What LinkedIn Live Means for Businesses & Marketers

LinkedIn announced LinkedIn Live – its own live video broadcasting service to rival other social media sites.

LinkedIn has come late to the game – but this may be a significant step forward for businesses they may rely on LinkedIn for promotions, advertising or otherwise.

Why has LinkedIn introduced Live Video?

Video is big for mobile and social media. LinkedIn has experienced the same, and decided that it also needs a live option for video.

LinkedIn Live allows users to broadcast live video to the world or to particular groups.

At the moment it is only launching in beta in the US and as invite-only, but will likely be rolling out from then on.

Why should I use LinkedIn Live?

LinkedIn has 600 million users around the world. And live video will put you directly in touch with whoever wants to watch, with very little barriers in between.

Video is the fastest-growing format on the platform. Otherwise, it’s written text, news and other forms of content. Video is popular, and the fact it is live puts it in another realm – the engagement possibilities, the real-time feel helping you to nurture real conversations, and otherwise it’s another way to connect with your audience. The more options the better.

Live video is different from just video. Your audience can respond to what you do in real time, and you can respond to audience interactions in real time

Now, while LinkedIn is different from platforms such as Facebook or Periscope (i.e. the audience is very different and unlikely to engage with live video, surely!), the reality is likely very different. Of course, we will see in time what LinkedIn can achieve with the introduction of LinkedIn Live.

Think about B2B interactions that currently take place via video. Conferences, Q&As, webinars, product announcements, earnings calls, and much more. Businesses coaches/mentors can do live videos, and influencers can make their mark on live video direct to other people interested in business. LinkedIn Live actually makes quite a lot of sense.

You can host a live video and have viewers ask questions, make suggestions, or comment in real time. You can react to their comments, which can help foster business relationships and strengthen customer relationships. Marketing these live events before you actually host them will be essential, so that you don’t end up having a live video going when no-one was aware or ready to actually engage with what you are doing.

Live video creates a fear of missing out. If they don’t watch now, then they will miss out on what you have to say. However, you need to retain their attention and ensure they don’t get bored. It’s worth planning on how you wish to keep people involved, rather than treating a live video like a normal video that just happens to be live.

This is unlikely to be a platform B2C businesses find compelling, but there may be reasons to be present. It is likely that B2B businesses looking to build a brand and engage directly with potential customers could gain a lot by utilising LinkedIn Live video streams.

The first wave of users using the platform will be Wirecast, Wowza Media Systems, Socialive, Brandlive and more.