Native LinkedIn Video: will it get you customers?

LinkedIn native video. It took them long enough, but we finally have a native video option on the platform! So what does “native” mean? Simply put, it is a video that plays within the LinkedIn newsfeed without the need to send people to another website such as YouTube or Vimeo to view it.

At the moment, native videos are only available on personal profiles, and only on mobile. However like all content on LinkedIn, employee distributed content generally reaches a far greater audience, as the combined number of connections across all employees is often larger than the number of followers on a company page. Until native video is available for business pages from which employees can share the content, this is probably the best strategy for maximising eyeballs on your videos.

Now lets address that mobile only option. What does this mean, and does it limit what you can and can’t share? 

To be honest, this doesn’t really mean anything, technically speaking this means that the only way to post native video to LinkedIn is from a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. However this doesn’t mean that you can’t share your brand new promotional video, or your selection of great client testimonials. It just means that you have to undertake a couple of extra steps in order to do so and its potentially a little bit annoying.

To post your pre-made videos you will need to find a way to get the video files onto your mobile device. Google Drive and Dropbox are good tools for this as they both have mobile apps from which you can download the video file into your camera roll and then upload it to LinkedIn from there. Simple.

So that’s all great, but how do we know if our native videos are converting into money for our business?

As of now we don’t really have access to a full range of stats that we can chew over and determine the success of our videos. Like all LinkedIn posts we get the usual Likes, Comments & Shares, which is great as its a good indicator of how engaging our content is. However it’s also good practise to get into the habit of looking through these lists and identifying people that you either don't know, or whom you haven’t spoken to in a while, and contacting them. The fact that they’ve engaged with your content means that:

A. They are interested in what you’re doing.

B. You’re now fresh in their minds, at least for a day or two. 

So use that new found warmth to get in contact with them and see if they might be in the market for your services.

Ok, cool. Anything else?

Beyond these figure, we also get to see how many views our videos have gotten. Now similarly to Facebook, a view counts for only 3 seconds of watch time, so whilst it’s a nice figure to have, because these native videos autoplay in the newsfeed its not a figure you should get worked up about. Sadly we can’t see the completion or drop off rates of each video, but hopefully that will come. What is very exciting though, is the data you get when you click on the view count of your video. 

LinkedIn will display three columns to you, breaking them down into the following:

  1. The top company that viewed your video (i.e. the company from which the most people viewed your content).                                                                                     
  2. The top job title.                                                                                                         
  3. The top geographic location. 

Now it doesn’t give you the exact names of the people who watched (I’m not a prime user so maybe it is different for those who are), but that doesn't matter. If it is a company you don't recognise, or a company whom you haven’t spoken to in a while, this is a good indicator that they are now aware of you and your business, at least for the time being, and tells you that now is the time to get in touch.

So let’s recap, what does all this mean?

What this means is you that you have new opportunities available to you.

  1. New Business Development Opportunity - get in touch with people who have engaged with your content (likes, comments, shares) that you either haven’t spoken to in a while, or you don’t know. For a short period of time they will have more context on who you are and will be warmer to being contacted.                                                                    
  2. Content Analysis - Compare view counts, and level of engagement across different types of videos to deduce what is and isn’t working, and thus what to do more of. From there you know where to allocate more of your effort and budget.                                                              
  3. New Business Development Opportunity - get in touch with top rated companies that you either don’t know, or haven’t spoken to in a while, that had more than one employee view your video. Again, for a short period of time they will have more context on who you are.

Brilliant. Now what do I think?

Personally, I like the new native video option. Sure the lack of data is a pain, but as we’ve broken down there are still a number of ways you can utilise the limited data and leverage it to your advantage. 

I’m also excited to see how this might somewhat change the dynamic of the platform. LinkedIn is a somewhat formal Social Media platform, it’s not a place to post poop emojis, or photos from your stag do. And yet what this new feature has the potential to do, is break down barriers and help business professionals connect with each other in a more transparent way. While the mobile only option is by no means a limitation, I think it will encourage people to talk into their phones more as they walk to a meeting, and keep us updated on what is going on in their world. It may well be the breeding ground for a new breed of blogging CEOs. 

Whether I’m right or wrong, I think I’m safe in saying, that if you don’t take advantage of this new feature, you will be left behind, because the person sitting next to you on the bus, or standing in fat Costa will be, and they’re not going to wait for you to catch up.