Live videos on LinkedIn get 24X more comments and 7X more reactions than native videos.
Does this sound good to you? If so, this guide that will teach you everything you need to know to start broadcasting live on LinkedIn.
Let's jump in!
LinkedIn Live Access Criteria and How to Apply
LinkedIn Live is not available for users by default, nor are submitted applications blankly approved. To get approved, you will need to meet these criteria:
- Your Profile or Page has to have at least 150 followers and/or connections
- You have to have recently shared original content of any type on LinkedIn (text posts, images, videos, articles, documents, etc.)
- You have to be in good standing with the platform and have a history of abiding by its policies
- LinkedIn Live is not available in mainland China
Additionally, LinkedIn offers a few more guidelines you should follow before applying. First, make sure your profile is publicly viewable so that reviewers can access it.
Second, LinkedIn recommends enabling two-step verification for members who go live on their profile and Page admins who go live on their page's behalf. Content on your live broadcasts must be in accordance with LinkedIn's Professional Community Policies.
To apply for LinkedIn Live go here and click on the "Apply" button.
How to Go Live on LinkedIn
Step 1: After you get approved, visit the link where you applied to unlock LinkedIn Live, but the screen will look different this time.
Step 2: To go live, look for the "Go live now" button under "New stream."
Step 3: Then you will be prompted to Create a post where you can add a description and hashtags. Note: if you're streaming to a user profile, you will have an option to set the live stream visibility to Anyone, Connections only, or Group members of a particular LinkedIn Group you belong to.
Step 4: Add the Title of your stream under "Your stream details"
Step 5: Open the "Stream settings" tab and select your region. If your region is not on the list, select the closest one. Then click "Get URL."
Step 6: Copy the Stream URL and Stream Key and paste them into your live streaming software. The exact placement of the required fields is different from solution to solution, but they're prominently placed in most of them and you should easily find them.
Step 7: When you are ready, click "Go live" to start your live stream.
Recommended Streaming Tools
There are many live streaming tools out there, and it's hard to recommend one in a one-size-fits-all fashion. I will cover three very popular solutions that vary significantly from one to another. Each of them offers something a little bit different and will fit different groups of LinkedIn streamers for different reasons.
OBS Studio (PC/macOS/Linux)
OBS Studio is a powerful open-source broadcasting software used by many of the most demanding professional live streamers across the internet. OBS Studio is free to download and use forever. OBS Studio is a powerhouse developed and maintained by a large dedicated community that can be customized exactly to your needs.
Aside from that, the two most notable shortcomings of OBS Studio are that it isn't the most beginner-friendly solution out there, nor is there a dedicated support team that will be there to help you out if you're having issues. But if you're open to learning a thing or two before mastering this software, you will need no other solution.
Restream is a very popular choice for its multi-platform streaming option. You can stream on 30+ platforms simultaneously with a click of a button. It can also be integrated with OBS Studio for even more functionality.
It's hard to find a downside to Restream because it's also very affordable. This is a solution for technically less demanding users who want to stream on more than one platform at a time which sounds perfect for business oriented users that would want to stream on LinkedIn.
Be.Live is on this list because of its intuitive design and user-friendliness. Be.Live was designed with entrepreneurs and business people in mind.
It offers an option to share files and videos with your audience. It also enables you to add a CTA (call-to-action) button and link in your stream, which is a neat feature that will help drive action.
Recommended Encoder Settings
To avoid your stream from being of poor quality, LinkedIn recommends you should have at least 10 MBPS upload speed. You can run a speed test to see how fast your internet connection is. Additionally, make sure to properly set up your Encoder Settings:
- Aspect Ratio - Ratio 16:9
- Resolution - 720p Recommended; 1080p Maximum
- Frame Rate - 30 fps
- Key Frame - Every 2 seconds (60 frames @ 30 fps)
- Video Bitrate - 3.5 Mbps Recommended; 6 Mbps Maximum
- Audio Bitrate - 128 Kbps audio
- Audio Sample Rate - 48 KHz sample rate
- Encoding - H.264 video, AAC audio
- Protocol - RTMP
Streaming Best Practices and Etiquette Tips
Even though there's no need to overthink things to the point of paralysis of analysis, there are a few things to consider regarding streaming setups and general etiquette. Live streaming is different from pre-recorded video in the sense that there's no do-over, so to speak.
Maybe it's inevitable things will go wrong from time to time. That's just the nature of the beast that is live streaming. But by being aware of these streaming best practices and etiquette tips, you can avoid many rookie mistakes and save yourself a few embarrassing moments.
Keep your setup simple
Add production value when you're sure you want to live stream regularly. Production quality doesn't have to be top-notch for your streams to add value to your audience. They just have to maintain a decent quality which can be easily accomplished with basic equipment.
Test your equipment before going live
Even if you've streamed yesterday and changed nothing about your setup, weird little bugs can occur when you least expect them. Go live and ask your audience if they can hear and see you well if you have to. Just make sure everything works before it's time for real action.
Be mindful of your audio quality and lighting
Audio quality is often the last thing people worry about, and it's easily among the most important. Suppose your audio is poor and your viewers on the other side aren't listening in ideal conditions like a quiet room.
In that case, you can be assured they won't understand half of the words you're saying, and they will likely turn off the stream.
The lighting should ideally be in front of you or to the sides. If you have lighting features behind you, they will have a blinding effect on the viewers, and you will become a silhouette on camera.
Always be aware of when your camera and mic are on
This might seem like common sense, and it is, but all too often, people forget to actually turn off their stream when they're done. They continue streaming not-so-flattering scenes. They also forget to turn their mic or camera back on if they switched them off for some reason in the middle of the stream.
Engage your audience
If you're going to ignore your live audience, you might as well upload a pre-recorded video. The essence of live streaming on any platform, including LinkedIn, is the streamer-audience connection that comes out of acknowledging the real people watching your live stream.
Consistency is important
People have their preferences when it comes to the content they consume, and you can more easily get them in the habit of watching your live streams if you're consistent. Habitual returning viewers are the foundation of every live stream, especially when you're just starting out.
Set up two devices
Having a second device is not a requirement, but having it will greatly improve your experience as a streamer. The second device is typically used to have your stream running on it.
That way, you can follow your live stream chat, engage your audience, and be aware of any technical glitches that might happen. Both of these reasons are important.
Detrimental Things to Avoid While Live Streaming
It's helpful to know what to avoid while live streaming on LinkedIn, especially if you're new to it. Every platform has its little quirks and LinkedIn is no exception:
Not Everything is About Self-Promotion
Moderation is key. Avoid being too pushy, salesy, or overly promotional. A good rule of thumb is to provide value upfront, point your audience to your relevant offer, and move on.
Avoid Meta Topics
A meta topic would be talking about your LinkedIn content strategy on LinkedIn. Content of that nature is better suited for other platforms.
Minimize the Size of Sponsored Logos
Don't make sponsored logos the most prominent feature of the video – having sponsor logos and promotional content on the screen is OK but make them smaller and more tasteful.
Avoid Being Late and Breaking Your Schedule
Don't leave your audience hanging with the long "starting soon" screen. A couple of minutes of "starting soon" screen is fine but keep it to a minimum.
Avoid swearing and unprofessional behavior
This is especially important if you're covering business and work-related topics. You don't have to be robotic, and showing your personality is great but don't cross the line.
Don't use live streams to quickly pop in and out
People expect live streams on LinkedIn to be long-form informational content. Turning a stream off after a few minutes will leave them confused and annoyed.
Don't live stream pre-recorded videos
Showing pre-recorded content within a stream to illustrate a point or give context to a discussion is perfectly fine but don't make pre-recorded content the main course, so to speak.
Don't ignore comments from your audience
Unless you're doing scripted content like an interview. But even then, if possible, including your audience's relevant questions and answering them will only enhance your live stream.
Reap the Benefits of LinkedIn Live Video
Real-time engagement: The moment you live stream on LinkedIn, your audience will be able to engage with you in real-time. This is a great way for viewers and creators alike to build relationships that feel more personal than ever before!
Create more content: The possibilities for content are endless with live streaming on LinkedIn. If you stream regularly, then there will always be new material to create and share from your streams!
Stand out from the competition: Live streaming on LinkedIn can help you create a unique and engaging experience for your viewers. If done right, it will attract more attention from potential customers browsing the platform!
Increase engagement: Live streaming is great for getting people involved and feeling like they are right there with you. Viewers will be more engaged in your video when going live, which can lead to increased shares or views!
Enhance your brand image: With live streaming, you can show the world your professionalism and trustworthiness. Your customers will be likelier to remember that they are dealing with a company that stands behind their product 100%.
Get speaking engagements: By live streaming on LinkedIn, you can make your expertise known and get speaking engagements. When people see that you’re knowledgeable with an engaging personality, they are more likely to book a time slot for the next conference or event!
LinkedIn Live Streaming Ideas
LinkedIn Live provides an excellent opportunity for businesses and individuals to connect with their audience more personally and engagingly. Here are 22 ideas for LinkedIn Live content that you can use to engage your audience and promote your brand:
- Share an insider look at your company or industry with a live tour
- Offer advice or tips on a particular topic related to your business
- Conduct a live Q&A session with customers or clients
- Share breaking news or announcements about your company
- Highlight a new product or service with a live demo
- Share behind-the-scenes footage of your business in action
- Host a panel discussion or interview experts in your industry
- Offer a sneak peek of an upcoming event related to your business
- Go live from a trade show or conference you’re attending
- Teach a class or workshop on something you’re passionate about
- Give viewers a tour of your office space or workplace
- Offer career advice for job seekers and professionals in your industry
- Offer a LinkedIn learning tutorial on a particular topic
- Share your thoughts and reactions to current news or trends in your industry
- Highlight a LinkedIn success story from your business
- Host a live “ask me anything” session with LinkedIn members
- Do a live product unboxing or review
- Share highlights from a recent company trip or retreat
- Introduce LinkedIn members to new team members at your business
- Share customer testimonials or success stories
- Provide an update on your company’s performance or progress
- Do a live “day in the life” tour, highlighting what you do on a typical day
LinkedIn Live Analytics and KPIs for Marketers
As a marketer, it's important to understand how your LinkedIn Live video is performing to adjust your strategy and ensure that you're meeting your goals. Thankfully, LinkedIn provides detailed analytics that can help you track the success of your video.
Here are some of the most important metrics you'll have access to in your video analytics:
- Number of likes in total
- Number of comments in total
- Number of shares in total
- Peak viewership number
- Total minutes watched - accumulative time the video has been watched by your viewers
- Total number of views - total number of sessions the video is watched for more than 3 seconds
- Total number of unique viewers who watched the video for more than 3 seconds
- Demographic analytics
It's important to note that the analytics are not available for any content you publish or broadcast only with your connections or in LinkedIn Groups.
Not all KPIs (key performance indicators) are created equal. Which KPIs are important to you depends on the goals of your LinkedIn content strategy. Many of the live video analytics mentioned above can double-serve as KPIs but only if put them into a proper context.
For example, suppose your goal is brand awareness. In that case, you'll pay attention to Peak concurrent live viewers and Total viewers numbers because your goal is to put your brand before as many eyes as possible.
Likewise, if you have thought leadership goals, the important KPIs for you will be the engagement numbers because you'll want to build an engaged audience and community around yourself.
Naturally, in any case, you will care about the other metrics too. Prioritizing some doesn't mean you will ignore the others.
Q: Can you live stream a pre-recorded video on LinkedIn?
A: Yes, you can. You can choose to stream your desktop screen, where you can play any video you want. However, LinkedIn does not recommend doing this because it will confuse your audience and betray their trust.
Q: Can you go live with audio only on LinkedIn?
Yes, you can create Audio Events. This feature was inspired by the success of apps like Clubhouse.
Q: Can you live stream a Zoom meeting on LinkedIn?
A: Yes, you can. Zoom has streaming functionality which you can use to stream your meetings on LinkedIn. Also, you can stream your Zoom meetings with any other streaming tools if you need more functionality than Zoom itself offers.
Q: Can you re-stream other live streams on LinkedIn?
A: No, there's currently no functionality that will allow you to re-stream other people's live streams.
Q: How long does it take to get approved for LinkedIn live video broadcasting?
A: Typically, this process takes about a week.
Q: How to do a live video on LinkedIn on company page?
A: After you get approved for live broadcasting, you will need a streaming tool to connect with LinkedIn. Then, you need to create the event and set up the live stream. After that, you are ready to start broadcasting.
Q: Why is my stream of poor quality?
A: LinkedIn recommends you have at least a 10MBPS upload speed as well as properly set up your Encoder Settings.
Q: What is the minimum and maximum stream time?
A: There is no minimum stream time, and the maximum is four hours. The recommended minimum length of live streams is 10-15 minutes, and the maximum is about 1-2 hours. Streams shorter than recommended go against the best practices of live streaming, and longer than recommended start bleeding viewers very fast.
Q: Can I stream to LinkedIn and another platform at the same time?
A: Yes, but you will need a 3rd party streaming software with the simulcasting feature like Restream.
Q: Can I download a live stream after it's over?
A: No, LinkedIn doesn't have the functionality to download live streams after they're done. You can use some of the 3rd party tools for this, however.
LinkedIn Live is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It provides an opportunity to reach new audiences and connect with customers in real time. If you’re looking to start streaming, this guide will help get you started.
Are there any other tips or tricks you’ve learned when using LinkedIn Live? Let everyone know in the comments below!