LinkedIn Live is Coming!
LinkedIn is launching live video in beta to the US first, this week! LinkedIn Live will be invite-only initially, giving people and organisations the ability to broadcast real-time video to select groups, or to the LinkedIn world at large.
A staggered release is a smart move, particularly for a data-intensive activity. Imagine if all 610M+ members started broadcasting live at once!
Why Use Video on LinkedIn?
Video is the next best thing to in-person. It opens up our communication and allows us to build rapport faster. Since LinkedIn introduced native video mid 2017, it has proved to be an engage mode of content and communication.
- LinkedIn video posts generated more than 300 million impressions in a year.
- They earn an average of three times the engagement of text posts.
- LinkedIn native videos on Pages are 5 X more likely to start a conversation than other content.
How Can You Use LinkedIn Live?
Imagine being able to conduct live interviews, take people on a virtual tour, share live product announcements, conduct Q&As and stream awards ceremonies or events. The opportunities are vast.
Keep in mind you can already achieve many of these things in short snippets, recorded and uploaded, or using tools such as YouTube shared to LinkedIn, but externally hosted content generally doesn’t perform as well as native content.
I recall when Periscope was released, people were broadcasting all sorts of random stuff without thought, in bad lighting, with a wobbly hand and bad sound. Given LinkedIn is the premier professional network, it is critical to ensure any videos produced are on brand and on message. Native video can be in the moment, raw iPhone or webcam footage, but it doesn’t take much effort to produce something decent, using apps such as Splice. You can even add sticker and text overlays to your videos in the LinkedIn app. (Whether that is a good idea is up to you!)
Here are some considerations for video production;
- Ensure you have good sound
- Use a tripod or selfie-stick to stablise and avoid movement
- Add an opening title screen which becomes the thumbnail
- Add a closing screen with brand / call to action
- Add key captions or even subtitles for those watching without sound.
What does LinkedIn Live Look Like?
A fellow #SMMW speaker Cathy Hackl is a beta tester. See her video via this link. The experience is looking very much like Facebook Live or YouTube Live right now.
What does LinkedIn Live look like? The broadcast is via desktop in this example.
Click See More to expand and see the comments live, or in real time against the video
LinkedIn Live Developers
According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn has selected several third-party developers of live broadcast streaming services that creators will work with to create and post more polished live video on LinkedIn. These include Wirecast, Switcher Studio, Wowza Media Systems, Socialive and Brandlive. Microsoft, who own LinkedIn will be providing encoding via Azure Media Services, part of its cloud division.
Focusing on user experience is often the case before introducing a paid opportunity for many platforms. Video ads were rolled out last year and are said to perform better than other ads. The TechCrunch article states that “video ads earn 30 percent more comments per impression than non-video ads and that LinkedIn members spend almost three times more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content.”
Paying for live access to events is one way to monetise this feature. Imagine being able to attend a conference virtually using LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events! I’m speculating but I see massive potential for domination in the events space.
I’m sure Live Video will become part of advertising strategy, but let’s hope ads don’t start appearing in videos. This is a strategy I don’t understand on any platform – it is stepping backwards!
Like most LinkedIn updates, timeframes for the roll out have not been shared, and live streaming isn’t mentioned as a coming option on the LinkedIn Video FAQ…. Yet.
So until LinkedIn Live is rolled out, native video is your next best thing. But how do you get started?
Native LinkedIn video file requirements
- Max file size: 5GB
- Minimum file size: 75KB
- Max video duration: 10 minutes
- Minimum video duration: 3 seconds
- Resolution range: 256×144 to 4096×2304
- Aspect ratio: 1:2.4 – 2.4:1
- Frame rates: 10fps – 60 fps
- Bit rates: 192 kbps – 30 Mbps
- Files types: ASF, AVI, FLV, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, MKV, QuickTime, WebM, H264/AVC, MP4, VP8, VP9, WMV2, and WMV3.
If video scares the pants off you, then practice talking to your phone, and imagine you are having a conversation with your ideal LinkedIn connection. Get comfortable in the uncomfortable. Here are a few episodes of #TheLinkedInCouch which you may find useful:
The beauty of video is that it is flexible – you don’t even have to be in it!
I would love to hear how you would embrace LinkedIn native video and Linkedin Live in your video content strategy.