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Making the most out of our content matters and can help us drive reach, share of voice and improve our content performance culture. Audio – live and recorded – as well as live video can be differentiators. In this article I’m sharing what I learned when I broadcasted via LinkedIn Live.
I’ve been doing live content for many years now and most networks have some functionality available:
- Periscope and Twitter
- Instagram – where live shows can be an hour long
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.
Even if you get approved, LinkedIn Live is not as simply as Periscope or Twitter Live. I discuss how to use those networks and the strategies behind them in depth in my “Content Performance Culture” book.
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. Switcher Studio is currently letting me use their product for free, but had no editorial control or input for this article.
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.
How do you feel about LinkedIn Live?
— Christoph Trappe (@CTrappe) May 23, 2020
Live content can be great when your brand representatives come across authentic, knowledgeable and otherwise personal. Live content can’t be edited to death – like some written content – and when a brand can pull it off, live can be a huge differentiator.
LinkedIn Live – the different types
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 the stream:
The second LinkedIn Live I did was with a guest. I love having guests on my podcast and the most popular episodes so far all have had guests on them.
Both versions had their challenges. Basically I played the roles of:
Especially for the show on Snapchat ads, you can see how I pull up examples and switch back and forth between different setups. Sometimes you can see just the guest expert. Other times it’s him and the examples. Then it’s both of us and sometimes just me.
I’m doing all this production in Switcher Studio as I’m also trying to listen and talk myself. It’s quite 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
Both livestreams had over 100 viewers at the time of this writing. That’s not terrible and I would call it a good start. Live Twitter broadcasts for me have had slightly more and some recently climbed as high as 600-plus, but nonetheless I thought 100-plus was a good start.
Nonetheless, I would recommend to tie LinkedIn Live into your overall Create Once, Publish Everywhere Strategy as much as that’s possible. That could include:
- YouTube version of the livestream (see above)
- 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.
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.
Once done, simply click stop and allow the livestream to finish. From there 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.
Listen to my podcast: The Business Storytelling Podcast
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 since I only use an iPad and iPhone for my content marketing. I need them all to pull that off.
Here’s my setup:
To invite a guest, you have to use the chat room function and send them a link. That’s easy enough. With this setup, you also need to use the link for yourself.
On my iPhone, I click the link to join the chat room from where we will be live-streaming. In other words, even though I’m the host/producer/director my camera (iPhone) is separate from the Switcher Studio control panel (which is the iPad).
My video and audio will be 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.
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.
Read next: Remote work: How to maximize your home WiFi
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.
Editing previously live LinkedIn video
LinkedIn now 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. 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 is an easy way to try it, especially once you figure out how to use it. Even if you can’t get on LinkedIn Live yet, consider YouTube or Facebook using this tool.
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.
This article was originally published in May 2020 and updated in October 2020 with the LinkedIn editing section.