LinkedIn is bigger and more active than ever.
The older, buttoned-up brother of the social networks, Linkedin has firmly established itself as the number-one channel for B2B marketers to interact with audiences. It is responsible for more than half of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs.
However, this success comes with costs.
As LinkedIn becomes more popular, users get bombarded with ever-increasing amounts of content. Filtering through all of it to obtain valuable insight is harder than ever.
LinkedIn’s decision to include a Snapchat-inspired Stories feature offers brands a chance to cut through the noise.
B2B marketing on LinkedIn just became more video-centric than ever. Marketers who capitalize on this new opportunity now will enjoy lasting benefits to the reputation and likeability of their brand.
What Are LinkedIn Stories and who interacts with them?
Stories are short, shareable videos that disappear after 24 hours. Snapchat originally came up with the idea more than half a decade ago. Once it caught on, Facebook cloned the feature for its most visual social media property, Instagram, where it exploded in popularity.
After that, it was only a matter of time before WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, and YouTube joined the bandwagon.
The short lifespan of an individual Story means that they are far less polished and produced than traditional video content. Most Stories are simple, no-budget messages aimed directly at audiences. This format encourages content creators to offer a brief, authentic window into their everyday lives.
Until now, the vast majority of Story viewers were Millennial and Generation Z consumers. More than half of all professional Instagram stories are product promotions.
But Stories aren’t limited to B2C anymore. Their success has led Microsoft-owned LinkedIn to join the fray. Content creators can now use ephemeral video messaging to connect with users on a personal level.
How to create LinkedIn Stories
Just like with Instagram, to create a LinkedIn Story you will need to do so using the LinkedIn mobile app.
Once logged into your account to the homepage.
From the Stories section at the top, tap the Add icon attached to the Profile photo icon above Your story.
Tap the profile photo associated with your individual profile or Page.
Once there, you’ll see the Stories icon at the top of your page:
Click on the + icon above Your Story.
From here, the user experience will resemble that on the ‘gram.
Point the camera at yourself and start working your magic!
Once you’re done, click on Share story.
LinkedIn has gone through great lengths to make Stories as dynamic and engaging as possible. To that end, you’ll be able to add stickers and text, and even upload static images as stories. Click here for a complete how-to.
LinkedIn is still testing its Story feature. As of October, 2020, it will only be available to users in the following countries:
- the Netherlands
- the UAE
- the USA
- India (as of October 6, 2020)
What LinkedIn Stories mean for B2B marketers
Historically, B2B marketers in many industries have been slow to adapt to social media marketing trends. White-collar and blue-collar business leaders alike are quick to dismiss Stories as a tool strictly meant for B2C. But that is changing.
Forward-thinking B2B marketers have already begun reaping the successes of personable, short-form video content. Marketers with niche audiences are using video to build small communities of enthusiastic people who share a singular passion, and whose career choices reflect it.
Allowing for far more targeted brand awareness initiatives, uploaded videos to LinkedIn deliver results.
87% of marketers describe video on LinkedIn as an effective marketing channel, according to Wyzowl.
These are the B2B video creators who will be earning the greatest results from LinkedIn Stories. People who are already interested in the products and services your B2B organization provides will want to know more about your process and the people behind it. Stories let you communicate that in a brand new way.
B2B marketing is moving away from cut-and-dry group identities for its consumers, and working towards what some marketers call the Business-to-People (B2P) approach. The ability to gather and analyze viewer data in new ways is changing the landscape of B2B marketing for everyone.
LinkedIn Stories for B2B marketing: Benefits and risks
LinkedIn stories offer a distinct set of advantages to B2B marketers. Like all marketing opportunities, however, there are potential pitfalls to look out for. Make sure to qualify your approach before diving into the world of B2B Linkedin Stories.
- Stories are easy and cost-effective to create: Nobody expects a Story to be polished and professionally produced. A high-quality mobile phone is all you need to start creating LinkedIn Story content. It’s a free and simple way to create relevant content that directly addresses your core audience.
- Stories make brands more personable: Raw, unedited content makes brands look less like faceless corporations and more like a cooperating team of real human beings. Those human beings care enough about a product or service to dedicate their careers to it, and they can inspire potential customers and job candidates alike.
- Stories will help you become a thought leader: Many B2B marketers, specifically those who work for SaaS companies, look for ways to become thought leaders on LinkedIn. However, more than any other other social media platform, LinkedIn users can smell an empty head from a mile away. Marketing experts looking to build a serious LinkedIn profile can now easily incorporate video into their content strategy.
- Stories are interactive: Brands already use stories to engage in personal dialogues with followers. B2B marketers can do the same thing, sharing industry expertise and insight on high-demand topics in short, easily digestible videos. Stories allow for real-time feedback, polls, and Q&A interactions between content producers and audiences.
- Stories can directly drive conversions: You can tag products in Stories, putting users one click away from a purchase. You can ask users to swipe up for more information, and start directing users towards your highest-converting marketing assets.
Some of the pitfalls to look out for include:
- Oversharing: Since Stories are so quick and easy to create, there is a temptation to overdo it. Overwhelming your audience with Stories is a surefire way to get skipped over and ignored. Having a constant stream of valuable, high-quality content is far better than sporadically flooding your users whenever an idea strikes.
- Exposing private data: Story content will give users a glimpse of your daily routine. It may include your whereabouts or other personal data. Be mindful of what you show, when you show it, and whether the information you expose can leave you vulnerable to identity theft or hacking.
- Unprofessional content: This is one of the top concerns B2B marketers have. While Stories are extremely popular with teenagers and young adults, your audience is not necessarily made up of Generation Z – and even if it is, they are still looking up to your brand for business insight and sober, practical advice. Professional content is content that generates value.
- Not integrating Stories correctly: The best B2B marketers on LinkedIn use Stories as teasers to direct users towards their existing long-form video content. If you aren’t leveraging this feature to gather and analyze data about your viewers, you are missing out on one of the most valuable assets your video hosting solution offers.
Make LinkedIn Stories part of your video marketing strategy
If you’re already creating high-performing video content, LinkedIn stories offer a great way to direct traffic to your best videos. These quick and inexpensive videos humanize your brand and let you address users in a new way.
Once you start directing users towards your best-performing video content, you can use that content to qualify and segment those users further. Use a purpose-built B2B video marketing platform like Cincopa to make the most of LinkedIn Stories as part of your larger social media video strategy. That way you can properly stimulate your target audience, build a real personal brand, and make your LinkedIn page that much more likely to wow.