A LinkedIn Video Experiment: Does Native Video Drive Reach for Salespeople?
October 2, 2019
Native video on LinkedIn has become a hot topic. These days it’s common for social media gurus and marketing experts to extol the virtues of video for sharing your brand message and engaging your audience.
And with LinkedIn Live still early in its roll-out, video promises to continue to grow in prominence. But if you aren't an influencer with a boatload of followers, is it really worth the time and attention we’re giving it?
This is an especially important question for salespeople and other non-marketers who want to engage with their network. With limited time and resources, they have to ensure that they are getting the best bang for their buck.
And it's a question I wanted to answer: Is LinkedIn video worth using for the average member?
Does LinkedIn Video Drive Reach?
Creating and sharing LinkedIn videos takes time, energy, and effort. Especially if you want it to be high-quality. This becomes especially true when trying to put out a consistent schedule of content. It can be intimidating, and it prevents a lot of LinkedIn members from sharing anything at all.
This is reinforced by the fact that many of us aren't top-tier influencers. Compared to content creators like Tony Robbins or Gary Vaynerchuk, most users have a much smaller sphere of influence.
But I thought that many of us might be selling ourselves short. Many salespeople would be well-served by a micro- or nano-influencer approach where they focus on becoming the go-to resource for a smaller group. By sharing your message consistently, you can raise your visibility and establish your brand within your network. Even if that network numbers in the hundreds or thousands (instead of the tens of thousands), it can drive engagement and create opportunities.
The LinkedIn Video Experiment
To test whether LinkedIn native video is effective in creating reach for salespeople, I used myself as a guinea pig for the experiment. I recorded a 3-4 minute LinkedIn video every day for a recent month and tracked the resulting engagement.
It's important to know the size of my network to establish the proper context for the experiment. While my following on LinkedIn was not insignificant, it wasn't massive by any means. I was never a L.I.O.N and had not developed a network into the tens of thousands. During the course of the month I had approximately 4,300 connections and followers (a little less at the beginning and a few more at the end).
Here are the experimental guidelines:
- Each video would focus on a selling skills, networking, LinkedIn, or professional development tip or idea.
- I didn't do any post-production – so there was no editing or added captions.
- The videos were posted between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. CST.
- And almost all of them were posted with 3-7 sentences of text and between 6-12 connection tags.
I looked at the reach of the videos a week after my month of video ended (to give the last videos of the month the opportunity to get some traction).
Here are the numbers:
- Those 31 videos garnered 20,013 views and they continue to trickle in.
- The lowest video received 87 views and the highest video received 4,432 views — the average was 639 views.
- There were 321 likes, and 94 of those likes were from non-1st-level connections.
- The posts garnered 273 comments through the month (about a quarter of them were from me in response to other comments).
- I added almost 75 new connections after reaching out to those who liked or commented.
Are these staggeringly huge numbers? No.
Are they powerful numbers for a typical salesperson or micro-influencer. Heck yeah!
Getting over 20,000 views for about eight hours of work over the course of a month is a decent return. My efficiency increased as the month went along as well, so I was able to create better videos more quickly.
This means that LinkedIn Video is a powerful addition to your marketing mix. It's a powerful and accessible way to increase your engagement with your current network and to bring in new connections.
(And by the way, if you are a marketer for a larger organization, this is why you have to engage your sales team and other employees. Imagine getting thousands of content views without paying for paid promotion.)
Take-Away Suggestions for Your LinkedIn Video Campaign
After analyzing the results, it is clear that LinkedIn native video is valuable for front-line salespeople, freelancers, and business owners, not just the celebrity marketers and influencers.
And I have a few suggestions that will make your video-making and sharing much easier.
- Posting a video without accompanying text or tags results in lower traction. It's important to pull all of the levers of the newsfeed algorithm. Be sure to write a few 1-2 sentence paragraphs, tag at least five active LinkedIn connections, and when possible ask a question which will inspire engagement.
- There wasn't a direct correlation between topic and reach. I would suggest sharing videos on topics that are relevant to the work you do as opposed to chasing views. That will help build a clear brand.
- You don't have to post video every day. The weekends got much lower views (which makes sense because LinkedIn is a professional site). I would focus on posting thre videos throughout the week.
- I would also add captions to your videos. The anecdotal feedback I received was that captions would have made it easier for people to watch the videos where they couldn't hear (for example, on the train or in line at the bank).
- Make each video short and focus on one concept, idea, or actionable step. Keeping the videos to two to three minutes makes it easier for people to commit to watching the video in the first place.
Conclusion: Share Video
Video is an important way to share your personal brand. Whether you are a sales professional, business owner, or freelancer, it can enable you to cultivate awareness with your existing network and also put you in front of a broader selection of your 2nd- and 3rd-level connections. Asking for opinions and addressing important topics creates an easy “in” for people to like and comment.
This is an easy way to stay visible and relevant to your network. And that's incredibly important in a noisy and information-soaked business environment.
You create engagement by creating conversation. And LinkedIn video is a great way to do just that!
If you want to see all the numbers and findings from the LinkedIn Video Experiment, you can download the full report here.
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