In our last blog post, we talked about the best LinkedIn Live channels to follow and what to expect once you tune in.
This time we’ll put you in a more active role and discuss how you can do your own LinkedIn Live as well as what some of the most important things to take into consideration are if you want to really make the most of this game-changing new feature.
But first of all, here’s a disclaimer: LinkedIn Live is still in beta, and if you’d like to activate this functionality you first need to apply on this link, but you should know that it’s still available only to a limited number of members and business pages. So, don’t get upset if you’re denied, because it will probably be fully rolled out and accessible to all users sometime in the near future.
It’s clear that early adopters will gain a significant competitive edge over their industry rivals.
The benefits are numerous both for those who leverage this live video broadcast option as well as for their audiences. Namely, it gives the first group an opportunity to share some exclusive news, live stream conferences and other industry events, announce products, allow their followers to peek behind the scenes, host Q&As, you name it. The former group will gain access to tons of new, engaging real-time resources and content that could help them grow their businesses.
But, Why All the Hype?
If you’re wondering what’s so special and important and why all the fanfare about LinkedIn launching its own live streaming platform now that concept isn’t that fresh and new any longer, the answer is pretty obvious and straightforward – with Facebook and Instagram changing their course and turning primarily to building personal relationships and somewhat limiting the brand reach, LinkedIn remains the only big social media network where business professionals and brands can focus on business-related content and promotion.
Besides, it’s significantly less “staged” than your regular video, which brings a certain raw quality to the whole video experience and allows brands and influencers to come off as more genuine and authentic, which something that their audiences highly value.
Here’s a Quick Roundup
The social media network giant is a little late to the live streaming party, that’s true, but we can say that it’s for the best.
- Namely, LinkedIn built its live streaming video platform by teaming up with a number of video-oriented companies such as Brandlive, Wowza Media Systems, Wirecast, Switcher Studio, and Socialive in an attempt to provide the best live streaming experience to its users. This means that the issue of lag and low-quality recording with which other platforms and apps have been struggling with will be no more.
- There’s an option to select whether you want to stream your video to the general public or just a handful of contacts you select, meaning that it allows for hosting company-exclusive and other private events, and that’s a pretty useful functionality not available on other platforms.
- Your audience can also comment in real-time, it’s possible to appoint a moderator who will make sure that the conversations on your live feed are clean and easy to follow.
It’s worth mentioning that LinkedIn is a prospecting gold mine, which means that you should definitely make sure that you leverage its huge potential for growing your business.
Before we discuss different ways of exploiting LinkedIn Live for attracting your potential customers and business associates, as well as for establishing yourself as an authority in your niche, it’s important to polish your profile and make it effective.
What Can You Do With LinkedIn Live?
As I’ve already mentioned, this live broadcasting platform can be used for a myriad of different things, and here are some of them:
- Product demos. Instead of pre-recording your product demos, it’s much better to host them live and allow your prospects to give you feedback in real-time. That way you can demonstrate different product features and address any questions your prospects might have. Another way to leverage live demos is by unveiling your new product or feature. Such an approach will help you build excitement and generate buzz around your latest release.
- Live Q&As. The Live feature is great for this very popular format in the B2B industry, as it tackles different pressing issues and offers solutions to the audience. By teaming up with another industry expert, and even a couple of them, you can host an educational Q&A on a previously established topic. You can even ask your followers to suggest a topic they would like you to cover and submit their questions in advance so that you can prepare and provide the best and most comprehensive answers.
- Conferences and other industry events. It’s very likely that you yourself also like to attend different industry conferences and events in an attempt to learn more about the latest industry trends, present your company, as well as engage in some networking activities. But, sometimes it’s impossible for some people to attend a conference because they’re either too busy or too far from the location. With LinkedIn Live you can help those people be a part of the event and participate as if they are on the spot. Given that behind-the-scenes videos are very popular – 87% of people would rather watch live videos if they included some behind-the-scenes content, it’s a good idea to treat your Q&A audience with some of those.
- Breaking news. Live streaming is an excellent medium for some major industry scoops. It allows you to break the news without time-consuming preparations, editing, and polishing – this makes everything much more genuine and legit.
- Interviews with experts. This is an excellent idea if you’re trying to establish yourself as an authority in your niche as interviewing somebody who’s popular in the circles you want to enter will help you steal some of their thunder and tap into their following.
- Host a fireside chat. These informal and relaxed conversations can be a great lead generation tactic. Pick a topic which is your area of expertise and invite a guest from a complementary industry, so that the two of you can benefit from your mutual, shared audiences. We did something similar before LinkedIn Live was released with our friends from Proposify – Kyle Racki and I talked about our experiences as SaaS owners and shared our tips on how to overcome numerous challenges on the way. Our chat was very popular among our audiences, and I can only imagine how much more amazing it would be had we had access to Live streaming back then.
These are just a couple of ideas on how to make the most of your LinkedIn Live time.
Now, let’s see how to pull off your first Live session without any major glitches.
Getting Started With LinkedIn Live
Despite being promoted as oozing spontaneity and championing the off-the-cuff approach, LinkedIn Live still requires preparation.
You can’t simply click on the stream button and start improvising, as ad-libbing isn’t the best idea for what you want to achieve.
1. Prepare technical details. Check your internet connection and make sure that you have at least an additional device ready for keeping an eye on comments and questions. That’s why you should ask a coworker or an employee to sit through the Live session with you to help you by writing down the best questions and interact with your audience online. It’s also recommended to use a high-quality camera and have natural light. Another important detail is to set up a professional and visually appealing background. Don’t be too obvious with your branding efforts, but wearing a T-shirt or drinking from a mug with your logo on them can be a nice touch.
2. Pick a relevant and interesting topic. The trick is choosing a topic that your audience will be interested in and find valuable. For that you really need to know them very well – if your target prospects are well-versed professionals, your topic needs to reflect their level of expertise and knowledge, meaning that you can’t talk about some basic stuff and expect them to find it engaging. Apart from asking your followers what they would like you to discuss, you can also find numerous good ideas by following LinkedIn’s trending topics in your industry. For example, so far we’ve done three Lives and the topics were picked based on our prospects’ and customers’ common issues and challenges. Check them out on the following links:
LinkedIn Live #1: 18 Great Ways to Generate More B2B Leads
Linkedin #3: Ways to Speed Up Your Sales Cycle
3. Set a schedule. Consistency is the best policy when it comes to your LinkedIn Live efforts. Just like you do with your blog posts, it’s crucial for your audience to know exactly when your next Live or blog post will be on. By opting for a set time each week, you’re helping them remember to stay tuned. Otherwise, they might easily forget and miss your Live. Make sure to heavily promote and cross-promote on your different channels to mobilize your audience and get them to join you. Don’t forget to include a couple of relevant hashtags, as well as #LinkedInlive.
4. Rehearse in advance. It’s a good idea to sit in front of the mirror and practice what you will talk about. By no means am I suggesting you create a script, but a few key points and bullets to keep you in the right direction will be a good idea. Still, keep things spontaneous and try to repeat the topic of your Live every once in a while so that those who joined you later can catch up. Also, although this format is most effective when it’s short, don’t go under 15 minutes, because it will allow people to settle in and the discussion to develop.
5. Create a detailed and compelling description. Just like you do for your YouTube videos and other pieces of content. This is what will get people interested and boost your views – just make sure not to be misleading. Besides that, it can also be beneficial for your SEO efforts. Mention who the speakers are, and tag them above the fold so that it’s visible even without expanding the post. It’s a good idea to use hashtags here too, as well as to use bullets in order to single out the most important points.
6. Don’t forget a strong and compelling CTA. Use your Live session to promote yourself and your business and by adding a catchy call to action, you invite your followers to take a specific action if they like your Live and get more of your valuable and amazing content. So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to benefit from this attractive video format which can show your true colors and highlight all your strong points.
As you can see, LinkedIn Live is the future of content and engagement, so get up to speed as soon as possible and be prepared to start doing it the minute it becomes widely available. These tips can get you going and show you the way.
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