IS IT REALLY WORTH INCLUDING A VIDEO IN YOUR LINKEDIN POST?
Today we want to talk about the video effect on LinkedIn posts. As we said in a previous article (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-linkedin-strategy-lessons-can-we-learn-from-leading-companies-/?trackingId=Yre5txhndXrcvaPNOR%2Beag%3D%3D), on average large medical device companies are using videos in 31% of their posts. We are now going to dive deeper into this subject and examine what effect including a video has. We will investigate which companies are using videos the most to see what the effect is, and we will also try to see if we can spot any magic bullets that have been used in making the videos.
It is important to note that we are not analysing impressions or views, we are simply analysing likes. In essence we are trying to deduce the usefulness of a video from the engagement. Whilst this is clearly a very subjective method as there is not a straightforward relation, we could equally say that social media is affected by so many parameters that it can never be an exact science.
What is the table is telling us?
The first thing we can see very clearly is that there is a wide difference in the use of videos amongst the companies surveyed. We can see that 8% of the companies are using videos very frequently, in more than 75% of their posts. 4% of the companies are using videos frequently, which means in roughly 50% of their posts. 36%, are using videos often, which means in more than 33% of their posts. 44% use videos rarely, in less than 33% of their posts. 8% of the companies are not using videos at all, although this needs clarifying as of the two companies not using video at all, one is Abbott Diagnostics whose parent company (Abbott) uses videos relatively frequently. The holding company seems to post mostly in the relationship area, using videos, whilst the diagnostic arm tends to focus more on the promotion of products and seminars and doesn’t use videos at all. Overall, Abbott seems to be the company that is using videos in the most effective way – the videos that they are posting show a significant improvement in appreciation with regard to engagements.
The table also tells us that 16% of the companies seem to achieve a positive effect in terms of engagement through the use of videos, while 56% do not seem to receive any positive effect. By positive effect, we mean that the average engagement of posts with a video are significantly higher than the average engagement of a stand-alone post. There is a large group of ‘not applicable’ and this has 2 meanings:
- They use videos so frequently that it is very difficult to differentiate between posts with videos and posts without videos,
- The difference between posts with and without videos is not at all significant.
I wanted to take a deeper look at the companies that are showing a positive effect from their videos to see if there is something that we can learn from them. Going into the Company section of LinkedIn and clicking on Videos, we get a very nice overview of all the videos that have been released over the last month, with views and engagement. This gives our analysis some additional elements to work with.
What can we learn from the Companies using videos effectively?
Medtronic videos have been well-planned and produced. Money has been spent on a professional production, and the results show it. Their videos are usually a bit longer than most of the other companies, and on average they tell a story and need to be watched with active engagement and participation: viewers need to listen to the story, focus, and concentrate. This work pays off as they have an average appreciation higher than the posts without videos, although views do not seem to be incredibly high in relation to their number of followers – a month after posting most videos are still under 10,000 views.
What can we learn from Medtronic?
- Their videos are clearly internally focussed, targeting the satisfaction, recognition, and pride of their employees, rather than showing Medtronic solutions which we have learned is done by their business-specific company pages. They are celebrating diversity and inclusion, and engineers. In fact, the video with the largest number of views and engagement features a collage of Medtronic people. Another popular video in their list is the story of one of their engineers with a disability who is working on products for people with disabilities. This is an incredibly touching video, very interesting, and very well-built. But again, I would say mostly internally focused.
- Their videos range between 10 seconds and 2 minutes long, with those of around 1 minute in length the most frequently posted.
Abbot has a very different fingerprint from Medtronic: the videos are a mix of internally and externally focused content – I would say roughly 50:50. Generally their videos feature a few key points highlighted over a musical soundtrack and are mainly emotional. Abbott posts featuring videos are generally highly appreciated and Abbott video views are the highest in the industry.
What can we learn from Abbott?
- All their videos are within the one-minute mark – none of their videos exceed this, with the vast majority being around 30 seconds long. Only exception a series of videos called “UNLOCKING THE POSSIBILITIES OF YOU”
- Their videos generally do not require a high attention span, a high level of concentration. They are relatively simple, short, with an intense soundtrack and no spoken words.
- The production of this type of video is relatively achievable for most companies and does not require big-budget production. Their preferred video with more than 40,000 views was a very short, 22 second, video about babies born with a hole in their hearts. The video did not contain technical information and was mainly emotional.
- Frequent use of 3D animation
Fresenius’s strategy is again slightly different. We see fewer emotional videos, and more videos related to product and technologies in their posts. This tends to make their videos more detailed and slightly longer. Compared to Abbott and Medtronic it seems that Fresenius’s videos are targeted externally, towards clients.
What can we learn from Fresenius?
- Their videos range from 10 seconds to 3 minutes in length, with an average that is a little over a minute.
- Fresenius’s videos are a blend of emotional videos with no spoken words through to relatively long interviews.
- Large use of “interview-like videos” to convey technical messages.
The strategy of B Braun again seems very different from all the others, probably because it is a company with a different size, sales coverage, and with followers significantly lower than the companies we have mentioned before. Abbot and Medtronic have millions of followers, B Braun has approximately 300,000. Their videos often feature products, explaining characteristics and benefits in detail. Overall, the number of views is low, rarely reaching 10,000, with most of them achieving around 1,000 views, some even less.
What can we learn from B Braun?
- The length of their videos is mainly less than 1 minute, and the great majority of their videos are product related, externally targeting the customer.
- Very limited use of interviews.
To complete the analysis, we also looked at the video strategy of the two companies that are using videos the most: Siemens, and Smith & Nephew Medical Education. Siemens’ strategy is clearly externally focussed, concentrating on the promotion of corporate image and identity through the use of excellent quality videos. Videos are well designed and constructed, talking about products, talking about patients, all deploying emotions but also technical elements. Among the ”superpowers” Siemens seems to be the only one that targets clients and patients in their communication.
As we can see, 85% of Smith & Nephew Educational posts contain a video – a high percentage. However, many are PowerPoint presentations that have been transformed into videos. Their videos are often used as invitations to their seminars and activities, but there are also some very nice, well-designed videos for more important and relevant activities. The overall strategy of this company page is to invite external people and customers to seminars, and as such is fully externally focused.
Take Home messages.
The use of video may depend significantly on your LinkedIn strategy: if you are using LinkedIn more as an HR arm and your objective is to keep your team together, raising awareness and increasing company pride, then videos can be extremely useful as Medtronic and Abbot are showing. In this case emotional stories about employees, real life situations, examples of employees sharing the same complications as the patients, seem to be popular and gain the best traction.
If instead you are more externally focussed and you want to extend the knowledge of your solutions to the external market, then content seems to be more important than the media. And whilst videos are as useful as all the LinkedIn experts say they are, in the medical device industry you can manage pretty well without using videos so long as you deliver interesting content.
If you want to use videos (and sometimes it is a plus) you need to be aware that complicated stories do not breakthrough on LinkedIn (although they might do on other media such as YouTube), the most successful videos rarely surpass a minute, they do not display complicated stories and often have no spoken words. The soundtrack is incredibly important in these type of video as we may imagine.
If you want to deliver deeper content, interviews seem to be very popular because they convey a message in a very direct way that is perceived as less “corporate”. There is an element of human touch that is always useful.
The quality of the video, the storytelling, the preparation, pays off on LinkedIn: you can use animated slideshows, but you need to understand that you’re not gaining the same value as you would with a video.
3D animations seem to be incredibly useful because they add high clarification in an appealing way. They are nice to view, easy on the eye, and can also provide a lot of insight – meeting all the goals.
Last but not least: all the videos are fully embedded on LinkedIn platform. This is a LinkedIn suggestion and LinkedIn gives priority to embedded videos and most of the companies are now choosing this solution.