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LinkedIn is the world's biggest and best professional social media platform, and it is only in 2017 that it finally allowed for the embedding of videos on the platform from all of its users, rather than from a select few influencers.
This feature definitely creates a lot of new opportunities for people on LinkedIn, but these opportunities must be approached carefully. This is, after all, LinkedIn. It's not a typical social media platform that's all about fun and games and socializing. As a social media site designed first and foremost for professional networking, it has a very different demographic, with very different purposes. Jobs, partnerships, business deals, and many other high-stakes interactions are the order of the day here.
So if you're not just impulsively posting random cat videos to all of your contacts, what exactly should you post on LinkedIn concerning video content? The answer is, you can use this newer feature for social selling. But how do you that?
Focus on Quality Content
As with any other attempts at digital selling, the final results of your efforts will depend a lot on just how much effort you put into your video content. Here, more than ever, your focus should be on quality. The videos you are showing are for professional and industry peers. That often means that a selfie-video, which is improvised, off-the-cuff, with no production values, editing, or objective purpose, is probably going to do you more harm than good. It's already making a statement about your lack of professional insight and unwillingness to even provide it.
In the same way that you wouldn't show up to a job interview in just your pyjamas, you shouldn't be unpolished, unprepared, and amateur with your video efforts. You are showing your video to people who can potentially network to other partners or businesses, hire you, or even invest in your business. Make sure your video reflects how serious you are as a business and your brand's values, or you'll pay for it with a loss of relevancy and maybe clients.
Choose Detailed & Long-Form Content
The maximum video length on LinkedIn is 10 minutes. Don’t be afraid to create content that runs several minutes if the information is useful and relevant. Unlike other social platforms, the professional nature of LinkedIn means that digital selling here is qualitatively different. You are not trying to make a big, flashy impression on as many people as possible. You are trying to convince informed, attentive decision-makers (who could use your service) to see to your way of thinking.
So, for people seeking factual and detailed content, and who often read long-form pieces, comprehensive articles and blog posts, you'll want to adjust to their preferences. A 30-second commercial is fine just trying to make a quick, sensory impression. But LinkedIn is about substance. People want to see you make good arguments and even better business sense, and they are willing to devote the time to do this. Take advantage of their longer attention spans because it's an opportunity that's not as common on YouTube, Instagram, or even Facebook.
Use the Analytics
One of the best—and potentially most important—features of LinkedIn video is that it gives you a much higher degree of insight over who is consuming your content. That is an incredibly useful feature in a social or professional platform where all the members have much more purpose to their activities as well as a higher degree of quality and relevance to you and your professional goals.
Take the time to use the analytics that LinkedIn video is providing to you. See who is looking at the video and understand where your views are coming from. LinkedIn can show you what a viewer's job title is, where they are employed in addition to their name, or how many total views you have on your video. This type of information can be used to target your efforts better.
You can add a description to your LinkedIn video. Once again, remember that LinkedIn is about detail and quality content. Use the description to create more substance, reinforce certain important points or arguments, or add additional depth. That is what people are looking for. The more substance, relevance, and capability you can present, the more engaging you will be.
Engage with Peers
Because the content on LinkedIn tends to be more substantial, it’s much easier to engage with and talk about it, and you should take every opportunity to do so. Discussing the content with others along with fielding and asking questions are perfect ways to show off even more knowledge and familiarity about a particular topic. Now, however, your interactions are being considered by peers, and other industry professionals, thus giving what you say and how you react, more weight.
Target Your Videos
Because LinkedIn is so specialized, offering many people a place to gather and join groups, you should use this to your advantage. Create content aimed at management or decision-makers, or the technology or finance departments. Make your videos available to the LinkedIn groups that congregate around the particular fields you're covering.
Nurture Your Connections
In LinkedIn, quality is more important than quantity. So it's not about getting thousands, hundreds, or even dozens of people to watch your video as a measure of your success. Digital selling in an environment where the people who view content are potentially major decision-makers can have a huge impact, even if only three people watch it and are interested in giving you sales.
So take the time to cultivate and engage with meaningful connections. Trying to make sure your video gets the broadest possible exposure to the largest potential audience is actually counter-productive in a social media platform like LinkedIn, which is much more specialized.
Always remember that quality counts, no matter which social media platform you go to. But keep in mind that other social media habits, such as trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator or making an argument with more style than substance, is not appropriate for LinkedIn.