Video has firmly earned its place as one of the most important marketing tools, with 85% of businesses utilizing video to achieve their marketing goals. If we just look at B2B marketing, 87% of video marketers have described LinkedIn as an effective channel to improve conversion rates.
If B2B entrepreneurs aren’t capitalizing on this opportunity, they’re seriously missing out. By building a personal branding strategy centered on LinkedIn video, I was able to grow my business to over a million dollars without funding.
Creating effective video for LinkedIn goes beyond standard marketing video advice. LinkedIn videos need to be created and optimized specifically for the platform in order to reach the right audience and make a real impact.
Here’s what I’ve learned (and what I wish I’d known) about using LinkedIn video to build a B2B company.
I committed to upping my LinkedIn video game about two years ago. I had dabbled with creating videos for company posts, but personal branding was completely new to me. I used to think creating LinkedIn videos required standing with perfect posture in front of a whiteboard and spouting off (clearly scripted) inbound marketing knowledge. I shifted my strategy and began creating more casual videos simply talking about the parts of the industry that I know and love.
Instead of focusing on selling my business, I focused on bringing serious value to my audience. I continued to create more videos, establishing myself as a subject matter expert in marketing, business, management and entrepreneurship. Through consistent posting and regular interaction, I grew my audience immensely over the next few months: it’s now reached 70,000 followers!
My video strategy pivot (and my willingness to get a bit personal) paid off in the form of tons of new leads. By putting myself out there and talking about my life, people get to know me, reach out if they think they’re a fit to work with us, and the sales process moves lightning fast. By the time these LinkedIn prospects started visiting my company’s website or reaching out to me, they were already warm leads. To date, my company has signed more than a million dollars in contracts from leads that come from LinkedIn.
While I have help from a fantastic team that nurtures those leads, lead generation is a huge first step—and it requires a strong LinkedIn video strategy.
Telling A Visual Story
LinkedIn videos are a great way to tell compelling, visual stories about your personal brand and your business. While both formats are great, you often convey so much more about your brand in a video than you could in a blog post.
The value of video lies in what you’re able to convey visually/audibly. Video lets people connect with you and even get to know you because they can glean information from your body language and the way you speak. Many people have told me they feel like they already know me from watching the videos I share on LinkedIn.
The same message can be received so much differently when you hear the speaker’s tone and emotion. Social media is the epicenter of snappy text posts, but video feels more authentic. Video also humanizes the “highlight reel” that social media has become. You have to get a little rawer, a little more real to share video—a lesson I continually learned this past year while filming videos with three kids learning from home in the background.
Cultivating Your Ideal Audience
The same best practices we apply to other marketing channels apply here, too; namely, that you have to be strategic about your audience, and you have to give people a reason to care.
As much as we like to think casting a wide net will generate more leads, we know that’s not true. You need to be intentional about your audience when creating LinkedIn video. Who are you speaking to? While you should always direct written content to a particular persona, having a specific audience in mind who you’re literally addressing while filming will help you craft more compelling content.
Once you’ve determined who you’re speaking to, you need a message that will resonate. You know what definitely won’t resonate? A description of your product or service. You need to give people a reason to care about your company before you talk about it. Focus on creating content that is educational with little mention of your company.
Before you start filming, ask yourself:
- What does my audience care about?
- What is my audience worried about?
- What does my audience want to learn about on LinkedIn?
Remember: cultivating an audience doesn’t stop when you hit ‘Post.’ You also need to build your audience on the back end by interacting with (and taking a genuine interest in) your target market.
To make sure that the target audience you outlined actually sees your video, it helps to be connections first. My team and I do this by creating lists of prospects in each industry and inviting them to join our networks so they can see our content in their feed. They’re regularly reminded of our brand and our value without us having to overtly sell.
Creating Your LinkedIn Video Strategy
Ready to start creating your own LinkedIn video to build your personal and company brand? Don’t sweat it—it’s easier to get started than you think.
Here are some of the tips I’ve learned about creating effective LinkedIn video over the past 2 years—including 10 months of developing video during a pandemic:
- Don’t overthink it. Just turn the camera on and shoot. I don’t even watch my own videos because I’ll pick myself apart.
- Share posts in the morning. You’ll see much more engagement in the morning than in the evening.
- Add subtitles. People may be watching on their phone or around others, and would rather read than listen. It’s also an accessibility best practice.
- Add a headline. While you’re adding subtitles, add an attention-grabbing headline to your video
- Get personal. My posts that have done really well have been about failure, reflecting on progress and handling difficult situations.
- Be original. I’ve experimented with posting video series but having something new to say (with different titles and thumbnails) is most engaging.
- Supplement with copy. People may not watch your full video, and that’s ok! Give them a reason to stay on your post and engage by adding compelling copy.
To grow your B2B brand and stay competitive, you need to be using LinkedIn video. So close your eyes and jump in! Once you start posting, you won’t believe you didn’t upload sooner.