I’ve always been one to experiment with what is working, and get ahead of the curve. One of the trends we’ve been paying attention to is the rise of native LinkedIn video. Since launching in the summer of 2017, the number of videos on LinkedIn has risen dramatically. Now that we’ve had a few months to test it out, I wanted to share some of the pros, cons, and best practices of LinkedIn video.
LinkedIn Video is a powerful tool, here are some of the advantages of using it, and why it’s become so popular in the past few months.
You can’t fake video.
Dave Gerhardt of Drift made this point on LinkedIn a couple of months ago. When you see someone post a video, you know it is them. For most of us, it isn’t a huge deal but for bigger names and executives you know it is them and not a ghostwriter posting the content.
One huge advantage to video is that it lets you communicate much more. Not just the number of words, but it also lets you communicate your tone and expression. You can communicate a lot more in 2-3 minutes of video than over a wall of text.
Video can train your audience
The same way each email you send can train your prospects or recipients to either open or delete the next email, video works the same way. If you’re producing quality content that your audience sees value in, they will want to watch your next video. If you’re just spamming and self-promoting, they won’t watch the next one.
Build your personal brand
LinkedIn video is a great way to build your personal brand. With video, people not only know your name, but they know your face so if/when you go to events or meet them in person, you’ll be recognized more. Also, with the rise of video emails with tools like Vidyard, the people you’re sending these emails to might be more willing to open your email if they know your face from social posts.
At the time of writing this post, LinkedIn seems to be heavily favoring native videos. Like all things, this will likely change in the future, but for the time being there does seem to be an advantage to posting a native video.
Sales reps are at an advantage
As sales reps we are always talking to people we don’t know, either in person, over the phone, or remote meeting. We’re practiced at communicating in front of people. For many of us, we’re much better at communicating through video than long written posts. As an added bonus, video recordings generally take less time than long written posts.
With any emerging trend, there will also be negatives and haters. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start to create LinkedIn Video
It’s a little too easy to do
When LinkedIn first launched publishing, they saved it for their INfluencers. Many people commented that people who weren’t good at video or had nothing of value to say were making videos.
A little video goes a long way
If you’re doing too much video, you may be turning people off no matter how great your content is. Most people don’t want to watch you for 15 minutes every single day, but they may watch 2-3 minutes once or twice a week. Just because you’re in sales, doesn’t mean you have to be going for a hard pitch with each video.
If you are going to do LinkedIn video, do it right. Here are some of the best practices for creating a video on LinkedIn that will leave your audience wanting your next one.
Script it out ahead of time.
Most people can’t freestyle their videos, so at the bare minimum have a structure or key points you want to talk about. Do a practice recording or two. When you’re going to record a video that tens of thousands of your colleagues, customers, and prospects can see, you want to be confident and clear in your message. You don’t want to be struggling with uhms, ums, ahhs and rambling.
Keep it short.
It’s always better to leave people wanting more so they tune in instead of asking themselves when will this end.
Do video if it makes sense for you.
Just because it seems that everyone is doing video doesn’t mean you need to. Not everyone has the personality to do video and that’s OK. You also want to make sure it’s something your intended audience is interested in watching. If you sell to construction workers who only check LinkedIn when they’re looking for a job, LinkedIn video probably doesn’t make much sense.
Have somewhat professional production quality.
You don’t need studio lighting microphones, but you also don’t want to record with the sun at the back and wind hitting your microphone. A rule of video production is to put the audio quality over the video quality (you can watch a non-HD movie, but one where the audio cuts in and out is insufferable). Go somewhere quiet and with decent lighting in front of you.
Keep it appropriate for LinkedIn.
This is a professional network. Make sure you’re keeping everything appropriate for your audience and industry. It could be as simple as not swearing, or making sure you aren’t recording while you’re driving.
Always make sure you’re adding value.
My goal on every video or piece of content I share is to give people something they can do immediately after watching or consuming the content. At the very least, I want to get people to think of things differently. If you focus on adding value and giving people the information they can use immediately, they will keep coming back for more.
Regardless of the medium (video, text, voice, etc), if you’re not adding value, you’ll be doing more harm than good to your brand.
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