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Why Live Streaming on LinkedIn is a Huge Opportunity for Business

As businesses are developing their internal video communication strategies, LinkedIn presents a unique opportunity for corporate executives to show the world the "Business Behind the Business" to the world at large.

Check out Streaming Media's Field Guide to Corporate AV: Live Streaming from the Boardroom, sponsored by Broadfield Distributing.

Just two years after Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, the world’s second largest company is betting big on live streaming. Microsoft has announced an enterprise-level streaming solution called Microsoft Stream offered inside their popular Office365 product, as well as a consumer-facing live streaming service currently being rolled out inside LinkedIn’s professional social media network. Both products represent a significant opportunity for businesses small and large to leverage the power and scalability of live video streaming inside the comfortable corporate-friendly solutions of Office365 and LinkedIn.

Fortune 500 companies currently leveraging Office365 as a standardized productivity tool are starting to inquire about Microsoft Stream. Microsoft Stream provides businesses with enterprise level tools for managing an “Internal YouTube” used for corporate training, announcements, and large town hall events. Meanwhile, as businesses are developing their internal video communication strategies, LinkedIn presents a unique opportunity for corporate executives to show the world the “Business Behind the Business” to the world at large. As the value of both internal and external video streaming grows, businesses are looking to professional audiovisual integrators to help build out studio quality presentation spaces.

LinkedIn Live Engagement Tree

Recently, PTZOptics marketing manager Tess Protesto interviewed Jessica Chan of LinkedIn to learn more about the opportunities for businesses deploying video technology. PTZOptics has been helping traditional technology integrators take advantage of new cloud-based video conferencing services like Skype for Business and live streaming services like Facebook live for quite some time. In 2018, PTZOptics won the best network-connected PTZ camera award in the Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Awards, beating out industry titans Sony and Panasonic. On the corporate communications side, PTZOptics USB pan-tilt-zoom cameras have become a popular plug-and-play solution for companies looking for integration with software such as Facebook Live, GoToMeeting, Cisco Spark, Skype, and Zoom. As the value of video continues to increase, businesses are demanding products that will work for both video communications and live production applications.

Streaming live with the PTZOptics NDI HX

During the 2019 NAB Live Show, Jessica Chan from LinkedIn said, “We are excited about introducing LinkedIn Live to a combination of pages and profiles,” as she explained how businesses will use the service on their company pages, as well as executives on their own personal profiles.

David Moricca, who was also on the LinkedIn Live panel discussion, said, “Our enterprise customers are really excited about LinkedIn Live… being able to build a thought leadership community around their executives and big company tentpole events… essentially showcasing the business behind the business.”

Panelists from the LinkedIn Live discussion

While Microsoft Stream presents huge value to enterprise video clients on the internal corporate efficiencies side, LinkedIn presents an entirely different lead-generation and community-building value on the external side. All signs point to an increased need for high-quality video production equipment. Businesses are taking video production solutions “in-house” as asset management costs are coming down. Technology is becoming easier and easier to use, so adoption levels have increased and businesses are building out new spaces to accommodate their need for live video production capabilities.

A recent study shows that live streaming a presentation reduces the traditional webinar software download barriers to entry and increases presentation attendance by 10X. If the value of Facebook and YouTube live streaming hasn’t already compelled decision-makers to invest in quality video production equipment, the value of LinkedIn and Microsoft Stream are sure to get things moving in businesses around the world.

On the sales and marketing side, LinkedIn is well established as the number one social media platform for lead generation (LinkedIn, 2019). LinkedIn has over 610 million professionals on the platform and 4 out of 5 members say that they “drive business decisions.” Jessica Chan said, “Once a broadcaster publishes a live stream to LinkedIn… it reaches their connections... but beyond that, any interactions happening with the live stream as well helps the content go viral.” Jessica calls this the “Viral Engagement” process of LinkedIn live streaming. Jessica’s explanation, which is available on the PTZOptics YouTube channel, reviews how content with engaged viewers can reach second and third-degree connections through the LinkedIn newsfeed. This will certainly be a breakthrough moment for sales and marketing on the LinkedIn platform.

Over the past decade, LinkedIn has become the best place for B2B businesses to connect and engage with professionals online. Over 50% of LinkedIn members report that they are more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn. Add this to the fact that 80% of LinkedIn members want to connect with companies on LinkedIn to “enhance their decision making.”

The ROI for video production equipment that can also be used with popular video conferencing and collaboration tools skyrockets. Products like the PTZOptics USB camera models are often used for live streaming one day and video conferencing software the next, without the need for any reconfiguration. While LinkedIn remains a couple of years behind Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube when it comes to live streaming, the platform offers businesses unprecedented access to decision-making professionals.

Businesses are already privy to the data from companies like Facebook, who state that “Live Videos generate watch times 3X longer than on-demand video.” Vimeo Livestream reports that 80% of viewers polled would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. Live video has been credited with increasing online sales. Amazon’s online e-commerce platform has just announced that professional-level sellers will have access to live streaming tools as well.

Microsoft demonstrated the technology that they use for LinkedIn live streaming at the 2019 NAB Show. Nikki Conley, a cloud solution architect at Microsoft, produced a short case study available at the link below which takes viewers behind the scenes. The case study shows how Microsoft is using multiple PTZOptics NDI-enabled cameras with Wirecast to produce a professional live stream. Conley says “I have the [PTZOptics] cameras configured with PTZ presets… so I can move the camera when the presenters move on stage from within Wirecast...I also have Wirecast set up with a picture in picture using the screen captured from the presenter. It’s really, really fun.”

Demo’ing at NAB 2019

This incredibly simple setup has two network-connected PTZOptics NDI cameras. Each camera uses a single ethernet cable for power, video, and control. Microsoft decided to use one of the new PTZOptics 12X NDI ZCams paired with a PTZOptics 12X SDI Gen 2 camera. The 12X-ZCam uses the exact same lens as the more versatile pan-tilt-zoom version 12X PTZ camera and therefore color matches perfectly when transitioned between each input in Wirecast. Each camera is fully controllable inside of Wirecast over IP. Wirecast is then used to mix the live camera feed together with another NDI video source on the local area network providing a screen capture from the presenter's computer using NDI Scan Converter. Microsoft has recently announced another new integration with the NewTek NDI with their popular Skype product. the company is now recommending Wirecast as a selected partner for live streaming to both LinkedIn and Microsoft Stream.

So how can businesses of all sizes take advantage of LinkedIn Live? Check out the free downloadable guide at the link below which will review the following key strategies for LinkedIn Live Streaming:

1. What’s working on LinkedIn and how is live streaming going to impact the platform
2. How to leverage the LinkedIn Algorithm and viral engagement
3. How to create awareness for your brand
4. How to drive people to take action

Download our free guide at https://ptzoptics.com/LinkedIn.