Bettar late than never. LinkedIn Live is now available for selected brands on the platform.
We’ve seen Youtube Live, Facebook Live, Twitter Live (remember Periscope?) and even Instagram Live, all enabling big brands to connect with consumers, yet LinkedIn’s livestreaming niche promises the same product for a whole new audience- B2B (Business to Business).
It’s no secret i’m a livestreaming fan, as a Facebook Live early adopter, I wrote a dozen tutorials on how to go live on Facebook, tips and tricks and many hacks to achieve better quality video and audio, but that was consumer facing. Now, I want to reach my business audience and LinkedIn is the no. 1 platform for everything B2B.
Why should you consider LinkedIn Live for your business?
We all want to feel loved and we all want to see dozens of people gather around us as we educate them about what it is our company does that can help them. But let’s face it, getting the attention of busy people is hard when it’s not live, so doing it in a live environment, can end up with only your marketing team watching.
And as I said above, if you are a B2B brand or a business influencer (hello Gary V.), you can’t ignore this new channel, not only because this is an untapped channel (and will remain so until publicly available), but this is the only way to create realtime interaction with your target audience.
Here’s LinedIn’s stats to lure you into their live platform:
LinkedIn Live videos gets a staggering X24 more comments than a native video and X7 more engagement
If this is only half-true, it should deliver amazing results and some really big brands have already joined the platform as beta users with exclusive access to start producing content like Microsoft, Hootsuite, Cornell, MIT and Gong.io, I even watched a few minutes from Gary Vainerchuck’s first LinkedIn live braodcast.
How to go live on LinkedIn Live?
First, unlike all it’s rivals, you can’t just take your smartphone and start a live video on LinkedIn. In order to get access to the platform, you must first fill in this form and apply for access.
Next thing you will need is a livestreaming software to connect to the LinkedIn API, like Wirecast, LiveU, Switcher Studio and others. This is to ensure you are using somekind of production expert in your team to make the video look professional, which is one of LinkedIn requirements to go live (more on that below).
Once you selected your preferred streaming software, you will need to connect it to your LinkedIn account, making sure you are an admin. Looking at the Wirecast tutorial, this is not an easy task for non-techy people and has many steps in the process, see all available guidelines for third-party app here.
Unlike it’s rivals, targeting consumers, most of them are millenials, targeting business people with live content can be tricky. Business people tend to be, as surprising as this sounds, busy. They travel, they meet, they attend conferences and do what business people do. They are not busy refreshing their feed to check the latest notification or fearing missing out their favorite influencer’s story, which would cause a major headache to the people at LinkedIn, how to get more people to engage with the new platform in real time, and not late at night when they sit back and check their emails and other updates they missed during their busy day.
The challenge for broadcasting brands is not only technical, it’s also finding the right time to livestream and catch the attention of their target audience in real time, creating engagement that will end up in business results, which is why businesses spend time on LinkedIn in the first place.
In it’s best-pratices document, LinkedIn gives broadcasters content ideas on what types of broadcasts they should be streaming: Events, Interactive videos (interviews, “ask me anything”, etc.), product launches and demos, inside stuff like behind the scenes with the HR team on the hiring process or even a fireside chat with your CEO, as long as it’s interesting to your audience.
Some of LinkedIn’s recommendations are for single shows or ongoing content (series). The first series on LinkedIn Live was Gong.io’s “Gong Labs Live” which aired around 20 Live videos.
We were the first company to go live on LinkedIn Live. We ran a weekly show for several months and we decided to take a break and find the right format to our show before we go live again. When going live from our company page, our followers got a notification, but these are busy business people, they couldn’t immediately connect to our livestream and start interacting with us, by the time they got to see the video, it looked like any other video. I hope that once we come up with a new format for our live show, we will get better results. We still believe in the potential of LinkedIn Live. As the platform continues to develop and we try out new content formats, we expect to see even better results. says Udi Ledergor, Gong.io’s VP Marketing.
How do you measure success on LinkedIn Live?
Setting KPIs is important and it’s what us marketing people like to do most to measure if our efforts are bearing any fruits and bringing positive return on investment, or are we spending time and money for nothing. LinkedIn encourages you to look at the video stats after your broadcast ends to see number of views and engagement count, but don’t rely on a single live video to get you this quarter’s quota of leads or website traffic. Be sure to test the water and understand what is your video’s reach, how many people are interacting with you in real time, how many do it when the video is not live? What was your call to action? Did it work?
Start there and you it will become a lot easier for you to learn if this is the right tool for you, or are you blinded with FOMO and want to beat your competitors to this new platform, no matter the cost.
Other than using any of the third party apps LinkedIn recommends, LinkedIn Live also recommends you have a 10Mbps upload speed, which is 3 times more than what Facebook Live requires. this means you have to be in an office with an Ethernet connections for a stable high speed connection.
What are you not allowed to do on LinkedIn Live?
In order to keep the live content professional, linkedIn has also posted a “Don’t Do” list of things that will probably make them reconsider approving your LinkedIn Live access request, read it below:
- No selling or promotional streams
- No pre-recorded content. All streams should be live and happening in real time, or you risk confusing members and potentially betraying their trust.
- No live streams shorter than 10-15 minutes because there won’t be enough time for the audience to grow and interact.
- No meta streams. Don’t talk about how to use LinkedIn on LinkedIn
- Avoid sponsor logos that dominate the video. If you must use sponsor graphics, keep them small.
- No long “starting soon” screens. Don’t keep your audience waiting for more than one to two minutes.
- No unprofessional streams. All live content is publicly visible and should be appropriate for a LinkedIn audience.
- No waiting more than 30 days to conduct your first stream. Since we have limited spots for our live video beta testing, we require all participants to conduct their first live video stream within 30 days of admission to the program. If you can’t stream live within the first 30 days, you risk losing your access to LinkedIn Live.
The above list makes sense. When Facebook Live was made available from third party apps, EVERY livestream from a brand startes with a 10 minutes slide of “starting soon”, which was super annoying as people were notified their favorite brand is live now and all they saw is this slide. The minimal length of 10-15 somehow matches Facebook’s 20 minute recommended minimal live video, so the algorithm can expose your live video to enough people for the right engagement.
What’s the bottom line? Too early to say and only you can tell if this is a good fit to your marketing needs or just another trend.
Let me know what you think in the comment box.0