Before everyone came out with their own version of Stories, the big trend was to implement Live video. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube… and now LinkedIn.
LinkedIn says that video is the fastest-growing format on its platform, so they’re doubling-down by giving people the ability to share video in a different and highly-requested way.
Why choose LinkedIn for live video?
What’s going to make LinkedIn Live different is context and content. People follow different people and consume different types of content than they do on other platforms. The first social network for professionals is likely going to be the hub of live video for professionals, so you can expect the same type of cadence that you get from written content on LinkedIn… Professional.
You can expect to see the same subject matter that you’re already used to seeing in your LinkedIn news feed:
- Product announcements
- Earnings calls
- graduation & award ceremonies
Things that you might usually get in the form of a webinar or conference call.
Right now, LinkedIn Live is invite-only. It’s suspected that this is in an attempt to establish a base of a particular type and quality of content before it gets a full release.
Like a lot of its other features, LinkedIn is getting live video later than everyone else. This provides them with the opportunity for them to learn from what everyone else is doing and hopefully improve on it. This is true of the creators for the platform as much as it is for the platform itself.
Here are some tips that you can start to think about how to get the most out of LinkedIn Live when you do get access to it:
LinkedIn is for professionals, which means that its users may not be able to tune into a live stream at noon on a Wednesday.
- Who’s your target audience?
- What time zone are they in?
- When will they have time to view the content?
Consider their locations and daily routines to and do your best to come up with a time that would be suitable for them. If the time isn’t convenient, attendance could be less than ideal.
Do you want to allow replays?
People will be more likely to tune in if they know that there will be no repeat performance, either in the case of a repeat broadcast or a recording. If you have interested followers who aren’t able to tune in live, you have the option to allow a replay of a live stream, in which case the replay video will be available in your feed and recent activity after the stream ends. Alternatively, you may decide to disable replays to push exclusivity.
It can be longer than other social videos
Also, think about the duration. Historically, social video has been more successful when it is bitesize, but live video plays by different rules. Live video is often optimal with a longer timestamp. This allows new people to join in late and still get the right amount of value, optimum with a longer duration. This gives enough time for people to find your video and also doesn’t restrict the amount of content that you can include. Don’t let it go too long, though. Think of the podcasts and webinars you’ve consumed… About an hour is advisable, but be flexible.
Hosts should be prepared to engage with their audience and encourage viewers to participate. It’s important that hosts acknowledge incoming questions and have some questions prepared to ask the audience. One of the biggest advantages of live video is that there’s direct and immediate two-way communication. That can be beneficial to get immediate feedback from your audience and allow you to explore new areas based on their questions.
Get the right host
A great way to increase engagement and spur conversation is to get the right host. You want someone who’s charismatic, personable, and informed. They don’t need to be an expert, but they should be able to carry a conversation about the topic at hand. You don’t need to have the same host every time. You can switch it up based on subject matter or audience.
Get the right guest
If a live broadcast is on a particular topic, it’s a great idea to have a guest who is a subject matter expert. Not only is having two people great for engagement and entertainment, but the guest can provide insight and answers about their field of expertise.
Get a moderator
If engagement is high, it’s a good idea to employ a moderator to assist with the broadcast. This person can field & filter questions, monitor the conversation for inappropriate messages, and engage with the audience when the host is busy.
Just because an event is live, doesn’t mean it should go unrehearsed. It’s essential for business professionals to rehearse, not memorize, and be very familiar with the content they are discussing. You have to keep the audience constantly engaged and entertained.
Guest speakers will also need to be prepared. Hosts can send a list of questions beforehand, but shouldn’t be afraid to deviate in order to provide the audience with valuable information they might need as it comes up.
Not everything is going to perfectly smooth, but practicing ahead of time will decrease the chances of any on-air mishaps and blunders.
There are no do-overs in live video. It’s essential to test the audio, video, and an internet connection to ensure that everything works well. If viewers have difficulty hearing or seeing the stream, they may end up getting frustrated and leave.
Not only do you need to make sure that you can get up and running, but you also need to do your best to maintain good quality. Your audience needs to be able to tune in but they also need to enjoy the experience as well, not just tolerate it.
A reliable, high-speed Internet connection is essential and you should also have a wired connection to fall back on in case there’s a problem with the wi-fi. Lighting and sound should also be given high priority. The camera in your laptop or smartphone is fine to use in the beginning but invest in an external microphone and another light source for good measure.
Video is one of the most engaging marketing tools and, with the launch of LinkedIn Live, it will not only continue to rise in popularity, but it will help brands reach a new demographic of people online. LinkedIn’s new video streaming feature presents a massive opportunity for business professionals and brands to engage with their growing target audiences. Getting in early, maintaining quality, and finding your target audience will help you get the most out of your live streaming efforts and your audience gets the most out of the content that you provide.