A Sophisticated Marketer's Perspective: Andrew Davis on B2B Video

April 25, 2019

LinkedIn Interview with Andrew Davis

In honor of its five-year anniversary, we’ve revamped our Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to bring you even more insights from industry experts and thought leaders. This digital resource is your one-stop shop for comprehensive guidance on getting the most value from LinkedIn, for yourself and your organization.

As part of the refresh, we spoke with some of today’s top marketers to tap into their viewpoints on how marketers can get the most out of LinkedIn.

Up first is keynote speaker, best-selling author, and video marketing specialist Andrew Davis. Andrew’s career has put him both behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera, including producing for NBC’s The Today Show, working for The Muppets, and creating documentary films. His Loyalty Loop series is very popular among the marketing crowd. Given his expertise, we wanted to pick Andrew’s brain about one of the most impactful types of content on LinkedIn: video.

Here’s an in-depth look at his perspectives on this format, as well as other ways to deepen your connections with audience members on LinkedIn.

Sophisticated Tips for LinkedIn Video Success from Andrew Davis

You’re a video marketing newbie, and you really want to try video marketing out on LinkedIn. What should you do to start?

The first thing you should do is create an appointment with your audience. Set a time and day, every single week, that you are going to deliver valuable content via video to your LinkedIn audience, and deliver on it religiously. I upload my videos every single Friday morning, and it keeps me on track. It ensures that I actually make a commitment to my audience. That commitment of consistency will deliver the longest and best returns on your investment, in the time it takes to create great video content.

The second piece of advice I have for you is to shoot with what you’ve got. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of fancy gear to get started; do it today, with the equipment you have. If you have an iPhone, shoot on your iPhone. Whatever you have in your pocket is the first thing you should start to shoot with, because the truth is, the gear can get in the way. There’s a large and long learning curve for a lot of this stuff, and instead of trying to figure that all out, you just need to start shooting some video.

And, three: Take the time to pre-produce. Think about what exactly you are going to say. I use notecards for everything I shoot. I write down the answers to questions, or the plan I have for the video, and then I ensure that I use my notecards to get through the video — because, for some reason, as soon as you hit record, everything intelligent you are about to say leaves your head. Don’t fall into that trap. Have some notecards or a script ready, so that you can use it to create your videos efficiently and effectively, and not worry about what you’re going to say. That’s my best advice if you’re a video marketing newbie.

From your own experience, do you find that specific types of content tend to connect better with your audience on LinkedIn?

When I’m scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, there are a couple of types of content that catch my attention and engage me as an audience member. In fact, there are three.

Video is one of the most compelling ways to stop me in a feed of content, especially on LinkedIn — but not just any type of video. I am tired of talking heads. Instead, if you’re going to create video content, make sure you show instead of tell. Video is a “show me” medium, so if you’ve got something to show, show me! Think about additional shots you can add to your video to make it more compelling.

Two: imagery. Great imagery — compelling, intriguing imagery — makes me stop in the LinkedIn feed, and at least read the description and, sometimes, engage in a conversation. Great imagery is really a key piece to getting people to consume your content on any social media platform.

And three, and maybe most importantly: questions. If somebody that I follow on LinkedIn has a question, I’m always interested in the answers other people give, or the conversation it sparks in the comments, or — maybe more importantly — I’m interested in sharing my insight and advice with the people that I care about, and have contacted and connected with on LinkedIn. If I can help, I love to engage when people ask questions. Don’t overlook the small, significant power of simply asking a question.

I’ve tried to create a lot of different content types on LinkedIn to find the right kind of fit for me, my voice, and my audience. I’ve tried writing posts, I’ve posted images and updates, I’ve asked questions of the audience — but for me, the content type that’s been most successful is video.

Consistently delivered, high-quality video content on a regular basis has been a real success for me. It’s led to more business, better business, and better connections with my audience on a more frequent basis. I can’t speak for everyone, but I think video is a great way to engage your audience in a meaningful conversation by showing them something, instead of just telling them.

What are some of the simplest steps that brands can take to foster customer loyalty on social media?

Platforms like LinkedIn, or any social media platform, are easily treated as a great customer acquisition or awareness tool by marketers. But I think we’ve undermined the real opportunity with social media platforms for the customers and clients we already serve.

Instead of just thinking about acquiring new customers from a platform like LinkedIn, I think the most significant opportunity to create great customer loyalty — and a real interaction between the customers and clients you already serve — is to actually create a group.

Yea, that’s right. Create a group and invite your existing customers and clients to participate in conversations that add value to their business and yours, so that you can continue the relationships you have with the customers and clients you’ve got in a much more meaningful way. That is one of the most underutilized pieces of the puzzle when it comes to marketing on LinkedIn today.

What’s your best advice for writing a compelling LinkedIn Page update?

Page updates are not meant to be a dumping ground for your press releases. They are not just for new product announcements. Remember, LinkedIn is a wonderful place for you to share the culture of your company. Imagine I get to your Page and I want to understand if your company is a good cultural fit for me as an employee, customer, or even a vendor. Can you give me a feel for what your company is like?

Instead of posting these highly contrived videos, or content that is dumped everywhere, try thinking about what it would look like if your Page of updates gave me a good sense of what it’s like to work at your company, for your company, or with your company.

Where do emotion and humor fit into a content strategy on LinkedIn?

I know LinkedIn is supposed to be a business tool, and, you know — in business, we don’t have emotions and we don’t laugh — so emotions and humor shouldn’t be part of your LinkedIn strategy.

No, I don’t believe that for a minute.

I think that emotion and humor are two of the key pieces to actually building a good rapport with your audience on any social media platform, no matter how stodgy or uptight your business might be. Remember, it’s a community-driven platform, and there are a lot of people who want to feel something.

One of my favorite quotes is by a guy named Dr. Donald Kahn, and he said, “Emotion leads to action, while reason leads to conclusions.” Emotion leads to action. So, if you want people to act on the content you’re creating and the updates you’re delivering, you must connect with them emotionally. Empathize with their position and get them to feel something. And when it comes to humor, don’t try too hard. That’s the biggest downfall I see companies making on LinkedIn. They are trying too hard to be funny.

What are some of the most common authenticity pitfalls you see from brands today?

Social media, I’m told, is always about being authentic; creating an authentic connection with your customers and clients, and being authentic on the platform. But there’s one main pitfall that I see people making on social media platforms … they come across as overproduced.

In the video world, that doesn’t feel authentic at all. For example, a lot of companies create ‘Day in the Life’ videos to give you a good idea of what it would be like to work at, with, or for one of the companies they’re representing. These videos are so overproduced that it doesn’t feel authentic.

We live in a world where you can ask an employee to video-record their entire day on their phone, and you can cut together an authentic-feeling ‘Day in the Life’ video. Don’t hire a huge production crew to create those videos if you want it to feel authentic. Stop overproducing our content.

If a brand wants to launch a series of videos on LinkedIn, what are some things they should consider?

If you want to launch a series of videos on LinkedIn, I have three pieces of advice for you, and they all come out of the television business:

1. Make sure your idea has legs.

Having legs means the concept could run forever; that there are an infinite number of topics you could tackle that ensure the show doesn’t run out of ideas.

When you come up with a video concept, write down 25 topics that fit into the video concept, to ensure there’s enough content for you to cover over time. The worst thing you can do is realize, three episodes in, that you’ve got nothing else to talk about; that the show or series you created is finite. Make sure it’s infinite.

2. Bring some personality to it.

Make sure that if you are creating content as a brand, there is a persona attached to the content you’re creating. LinkedIn is a social platform. It’s a social environment. It’s hard to have a relationship with content that doesn’t feature a personality that drives the show. I can build a relationship with that person, and then a relationship with the brand.

Without a personality, it’s hard to connect with content on a regular basis, so make sure you have a show host to drive content and build connections on a social media platform.

3. Create a format for every episode.

People fall in love with the format of a show before they fall in love with the show itself. Ask yourself: What is the formula for this show?

It could start with an intro, introduce a problem, talk about three potential solutions, and close with a tease for next week. That’s a very simple outline, but if you create a format that reliably delivers consistent, high-quality content every week, people will eat it up.

What’s something interesting about you that’s not on your LinkedIn profile?

I was a childhood actor!

Where do you see LinkedIn in five years?

If I could have my way, I’d love to see LinkedIn be the CNBC of business news, information, and insight. I would want to see LinkedIn producing high-quality, business-oriented programming that felt more like a Netflix or Amazon production, designed specifically for business audiences, to give them better insight and advice on how to run their businesses. I’m talking deep, half-hour long or hour-long shows that people can binge-watch, and transform their businesses. That’s my dream for LinkedIn.

Grab Your Guide and Press Record

Thank you Andrew for giving us a peek into your mind, and providing some awesome advice and inspiration. As he suggests, the biggest step toward video marketing success is simply turning on the camera and creating something. Everything builds from there.

For more exclusive insights from Andrew and other experts, download your copy of the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide!