With the rise of Snapchat and Facebook Watch, it’s about time LinkedIn joined the social video scene.
People are consuming online video at an increasing rate. More than half of all people watch online video every single day.
Videos are highly engaging and compelling to watch, share, and post. Video posts on social media get 1,200 percent more shares than text and image posts combined.
Companies who use video enjoy more web traffic, more social shares, and more conversions. With the rise of Snapchat and Facebook Watch, it’s about time LinkedIn joined the social video scene.
What is LinkedIn Native Video?
As of August 2017, users can now film or upload video directly to LinkedIn using the LinkedIn app on their phones or via the website on their desktop computer. Videos can be as short as 3 seconds, and captured in either vertical or horizontal format.
As brands continue to bend over backwards to humanize themselves to consumers, this new video functionality gives LinkedIn a welcome personality refresh. By its very nature, LinkedIn has always been the most polished and professional of social networks. Now, people can see the face behind the headshot, or the people behind a company.
Sharing a video is as simple as sharing anything else on LinkedIn. Whenever you create a new post, you’ll now see a camera icon or video button.
One of the great things about LinkedIn is that it lets videos shine in all their glory. Once the user clicks play, they instantly take over the screen. The default setting on Facebook, on the other hand, is to start playing videos while they’re still thumbnail size.
And that’s not the only great thing about LinkedIn video. Once you post a video, you get access to the same audience insights you see with all your other LinkedIn posts. Discover the titles and locations of your viewers, where they work, and view engagement stats like total views, likes, and comments. Now you’ll know exactly how well your video content is performing on LinkedIn, since you’ll see insights directly from the app, instead of just seeing your YouTube video views go up without having any idea of whether it was your LinkedIn post that drove them.
There are a few other features worth mentioning. Users can tag people whenever they post a video (probably best to reserve this option for your costars, rather than tagging that one prospect who keeps ignoring your emails). You can also add hashtags to increase the discoverability of your video, and you have 700 characters to sell your video and include links to other content. Especially popular videos can be linked to within the Media section on your LinkedIn profile.
A Few Caveats
Before you faint with excitement, be aware that there are a few drawbacks to LinkedIn video. Chances are these feature gaps will be addressed soon, but you’ll want to be aware of them as you start filming.
- There’s no live streaming – yet. Fortunately, there’s a decent compromise: users can record a video using the LinkedIn app on their phone, and then immediately publish it afterwards as an almost-live video.
- There are no captioning features available, so you have to rely on users clicking “unmute” to hear what you’re saying, or you can get creative with cue cards or video editing software to add subtitles.
- Videos are limited to 10 minutes in length, and LinkedIn recommends keeping videos between 30 seconds to 5 minutes for maximum engagement. So don’t plan on using this feature to record entire conference sessions at your latest industry event.
- Videos shot in vertical format get cropped to a square in LinkedIn feed, which can result in some awkward neck shots. However, horizontal videos display full-size in the feed, and the vertical videos do expand once clicked.
- Videos are muted by default, like on Facebook. Users need to click to hear the sound.
- While you can link directly to a public video post, there isn’t any embed functionality yet, limiting your ability to host LinkedIn videos on your website and landing pages.
- LinkedIn Native Video is currently only available to individual users on LinkedIn, not company pages. But your team can arm your marketing and recruiting staff with video assets and ideas to promote your brand on your behalf, and you can always reshare their posts on your page.
- There’s no dedicated video tab yet, so you have to hope you’ll show up organically in people’s feeds or use hashtags to increase your discoverability.
Using LinkedIn Video
Get ready for your video content to enjoy more success than it has before. Here are five types of video you can create for LinkedIn.
1. Upcycle Your Content
Content marketers love to “upcycle” their content. This technique allows them to get more out of one piece of content by sharing it in different formats, such as a blog post, podcast, a series of tweets, and video.
Repurpose your blog posts into videos for LinkedIn. You could do a deep-dive on one section from the content, or share the sub-headings so people click through to read more in detail. Here’s an example from Moby Siddique of RedPandas:
Alternately, you could create videos dedicated for social media. Many business professionals log in to LinkedIn every morning to get their daily business news fix from sites like The Wall Street Journal. Now those publishers can share the latest headlines via video posts. Rodrigo Brancatelli, Senior Editor at LinkedIn, shows how the BuzzFeed-style video popular on Facebook can perform just as well on LinkedIn:
2. Humanize Your Brand
Perhaps the biggest opportunity for businesses with LinkedIn video is the ability to put a face to the brand. Videos of your team brainstorming during a meeting, or sketching new creative, endear customers to your company. Share a compelling video case study or customer testimonial. Videos are expressive and make your brand feel human in ways written materials aren’t capable of.
Videos can amplify your recruiting efforts on LinkedIn. Show a day in the life at your office, or interview employees for an update on their latest project or their best tip of career advice. These will pop a lot more than the “So and so is hiring!” text posts that inundate the main LinkedIn feed. CEO Sam Shank shared a recent team lunch at HotelTonight, earning almost 1000 likes and 50 comments:
3. React to Events
Behind-the scenes looks at events are made for social video. Allen Gannett, CEO of TrackMaven, connected with Cathy McPhillips, VP of Marketing for Content Marketing Institute in the hall at the latest Content Marketing World. In the quick video below, she shares her #1 tip for event marketing. It’s timely, it’s relevant, and it’s quick to watch.
Video also transforms boring marketing news into something people will actually pay attention to. People probably won’t read the press release announcing your latest store opening, but they might actually watch a ribbon cutting ceremony on LinkedIn. Adena Friedman, CEO of Nasdaq, made a GIF celebrating MongoDB’s IPO. This fun video shared the news in a way that instantly gets the point across.
4. Explain Your Product
Some of the most effective types of marketing videos are product explainers, demos, and tutorials. Explain your products or services via LinkedIn video. The video insights may reveal the types of people interested in your product, such as publicists or IT pros, who you can then target in your advertising both on LinkedIn and other networks like Facebook and Google AdWords. You might even begin to create new content targeting those users specifically.
Video helps B2B companies make “boring” products quirky and interesting. Brian White of AgilityWorks Limited knows that screengrabs of CRM software just aren’t as fun to watch as a bunch of toy cars racing around your Macbook. With the power of video and a trending topic (#bigdataweek), he’s able to reach more users and promote his product.
5. Partner With Influencers
With LinkedIn Pulse and last year’s foray into Influencer videos, LinkedIn has been on a slow but steady course towards fostering its own group of native influencers. These videos offer another way brands can partner with influencers. Event marketers can interview keynote speakers ahead of time, or give a sneak peek of their presentation, to build interest and attract attendees.
Influencers too have opportunities with LinkedIn video, from product unboxings to sharing their reactions to industry news or conference event sessions. LinkedIn Influencer Goldie Chan demonstrates how LinkedIn can be both a place to discuss professional business updates, as well as a fun social network where you can use video filters. No word yet on how soon these Snapchat-esque filters will be accessible to general LinkedIn users.
Another LinkedIn influencer, Viveka von Rosen, uses video as teasers for her latest LinkedIn Pulse articles:
Get Your (Phone) Camera Ready
If you’ve been ignoring LinkedIn, this video announcement means you really can’t do that anymore. Video boosts user engagement for brands on Facebook and Snapchat, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t do the same on LinkedIn.
As with anything, jumping on this trend early can help your brand stand out as a major player in the long run.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out the #TrendingVideos hashtag on LinkedIn.