Tips on how to run an effective LinkedIn video campaign

Tips on how to run an effective LinkedIn video campaign

Tips on how to run an effective LinkedIn video campaign

Introduction

Rachael and I have just finished a business challenge: produce and post a piece of video content each day of March.

It was a challenge designed to:

  • Drive an increase in our creativity

  • Form some disciplined habits

  • Produce some publicity (in case you were unsure of the ultimate point of it all!)

We called it Motion March with the synonymous hashtag #motionmarch on LinkedIn (as well as posting on Facebook and Instagram - say hello, if you're in those there parts).

Some background

The prevailing thinking which influences content creation on LinkedIn is:

  • A minimum of one post per day helps keep you visible, build rapport with your audience and build yourself as a thought leader

  • By posting daily for thirty days or so, you break the daily inertia of 'what do I post?' and force yourself into a positive habit of production

  • You drive an increase of traffic to your business ecosystem: LinkedIn profile, website and other related areas

As with my recent series on I am on 'creating impact through networking', I am on a personal journey in this area; I came of age as social media took the world by storm, but recognise that social needs skill to master.

What follows are my thoughts and tips for making the most of running a campaign on LinkedIn - if you've found it helpful or have any tips that resonate, do leave a comment below to help spread the knowledge.

Contents

  1. Highlights

  2. Get on people's radar: post your top piece of content selectively

  3. Capture attention quickly: craft a strong first sentence

  4. Do the simple things well

  5. Be agile: make room for other timely content

  6. Make it matter: what happens after?

  7. Things to be aware of

The highlights reel (above)

Highlights

Anyway, without ado, here are my reflections:

Get on people's radar: post your top piece of content selectively

Post your top piece of content selectively

Post your top piece of content selectively

  • LinkedIn is a business and professional network, so timing when to post content is an important consideration - people are generally not languishing on here all day long

  • That said, there are some windows during which people are more likely to be scrolling through their feed and available to engage

  • My experience is that the best time to post is first thing in the morning when you wake up, so any time from about 6:30 to 7:00am

Why the morning?

  • Because many people sleep with their smartphone by their bed and then look at social media or news apps first thing when they wake up

  • By posting first thing in the morning you are harnessing and tapping into this opportunity to catch people's attention

  • If your network then hops onto a train after breakfast, this extends the early morning window of attention

  • By garnering engagement first thing in the morning, it allows traffic and attention on your post to build throughout the day, drawing in a wider audience

  • It also gives you a bit more space to batch follow up replies, so you don't feel overrun by replying and commenting all day long

Two in five adults look at their phone within five minutes of waking. Seven in ten commuters use their smartphone on their journey

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-45033302 & https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/multi-sector-research/cmr/cmr-2018/summary

  • Other slots to consider might be the mid-morning coffee break, lunchtime and then the commute home; I'll talk about the weekend further down

  • I recommend focussing your core and best piece of content on the early slot, if you have one opening to choose from

Capture attention quickly: craft a strong first sentence

Craft a strong first sentence

Craft a strong first sentence

  • Assuming people are awake, on LinkedIn and have clocked your post in their feed, the next step is critical: capturing their attention

  • Aside from visuals (photo or video), I am going to focus on the first sentence of your post

  • This principle is akin to the subject line of an e-mail; if it screams, 'L@@K AT ME!' in an annoying, narcissistic way, people are likely to move on or delete it, and it's game over

So what?

  • The first line of your status update acts as the equivalent of your e-mail subject line

  • You need to pique some interest, delight or surprise your audience otherwise people are simply scrolling on passed

  • Equally important, is what you say going to add value to your audience's day or business?

  • Things that work well include: a question, interesting statement, a quote, something out of the ordinary; basically, think of your opener and then rewrite it in an unusual way

  • A strong first sentence that jumps off the page with some intrigue or interest means your connection is more likely to read more, watch your video, or otherwise like, comment or share your post

Judge the mood: hone your content to your audience

Hone your content to your audience

Hone your content to your audience

  • It pays to be disciplined and well organised when running a campaign, but don't become a victim of your own rigidity

  • When preparing for a Friday post the night before, I was struggling to write some text to do with a video

So what?

  • I realised that it was the end of a long week and it was more than likely that my audience would be in a similar boat

  • Rather than post a deep and meaningful update, I altered the schedule and went with something more light and playful

  • Interestingly, it was a very short post and essentially a question, so didn't require too much thinking and crafting

  • On the Friday morning, this went down well and evidently tapped into the playful, end-of-the-week feeling that people often have

  • If you want to take your posts a step deeper, flexibility and being able to judge the prevailing mood are really important, otherwise you will probably plateau

Do the simple things well

Do the simple things well

Do the simple things well

  • Like it or not, if you want to be successful on LinkedIn, you need to cultivate a giving mentality. (I don't have space to go in to this here, but watch out for a follow up article or read more here from x.)

  • Back to basics, this means if someone comments on your post, you reply, or at least like their comment

So what?

  • Someone has taken the time to comment on your post; you should have the courtesy to return the gesture

  • Otherwise, why would they bother interacting with you if it's all about you; no give and take?

  • LinkedIn has a number of other features built in that are worth making the most of

  • Have you added appropriate hashtags? These allow you to reach a wider audience, and if you choose a fairly unique one, creates an archive for your content to link to, such as our #motionmarch one

  • You can also tag other people in your network, which acts as a little tap on the shoulder to participate in your community or a way to thank them (remember what I said about the giving mentality above?)

  • In terms of replying, a lot of people catch up with LinkedIn at the weekend, so you can use this as a time for a bit of admin and catching your breath

Be agile: make room for other timely content

Make room for other timely content

Make room for other timely content

  • As I mentioned in the highlights, we have been doing other things apart from the campaign (like work!), so inevitably other things crop up that are of interest

  • The question then becomes: will the potential impact of this new piece of content outweigh what has already been planned?

  • I would argue, yes; and that it generally pays to be opportunistic and keep an eye on ways to engage with your audience where there is an opening

  • For example, I attended a local business networking meeting one evening, which gave me an introduction to a variety of new contacts, with whom I connected on LinkedIn during the evening

So what?

  • People love following up after a networking event, tagging each other and talking about what happened

  • It made lots of sense, then, to put the scheduled campaign post to one side and focus instead on a follow-up to the networking, focussing on points of interest to the audience there

Make it matter: what happens after?

What happens after?

What happens after?

  • When your posts start taking off and you get a lot of traffic, it's easy to get caught up in the buzz, but forget the ultimate purpose

  • Fundamentally, LinkedIn is a powerful platform to market your product or service, not have fun, cosy chats (although they can form part of the marketing)

  • If all you are doing is generating conversations and nothing else, I would suggest the platform is not working for you fully

So what?

  • With that in mind, I added a little reminder at the bottom of each piece of content: the name of the campaign and why we were doing it

  • If you put this at the top of all your posts, it becomes wallpaper and acts as a turn-off to people engaging with your content (see above about a powerful first sentence)

  • We also ran a little bartering competition, encouraging people to think about a creative, productive barter that they might offer us

  • For a campaign to be successful, it needs to produce a result, whether a change in attitude or perception; leads or conversions; increased visibility

  • The 30 day period gives you time to allow that to build, but it needs to have something to show for itself at the end

Things to be aware of

Other things to keep an eye on

Other things to keep an eye on

Finally, to emphasise a few key things and highlight what to avoid:

  • Don't let comments and replies take over your life - it needs to serve a purpose and not become a narcissistic exercise

  • Linked to that, batch activity where possible so that you can carry on with your other core business (e.g., reply to comments for one hour at a particular time of day)

  • Engagement takes time to build over the month, so don't be put off if you don't see a lot of begin with; you might well be doing something quite novel to others in your network

  • If it's novel, your audience will need time to get used to it - keep tabs in conversations and ask around about what people think so that you can change things up if need be

  • If you are promoting your hashtag elsewhere, don't be tempted to write your copy and then copy and paste it into LinkedIn from Facebook or Instagram; LinkedIn is a business network and you need to craft material with its audience and quirks in mind

  • If you need to get into the social media mindset, I found the following acronym helpful from the Government Communications Service: EAST; easy, attractive, sociable, timely


Simon Cox - together with wife, Rachael - is the director of The Apple Yard, a Derby-based website, design and film-making boutique. Simon helps increase your visual appeal, by strengthening your brand, winning your audience and customers. Call Simon on 07427 100381 or e-mail simon@theappleyard.com if you'd like to chat about how we can help you achieve your objectives.