When it comes to innovation, being first isn’t a prerequisite for being the best. This seems to be the guiding principle behind the recent introduction of LinkedIn video, the business-oriented social media giant’s first attempt at incorporating native video content into its extensive range of benefits and features.
As practically the last among the largest and most popular social media platforms to add a native video feature, all eyes are on LinkedIn, as users eagerly anticipate how this new feature will change the way they maximize their presence on the site. Initially tested among select users in the United States, LinkedIn video is scheduled to be launched to all LinkedIn users within the next few months.
LinkedIn video offers all sorts of new possibilities to its tremendous user base of professionals, social sellers and marketers. Now, LinkedIn users can upload and share videos directly from their mobile phones, allowing their network to enjoy unique and original video content that’s relevant to their industry and more importantly, is of interest to their target market.
How LinkedIn Video Works
LinkedIn Video is designed to allow the platform’s users to view and access native videos across both desktop and mobile devices. When the feature gets formally rolled out to LinkedIn’s 500 million (plus) users, it will be accessible via a small video icon right next to the mobile app’s status box. Creating and sharing native videos can easily be summed up in the following steps:
- Mobile app users can tap the icon for LinkedIn video, right next to the status update box.
- Users can then choose the option to either shoot and record an ongoing event or select a video to upload from their mobile phone’s video gallery. Any videos recorded via the LinkedIn app will be saved and added to the user’s mobile media gallery or camera roll.
- Once a video is recorded or selected, the user can add a text description before it is shared to LinkedIn.
- The uploaded video will automatically play, with sounds turned off by default, on your contacts’ news feeds as they scroll down.
It’s worth noting that LinkedIn native video technically isn’t the company’s first foray into embracing video content. In 2016, it launched an app that enabled short videos to be posted via the platform; however, the app was restricted to just LinkedIn’s influencers, and video length was limited to just 30 seconds.
Still, the LinkedIn video has just enough in terms of bells and whistles to allow the platform to offer something new to users who have been anticipating the ability to share videos. For starters, LinkedIn video allows much longer videos to be uploaded than its exclusive predecessor — up to 10-minute videos, to be exact.
Videos may also be vertical or horizontal, depending on the user’s preference. Much like how videos are displayed on other popular social networking sites, LinkedIn users will be able to see how well their videos are performing: the number of views they’re getting (defined as any instance wherein the video is played for longer than three seconds) as well as the number of shares and uploads the video received.
But wait, there’s more.
LinkedIn added a clever twist to its video feature, though — one that’s right at home with the platform’s primary purpose and target audience.
In addition to measuring the level of engagement your videos receive; LinkedIn video will also provide you with more insights into the people who have viewed your content. To be more precise, it will share professional information, such as their employer names and job titles. Take note, however, that LinkedIn won’t share this for every single user who views your video; instead, it will reveal the ones that comprise the majority of your viewership.
This basically lets you figure out which users are most likely to view specific types of content, allowing you to tailor your strategy accordingly and develop more video content that fits the tastes and needs of your desired audience. (On a somewhat related note, there are no announced plans from LinkedIn regarding the possibility of video uploads for advertising and marketing purposes).
7 Ways to Use LinkedIn Video for Effective Social Selling
The introduction of LinkedIn video opens up a whole new world of possibilities (and stronger social selling strategies) for new and experienced users alike. Let’s examine some of the typical approaches to using LinkedIn for lead generation and social selling, and see how the addition of video content can make these techniques even more effective.
1. Reach out to more people through high-quality, long-form content.
One of LinkedIn’s most popular and useful features is, of course, the ability to draft and publish long-form content on the platform via LinkedIn Publisher. This feature functions a little differently from the standard status message sharing process on other social networking sites.
On LinkedIn, your articles live right within your profile. This enables you to educate any leads, prospects and clients that visit your profile. Each time someone likes, comments or shares your articles on LinkedIn Publisher, their network also sees it, opening you up to a much wider audience.
The usual best practices for content marketing apply here, such as encouraging engagement by inviting them to share their thoughts in the comments section, or adding a CTA (call to action) to prompt your readers to take further action (thus turning them into leads).
Imagine the possibilities, though, with LinkedIn video — you can create new and compelling content that visually stimulates your audience and makes it even more likely for them to share your content.
2. Broaden your reach through LinkedIn groups.
The biggest advantage to joining LinkedIn groups is to expand the size of your network with a targeted, niche audience. Participation in many LinkedIn groups has decreased over the past while but there are still some active groups that are worthwhile to participate in.
Adding video content to your arsenal will help you in your goal to capture the attention of more people who fall under your target demographic.
3. Build relationships that lead to sales with online and off-line networking.
The people you meet outside of cyberspace — at conferences, seminars, or other professional or business-centric events — can become your online connections. Adding them to your LinkedIn network and showing them what you can do and what you’re all about with relevant, engaging content (yes, including video content) will help you nurture those budding relationships and transform them into leads that convert.
4. Establish thought leadership through effective and attractive content.
People tend to respond well to video content — imagine what that can do for your efforts in building thought leadership. Video humanizes you and allows people to get to know you in a more intimate way. In addition, video it is one of the best ways to establish authority on your topic and in your niche. People relate to video and science shows that the brain is hard-wired to trust the human face.
Just maintain a relatable, conversational tone in your LinkedIn videos, and cover a wide range of relevant topics across multiple videos to keep them coming back and tuned into you and your updates.
5. Focus on the quality, not the quantity, of your connections.
While having a large following or network is generally considered to be a good thing, it’s not a surefire indicator of your sales and marketing success. Rather, you should focus on getting exactly the kind of leads that fit your product or service.
A good way to attract the right kind of connections is through video content. By letting them see what you’re offering beyond simple words, you’re more likely to attract the right people to your profile and business — the kind who will probably respond to you positively.
6. Leverage referrals on LinkedIn
Customer referrals are a strong component of network-building. It’s basically the digital equivalent of positive word-of-mouth, and it will do wonders for your efforts in expanding your network.
Social selling thus becomes less of a chore, and you’ll end up talking to people who will be more receptive to your offerings. Third party credibility which comes from referrals is what turns a lead into a warm conversation.
Create videos that show your connections why you’re worthy of their recommendation, and you’ll soon see referrals coming in as people start seeing the person behind the screen.
7. Tailor your approach according to your audience AND your identity.
Make sure that you not only know your target audience thoroughly, but that you’ll also stay consistent across all your sales and marketing efforts. Present a genuine and honest image of yourself by adding a personal touch to your strategy. Reach out to your audience with authentic content — again, including videos — based on the information you can gather from their LinkedIn profiles.
The launch of LinkedIn video will soon give rise to even more effective social selling strategies for engaging your audience and growing your sales pipeline. Before you can do that, though, make sure that you’ve mastered the basics of social selling on LinkedIn.
If you would like to ensure that your business (and sales team) are ready to fully embrace social selling and LinkedIn video, book your free consultation today with Melonie Dodaro. Click here to master social selling and fill your sales pipeline.