Estimated read time: 10 minutes
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Making the most out of our content matters and can help us drive reach, share of voice and make our content performance culture successful. Audio – live and recorded – as well as live video can be differentiators. In this article I’m sharing what I learned from my LinkedIn Live broadcasts.
I’ve been doing live content for many years now and most social networks have some functionality available.
LinkedIn joined the club and rolled out LinkedIn Live. As of this writing, it’s invite-only and you can apply here to be considered to get the functionality. LinkedIn will review how active you are on the network, followers/connections and those kind of things.
You can also now apply and get approved or declined for LinkedIn Live immediately. Use SocialLive, Streamyard, Switcher Studio, Wirecast, or Vimeo to go this route. Once you are in your account in one of those third-party tools, connect your LinkedIn account. LinkedIn automatically reviews whether or not you should be given LinkedIn Live access. Just try a test stream! If you were approved, you can go live immediately. If you weren’t the broadcast won’t go through. A follow-up email also gets send, but I didn’t get mine for a few days.
Stream on a company page or personal account?
You can apply for your personal page to be able to livestream or a company page. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The biggest being you may get more reach on one or the other. For example, if your company page has just a couple of hundred followers but you have thousands or more on your personal page, consider going the personal page route first.
When the decision is a toss up, apply for both and if approved – test. See what works better.
Read next: Why I turned on LinkedIn creator mode
Streaming to multiple LinkedIn accounts
Restream rolled out Restream Pairs into Beta and allows a group of users to stream to multiple channels. For example, when I go live from my account, I can also send the simulcast link to my guest and they can stream to their LinkedIn profile assuming they are approved.
In my Restream dashboard I can see what channels my guests are simulcasting to.
Starting livestreaming on LinkedIn
Even if you get approved, LinkedIn Live is not as simply as Twitter Live, where you can stream natively.
On Twitter, you can go live directly from the app – video or audio. Easy breezy. LinkedIn Live is a bit harder. You need to use one of their third-party partners to do that. One is Switcher Studio, which I use after being introduced to it after seeing Jason Falls use it while live-streaming his podcast with me and then uploading the audio to other podcast channels.
Once signed up for Switcher Studio (or one of the other LinkedIn partners) and approved for LinkedIn Live you can go live on your personal page or a company page that you have admin access to.
LinkedIn also recommends that your LinkedIn Live is at least 10-15 minutes to allow people a chance to gather. I think that’s good advice. Also, keep in mind that there likely will be many more views of the replay so try to keep the content relevant for those audiences as well. I’ve been using LinkedIn Live to livestream my podcast. So my plan was to livestream and then use the content elsewhere as well. Since I now also use the episodes on the DB&A Television Network, all of my episodes are currently 27 minutes, the spot I get on the station.
Read next: Should I publish my podcast on television?
Where are LinkedIn Lives promoted
LinkedIn Lives show up in the feed of your followers. You can push that reach farther by scheduling streams. And now, brand-new in late March 2021, LInkedIn Lives are showing on top of your profile while live. Here’s an example.
LinkedIn also promotes your posts in the feed, like any other content. In addition, scheduling posts can drive additional reach and I would recommend scheduling posts a week out.
That’s one new update LinkedIn announced in July 2021: You soon will be able to schedule livestreams for more than 7 days. In an email, LinkedIn announced:
“To give you more flexibility and gather a larger audience for your upcoming live event, we will remove the limit on how far in advance you can schedule it.”
LinkedIn Live posts can’t currently be boosted, but livestreams scheduled as an event can.
LinkedIn Live – with guests or solo?
I’ve done two types of livestreams. The first one was just me talking on LinkedIn Live via Switcher Studio. Here’s a replay of one stream:
I also do LinkedIn Live with guests. I love having experts on my podcast and the most popular episodes so far all have had guests on them. It makes the show much more interesting too, in my opinion.
Both versions had their challenges. Basically I played the roles of:
Especially when I pull up examples and switch back and forth between different setups.
I’m doing all this production in Switcher Studio as I’m also trying to listen and talk myself. It can be exhausting. If you have another person available who can play that role and the host can focus on hosting only that would make it easier.
LinkedIn Live integration into overall content strategy
After tens of thousands of views, I’m definitely on board to use livestreams as part of my overall COPE strategy.
In addition to livestreaming to LinkedIn, consider where else you can use the content. That can include:
- YouTube version of the livestream
- Podcast – audio-only – version
- Blog post that summarizes the show or uses pieces of it
- Quote from show in other articles
- Email marketing tie-in – Don’t forget about promoting the content or pieces of it.
Software for LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn has partnered with a number of third-party platforms that allow creators to go live. Those include Switcher Studio, Restream and Streamyard.
Switcher Studio and LinkedIn Live
In Switcher Studio, when you are ready, simply click on the LinkedIn tab, add your title and go live.
Once live you can see in the top right that you are live and are recording.
The top right screen shows what’s live. Assets are in the bottom left. You can upload images there and create lower third name graphics. The top left is a preview where you can get the next live view ready.
Live video file to audio podcast
I use most of my livestreams as podcast episodes as well. This is the process I follow from my iPad.
Once the stream finishes you can export the video to your camera roll on an iPad, which is my setup. You can also export to your laptop. You can then extract the audio using a video editing software. There are also a host of online audio extractor websites available. I use this one, which is free.
I simply upload my video file and it does the rest. There might be some privacy concerns your company has using a free website for this. Keep that in mind. Given that I’m going to publish the content shortly after extracting it anyway – mostly for marketing purposes I’m not personally too worried about using a free site.
From there, I save the audio file and then import it into Anchor where I host and distribute my podcast.
Restream and LinkedIn Live
Restream is web-based and I can stream from my browser after I enter the Restream Live Studio. Click on ADD CHANNELS and then toggle LinkedIn on. Make sure you update the title by clicking edit before going live.
Once my LinkedIn live is done, I download the audio file from my Restream account. I can then easily upload that to Anchor to get my podcast episode ready as well. Click on the areas highlighted by yellow left to right in this image.
Technical challenges for LinkedIn Live
The one-person LinkedIn Live is pretty easy. I set it up, make sure I have my graphics ready, draw up a quick outline and go. The two-person Linkedn Live is a touch harder – especially when I only used an iPad and iPhone for my content marketing. I need them all to pull that off.
Here’s my setup when I first started.
In Switcher, to invite a guest, you have to use the chat room function and send them a link. That’s easy enough. Then send the video chat link to your iPhone and click it to join as a panelist. The iPad is used to produce the show.
My video was streamed from the iPhone while I use the iPad setup to mix cameras, graphics, etc. Running a one-person production that can be exhausting. Look at the phone when I’m on-air, but the iPad when I’m not. I think the audio comes comes from the iPad (the first device) so make sure you have your
But this also makes it easier when you have a team. The iPad can just be handed off to another person to produce and direct.
Good WiFi is another technical issue. When video gets pixelated or breaks up the livestream quality can be impacted.
I don’t think it’s necessary to dress up for a LinkedIn Live but I still want to look decent. For example, shaving might be a good practice before going live. Getting the right angle can also be a challenge.
LinkedIn Live setup with desktop computer
Most of my LinkedIn Lives now come from this setup:
I connect to the Switcher app using the video chat link, just like I did with mobile-only devices. Then I mute the iPad mic so there’s no feedback. In this case, I use a camera on top of my monitor.
Editing previously live LinkedIn video
LinkedIn also allows the editing of previously live video. This is a great tool when you want to cut out the initial chit chatter with arriving viewers. Or a countdown clock. That early small talk is relevant for live but it’s not relevant for the people watching on the replay because they can’t participate. I often have a “starting soon” screen up at the beginning which also could be shortened for replay viewers.
It’s super easy to trim the video once the livestream has concluded. Just go to the video and click on edit video in the top right.
From there you have a chance to trim the video.
At the end of the day, if you can get approved for LinkedIn Live it’s worth integrating into your strategy. Switcher Studio or Restream are easy ways to try it. Having authentic conversations on LinkedIn with your company leaders and experts as well as external guests can really make your content so much better.
And look at the numbers. If you get 500 views on LinkedIn Live but your podcasts get 100, LinkedIn Live could help you drive audience reach. Even when it’s a bit more work. If nothing else, I find live conversations usually very authentic.