Marketers, Prepare for LinkedIn Live


Earlier this year, LinkedIn launched the beta of its latest live streaming feature, LinkedIn Live, joining social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among others, in allowing the real-time broadcast of videos. 

Rolled out in February via invite-only to select users in the US, the rest of us are allowed to apply for access to the serviceOpens a new window . Although we can expect a broader rollout at some point, LinkedIn has not issued a release date.

This play into live streaming is important for LinkedIn as it continues to focus on offering users the ability to create and share the content they consume most.

Since going live with its native video tools back in August 2017, video has fast-become the most popular and engaging form of content among LinkedIn’s users. In fact, visitors are 20 times more likely to share videoOpens a new window on the platform than any other type of content.

“Video is the fastest-growing format on our platform right now, and the one most likely to get people talking,” said Pete Davies, LinkedIn’s Director of Product Management. “Live has been the most requested feature…There may be another reason beyond user requests for why LinkedIn is expanding video: It’s proving to be a strong engine for engagement and revenue growth at the company.”

No surprise, then, that the company has prioritized its video-related features in recent years. LinkedIn Live comes just under a year since the release of video for sponsored content and video for company pagesOpens a new window .

This new live streaming feature will help the social networking site for professionals to build on the “record levels” of engagementOpens a new window it has been reporting, arguably in large part due to the emphasis on video.

The focus on video fits into a larger strategic plan.

Since its acquisition by Microsoft in 2016 for $26.2 billion, LinkedIn has made significant moves to attract more users and get them to spend more time on the platform.

As Dakota Shane writes for Inc., since the buyout, LinkedIn has shifted focus, evolving into “a less high-strung, buttoned-up platform” while prioritizing “cultivating a healthy community of influencers and evangelists.” Shane argues that these improvements have made it more attractive to the masses.

And the relevant figures seem to support his claim. The number of LinkedIn users has increased by more than 35% since LinkedIn joined the Microsoft family, now boasting some 610 million registered users in more than 200 countries.

The social media site’s push into live streaming is an important play for the company as marketers everywhere increasingly realize that live streamingOpens a new window is the fastest-growing segment in video marketingOpens a new window , which itself has become integral to most digital marketing campaigns.

Why you should care

Although it is behind other social media sites in entering the digital video market, LinkedIn’s delayed entry into the streaming game shouldn’t affect the value proposition to its users.

LinkedIn has a unique position as a niche social media network specifically tailored to professionals, which means that the global roll-out of its live streaming service will nevertheless provide the internet with a new medium for live video.

Moreover, LinkedIn Live offers companies the ability to broadcast directly to an engaged and growing professional audience. Such appeal will no doubt attract many marketers, and could drive B2B live content.

And with the prospect of 5GOpens a new window , which will undoubtedly revolutionize live streaming capabilities, marketers would do well do get educated on this recently launched LinkedIn option.

Already there are multiple ways to take advantage of the new feature, from live streaming events like conferences, ceremonies and product announcements, to hosting live Q&A sessions, earnings calls and fireside chats.

More importantly, imagine the creative and innovative ways marketers will engage audiences on the platform and grow their base of followers.

Marketers should move quickly to become experts. Digital marketing trends are set by those quickest to create and share high-quality content on a new feature or platform, while latecomers are inevitably playing catch-up.

It didn’t take long for early adopters who hopped on LinkedIn video early – Goldie Chan and Allen Gannet, for example – to become some of the top influencers on the social network. Undoubtedly, it will be the same for those who are fast to get on LinkedIn Live.