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Here are 10 tips on LinkedIn native video to encourage more audience engagement.
Tip #1 – Know Your Audience
When it comes to a strategic approach to video, you need to know who it is that you’re trying to market to. You need to know your audience. You can’t just market, create content, or engage on LinkedIn assuming that everybody is all the same. You need to know who it is that you’re trying to reach (not just demographically) and know them really better than they know themselves (know them psychographically). It’s good marketing strategy.
Tip #2 – Publish Natively (square or 4:5 format, and burnt-in captions)
Create and publish content on the LinkedIn video platform by actually uploading a video file directly to LinkedIn. Sometimes, people think it’s much easier to just grab a YouTube link of a piece of content and post it to their LinkedIn feed. You can absolutely do that if your goal is to drive people back to YouTube. However, if you want maximum engagement for your content on LinkedIn, you want to publish video natively within the LinkedIn platform.
Stats overwhelmingly show that people are using LinkedIn on their mobile as well as the desktop but mostly on their mobile devices. When you are publishing content for LinkedIn, consider creating content that’s in a square or 4:5 format – not widescreen – and using burnt in captions or text overlaid onto the video. There are some creative and effective ways that you can actually take a widescreen video or an extract of a widescreen video and put it into a square frame with maybe a logo and an eye-catching headline at the top and allowing space for those burnt in captions underneath the video.
Just a quick tip, if you’ve got an existing widescreen video that you want to put into a square or 4:5 frame for LinkedIn, you can design the frame using Canva, a free online graphics-based editing programme which is super easy to use for non-designers. Simply edit a little section of your existing video content, and leave some space at the bottom for adding in the captions there. You can then export that video as a square or 4:5 video format with your pretty frame around it. You can bring it into a programme such as rev.com where you can automatically transcribe your video quickly, fix the transcription, and then export a video with burnt in captions right then and there. It takes literally 10 minutes in some cases to create a socially native video in a square frame with burnt in captions – super simple for anyone who even isn’t a video editor.
Tip #3 – Hook the Viewer in the First 6 Seconds
Grab your audience’s attention within the first six seconds of your video, remembering that they’re often scrolling through a newsfeed or they’re looking at other things. They’re not necessarily coming to LinkedIn to find your video so you need to grab them quickly. Remember that LinkedIn is a sound-off video platform, so that’s why you need the burnt in captions that I mentioned before. Most people are playing video on LinkedIn without the sound, so in this hook section you need to consider how you can use both a visual hook and some kind of an emotional hook as well as it’s really powerful.
The headline of the video or text on the video is a great way to kind of hook people and make them stop and pay attention. Another good way to hook people is simply by having a human face – someone who’s excited and smiling, from the beginning because people connect with people. Don’t start your videos with some kind of animated logo because people just don’t care about your logo. You want to start right away with the value that people are going to get and the human who’s going to present that value. So, hook them in the first six seconds or potentially you’ve lost them.
Tip #4 – Customise the Thumbnail
The thumbnail is basically what shows underneath that little play icon on your video before it plays. In many cases, LinkedIn native video is actually going to auto play, but in some cases the video is not going to auto play. If it’s already played through, then people will see the thumbnail again and they’ll have to click ‘play’ if they want to watch that video again.
Customising the thumbnail is a really good way to add to that hook. The way to do this is to basically create a graphic that is related to the video, add some text on there so it tells you what this video is about, then you can actually put that in the first frame of the video. In the process of editing a video or having the video edited, put that thumbnail image as the first frame and then go into the rest of the video after that. That first frame will actually become the thumbnail. Now that tip is actually relevant to sharing videos on your personal profile on LinkedIn because on LinkedIn (currently anyway), you can’t upload a custom thumbnail in the process of uploading a video.
In fact, all you can do when you’re uploading a video natively to your personal profile is that you can add an SRT file or a caption file as well. If you’re uploading a video through your company page, it does give you the ability to add a custom thumbnail so you don’t need to edit the video with that first frame changed as I mentioned before. To do that, you simply just click on the pen icon when you’re uploading there and you’ll get the option to upload a custom thumbnail when you’re uploading through a business page on LinkedIn only.
Tip #5 – Add Value, Don’t Sell
LinkedIn is not the place to pitch a sale and especially not in the LinkedIn inbox. I’m sure that frustrates you as much as it frustrates me. The goal here is to build relationships with your prospects so that when they’re ready to buy, they know who to come to. So aim to add value with your content. Don’t be salesy on LinkedIn.
Tip #6 – Be Professional (but not boring)
LinkedIn is a professional platform, but when it comes to your video content, just don’t be boring. Allow yourself to be entertaining or to have some personality or perhaps think about how you can add some humour to what it is that you’re doing when it aligns with your brands. Just because it’s a professional networking platform doesn’t mean that you need to be boring.
Tip #7 – Be Relevant
Particularly when you think about LinkedIn’s algorithm, they prefer video in the algorithm already, so by simply doing video, you’re going to be shown to more people. Make sure that video is relevant, relevant to the time, relevant to the current situation, relevant to what’s going on in your ideal audience’s life right now at any given time. If you can provide information through your video strategy and on LinkedIn that shows up for people at the time that they need it, then more people are going to engage with that and all of that engagement is what boosts the content further up in the algorithm to be shown to more people on LinkedIn.
Tip #8 – Use Copy that Drives Engagement
By copy I’m referring to the accompanying text that goes with the video when you upload it natively to LinkedIn. When you’re uploading the video, you’re also going to be adding in some text into the LinkedIn status update, or post. Write copy that doesn’t just replicate the information that’s shared within the video. The goal here is to type something in there that gets people to really want to watch the video. Maybe tease the value that they’re going to get by watching the video or provide a summary but don’t provide all of the answers that are going to be revealed in the video. The goal of the copy is to drive engagement with the video.
Tip #9 – Use 3-5 Hashtags
Hashtags for any LinkedIn content is valuable in being shown to the right people at the right time, but also it has a good impact on the algorithm as well. So, when it comes to using video, I suggest three to five hashtags and again, making them relevant to your content. Also try a combination of more general hashtags that are relevant to your industry and also specific hashtags that are relevant to the content within the video itself.
In fact, using hashtags is one of the best ways to go, what they call trending on LinkedIn. It’s actually not that hard if you’ve got an engaging piece of content to trend for a certain hashtag on LinkedIn and therefore will be shown to more people.
Tip #10 – Measure Results (and adapt your strategy)
Don’t just start posting LinkedIn native video without really understanding what metrics or what you’re going to measure to determine whether or not there’s actually success in what you’re doing on LinkedIn. You need to be measuring more than just the views on your video. You need to be diving into your video analytics and actually breaking down where those views are coming from, what industries are people in, and who are watching your video. Maybe there’s a specific company that you’re getting a lot of views on your video for. There’s so much opportunity that can come from really taking some time to analyse the data that’s available to you within LinkedIn analytics.
I must say here that currently LinkedIn’s video analytics is not that great. In fact, there’s a lot of improvement to be made and hopefully they will be improving the number of metrics and the data that you can get on your videos in LinkedIn particularly. I’m interested to see, and I’d love to see if they could bring in retention graphs as well, like you see on YouTube and Facebook, which is understanding how long people are actually watching your videos for. That’s something that’s seriously lacking LinkedIn video analytics right now, but hopefully that will come soon.
Try these ten tips and you’ll get your videos rocking in LinkedIn!
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