For close to 600 million users globally, there’s a new thing on the horizon: LIVE video. And LinkedIn LIVE is supposed to tap into this growing trend.
LinkedIn even has Gary Vaynerchuk lauding its value in business, “LinkedIn marketing is something I really, really believe in for 2019. LinkedIn has transformed so much as a platform. Years ago, it used to just be for job seekers. People would post resumes, and only connect with people they knew and no one else. Now, it’s become more of a content platform.”
Realize, LinkedIn first introduced its native video features in the summer of 2017.
In the 18 months since launching those video features, LinkedIn saw an enormous boost in traffic (not to mention revenues) on its platform.
Video is the fastest-growing format on the LinkedIn platform alongside original written work, shared news and other content.
As could be predicted, there have been some video stars rising on the platform.
And now, the next iteration of video is coming: LinkedIn LIVE is on the horizon with a certain number of users in BETA, testing it out.
My personal experience seeing people use LinkedIn has been underwhelming, so I was excited to see it up close and personal.
LinkedIn LIVE has great potential and needs to discover what problem is it solving next door to everything else that’s already out there.
So, I got my first taste recently to be a guest on a LinkedIn LIVE program.
Below are my insights and experiences.
SO, VIDEO IS HOT. THE IMPORTANT QUESTION IS, WHERE DO WE WATCH IT?
Some of the mind-blowing statistics are:
- With consumers spending more than 5 hours each day on smartphones, one recent report cited an Adweek survey that found 88% growth year-over-year for time spent watching videos on a smartphone
- Trends report that 70% of Web traffic is done on a mobile device
- In 2017, reports stated that 60% of LinkedIn’s traffic comes from mobile and there’s not question that’s higher todayAnd if that didn’t leave impression, this certainly will: globally, more people own a cell phone than own a toothbrush.
LINKEDIN LIVE: THE WORST THING THEY CAN DO
From a business and branding standpoint, LinkedIn has an opportunity and needs to avoid this enormous mistake: Approaching their Live Video like “other social platforms.”
Why? Because LinkedIn is a business platform.
And NO, I am not taking about the “it’s not Facebook” argument. That’s a content argument that will live or die based on engagement, the LinkedIn culture, etc.
No. I am talking about this vital fact: Business people are BUSY.
We business people HATE activities that become a “time suck.”
As long as we have value, and takeaways —
Recently, I got to experience this firsthand as a guest on Rhett’s PowerLunch with Rhett Power (newly named since this show aired).
- I show for the first time publicly my George Harrison oil painting I did at 16 years old.
- I impersonate a French waiter.
- I share something nobody knows about me (and I blame Rhett entirely).
- You won’t believe the big name, famous global chocolate brand I throw under the bus.
- I rebrand Rhett’s show in real time mid-show. You will NOT believe what happens.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
LinkedIn is now working on its own version of Live and is in Beta mode for some 100 people or so of their hundreds of millions of users.
The Live Video concept is great, and will find a home, most likely in events like conferences, and live feeds at cool timely events.
5 Technical Glitches That Need Fixing Yesterday:
- LinkedIn Live thumbnails pick the first second as the Thumbnail, without the ability to customize the thumbnail. This will limit how much LinkedIn Line replays will attract people to watch them. FIX: Make it possible to customize a video thumbnail.This is a user experience problem that exists not only on LinkedIn LIVE but with native video uploads, something LinkedIn advocates.
- It seems there is currently no ability to title the video (like Rhett did here) unless you have some service like socialive. FIX: Make it possible to add text for headers or title mention for names of guests or hosts.
- Spoiler alert: People cannot comment or engage in chats on mobile devices. Comments can only be posted from laptops or desktops (see above mobile device statistics for how vitally important this is) FIX: Make it so comments can be posted from any device anywhere.
- LinkedIn Live does not appear to be able to be converted into an evergreen post or article like I have done here. The embedded video in this article was done with many workarounds and custom-edits to make the introduction of the video work. FIX: Have an option to “save” a live video on one’s server or hire a back up service that’s off-site.
- LinkedIn Live videos don’t seem to be able to embed into an article like what I have done here. FIX: Enable an embed function for videos residing natively on LinkedIn.
This are my experiences so far with the this new chapter in the LinkedIn platform.
I look forward to seeing what happens and if LinkedIn truly develops this opportunity into what it can possible be.