LinkedIn finally joined all the other networks in allowing native video. I actually ran across it last week when I was flying home after a few content marketing meetings in Canada. Of course, I immediately wanted to give it a shot to see how easy it would be to upload video to LinkedIn. Then I started thinking about how many of my clients, and also I, would want to integrate native LinkedIn video into our content marketing strategies.
How to do video on LinkedIn
As is often the norm, LinkedIn is rolling out the feature in stages. So, if you don’t have it yet, it’s likely just a matter of time. When Instagram rolled out live video late last year, it took a few months before it was rolled out globally. If you already have access, you should see the camera icon in the area where you would typically post updates. Currently, this is only available on “personal” pages but nonetheless, brands can use this function by empowering advocates and employees to share videos. Of course, I would highly recommend organizations offer social media strategy and support training to employees beforehand.
Additionally, it’s currently only available on the mobile app. Given that many of us content marketers have long been used to only using Instagram on mobile, this shouldn’t be a huge hurdle to overcome. We’ve been there!
From the mobile app, you can:
- Record a video (it also saves to your camera roll)
- Upload a video from your phone.
Remember to shoot horizontally so your video doesn’t end up with those black stripes on the side.
Metrics show up in the usual space – right under the post after clicking on view “post views.” My first LinkedIn video performed way above average, so of course that makes this an attractive strategy to continue with for me.
How to integrate LinkedIn into your strategy
As you may recall, some experts out there called 2017 the year of video. Others are calling next year the year. Whenever the Year of Video might end up happening, when done well, video can be a differentiator. Video is a great way to show, and not just tell, a story. It’s also a great way to show our authentic selves.
Of course, with every video option for distribution comes more work for the content distribution strategist. For example, Twitter allows videos up to a size of 512MB but Facebook videos can be twice that size. Some networks – like Instagram Stories – support vertical videos better over horizontal ones. On Instagram proper they should be square. For YouTube and Facebook, shoot horizontally. Keeping track of formats and what works on one network over another can be a time-consuming task of its own.
And then, of course, every network’s audience is difference. Videos on LinkedIn should be slanted toward a business audience. If your main targeted audience is on LinkedIn, it might be a very valuable strategy to post videos there – especially if you already have videos that can be used.
From my own experience, many consumer stories in content marketing can also be published with a business angle. And for text-based content, the repurposing is relatively simple. Add an opening paragraph with the business angle and then dive into more. Depending on the kind of video, video production, editing and uploading is a lot more time intensive. The additional workflow is something to weigh versus the payoff.
The problem with overthinking video formats for different networks
Every time I turn around there seems to be a new channel, feature or content opportunity. I’ll give it a try and it seems to work great. For example, when Periscope came out the numbers were fantastic. Then Facebook Live stepped up and Periscope basically became Twitter Video. In the meantime, Instagram rolled out Instagram Stories (including video), which is basically like Snapchat but on Instagram and Stories.
Live video today can be broadcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope and even YouTube. Some content producers have live streamed on all the networks and been successful, but as you might imagine, for many productions this is not feasible . I wouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn added live video at some point down the road.
Content creators keep doing tactics when they work or show hope of working. So the trick really is to:
- Keep your overall strategy in mind: What is your topical niche and where are you reaching your relevant audience members?
- Try new things quickly and see if they might be worth sticking with.
- If they are not, return to your base of most content impact.
Of course, there’s a difference between trying new things (which I recommend) and spending days chasing shiny objects and not getting anything else done (which I don’t recommend).
Don’t overthink the new tools. Or underthink them (aka disregard them too quickly.) Give them just the right amount of brain power.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: One tool to make video planning and distribution easier
With all the different networks out there, the planning of video (and all content for that matter) can get cumbersome. What channels should the content go through and what goals do they tie to?
I’d like to take a moment and share with you how that would look like in our Plan product. Once you tie your content to a specific goal within your strategy, you can upload video directly with the relevant assets. You can also publish directly to Twitter and Facebook, and tie your YouTube video into your article content. It’s one way to streamline your strategic content creation – including for video.
Video certainly is important, but only when it’s used in a way that tells a good and useful story to your target audiences. Keep in mind that we want to make sure to use the time of our content strategists and creators as efficiently as possible. That, of course, doesn’t mean that they have to be quick or become a so-called “content machine.” It means the content that gets produced drives results. Maybe not every piece on its own, but collectively, it yields results over time and across the right channels.
I know for certain that the ‘wait-and-see’ approach is not often a good digital marketing strategy. But a ‘see, test and adjust’ strategy often works well. That includes LinkedIn video. Give it a try, see if it helps your overall objectives and adjust from there.
Christoph Trappe is ScribbleLive’s Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy
He helps businesses and organizations in the Americas develop and implement strategic content marketing plans and practices by combining efficient workflows, content marketers’ skills and useful technologies.