Editor’s Note: This post describing the ultimate guide to LinkedIn native video was originally published on the Act-On Software blog.
Have you considered adding LinkedIn Native Videos to your 2018 and 2019 marketing plans?
If not, why not?
Nearly all B2B marketers are using LinkedIn and have made it their primary choice among the social networks.
About a year ago, LinkedIn began allowing users to upload native videos to their updates. Since then, LinkedIn heavily features the videos in their algorithms, exposing you to more and more people. And those are just the kind of folks you likely want to engage with, too.
When else would I have more than 100 CEOs, executive directors and company founders engage with little old me? That’s just what happened a couple weeks back when I uploaded a video to LinkedIn celebrating the 100th episode of our Rethink Marketing podcast (I regularly upload the intros to the podcast).
What is LinkedIn Native Video
So, what is LinkedIn video? Well, what it is not is sharing a link from YouTube or another platform in your update. Just like Facebook and other social platforms that have been pivoting to video, they place a premium on video content that is natively uploaded.
We interviewed Randy Frisch, CMO at Uberflip on the Rethink Marketing podcast earlier this year after his provocative LinkedIn Pulse post F#*k Content Marketing went viral. I’d like to think that Randy adopted LinkedIn video after seeing my video intro of his episode. Regardless, he has been rocking it with a blend of off-the-cuff thought leadership videos, along with more scripted videos that offer content marketing insights. Why does that matter? Well, you have to remember that these are all publicly-traded companies in some way or fashion, and they need to be showing shareholders that they are attempting to make money. So …
This quote from TechCrunch gets to the bottomline, “As Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Yahoo/AOL/Oath and others have found, video is where the money is for digital advertising today, so bringing more content around the medium overall would help LinkedIn move into video advertising more naturally, as well.”
While the platform is getting its processes figured out, LinkedIn Native Video has been a “blue ocean” for marketers and others wanting to efficiently get in front of 10x or more of their normal and new audiences.
Why Marketers Should Consider LinkedIn Video
LinkedIn really is the single best place to reach out to prospects, Melissa Barker, a senior consult with Organic Demand Generation, told us on the Rethink Marketing podcast. “It is now the largest professional social network with over 500 million users and growing at a rate of two new members per second, according to Omnicore Agency,” she said.
“I think the great thing about LinkedIn is that when you’re there, people are already in a business mindset,” Barker said. “Users are really open to being networked with, marketed to, and are often looking for the services and business products that you can offer.”
Here are some relevant stats:
- According to LinkedIn, about 45% of readers are in the upper ranks of their industries: managers, VPs, CEOs, etc.
- Studies show that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. What’s more, other social media channels produce less than 19.67 percent of all leads, making LinkedIn the largest producer of all.
- People are 20 times more likely to share video with their connections than any other type of LinkedIn post
- And 71 percent of users reported they feel that LinkedIn is a credible source for professional content.
Who is winning with LinkedIn Video
Just take a look at the LinkedInVideo hashtag to get a sense of who is creating and uploading LinkedIn videos. In many ways, all the usual suspects have added Linkedin native videos to their marketing mix. This includes Gary Vaynerchuk, Jay Baer, and Beth Comstock.
Nina Church-Adams, Act-On’s senior vice president of marketing, has also caught the LinkedIn video bug and has been publishing videos on her profile since earlier this summer. She’s using the medium to engage her peers in conversations about marketing leadership, customer engagement, team building, diversity and culture, and more.
We interviewed Randy Frisch, CMO at Uberflip on the Rethink Marketing podcast earlier this year after his provocative LinkedIn Pulse post F#*k Content Marketing went viral. I’d like to think that Randy adopted LinkedIn video after seeing my video intro of his episode. Regardless, he has been rocking it with a blend of off-the-cuff thought leadership videos, along with more scripted videos that offer content marketing insights.
And any post from me about videos wouldn’t be complete without my mentioning Vidyard, my favorite video hosting platform. Their VP of Marketing, Tyler Lessard, is a master at using video in his LinkedIn updates, just search for his video about being named a Fearless 50 marketer.
Michael Litt, Vidyard’s CEO, also uploads videos to the platform (of course he does). Check out this one where he shares his views on the shift in viewer expectations from high production “super bowl” videos to ones shot with a smartphone. TL;DW: Millennials.
There are a metric buttload of solopreneurs on the platform, using LinkedIn video to establish their consulting bonafides. One worth mentioning is Quentin Allums. Quentin was among the first uploading videos to LinkedIn, and he now has 20,000+ followers and more than 2 million views of his videos. He went from -$900 in the bank, broke car, and sick dog to building a following and creating a company — all in a year.
Where should you upload your videos: Personal versus Company page?
In addition to allowing users to upload native videos, LinkedIn in March announced that it was allowing brands to upload videos to company pages. In their beta testing, LinkedIn found that company page videos were 5x more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members.
So, do you upload to your personal profile or to your company page? The answer is both. You may have thought leaders within your company that would be perfect for sharing Linkedin videos on their personal feeds about work, career and so forth. These are regularly added to the user’s profile, and may or may not have a high production value. On your company pages, you may consider more brand-focused videos, that may also have a higher degree of production value. You may only upload videos to your company page once a month, or once a year.
The company page for EY, which is a global accounting firm based in the UK, was recently named among 2018’s 10 best by LinkedIn, which received more than 13,000 submissions nominating 945 companies for the honor. EY features a mix of videos on its company page, including employee vignettes, event promotions, and short 9- and 15-second sponsored video ads.
Speaking of video ads, LinkedIn reports that members spent 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static sponsored content. With video ads, you have the ability, like other platforms, to dial in your audience with Matched Audiences and other tools such as Lead Gen Forms and Conversion Tracking. As mentioned earlier, these are all publicly-traded companies and, as such, are not inclined to give away anything away for free. The gold rush that is currently LinkedIn Native Video will one day end, and you will see your and your brand’s organic reach via video diminish. At that point, if not sooner, you will want to consider adding paid video promotions on the channel.
Getting started with LinkedIn Video
It is a cliché, but the best time to upload your videos to LinkedIn was yesterday. The next best time is today.
But how do you get started?
Create an editorial calendar for your videos
One of the first things you should do is create a plan and an editorial calendar. Make them as simple or complex as you’d like.
For Nina’s LinkedIn videos, we have a Google doc that outlines why we’re doing this, our goals and the themes she will be talking about, as well as some goals for measuring success. We added a tab to our editorial calendar that placeholders over the next quarter what we’ll be talking about and who we may invite to join in a video.
There are four great reasons to have an editorial calendar.
And please note: having an ed cal doesn’t prevent you from creating spur-of-the-moment videos or otherwise diminishes your authenticity. Instead, a plan allows you to:
- Have time to think about the content you’re creating
- Coordinate your marketing plans with other parts of your business
- Add themes to your videos that can also be used across other channels
- Help you say No to ideas that won’t move the needle for your business
Establish a cadence for your videos
Stick to a regular cadence. Onesies and twosies published here and there will not make you a thought leader. You need to pick a cadence you can maintain.
First, a regular cadence (along with a plan) will help keep you on task. Speaking from my own experience publishing the Rethink Marketing podcast every Thursday, having that deadline helps get the work done.
Second, a regular cadence helps you build an audience, who are being bombarded from all sides by other content on Linkedin (Pulse posts, connections requests and so forth) and off the platform. Also, I foresee when AI-algorithms determine winners and losers based on posting frequency among other factors (they’re probably already doing this).
Please note: a regular cadence doesn’t default to posting everyday. You can also post too often. It really depends on your audience and the value of the content you’re sharing.
Authenticity wins in your LinkedIn videos
First, be authentic in the content you’re delivering. If it’s overly salesy, no one is going to engage. If it isn’t something you know about, folks will see through the b.s. TL;DR: Millennials.
Seriously, Brene Brown, author and researcher, studies the concept of authenticity for a living. Her Ted Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability” explores the topic. She talks about the power of connections between groups of people. In her research, she found there was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it. And that was, the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging.
She dived deeper to understand what made those people have a strong sense of love. And what she found was they all had courage. But not the courage you and I associate with super heroes, instead it was the courage to be imperfect.
“As a result of authenticity,” she said. “They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were, which you have to absolutely do to have that connection.”
Second, be authentic to your production comfort level. Do you need a studio and film crew? Your smartphone camera? Or a combination of both?
There is no right answer for picking the perfect production style other than doing what works best for you. If you are trying to shoot one of those walking-down-the-street-and-sharing-a-deep-thought videos, but deep down inside you wish you had taken the time to write a script. Then write the script.
Successful serial entrepreneur Neil Patel uses a script and studio. Dave Gerhardt, Drift’s VP of Marketing, will take a break from watching a football game to announce in a smartphone video that he’s launching a new marketing mastermind group.
Promoting Your LinkedIn Native Videos
So, you’ve uploaded your video to LinkedIn. Now what?
Top Rank Blog recently recapped LinkedIn video influencer Allen Gannett’s “How to: 0 to 1 million LinkedIn Video Views and 6 months” presentation from Content Marketing World.
In the recap, Gannett says the reach of your LinkedIn video is determined by its initial performance. He recommends driving as much engagement with the videos within the first hour after posting. Recruit a quick response team of fellow co-workers, friends and/or family that will quickly visit your activity feed and “Like,” comment or share the video.
Also, put in the extra time at the “bottom of the fold,” or in the comments below the video, to respond to those comments, as well as request connections to 2nd- and 3rd-degree connections that like your video.
Another tactic Gannett recommends is posting during the quieter periods of the day, say earlier in the morning, then engage your quick response team to engage with the video and let that snowball into more traffic when folks come online.
Your LinkedIn videos autoplay on mute, and will play sound only if a viewer clicks the play button. As a result, like Facebook, it pays to include captions for your videos.
You have a couple of choices. You can upload an SRT caption file (once the video is uploaded), and this will display the captions if the viewer has enabled their closed captions on the player. You can also add the captions directly to the videos. We’ve done the second approach; initially creating the captions in After Effects (time consuming) and then using Zubtitle (cheap and quick, but has some limitations).
You also need to practice awesome Linkedin posting habits. Summarize your video in your post description. Use relevant hashtags, and consider creating your own. Mention any brands or people that are either mentioned in the video, or that you want to see the video.
Integrating LinkedIn Video with your other Marketing
As I mentioned earlier, one of the benefits to creating a plan and editorial calendar is it helps you integrate your LinkedIn videos with your other marketing efforts. Add a line to your Go To Market campaigns doc, whatever shape that takes, and add in it LinkedIn videos.
Are you releasing a new episode of your podcast? Share a video about it on LinkedIn.
Are you announcing a new product? Are you attending a conference or other event? Are you hosting a webinar? Did you make a new hire? Are you expanding into a new territory or country? Did you get named in the latest analysis report? Share a video about it on LinkedIn.
Like your other social media marketing efforts, your LinkedIn videos should be 80 percent value add and 20 percent sales pitch. So, get creative.
Measuring Success with your LinkedIn videos
How do you measure your success using LinkedIn native videos?
Views are one metric, but perhaps not the best. The platform more or less follows its peers on what constitute a view. LinkedIn defines a view as the number of times your video has been watched at least 3 seconds.
Other LinkedIn metrics you could measure include Likes and Comments for each post. As Matt Heinz says, those metrics won’t buy you a beer. But they are useful in measuring engagement. Another LinkedIn metric to follow would be who is following you or your company page (depending on where you upload the video).
You can also measure connection requests. You will want to prefer quality (titles, brands and target audience) over quantity, at least on who you accept. You can also measure profile views, and whether you or your brand are appearing in LinkedIn search results.
Ideally, you want to be driving those viewers from LinkedIn to your website, and ideally to a specific CTA. For my podcast video intros, I want viewers to listen to the podcast on our website, or to subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcast.
When using links to your website or other CTA, consider adding UTM parameters so that you can track clicks from LinkedIn to your landing page and know they came from your video campaign.
Using LinkedIn Videos for Sales
Your sales teams are already (or should be) using LinkedIn to have conversations with current customers and prospects. Sales reps should make sure they are following and engaging with any of their prospects and customers are that utilizing LinkedIn video. First, your prospect or customer will notice and appreciate the love. Second, because LinkedIn is favoring these posts in the news feeds, your value-added comment will be seen by dozens or hundreds of others.
Sales reps should also consider creating videos for LinkedIn. They can interview folks within their company, talk about an upcoming events, webinars or discounts; as well as establish themselves as subject matter experts. Here are some video ideas that can help jumpstart your planning.
Another popular tactic is called a LinkedIn video takeover. The team at Drift on their Seeking Wisdom podcast talked about their success (most traffic ever to their website) from encouraging their entire company to create and upload to LinkedIn a video during a product launch.
Uploading Your LinkedIn Native Videos
Use LinkedIn’s mobile app or go their website if you’re using a PC to begin sharing your videos.
- Go to your feed
- There, you will see a box asking you to share an article, photo, video or idea
- Click on the Video icon and upload your video
- Adding your post description. Make sure to @name any brands or people mentioned in the video. Also make sure to use relevant hashtags
- Once your post is live, you should upload a .SRT file with the captions unless you’ve already used another captioning service
- You can then grab the link to the post and share with your quick response team, asking them to like, comment and share it
- Pay attention to engagement with the post. If someone comments, respond appropriately. If they are a 2nd or 3rd connection, request to connect with them
Your videos can be as short as 3 seconds long and no longer than 10 minutes, according to LinkedIn. Here is some of their other technical requirements for LinkedIn video.
- Supported video formats: ASF, AVI, FLV, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, MKV, QuickTime, WebM, H264/AVC, MP4, VP8, VP9, WMV2, and WMV3
- Supported audio extensions: AAC, MP3, and Vorbis
- Max file size: 5GB
- Minimum file size: 75KB
- Max video duration: 10 minutes
- Minimum video duration: 3 seconds
Final thoughts on adding LinkedIn native videos to your marketing mix
I recently interviewed Josh Fechter, Co-Founder & CEO of BAMF Media, for an upcoming Rethink Marketing podcast. He made a name for himself before LinkedIn video, garnering 25 million views of his LinkedIn text posts. I asked him about his views on LinkedIn videos, and I think it is a good way to wrap up.
He turned me on to Quentin Allums as someone doing LinkedIn video better than others.
“And if you look at his videos, there’s a reason why it’s better. It’s because the quality is better. His ability to project his voice is better. And it comes down to even the smallest things. Similar to you can’t write a great story and then have the last two lines be awful. It just becomes an awful story at that point.
If you’re going to jump into video, it has to be quality all the way through. Granted there’s always a novelty effect that, I like to say, tricks people. And sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. When someone sees you doing something new, they like to like what you’re doing. So they like to give you that little Like, or Comment of encouragement. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to do that the next time. They’re just excited for you because you’re doing something new.
Understanding that as well, that the engagement that you get on your first and second video, may not translate to your third and fourth, because the novelty effect is somewhat over. And what’s really going to keep the engagement there is the quality of content. But I got to produce three or four videos to know whether you actually have that type of quality.”