You are on page 1of 12

The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content 2

THE MINDSET DIVIDE:


SPOTLIGHT ON CONTENT
In 2012 LinkedIn released The Mindset Divide, a groundbreaking study
that revealed the essential distinction between our personal and
professional selves. We looked at how our twin mindsets use different
social platforms for different purposes and how marketers need to vary
their tactics depending on whether they are targeting audiences in a
personal or professional context.
In 2014, with content marketing increasingly taking center stage in
marketing strategies, it was time to go back for a closer look at how the
mindset divide infuences how professionals engage with content. When
we did so, we discovered a transformation in the role that social media
plays in delivering that content.
When it comes to news, ideas and information that helps professionals do
their jobs better, audiences are now more likely to turn to social media
than they are to use newspapers and radio. And they are almost as likely
to get their content from social as they are to watch it on TV. Social media
has truly arrived as a professional content platform.
This matters hugely to both brand building and acquisition, because the
amount of time that audiences spend consuming what they consider
professional content is dramatically increasing. Content that engages the
professional mindset is seen as inherently more trustworthy, and when its
shared on social media its credibility and infuence rapidly grows. Thanks
in large part to mobile, tablets and multi-screening, the professional
mindset is coming to dominate media consumption as a whole.
3 The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content
KEY FINDINGS
Professionals are gluttons for content, seeking it out
throughout the day from coffee to couch, and far more likely to
consume professional content at home than in the offce.
Professional content is about knowledge. It includes news
and current affairs but can also stretch to restaurant reviews, sports
and style: anything that can enhance professionals identity,
support their interactions or give them an insight-derived edge.
And knowledge is too important to keep to working
hours. Professionals are 62 per cent more likely to access
professional content at home than they are in the offce.
Social media has transformed professional content
consumption. It is powering a new professional content
ecosystem.
Mindset dictates trust and response, with professionals
giving different roles to content from different social platforms and
using different techniques to judge how trustworthy that content is.
Professionals respond to content differently on different
social platforms, with signifcant shifts in the importance
attached to reading, sharing and commenting.
Professional sharing boosts contents value: across all social
media platforms, professional content is signifcantly more trusted
than other forms, and that trust increases further still when the
content is shared.
LinkedIn is the natural home for professional content:
Its the social network that professionals trust to connect them to
other professionals, and its increasingly the platform they trust to
improve themselves through content as well.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content 4
ABOUT THIS STUDY
LinkedIn partnered with Millward Brown Digital to ask over 1,100
respondents about the content that they consider professionally valuable,
the sources that they choose to access it from, the level of trust that they
attach to it, and the times and contexts in which they choose to consume
it. We also studied the behavioural clickstream of 2 million US consumers
over a three-month period. The results paint a detailed picture of the role
of content in professional lives and suggest clear strategies for how
brands and businesses can use this passion for content to earn awareness,
trust and infuence.
PROFESSIONALS ARE GLUTTONS
FOR CONTENT
Not so long ago, professional content was consumed at appointed times
and in pre-packaged forms: listening to Morning Edition on the way to
work, or taking some time with the Wall Street Journal over breakfast. But
todays professionals are rarely happy to let their content come to them.
The professional mindset is to be the frst in the know; which has been
translated into habitual checking of content sources throughout the day.
For 70% of professionals, 12 minutes of every hour spent online is taken
up consuming professional content online almost every day, substantially
more than get their professional content fx from watching TV, listening to
the radio or reading newspapers.
Online (and increasingly mobile) access to professional content supports a
compulsion to dig deeper into any subject that engages the professional
mindset. Six out of ten professionals agree that when I read, watch
and/or listen to professional content, I often fnd myself looking for more
professional content. When the initial content arrives through TV, radio or
print, the natural next step is to dig deeper on digital platforms.
CONTENT CONSIDERED RELEVANT TO WORK OR PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS
Professional
content helps me be
a better decision-maker
52%
I like to be the
frst to receive and
share professional content
that others might fnd useful
67%
I trust the
credibility of
professional content more
than non-professional
content
69%
When I read,
watch and / or listen
to professional content, I
often fnd myself continuing
to look for more
professional content
62%
5 The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content
PROFESSIONAL CONTENT IS
ABOUT KNOWLEDGE
When asked to defne what professional content means to them, four in
ten participants in our study cited job opportunities in their industry. But
for far, far more of them, professional content isnt reading about careers
its about being in the know.
Over half of those in the survey described current events and fnancial
news as content relevant to their professional identity, and almost as many
pointed to the importance of more company specifc news and industry
trends. Above all, it is this desire to be constantly connected to relevant
events and developments that defnes the professional mindsets
relationship to content. Almost 70% of professionals agree that they like
to be the frst to receive and share professional content that others might
fnd useful.
The compulsion to stay ahead of the game encompasses other forms of
knowledge as well. Close to a third devour articles and opinion pieces by
industry experts, with 52% agreeing that professional content helps to
make them a better decision-maker. And the study suggests that the net
for professional content can be cast wider as well, with professionals
fnding relevant professional content amid technology, coverage of sports,
science, food and dining or health and ftness. Almost one in four hunt
down information on products and experiences that will enhance them as
a professional. Owning the latest gadgets, knowing the best restaurants
and bonding over match reviews can all provide some professionals with a
valued edge.
Professional
content helps me be
a better decision-maker
52%
Current events / fnancial news
Professional development / leadership
& productivity
News about companies / trends in industry
Job opportunities in my industry
Articles and/or opinion pieces by experts
in your industry
Information about experiences or
products you aspire to have
News about companies relevant to an
industry that is not directly related to
yours, but that you are interested in
Information about entrepreneurship
and start-ups
Articles and/or opinion pieces by
well-known personalities in the
public domain
None of the above
56%
41%
50%
33%
30%
24%
24%
19%
15%
17%
PROFESSIONAL CONTENT IS ABOUT KNOWLEDGE
The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content 6
AND KNOWLEDGE IS TOO
IMPORTANT TO KEEP TO
WORKING HOURS
The vast majority of professional content consumption takes place outside
of working hours, at home. Professionals are 62% more likely to consume
professional content at home than at work. Three quarters consume
professional content at home every month, whereas just less than half do
so at work. The high proportion of content consumption taking place at
home on tablets and smartphones enables professionals to multi-screen,
consuming professional content online whilst the TV or radio news plays in
the background.
AT HOME
76%
AT WORK
47%
AT SCHOOL
11%
PROFESSIONALS ARE
62%
MORE LIKELY TO CONSUME PROFESSIONAL
CONTENT AT HOME THAN AT WORK
WHILE TRAVELING
(E.G. PLANE AIRPORT TRAIN)
DURING MY
DAILY COMMUTE
12% 15%
PROFESSIONAL CONTENT CONSUMPTION BY LOCATION
7 The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content
SOCIAL MEDIA HAS TRANSFORMED
PROFESSIONAL CONTENT
CONSUMPTION
More likely to deliver daily content to professionals than TV, radio,
newspapers or magazines, social media sites are the fastest growing
publishing platforms used by professionals and absolutely fundamental to
their content routines.
Despite only recently developing as a content distribution channel, social
media now delivers relevant content to 59% of professionals on an almost
daily basis. And 30% of professionals check in with content on social
media more frequently than that. This puts social media ahead of
professional content stalwarts like Morning Edition with its 12.3 million
listeners per week, or Forbes.com which has an average of 14 million
monthly unique visitors. And it makes social networks only slightly less
infuential than mainstream TV news.
Integration with other online channels forms a key part of social medias
infuence within the professional content space and makes social channels
a natural destination for those looking to dig deeper into relevant subject
matter. The business sections of news websites account for 44% of the
source traffc and 88% of the destination traffc for social networks, as
professionals use content as a starting point for discussions, share insights
with others and respond to content-related updates on social media.
SOURCE / DESTINATION TRAFFIC TO
SOCIAL NETWORKS BY PROFESSIONAL
CONTENT CATEGORIES
FREQUENCY OF ACCESSING PROFESSIONAL CONTENT BY MEDIUM
Online websites /
e-mail
TV programming /
news
Social media sites /
apps
Radio
Print magazines
Print newspapers
Online podcasts
89%
70%
67%
60%
53%
49%
33%
4% 31% 54%
8% 35% 27%
6% 30% 30%
7% 33% 20%
17% 30% 6%
8% 29% 12%
8% 19 % 6%
Once a day or more often 1-6 days a week 1-3 times a month
SOURCE DESTINATION
44%
NEWS SITES:
BUSINESS SECTION
88%
57% EDUCATION SITES 79%
17%
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
SITES AND MAGAZINES
16%
10% BUSINESS AND FINANCE BLOGS 9%
6%
TECHNOLOGY AND MEDIA
SITES AND MAGAZINES
11%
6%
TECHNOLOGY AND
MEDIA BLOGS
6%
4% AUTOMOTIVE SITES 5%
The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content 8
MINDSET DICTATES TRUST AND
RESPONSE
On personal networks, the amount of trust that professionals attribute to
a piece of content depends primarily on who wrote it and how it arrives
with them. Being authored by a well-respected journalist is the key driver
of trust, and sharing by friends or family also makes an important
contribution.

In contrast, those using professional networks like LinkedIn judge content
frst and foremost by how relevant it is, and how easily it can be applied
to their professional lives. They are open to different sources of ideas
and insight provided they keep them in the know and address the issues
that matter most and provided they meet the journalistic standards
they expect.

Professionals expect content to be well-written and use properly cited
facts and fgures. But a well-written piece may not get very far on
Facebook or Twitter if it isnt sponsored by a high-profle author or
brand; its far more likely to be consumed, considered and
recommended on LinkedIn.

This open-minded approach to quality content on LinkedIn is a result of
professionals faith in the network itself. Seven out of ten professionals
describe LinkedIn as a trustworthy source of professional content,
whereas only four out of ten trust Facebook. As a result, 76% access
professional content on LinkedIn, compared to 68% on Facebook and
53% on Twitter.
SOCIAL NETWORK ASSOCIATION
AS A TRUSTWORTHY SOURCE
OF PROFESSIONAL CONTENT
PROFESSIONAL CONTENT TRUST
FACTORS
MORE IMPORTANT TRUST FACTORS
LIKED / SHARED BY MANY
AUTHORED BY WELL-RESPECTED
JOURNALIST / PERSONALITY
SPONSORED BY TRUSTED COMPANY
/ BRAND
EASILY APPLIED TODAILY LIFE
READ BY MANY PEOPLE
MORE IMPORTANT TRUST FACTORS
AUTHORED BY WELL-RESPECTED
JOURNALIST / PERSONALITY
SPONSORED BY TRUSTED COMPANY
/ BRAND
LIKED / SHARED BY MANY
SHARED / RECOMMENDED BY
FAMILY / FRIENDS
MORE IMPORTANT TRUST FACTORS
EASILY APPLIED TODAILY LIFE
WELL-KNOWN / RESPECTED SOURCE
READ BY MANY PEOPLE
SHARED / RECOMMENDED BY
FAMILY / FRIENDS
AUTHORED BY WELL-RESPECTED
JOURNALIST / PERSONALITY
DAILY
TWITTER
USERS:
DAILY
FACEBOOK
USERS:
DAILY
LINKEDIN
USERS:
LESS IMPORTANT TRUST FACTORS
FACTS / FIGURES THAT ARE
PROPERLY CITED
SPONSORED BY TRUSTED COMPANY
/ BRAND
WELL-WRITTEN
LESS IMPORTANT TRUST FACTORS
WELL-WRITTEN
WELL-KNOWN / RESPECTED SOURCE
FACTS / FIGURES THAT ARE
PROPERLY CITED
LESS IMPORTANT TRUST FACTORS
WELL-KNOWN / RESPECTED SOURCE
FACTS / FIGURES THAT ARE
PROPERLY CITED
WELL-WRITTEN
71%
40%
31%
0%
20%
20%
30%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%
%

T
H
A
T

C
O
N
S
I
D
E
R

T
O
P
I
C

P
R
O
F
E
S
S
I
O
N
A
L

C
O
N
T
E
N
T


% THAT ACCESS TOPIC ONLINE
PROFESSIONAL TOPICS OF INTEREST
Local, national and/or world
news and current events
Politics
Sports
Real estate / property
Entertainment / TV news
Home & garden / Do-it-
Yourself (DIY)
Personal fnance and
investments
Education
Science
Lifestyle, arts and leisure
Business / company /
fnance news
Technology
Travel and holidays
Fashion / beauty
Celebrity gossip
Health & ftness
Food & dining
9 The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content
PROFESSIONALS RESPOND TO
CONTENT DIFFERENTLY ON
DIFFERENT SOCIAL PLATFORMS
As with trust, professionals response to content varies hugely depending
on which social media platform they are using, with signifcant shifts in
engagement and the importance attached to reading, sharing and
commenting on the content they receive.
Professional content on Facebook typically invites only light-touch
engagement, with users more likely to like an item of content than they
to actually read it. On LinkedIn and Twitter, users consume frst and share
later, yet a difference in emphasis remains.
PROFESSIONAL SHARING BOOSTS
CONTENTS VALUE
Sharing is fundamental to social medias infuence within the professional
content ecosystem, and already trusted content acquires far greater
credibility the more often it is shared. With 61% of professionals sharing
specifcally professional content, and the vast majority using social
networks to do so (64% versus 53% for email), content that persuades
them it needs to be passed on has a signifcant advantage when it comes
to acquiring reach and infuence.
PROFESSIONAL CONTENT ACTION
AFTER RECEIVING
PROFESSIONAL
CONTENT ON
FACEBOOK
1
2
3
4
5
6
LIKE THE POST
CLICK ON OR READ THE
PROFESSIONAL CONTENT
COMMENT ON THE POST
SHARE THE POST WITH AN
INDIVIDUAL
SHARE THE POST WITH MY
ENTIRE NETWORK
POST ABOUT PROFESSIONAL
CONTENT
AFTER RECEIVING
PROFESSIONAL
CONTENT ON
TWITTER
CLICK ON OR READ LINK
FROM THE TWEET
RETWEET TWEETS
FAVOURITE TWEETS
REPLY TO TWEETS
TWEET ABOUT
PROFESSIONAL CONTENT
1
2
3
4
5
AFTER RECEIVING
PROFESSIONAL
CONTENT ON
LINKEDIN
CLICK ON OR READ THE POST
LIKE THE POST
SHARE THE POST WITH AN
INDIVIDUAL
COMMENT ON THE POST
POST ABOUT PROFESSIONAL
CONTENT
SHARE THE POST WITH MY
ENTIRE NETWORK
1
2
3
4
5
6
76%
68%
53%
SHARING OF ONLINE
CONTENT BY
PROFESSIONALS
METHODS OF SHARING
PROFESSIONAL CONTENT
OTHER
PRINTING THE
ARTICLE TO SHARE
E-MAILING LINKS
THROUGH THE WEBSITE
WHERE YOU FOUND
THE CONTENT
E-MAILING LINKS
THROUGH YOUR OWN
PERSONAL E-MAIL
ACCOUNT
SHARING THROUGH
A SOCIAL NETWORK
VIA WEBSITE OR POSTING
TO SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICE
61%
PROFESSIONAL
CONTENT
4%
42%
53%
64%
26%
The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content 10
THE PROFESSIONAL CONTENT
PLAYBOOK
For brands and businesses looking to reach and infuence professionals,
social media platforms represent the single greatest content marketing
opportunity available. Their potential comes from their extensive and
integrated role within the professional content ecosystem, the openness
that professionals have for receiving content from different sources
through them, and their immense potential for multiplying the reach and
credibility of content through sharing.
However, if they are to make effective use of content on social media,
marketers must always be mindful of the different mindsets that their
audience occupies when using different networks. They must tailor their
approach both to the different ways in which content is valued and the
different roles that professionals assign to their various social platforms.
SOCIAL NETWORK ASSOCIATION WITH PROFESSIONAL CONTENT ATTRIBUTES AMONG
FREQUENT / OCCASIONAL PROFESSIONAL USERS
Effective platform on which to
exchange professional
ideas and interests
Place where I can get content
that is relevant to my career /
professional interests
Suitable place for me to
share professional content
Allows me to connect with
professionals who I
otherwise would not know
Platform where I expect
to fnd professional content
LinkedIn Facebook Twitter
77%
37%
32%
77%
45%
37%
74%
54%
39%
74%
47%
33%
72%
53%
40%
11 The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY
CONTENT MARKETING?
Ensure your content gets a hearing. LinkedIn is social medias
most trusted source of professional content. Deliver it to journalistic standards
and your audience will give it the credit it deserves.
Use different social platforms for different roles.
Build engagement, start debate and generate social validation on LinkedIn.
Integrate it with other social networks 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 more often than in the offce. Content delivery platforms that work
across tablet and mobile greatly increase reach and infuence.
Be timely and anticipate the issues that matter. Being
frst to know is a driving force in professionals relationship to content; being
ahead of the curve on emerging issues and opinions is even better. Sharing
content from trusted sources is a very effective means of building credibility
but you need to be among the frst to do so.
Encourage your audience to go deeper. Once professionals
start consuming content, they want more. 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. Source insights on what your key audience members
need and what they are currently reading.
LINKEDIN IS THE NATURAL HOME
FOR PROFESSIONAL CONTENT
LinkedIn is by some distance the social media platform most closely
associated with professional content, and most trusted to deliver it. For
77% or professionals, its the Platform where I expect to fnd professional
content and for 74% its the place where I can get content thats
relevant to my career and professional interests. Signifcantly, its also the
environment in which professionals feel most comfortable sharing
professional content. When asked which social media platforms were a
suitable environment for exchanging such content, 74% named LinkedIn
compared to 54% for Facebook and 39% for Twitter.
http://lnkd.in/USmindset
#mindsetdivide