.
- Three in 4 engineers surveyed subscribe to 1-5 newsletters, with the largest share (40%) of respondents overall subscribing to 3-5.
- The most compelling aspects of newsletters to technical audiences are information on news releases, industry trends & news, and research data.
- Almost three-quarters (73%) of engineers listen to work-related podcasts.
- Two-thirds (66%) of respondents say they’re less than halfway through their purchase process when they first choose to speak to someone at a vendor.
- The leading motives for interacting with a salesperson for the first time are to validate information gathered online and due to the technical complexity of the solution.
For more, download the study here.
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of about 850 technical buyers, mainly in engineering/R&D roles, across industries.