This article has been contributed by Wendy Dessler.
Video marketing has revolutionized how businesses connect with their customers. Greater access to high-quality video recording equipment and the consumer need for authenticity and instant gratification makes this a perfect time for companies to strike.
LinkedIn has long been the leading professional platform for marketing business professionals. Here are some valuable considerations for creating a LinkedIn video marketing strategy that attracts more clients – including the LinkedIn Live beta.
Identify Your Goal Mix
Businesses need to clarify their goals to be successful with video marketing. When creating content, every piece should be manufactured with intent.
However, not all content will be intended to make a sale the day it’s published. Here are some of the common content goals to guide you as you create a goal mix that suits your business.
a. Build Brand Awareness
Video marketing is a powerful tool for building brand awareness. This is an opportunity to communicate what your brand stands for and how you wish to be perceived.
For example, using fun graphics, bright colors and a relaxed narrative can help communicate a chill, approachable company culture. Conversely, you could keep things formal and serious to convey that your brand targets professionals who are more advanced in their career path.
When creating video content that builds brand awareness, the key is to develop something aligned with your positioning strategy. Whether you’re introducing key employees or showcasing an upcoming event, the tone and feel should be in congruence with your brand.
b. Engaging Your Audience
Another common goal for creating video content is to engage your audience by encouraging them to interact, comment, and share. Live videos and short clips are often used for this purpose.
The key to creating video content with the intent of audience engagement is to spark a conversation rather than broadcasting your message. You want to encourage people to share their feedback and experiences. You can accomplish this by asking questions, hosting training sessions and sharing timely tidbits.
c. Converting Customers
Finally, there’s the goal of converting prospects into paying customers. When creating a marketing strategy, all videos ultimately have this goal; it’s just a matter of when the sale occurs. When you’re creating content to convert here and now, the messaging changes from passive to active.
Video content with the sole intent of creating conversions should be used sparingly. These videos are ideal for new product launches, building hype around upcoming events, and notifying of any special sales or limited offers.
Know Thy Audience
In addition to knowing your brand goals, you must also know your customer. The better you can drill down into who your customer is and what they want, the more effective your content marketing will become.
Many businesses erroneously focus on what the business hopes to convey rather than what the customer wants to hear. By shifting your messaging to communicate with the customer rather than to the customer, you can improve the quality of your video content.
a. Identify Your Ideal Customer
Every business has an ideal customer. Drilling down and taking the time to understand the target demographic is an essential aspect of marketing. While your business may already have this information outlined somewhere, it’s always wise to revisit the data and dig deeper when creating video content.
Look at all the variables regarding your ideal customer — where they work, how much money they make, their geographic location — and ask yourself what they want to see and learn. There will be a significant difference between content targeting people who are just starting their careers and those striving for a C-suite position. There will be different interests between those working in STEM and those working in real estate.
Revisiting the nuances of your customer base will help you cater your LinkedIn video content to them.
b. Create Value Through Content
Regardless of your target audience or conversion goals, one thing remains the same: videos are an opportunity to prove your value. The more value you can showcase to your potential customers, the more likely they will spend money with you.
It’s this reason that so many businesses give away information for free. If a lead watches a tutorial video or live webinar and learns something for free, they’ll wonder how much better it gets when they pay for a targeted solution to their problems.
Hold a blue-sky brainstorming session that lets the key players in your business develop content ideas without restriction. Then, use the question, “how does this add value?” for every idea that comes to light. If you can answer that question, create the content.
c. Create Content per Funnel Stage
Another valuable approach to video marketing strategizing is to categorize your content based on the sales funnel stages: awareness, interest, decision, purchase and retention.
A video that appeals to a new lead who is conveying an interest in your business may not appeal to a customer who has already paid, and vice versa — and that’s fine. Ideally, you’ll create content that appeals to people at various stages of the funnel for a holistic marketing strategy.
Categorizing your content by the sales funnel stage ties in with your overall goal mix. Building brand awareness helps prospects in the awareness and interest phases, whilst engaging your audience can help those in the decision and retention phases.
Using LinkedIn Video Ads
Depending on your business goals and target audience, you may choose to take advantage of LinkedIn video ads. When making a video for LinkedIn native ads, it’s crucial to follow the best practices for the platform.
a. Develop a Hook
The first goal of creating a video ad on LinkedIn is to disrupt the newsfeed and stop someone from scrolling. To accomplish this, you need a strong hook.
You may have as little as three seconds to capture someone’s attention with a video ad. Choose the right thumbnail for your video and showcase the importance of the piece within the first three seconds. Aim to convey the most relevant information immediately before the viewer’s attention wanes.
b. Use Closed Captioning
Using closed captioning is best practice for both LinkedIn native ads and other video content. By failing to have subtitles, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
People who are viewing your content while commuting or in a public setting won’t always have headphones or the freedom to turn up the volume. By incorporating closed captioning, you make your content more accessible.
There are various free and paid tools to help you add closed captioning to your videos, depending on how you record and house your content.
c. Keep it Short and Sweet
People are no longer willing to sit through long, drawn-out ads — unless it’s the Superbowl, of course. The recommendation for LinkedIn video ads is a 15-second cap. That means the meat of your message should be within the first seven seconds.
The key to keeping your ad videos short and sweet is to forget the features and focus on the benefits, as these resonate more with a potential customer. Show your audience why they need your offering first, followed by details on how to get it using a separate link or CTA.
d. Optimize for Mobile
Another essential step for creating videos on LinkedIn (and any other platform) is to optimize them for mobile consumption. It’s estimated that global mobile video viewers will grow from 1.68 billion in 2019 to 2.22 billion in 2023. If your content isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re already extinct.
To optimize your video content for mobile, you need to capture a high-quality recording that can be reformatted into a smaller size, which tends to be an aspect ratio of 2:3 for mobile viewing. Again, adding closed captioning is an important step in mobile optimization.
e. Keep it Professional
As mentioned, one of the reasons that video marketing is taking off is because it’s more accessible than ever before. Smartphone recording technology is incredibly robust and high-quality. Cloud-based video editing services are intuitive and affordable. Essentially, any business can make a professional-looking video.
However, it’s vital that marketing teams don’t take this accessibility as leeway to develop low-quality content. This consideration is especially integral for LinkedIn, as professionalism is a core element of the platform. Each piece should look as though it was created by a professional team. If that’s not possible internally, outsourcing to a video editor is a must.
f. Close with a CTA
Finally, you need to communicate the next steps to anyone who views the video. Perfecting your CTA can help you accomplish the goal you identified earlier, whether that’s more engagement or purchasing a product.
A CTA doesn’t have to direct traffic to your site. You can also request that people subscribe or share your content or comment to share their insights. The key is to direct them to do something.
Going Live on LinkedIn
The ability to go live on LinkedIn is relatively new and still in beta mode. However, this new function is an exciting opportunity to share virtual events, webinars and training sessions.
Here are some key considerations when going live on LinkedIn.
a. Create Reusable Content
Creating reusable content is a must for both live and pre-recorded videos. There’s no reason for businesses to reinvent the wheel when it comes to digital marketing. The information you use during a live video can be repurposed as a blog post, a podcast, social media clips and even graphic quotes.
When you develop a script or presentation for a live video, consider how you can frame it in a way that makes repurposing intuitive and easy. Taking this approach to video content creation helps you reach potential customers who prefer to consume content in different mediums.
b. Create a Discovery Strategy
“If you build it, they will come,” may have worked in the Field of Dreams film, but it doesn’t work in video marketing. To ensure people are attending your live video on LinkedIn, you must develop a discovery strategy.
Promote your live sessions in advance across various platforms. Take some time to understand the LinkedIn algorithm to make your content more relevant. LinkedIn relies on hashtags when prioritizing content — decide which ones apply to your video before you hit record.
c. Determine Your Timing
Timing is everything when going live, especially when considering a global audience. Use your analytics to determine when your audience is most active. You can also rely on analytics from other social media platforms, as you’ll be cross-promoting.
In addition to choosing the time of day for your live video, you’ll also need to consider how long it will be. Opt for a range between 15 minutes and one hour. If you’re doing a training session, it can take time for your audience to get their things in order and log on. It’s normal for people to be fashionably late to a live video.
d. Use a Moderator
Live videos have the potential to be the most engaging for your audience. However, you need to have a moderator in place for this to work. Depending on the audience size and scope of the presentation, you can accomplish this with multiple screens or multiple team members.
Be sure to tell your audience how you’ll be handling questions and comments. Schedule pauses throughout the presentation to answer questions rather than waiting until the end. Don’t forget to check in with your audience before you start presenting to ensure everyone can hear and submit questions.
Having a trained moderator is also valuable if you decide to have a panel format for your live sessions or have a presenter who struggles with audience engagement. If you’re broadcasting from Zoom to various channels, a moderator can also help ensure everyone who needs access to the event can get in and can organize requests from various feeds.
Assess and Address
When the videos have been played, and the comments come to a close, that’s when the real work begins. Even with in-depth planning and killer organization skills, the only way to truly know what your audience wants is to analyze each piece of content.
Look at your analytics and see how effective each video was at attracting an audience and completing the intended goal. You may find that your audience prefers short, fun behind-the-scenes looks rather than more polished information pieces. You could determine that one webinar topic was vastly more attractive than others.
Use your analytics to address any issues and highlight future opportunities. Being able to adapt your strategy is essential for staying relevant as time goes on, as trends and interests change.
Use these helpful tips to create a powerful LinkedIn video marketing strategy that boosts your audience engagement, builds brand awareness, and helps your business get more clients.
About the author: Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing.