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Unlocking the Power of LinkedIn (LinkedIn video)




Stephanie: Hello, everyone and welcome to another amazing SEMrush webinar. We are talking about unlocking the power of LinkedIn, especially when it comes to LinkedIn video. If you want to increase your impact and your influence on LinkedIn, today is the webinar that you want to go ahead and pay attention to.

Having said that, let's go ahead and introduce some of the most amazing people. We have Ai Addyson-Zhang. Ai, where are you tuning in from?

Ai A.-Z.: Philadelphia in the United States.

Stephanie: For those of you who aren't familiar with Ai, she is a professor turned entrepreneur. She's the founder of Classroom Without Walls. She also serves as an Adobe Education Leader, and HubSpot Academy instructor. 

And then we also have the amazing, the wonderful Brian Fanzo. Brian, welcome to the show. Where are you tuning in from?

Brian Fanzo: At home here in Northern Virginia.

Stephanie: All right. Brian Fanzo is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to LinkedIn, especially when it comes in LinkedIn video. He's a millennial keynote speaker who inspires, motivates and educates businesses on how to leverage emerging technologies and digital marketing. If memory serves me right, you are a millennial wearing a pager. Is that right?

Brian Fanzo: Yep. Pager-wearing millennial. Yep, you're right.

Stephanie: Now let's talk about Mary. Mary Henderson. My goodness gracious. It is 2:00 AM in Melbourne, and she is here to deliver the best practices and tips on how to crush it with LinkedIn video. Mary Henderson, say hello to everyone.

Mary Henderson: Hello everyone, from Melbourne, Australia.

Stephanie: Mary helps service-based entrepreneurs, start-ups, business owners and corporate executives commercialize their personal brand into industry experts. Having said that, Ai Addyson-Zhang, you have prepared an amazing presentation for us on how to get started with LinkedIn video. Are you ready to go?

Why You Should Be Posting Videos on LinkedIn

Ai A.-Z.: Thank you so much for an amazing introduction. I will do a quick talk, then we're going to have a panel discussion regarding the power of LinkedIn video. I will share three quick aspects when it comes to LinkedIn video.

I will discuss why LinkedIn video and how to do LinkedIn video, and how to even go live on LinkedIn. Do you guys actually know there are 565 million global users on LinkedIn, and half of them are monthly active users, and almost 50% of those monthly users are daily active users?


Many of us, we are watching this right now, we're entrepreneurs, small business owners, in-house practitioners. We're always looking for more business, always looking for more leads.  LinkedIn is almost 300 times more effective at generating leads compared to Facebook and Twitter according to HubSpot.


Especially for those who work in B2B. Maybe you can let us know in the comment section how many of you are in the B2C, how many of you are in the B2B sector. For B2B, and the number is even higher. 80% of B2B leads actually come from LinkedIn. That is a very high percentage.


Why LinkedIn video? In two years, so by 2020, almost 82% of the internet traffic will be video content. If executives were given a choice between video content and written format, almost 60% of executives choose to consume the content through video as opposed to written format.


LinkedIn video actually launched only two years ago. It is far less saturated compared to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, other video content platforms.

The last quote you see on this slide, I got the number actually from LinkedIn when they were doing the beta launch for LinkedIn video. As you can see, videos were shared 20 times more compared to other types of content on LinkedIn.


In the US there's a very big social media giant. His name is Gary Vaynerchuk. I'm sure many of you have heard of him, and even he said at the beginning of this year, the organic reach on LinkedIn is insane, and I have personally witnessed and experienced this myself.

I just want to give you some quick examples from how I am using LinkedIn video to build brand awareness and to generate leads. Here is a video that I did about a month ago, and in this video, I shared why I resigned from my job. I also talk about five, a few problems in our educational system in the United States. 

As you can see, this video organically gained 14,000 plus views, and 300 plus comments, and 400 plus reactions, and 20 plus inbox messages from people who are asking me about my school, the school I'm building and my immersion program.


This video was produced very intentionally. Was leading up to a big launch that I'm doing right now, and so this video has definitely helped me in terms of brand awareness and lead generation.

If you want to do videos on LinkedIn it's really, really simple. Here are some screenshots I took from my old smartphone, and when you are about to post something on LinkedIn, as you can see there are three icons.

The one in the center is for you to record the video or upload the video. You can do video natively on LinkedIn, and you just press this right button and you can start recording, or you can upload a pre-recorded video.

Once you upload the video or do a video live, natively, you can also add a title, which I highly recommend. You can also add a sticker. Why not? People love GIFs, emojis and stickers.

Now I kind of want to transition to live streaming a little bit, and first, this is application-only, and not everyone has access to LinkedIn Live. Live video generates 24 times more engagement.


We're on social media, we're also looking for leads, looking for engagement. The more people are engaging with you, the more likely they are going to get to know you, and trust you, and purchase from you. 

FYI, you can not actually go live on LinkedIn natively through LinkedIn, so you have to use some third-party tools to go live on LinkedIn. My personal favorite is StreamYard. Besides StreamYard, there are Wirecast, Switcher, there are a few other options.


In terms of equipment, I'm really low tech. For my live streaming or for my pre-recorded video I just use my old iPhone and a tripod, and I do want to make sure the lighting is good, and I also add captions, subtitles for my video. I personally love quick QuiCC to add captions for my videos.

You can also go live on multiple platforms at the same time, and I go live on Twitter, LinkedIn, Periscope, Facebook, and all those channels at the same time, and again, StreamYard allows me to do that.

Some final words I want to share with you. I truly believe social media, live video, video content are here to serve a bigger business goal. We don't want to produce videos for the sake of producing videos. We really have to think strategically how is the video content going to serve our overall business goals and objectives. Be very intentional. Have a content strategy for your video content.

How to Develop a Content Strategy for LinkedIn

Stephanie: Wow, thank you, Ai. That was jam-packed, and trust me, I was writing down a lot of questions for the three of you. What does it mean to develop a content strategy specifically for LinkedIn?

Mary Henderson: I'm focusing predominantly, or targeting predominantly; coaches, or consultants, or business owners, and even corporate executives.

The way that I treat my entire content on LinkedIn, usually on a weekly basis, is I think of myself as a media company. I think of my content as a TV show made up of five episodes each week. I typically look at a topic that is generally around pain points for the person that I'm targeting. 

Then I'll just do a series of five videos for that week targeting one macro topic, and then just five specific topics, and that's basically what I do each week. Then I use my hashtag so that people can follow that, follow me, so they can get notified for my series the next day.

Stephanie: Wow. Ai, you have your show, your live streaming show. That's done weekly too?

Ai A.-Z.: Yeah, so I have two live streaming shows. Both of my shows are weekly, so my shows are mainly for me to raise, build brand awareness for myself, and I also kind of follow a similar strategy as Mary.

Right now I'm doing a big launch and talking about working my own entrepreneurship immersion, so I really focus on alternative education on my content. I produce a series of videos on targeting on people's pain point in terms of how our educational system is broken.

Stephanie: Got it. Brian, you do this really cool thing, because I love watching your videos. Like sometimes you're in the middle of the airport, you're in line and you're putting the captions. What's your strategy for creating LinkedIn video?

Brian Fanzo: One of the big, most important things, I think both Mary and Ai kind of covered it, is understanding the demographic that is on LinkedIn, and understanding that they are not power users on social media. They are not tuning in 10 times a day to consume content like most other channels.

Instagram you can guarantee 99.9% of your audience is on a mobile device. That is not the same with LinkedIn, and so these are the things you have to factor in. For me, a lot of it is testing. LinkedIn gives us some great data. Every time you do a video you wait about 24 hours or so. You can click on the views. It'll tell you what job title they are, it'll tell you where in the country or the world they're tuning in from, and then what company they work for. 

That data is extremely valuable on LinkedIn, because I think when we're looking at these content strategies, I think it's every person's audience is different. Every network is different. We hear that all the time.

Each person's LinkedIn audience is more diverse than any other social channel, because it depends on your previous jobs. 

I'd say the biggest piece for me from a strategic point on LinkedIn that I don't do anywhere else is I actually have push notifications on for LinkedIn and LinkedIn only. The reason is LinkedIn, unlike other channels, sometimes people tune in once a week. When someone comments, I want to reply back in seconds. 

I reply back on LinkedIn faster than any other network because I'm afraid that if they don't show back up until next week and they see their notifications on LinkedIn that they'll be like, "What did I comment on? Why is that person replying?" Part of my strategy is that when I post a video I know that I'm going to be hyper-engaged the next 24 hours replying to all those comments.

Try to do very thought-leadership level. I don't do call to actions. I do remind people what I do for a living. I will say many times on a LinkedIn video, "Hey, I'm a full-time keynote speaker. I host three podcasts." But I don't drop those call to actions, because I think LinkedIn especially is one that the marketing tactics that probably work on other networks feel a little bit too pushy on that channel more so than that.

For me, it's how do you capture people's attention on LinkedIn? Let's face it, there's a lot of boring content on LinkedIn, which is great for us, because us as content creators can stand out.

I want to take that a step further. Weirdly I have a spreadsheet that I actually monitor what time of day people comment.

Stephanie: Interesting.

Ai A.-Z.: Wow.

Brian Fanzo: I track that level of commenting just so I'm like, "Hey, I post let's say at 11:00 AM Eastern Time." I want to know what time people who are actually commenting even more so than what time I'm posting. Part of that is also because I want to know that it's not midnight where I'm at and I won't be able to comment back until the morning.

LinkedIn Video Hashtags and Description Tips

Stephanie: Interesting. When you guys are uploading your videos, what do you put in your descriptions? What's the one thing you're like, "I have to put this in here, otherwise it's going to completely flop."

Brian Fanzo: I use the hashtag. For those that are on LinkedIn, hashtags are your glue to glue your content, therefore think of them as a playlist. The playlist is ultimately your hashtag. For me, press the damn button. You can go onto LinkedIn, look up #PressTheDamnButton and see every single video that I've created with that hashtag. 

You also have to remember more often than not your first three lines, on mobile your first two lines of your LinkedIn status is actually what's going to show. I'll do like #PressTheDamnButton as a playlist, and I'll do #DigitalMarketing or #PersonalBranding to reach that broader audience that's following the hashtag, but those are the things that I've found most important for me. 

Mary Henderson: I do actually write quite a bit of text above my video because I find that not everyone actually will watch the full one minute or two minute, but I do want the comments. I always call out the target audience that I'm talking to. 

Stephanie: Oh, interesting. Ai, what about you? What are your strategies? Because I know you love to use emojis.

Ai A.-Z.: I think adding emojis is a great way I feel like for people to grab people's attention. Emotion plays a big, big, big factor. My very first sentence people can see on LinkedIn on their mobile phone or on their desktop, I put so much energy to think about what is that very first sentence. I always have that kind of like interesting and intriguing emotional statement as my first sentence, and add an emoji. Some other tips, personal hashtag, I use all of them. 

Brian Fanzo: When you're using your hashtags, don't bundle or overuse hashtags as if it's an Instagram user. Because on Instagram we're like, "Oh, of course. 30 hashtags. Put it in a comment. We're good for that." On LinkedIn it can become very overwhelming.

Distributing LinkedIn Videos to a Wider Audience

Stephanie: Okay. When you're uploading your content there, what else do you do in terms of your content distribution strategy? Are you trying to drive people to LinkedIn to watch that video, or are you just solely hoping people are going to find and discover that content on LinkedIn? You're sharing it to groups, into events.

Brian Fanzo: I mean, Twitter is my home. I take the link from Twitter. I will oftentimes tease it out. I will remind people on Twitter that like, "Hey, this is a LinkedIn video."

I also use Instagram stories, and I will say, "Hey guys, I just did a great video on LinkedIn. I talked about this, this and this. Some really interesting stuff. Go ahead and swipe up if you want to go..."

Now; swipe up on Instagram, sending them to LinkedIn kind of sucks, because it sends them to that mobile login page. What I've learned on Instagram is I will say, "Send me a DM if you want the link, or make sure you're following me on LinkedIn." I think that's important.

Stephanie: What about you, Mary? It looked like you wanted to jump in too.

Mary Henderson: I repurpose my content, but I usually share it on Facebook. Actually, I upload all of my video series on my website, and because a lot of people come on my website, and also I've actually invested quite heavily on SEO because I wanted to own the words personal branding specialist.

I'm not really on Instagram. I want to be on Instagram, but I'm just time-poor. Most of my emphasis, to be honest, is really on LinkedIn. That's where my client is. They reside on LinkedIn. Go where your client is or go where your prospect is, and show them what you want them to see.

LinkedIn Company Pages vs Personal Pages

Stephanie: Are there any tips that you have for company pages? Does it make sense to even have a company page, or should you leverage your employees? Curious.

Ai A.-Z.: I see some engagement on my company page, but it is not as high as on my personal page, but I think it is another, right now it's another platform to showcase who you are, the products and services that you offer, and people do click on it.

Stephanie: Love it. Brian, did you want to add anything?

Brian Fanzo: I guess I'll say the unpopular thing. I will say I think on LinkedIn people are connected with people. It's not a place we go to connect with brands. When's the last time you went and followed a brand? When you were looking for a job. That's the only time you follow a brand.

LinkedIn is very much a one to one conversational platform where it's a network. Twitter is much more community than a network. A network is people that are coming together based on the people that they know. The only reason they're seeing your feed is because of the person that they are connected with, not the brand itself, and so that's something to think about.

Mary Henderson: I think also a company page is really only relevant if you're advertising on LinkedIn. I mean otherwise, I don't, I'm like Brian, I don't see the point. But I think if you're advertising obviously you need the page. That's the purpose that I see for the company page for me anyway right now.

LinkedIn Live Streaming Tips

Stephanie: Ai, you've been doing live streaming on LinkedIn for quite some time, and you have a very specific audience that you reach out to. What are your best practices for promoting a LinkedIn Live, and actually seeing a return on that investment?

Ai A.-Z.: I think first off you have to be very clear. Like when I was starting my live streaming journey my work in the education space was for me to disrupt the traditional education space. I wanted to show my students you don't have to come to a classroom to learn. There's this digital space. That's why I call my hashtag Classroom Without Walls, for people to learn in the digital space.

For me, the show is to really build my personal brand starting out this journey, and my show has served me in terms of that purpose really, really well. I plan my show ahead of time. I send my guest questions, and I go live on multiple platforms.

I think one biggest difference between live streaming and traditional podcast is live streaming gives our audience lots of agency to co-create content. Sometimes I see people when they go live they engage in this monologue. They totally forget about their audience, and I think they are kind of missing the purpose of going live, which is to engage your audience to co-create with you, to co-act with you, and I think to me that part is really, really powerful to build for community building.

I have this really amazing community who come on a weekly basis, and we learn together. That's really valuable because it aligns with my overall mission in terms of disrupting traditional education. 

Getting Your LinkedIn Videos Discovered by New People

Stephanie: Okay, so here's a question from Michael Jenkins. Michael Jenkins was saying, "Okay, I get it in terms of having your own branded hashtag and people that know you following your content, but how do you get your content in front of people that don't know you? How do you get discovered with your LinkedIn video? What are your tips for that?"

Brian Fanzo: I'm extremely active in commenting on other people's content. I spend about 20 to 40 minutes a day commenting on other people's LinkedIn content. LinkedIn is like old school. I said 2014 Facebook. The people that you engage with engage with back, and they're the people that are going to see your content on LinkedIn.

If no one's watching your video on LinkedIn, it might not be that your LinkedIn video sucks. Well, could be. But it more than likely could be that the algorithm isn't putting it there because they haven't engaged with you in the last 30, 60 days, and you haven't engaged with them.

I even go so far as to search certain peoples' page, scroll down, because LinkedIn makes it difficult, to that recent activity. Go find something they did and comment. I'm very strategic on that. But I think that's a big piece of it as far as how do you get on there. I think it is engaging them.

The other piece of it is the hashtags. Hashtags are still new to LinkedIn for the most part, and I think as people are discovering the fact, you can follow a hashtag on LinkedIn for those that don't realize it, and you will get people that use the hashtags content and in your feed. It's gold. 

I think part of it for me is I'm strategic with outreach. If I want someone to engage on my content, I better engage on their content first. I've believed that since day one.

Not overwhelming people. I think that's another one that if you want to get your stuff in front of other people it's not adding 20 hashtags to your LinkedIn video, it's creating 20 videos on one hashtag that you can provide value on, and I think that's the flip of what most people try to do.

Ai A.-Z.: I always separate my personal hashtag from the rest of the popular hashtags so to give my personal hashtag more visibility, so that people can follow my hashtag. I add spacing, and so I just want to add that.

Another point for me is, to answer Michael's question to reach out to people I don't know, is where live streaming is helping me. I'm very intentional with selecting people to come to my show, because when people come to my show they're likely to share within their own community, so it is a great way for me to be discovered within this person's inner circle of friends. 

Brian Fanzo: I comment to create a conversation. I don't comment to acknowledge, and that's a big difference. Right? I don't say, "Thank you for commenting." I say, "Oh, wow. So glad that you found that valuable. Have you seen this? Or what else do you think was valuable?" 

Because the more comments that you get on a video, the more LinkedIn feels that it's valuable, the more they push it back into your feed. If you comment just to acknowledge, it ends the conversation. The person's like, "Oh, cool." They see the notification.

Native LinkedIn Recording or Uploading Pre-recorded Videos

Stephanie: When you're uploading your video, you guys, if it's going to be recorded video, are you recording natively on the platform, or are you uploading a video that you've edited on a different platform?

Mary Henderson: I will upload my videos that I'll create in my studio. I'll cut them, edit them, they're ready to go, and then I'll just upload mine straight to LinkedIn. I do not record anything on my mobile phone in the actual LinkedIn app. Mine are all mostly pre-created.

Brian Fanzo: I create almost all of mine on my mobile phone. Unlike Mary, almost all of mine is in realtime. I wake up in the morning with an idea for a story, I look at the data, I'm more than likely doing it that way. If I'm creating it on my phone I edit with an app called Videoshop app. I edit the video on Videoshop app, which is like $2.99 a month. I then upload it to QuiCC and I add captions to it.

I use captions on LinkedIn to add to the storytelling more so than anything else. That's why I use QuiCC, because you can have colors, you can change the font and text and things. Not all videos that I upload to LinkedIn have captions. I try to be strategic with when I'm using that. 

If I'm doing it on my desktop, which like here in my studio, I record using my web camera just using QuickTime, and then I edit it in TechSmith Camtasia, or I record using Ecamm Live locally as well, and then I edit it in Camtasia and upload natively to LinkedIn.

The big piece is for people to remember, it has to be under 10 minutes. If it's 10 minutes and one second, LinkedIn doesn't let you edit it. There's no editing inside a LinkedIn platform. You upload a 10 minute one second video it dies, and I think that that is something important.

Ai A.-Z.: I do pre-recorded video in my studio. I also just like, this is my teeny tiny tripod, and then I do spontaneous content. I'm actually a very spontaneous person, so I just bring my phone, and I love using QuiCC myself. They're amazing.

Choosing the Best Time and Day to Upload LinkedIn Videos

Stephanie: Speaking of spontaneity, for your content strategy, where do you say, "Okay, this is going to be recorded video at a specific date, specific time, and this is going to be spontaneous." For anyone.

Ai A.-Z.: For me, it's really based on some of my big launches. Like right now I'm doing a big launch, and so I was just thinking...what are some of people's pain points. What are some key issues I need to answer so that I can move them further. All those touchpoints.

I really think strategically in terms of, "Okay, maybe I create 10 different videos to answer those 10 different questions." But then sometimes I also shoot spontaneous just to show like when I attend an event, or some quick reflections on something. I just do it spontaneously and record the video natively on LinkedIn.

Stephanie: About when to post, best time and day to post on LinkedIn. As far as analytics go, it sounds like some of you are doing it manually, or are some of you actually using a social media analytics platform to find that info, or just looking on LinkedIn?

Mary Henderson: I use an app called, yeah, SHIELD, and it's very analytics-based, and it's all about understanding who's watching who, what your views are, what your metrics are, so it's really actually understanding your metrics. I find that to be very valuable, although I must say I do actually post the same time every single day. 

I've just found that that consistency for me has worked and served me incredibly well. There are days between where I am spontaneous and I will be in the moment depending on what's happening, but 95% of the time I'm posting the same time of the day.

I did a test a couple of weeks ago, captions versus no captions. Interestingly my videos without captions got much higher reach, much higher engagement. Don't ask me why, but I just did it as just to test.

Stephanie: Brian?

Brian Fanzo: Yeah, so for me, I'm using, and I love the LinkedIn data. I have used SHIELD app. Part of it is I want to be consistent with a time. I'm that way with live video on Facebook Live. I go live at a certain time every week, but I haven't figured out the time yet, and I don't know.

I think one of the other things for me is consistency doesn't mean that you have to do it every day or every week. I always try to remind people that. It's up to you to manage expectations. For me and my audience, they know they'll get a video every week. They just don't know when it's going to come, because I don't know when it's going to come.

What I tell people all the time is if you look at the #PressTheDamnButton on LinkedIn every Sunday, you're guaranteed to get a new video, because between Sunday and the following Sunday there will be a video. It just might have come out on Tuesday, or on Friday, and that's something I really work hard at managing expectations, therefore I'm not being held to someone else's constraints or someone else's delivery schedule. 

I will say posting on the evening gets a lot of engagement first thing the next morning from my target audience. I've started to post LinkedIn videos later in the day than I do any other content. Which is hard for me, because I wake up in the morning, I'm all fired up to post a new video, and I'm like, "I got to wait till four."

Stephanie: Yeah. Again you guys, if you're interested in learning more about what SEMrush is putting together for Global Marketing Day, head on over to globalmarketingday.com. It's a 24 hours online conference where you get access to the top minds that are innovating what's happening in the marketing landscape. Thank you all so much for your time you've been absolutely amazing.

Mary Henderson: Thank you.

Stephanie: Take care, and we'll go from there. Bye, everyone.

Mary Henderson: See you.

Ai A.-Z.: Bye.

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