While many people consider LinkedIn to be high up on their list of trustworthy social media platforms, it isn’t necessarily the first place they think of to share their visual content. But LinkedIn has just announced that it is rolling out the ability to natively share video content via its mobile app. Currently testing it with a select group of users and publishers, the platform of choice for many businesspeople plans to make this new functionality available worldwide within the next few months.
What makes this new capability so unique? As on other online platforms, video creators will be able to access standard analytics, including views, likes and shares. But LinkedIn will offer two pieces of information related to their particular role in the business community - where specific viewers work, and their role at the company. Mind you, this information won’t be offered for every single viewer. Similar to how the platform only provides this information for a selection of the people who are viewing your profile, they will only share these details for a few of your video’s top viewers. One can guess that they are planning to offer more complete data to premium users.
For those of you who are engaging in B2B marketing, this is great news! Soon you’ll be able to determine how your visual content is performing in a more granular fashion, allowing you to fine tune your efforts towards particular marketing personas with greater accuracy and concision.
This isn’t the first time LinkedIn has waded into the video sharing waters. About a year ago, the company announced it was testing out this ability through a newly launched app to about 500 of its top influencers (people like Arianna Huffington and Bill Gates) - a tiny fraction of the platform’s nearly half a billion users. It was the first time users were able to upload videos directly through the platform. Videos were set to autoplay on the desktop application only, and their length was limited to 30 seconds. And unlike other platforms (hello, Facebook), their algorithm didn’t push the videos to the top of people’s feeds.
This time around, mobile app users will be able to directly record or upload videos of up to 10 minutes in length, although experts recommend you stick to somewhere between 30 seconds and 3 minutes for maximum viewership. This presents many interesting possibilities for business owners to expand the way they make use of LinkedIn’s considerable promotional and networking capabilities. At the same time, it’s clearly an opportunity for LinkedIn to upsell businesses to their premium tiers, where more advanced CRM services are offered.
While this new capability offers the likelihood of benefits to LinkedIn in the form of increased user engagement and the potential for future advertising revenue, it also creates a great opening for businesses looking to build on the platform’s strengths as a business development tool:
- Creators of B2B content will have a great opportunity to build their audience directly on the LinkedIn platform. Those with thought leadership aspirations can take advantage of this direct access to potential followers, much in the same way that YouTube has provided visibility for a generation of influencers to viewers on that platform.
- Armed with the unique-to-LinkedIn viewer analytics as described above, businesses will have the opportunity to develop hyper-focused, strategic sales and promotional campaigns, pivoting as necessary off of real-time data.
- As LinkedIn becomes increasingly populated with video clips, it will become a more reliable revenue-generating platform, and thus a more desirable target for video advertising dollars.
Loren Rochelle, co-founder of NOM, had this to say: “Video has quickly become the most impactful ways to speak to an audience. We see this through performance comparisons across all forms of advertising whether it be search, social, or native. This seems to me like the next logical step for LinkedIn, especially in a time where other competing social platforms are quickly snatching up video market share. This is currently being positioned as a consumer feature, though I'm interested to see how LinkedIn is able to later evolve the product, making it more appealing to advertisers.”
It will be interesting to see how the character of LinkedIn evolves as these changes begin to take place. If all goes as planned, this could be a watershed moment in the platform’s history.
Can’t wait to see what happens next...