LinkedIn’s native video is the latest new feature to hit this relatively staid social network, which has a reputation for waiting till a trend has proven itself before jumping into the fray.
The platform rolled out native video in 2016 to certain influential LinkedIn users, but it was a very limited release. These influencers – a group which included Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Arianna Huffington – could upload 30-second videos directly to their feed and, as you can imagine, started doing so rather quickly.
Despite this, the video feature stayed fairly low-profile until LinkedIn made it accessible to everyone in Aug. 2017.
Now, you’ll see videos popping up from everyone from your local landscaper to the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. If you want to keep up, you’ll need to start looking at LinkedIn Video and figuring out how your brand can best put it to use.
Here’s a brief guide to LinkedIn’s native video, and tips for how you can maximize your reach.
How is LinkedIn’s video different?
Users could always share links to their videos on LinkedIn, but links don’t get nearly the engagement that in-platform video does.
In fact, as TechCrunch reported back in August, LinkedIn native videos from the limited release were shared 20 times more than video links. This is reflective of the general direction video is going – video is overtaking the digital world, and an estimated 80% of web traffic will be video by 2021.
That’s why LinkedIn choosing native video, as opposed to shared video, is such a big deal. It’s as easy to use as Facebook Live, with the obvious difference that LinkedIn’s video is not streaming.
To create a video, users can either shoot footage on the spot or upload a previously recorded video from their camera roll. Both are done through the LinkedIn mobile app.
As for why you should be using LinkedIn Video, the simple answer is that LinkedIn is an excellent platform for reaching your professional audience – whether you’re trying to grow your personal brand or your company’s brand.
Facebook Live videos have their place as well, and some companies may still find that Facebook is a better place to connect with their fans.
However, many organizations – especially B2B companies – will find that posting a video to LinkedIn will earn them more conversions simply because of the audience that they reach.
Another advantage is that your video isn’t going to get lost among a bunch of videos of someone’s baby on LinkedIn. People browsing this platform are already in a business mode, so they’re likely to be more receptive to watching a 2-minute video on your consulting firm.
Finally, LinkedIn Video offers its users more insights into who’s watching than most platforms. In addition to the number of views, you’ll be able to see the top employers, locations, and titles for your video’s viewers. This is a huge opportunity for marketers, who will be able to tell more accurately who is connecting with their videos.
Some basic guidelines for using LinkedIn Video
Now, just because users on LinkedIn are already in professional mode, that doesn’t mean you should feel free to post boring videos.
Just as with any piece of content you create for your brand, a video needs to be engaging, informative, and/or entertaining – for LinkedIn Video, you’ll want to emphasize those first two characteristics most of all.
When you’re just starting out with this feature, it’s a good idea to invest some time in creating a professional-looking video. First impressions matter and just a few small pieces of equipment can make a big difference in how your video looks.
A smartphone tripod and a simple video lighting kit can do the trick. If you don’t have a suitable background, try a paper, green screen, or curtain backdrop. These can lend the video a more polished, professional look, while also keeping the focus on your subject.
As for time, the best length is between 30 seconds and 3 minutes, although LinkedIn allows videos of up to 10 minutes in length.
Types of videos that are best for LinkedIn
LinkedIn Video lends itself to many different types of videos. It’s perfect for product demos, for example, as well as interviews with thought leaders and industry influencers, training videos, behind-the-scenes videos, and event coverage.
If possible, offer your followers a variety of video types – this will round out your brand’s storytelling and help keep viewers engaged.
Why video is ideal for building professional relationships
LinkedIn’s text-based features are great, and they were game-changing when they first started. Having a platform where you could essentially post an online resume, share your blog posts, and message industry colleagues really changed the way social media worked, taking it from a largely recreational activity to one that could have real positive effects on one’s career.
But when it comes to building relationships, there’s still nothing like hearing someone’s voice and seeing their face. As we’re all discovering, text-based communication has some inherent flaws – including making it easier for participants to misunderstand each other and harder for them to see each other’s perspective.
Posting a video of yourself or your employees allows viewers to engage with your company on an entirely different level.
They may see how you and your colleagues interact, giving them a glimpse of your culture.
They can hear the enthusiasm in your voice as you discuss a new product or service.
They can hear the authority in your voice as you give an interview about developments in your industry.
In short, video can help give your followers more reasons to stay engaged with your company.
Tips for maximizing reach
To maximize reach on LinkedIn, you’ll want to do many of the same things you do with any piece of content you share. Choose accurate, relevant tags to describe your video’s topic. Employ relevant hashtags. Tag people and companies that you mention or who are connected to your video.
You can also keep tabs on what’s trending by looking at your Trending tab on LinkedIn’s mobile app, or in the “What People Are Talking About Now” block on the desktop homepage.
If you do choose to use one of the trending hashtags, just make sure that your video is truly related to it. Users will be quick to ignore your content if you seem to be trying to hijack trending topics.
LinkedIn Video can give your brand an extra push on the platform, earning you more views, better engagement, and ultimately, more conversions. For more on video marketing, read “Want Killer Marketing Videos? 5 Keys to Writing Scripts.”