Since LinkedIn was acquired for $26.2 billion by Microsoft in 2016, the company has made some significant strides. From shifting to be a less high-strung, buttoned-up platform to cultivating a healthy community of influencers and evangelists, the platform has made improvements which have made it more attractive to the masses as a result. In fact, the network now boasts over 560 million users in more than 200 countries.
The streak seems to have continued with LinkedIn's latest feature, LinkedIn Live (live video), which the company announced it will begin rolling out to select users on February 11th. While still in beta, the update will inevitably be available to all users before we know it, and comes just over a year and a half after LinkedIn's initial launch of regular video on its platform.
So, why should business owners of all kinds care about the upcoming roll out of LinkedIn Live? Here's why, plus where to get started.
1. First come, first served. It's no secret that in the online marketing world, the first people to hop on a new feature or platform are at a distinct advantage relative to those who arrive late. Simply put, when it comes to content marketing, being first is almost always better than being better.
We've already seen success stories of influencers like Goldie Chan and Allen Gannett who hopped on LinkedIn video early and rose to the top of the social network as a result. The same outcome could certainly happen to those who jump on LinkedIn Live in its infancy.
2. LinkedIn isn't going anywhere. On top of owning 75 percent of the desktop computer market share, Microsoft is also valued over $700 billion dollars. So, I think it's safe to say they'll be around for a while -- and with the tech giant spending the amount they did to acquire LinkedIn, they're deeply invested in the social media platform's success.
As a result, unlike the unpredictable nature of other social media apps on the market, your company can rest assured that LinkedIn won't be disappearing on you any time soon.
Some LinkedIn Live Video Ideas to Consider
1. Fireside chats. Consider hosting a fireside chat based on a topic related to your industry. Whether you take this from a talk you've given at a conference, on a YouTube video or something else entirely, walking viewers through a dense, well-structured idea or topic relevant to your niche can drive leads for your company.
2. Product releases and demos. If your company sells a product, LinkedIn Live could be a great venue for you to showcase your latest feature or update. You could even unveil brand new products in your live video, and host giveaways of those products as an incentive for viewers to tune in and engage.
3. Live streaming conferences and events you attend. LinkedIn is the ultimate social network for ambitious professionals, and these are the exact same people who typically show up at industry events , spanning small meetups to massive conferences. Because of this, live streaming conference activity could be a great way to drive results for your business on Linked, whether that activity is you interviewing speakers or giving your takeaways to the keynote presentation at the event.
4. Q&A sessions. Another creative way to leverage LinkedIn Live is hosting Q&A sessions with movers and shakers in your industry. This can also be a great way to cross promote your audience with the interviewee's followers, increasing brand awareness for your company.
5. A weekly wrap-up of industry news. A final suggestion is hosting a weekly "wrap-up" of the biggest news and trends happening across your industry. This can help position you as an expert in your field without you having to commit the same amount of time and energy you'd have to spend writing a blog post or editing a YouTube video.
A Word of Caution
Here's the deal: to be totally honest, live video across the social media landscape hasn't even come close to delivering on the hype it's received over the past few years. That being said, the reason for this isn't the medium itself, but the low quality of live video content that's littered our news feed. As a result, with every crappy live video a viewer watches, the less trust and faith they have in live video as a whole.
This is why it's so important not to just dive into LinkedIn Live loosely. Instead, spend an honest amount of time to ensure the videos you put out into the world will add value to your core audience. Without doing your due diligence, you'll be eroding the value of the medium entirely.
With LinkedIn's exciting new feature, companies of all sizes have another red-hot opportunity to make their brand stand out. When the update is rolled out to all users, take the time to get a step ahead of your competitors by giving LinkedIn Live a try. Best of luck.