The LinkedIn video function is being touted as the new big thing. I understand the thinking. It’s a great way to showcase who you are and where and how you add value in a very personal way. It can be a compelling add-on. LinkedIn is an ideal platform for B2B marketing and research suggests that video is the future trend. This is the way many people especially younger generations want to access information and build relationships.
It has always been a great way to connect, market and reach your target audience. That’s why television commercials have always been so successful. Sometimes we remember commercials more than TV programmes.
I’ve also seen job seekers use video successfully with some reports that candidates are now being asked more frequently to make a two-minute video of their pitch. Some time ago visumés were sold as the new way forward and even then the idea filled me with horror. I did enjoy Page Kemna’s video, the self-styled resume singer, because she was engaging and could actually sing and play a keyboard. She went on to work for Zoom as an account executive.
So why does it only work for me by exception?
Scrolling through my social media platforms is one of the first things I do in the morning when I am having my coffee. It’s a good way to ease myself into the work of the day and warm up my brain. Today I checked my stream on LinkedIn and every second person was using the LinkedIn video function. In two minutes of scrolling I counted 8 video links. If I had watched all of them it would have taken me over 20 minutes. A couple were more than 5 minutes long. No matter how compelling your content I simply don’t have the time.
A LinkedIn video can last up to 10 minutes although professional advice would be to keep it to under 3 minutes. Our attention spans are shrinking all the time and our ability to concentrate is shifting accordingly. Mine must be a record all time low. Brevity is key.
Dull and intrusive
There are lots of more generic reasons why video maybe less popular than a regular post. They are intrusive for those that work in an open plan office. Creators will need headlines for those that want to watch without the volume. I saw today in my own feed some LinkedIn videos which were straight product commercials for items as random as cars and for the construction industry. This makes me wonder if LinkedIn is losing its focus as a platform for business professionals or wants to become something that attracts more general consumer marketing. Some videos are already blurring into Facebook style offerings.
The rest were self-promotion videos produced with varying degrees of finesse. Some were clearly gimmicky with people sharing words of wisdom as they sat having their breakfast, drying their hair or the current go-to backdrop in their cars.
LinkedIn seems to be trying to pimp the platform to a Snapchat or Instagram for professionals. Or even Facebook. I’m not feeling it. If I stare up the nostrils of a terrified or uncomfortable looking person, reaching for their computer or phone as they struggle to start their video then I am going to scroll on by, especially if the background is also looking a bit dubious. Ditto, if I see one that is more than 5 minutes long, even if it is more professionally put together.
Eventually there will be analytics to show what works and what doesn’t. For me if I want to look at videos for consumer products or goofy and even possibly endearing expressions of self-actualisation I will look on Facebook or YouTube. I see news clips on Twitter.
Later in the day I scrolled through my stream again and tried to be mindful of what caught my eye. I clicked on two videos and watched a couple dancing and another of a child strutting his stuff. I’m not sure what that says about me.
I am going to monitor my video watching habits. I never say never, because I do watch Simon Sinek, James Corden, Graham Norton and Trevor Noah. I also watch longer podcasts and TEDx talks when I set aside dedicated time. Many have been powerful. Am I pulled in by personality recognition? Maybe entertainment, humour or learning potential are key factors?
Perhaps I will change and become a convert. Sadly, as things stand today, it’s unlikely that I will click on your offering.
What works for you? What do you like about the LinkedIn video function?
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