How to create an engaging LinkedIn video

You can do it, too.
You can do it, too.
Image: REUTERS/Charles Platiau
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Video posts on LinkedIn average three times the engagement of text posts, according to LinkedIn director of product Abhishek Shrivastava.

But despite the superior engagement potential of LinkedIn video, I still meet many aspiring thought leaders who adamantly stick with text. They assume that making an engaging video is cumbersome or difficult.

I’ve been coaching executives on how to leverage video for 20 years, and I can assure you that anyone can master the art and craft of being engaging on video. Here are three considerations to help you get started.

Energy and body language truly matter

Psychologist Albert Mehrabian famously studied modes of communication. His research concluded that 7% of a message is given through words, 38% through tone, and 55% through body language. In any context, it’s worth focusing on your body language—it conveys the majority of your message.

But on LinkedIn, it’s even more important. Videos on LinkedIn start off playing silently, so sometimes the only message your viewers are taking in is the body language you’re exhibiting.

How do you optimize body language? It comes down to practicing good on-camera techniques. Look directly into the lens of the front-facing camera, as though you’re looking into the eyes of your audience. Practice your script enough times so that when you record your video message, you can relax and be comfortable with your words without struggling to remember what to say. Try to pump yourself up before recording so that you exude excitement, passion, and authenticity on camera.

Your domain expertise + breaking news = your video topics

The LinkedIn news feed favors content that is relevant in the moment. So when brainstorming ideas for a video post, responding to newsworthy information is a great place to start. Then, to build your brand, speak about the information through the lens of your specific expertise. For example, if a large company announces a new information security product and you work in a related IT space, you might discuss how this new product may change the industry based on your own experiences working with customers.

Raising your game with better videos

Once you practice getting comfortable with being on camera and your intelligent, value-added messaging is ready to go, you can use a number of techniques to make your video more engaging, professional, and effective.

  • Brevity is key: Talking for too long is a turn-off. Keep the video updates less than 90 seconds long.
  • Vary the shot: Sometimes it’s easy to create engaging visuals if you’re at a conference or out in the field. You can also incorporate your company’s product or marketing footage. But avoid a single shot just of your face, as it can be boring to watch and thus less effective. And when filming your face, raise the camera up and try to record at a slightly downward angle to avoid an awkward up-your-nose look.
  • Leverage text: Because LinkedIn videos play silently by default, there’s an opportunity to draw in viewers with some text, even if it’s just at the beginning. If you are looking for an example to model after, refer to the many text-heavy viral videos on Facebook.
  • Try special guests: Interacting with another person is a great way to amplify positive body language and create visual engagement in a natural way. It also means that, if you both post the video, your audience will be bigger.

If you are scared of being on camera, you’re not alone. Plenty of psychological studies document this common phobia. But getting comfortable with video is no different from gaining in-person networking skills: It takes a leap of confidence, it gets easier with practice, and the payoff can be huge.

Matt Singer is CEO of Videolicious.