Did you know that digital publishers can host virtual events on LinkedIn? Our guide will show you how this is done.
Publishers around the globe have moved their live events online this year. Even once the Covid-19 pandemic is over, it’s likely that many of these events will remain online-only for the foreseeable future.
Broadly speaking, the response to virtual events has been fantastic for digital publishers. Ticket sales are up, engagement is high, and the expenses related to hosting live events are way down when those events take place entirely online.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, LinkedIn introduced a Virtual Events feature earlier this year. Publishers with company pages on the professional network can host their events virtually through LinkedIn’s platform. LinkedIn’s Virtual Events feature combines LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events, with a handful of streamlined tools that publishers can now use to promote their pages to readers and send invitations to events directly to first-degree connections.
Using LinkedIn Virtual Events
Before you can host virtual events on LinkedIn, you will need to apply for access to LinkedIn Live. Larger publishers can initiate this process by asking their LinkedIn Marketing Solutions representative for access, but the platform has a separate online application that brands and publishers can use, as well.
LinkedIn reviews each LinkedIn Live application to ensure the virtual events hosted on its platform are high-quality. In particular, LinkedIn is looking for publishers with active communities and brands with more than 1,000 followers. So, if you are a very small digital publisher who is just starting out, or a blogger with few connections on your professional LinkedIn page, then this might not be the best option for you.
If your publication is more established, then your application will likely be approved. Once you have gotten this approval, you will need to select a third-party broadcaster tool. LinkedIn has a long list of broadcaster partners, however the most popular options seem to be Restream, Socialive, and StreamYard. Integrate whichever broadcaster tool you’ve selected with LinkedIn before moving forward with planning your event.
With an approved application and a broadcaster tool in place, you are ready to really get started using LinkedIn Live. Click on LinkedIn’s Event creation button to create an event and set your Page as the organizer. LinkedIn supports a huge variety of content types for virtual events. For example, publishers can stream keynotes or panel discussions, host interactive sessions, demo new products, and even conduct fireside chats in a completely virtual environment. Event attendees can ask questions and offer feedback in real-time using a mixture of live conferencing and commenting-based tools.
With a general outline of how your virtual event will run, you can begin inviting attendees directly through the LinkedIn platform. You’ll also want to promote your events indirectly by sharing the links on your website or other connected networking pages. Organizers can start things off by introducing new topics or starting conversations among attendees even before the actual event has begun.
One of the biggest reasons why digital publishers might choose to host virtual events on LinkedIn is the platform’s attendee engagement features. Publishers can encourage the people who have signed up to attend their virtual events to engage and connect with each other ahead of time. These features provide real value, especially for attendees who’ve been lacking in face-to-face networking opportunities during the pandemic.
As a best practice, LinkedIn recommends that anyone planning to host virtual events on LinkedIn avoids pre-recorded videos. Previously recorded content can reduce trust, and it’s just not something most people are looking for when they sign up to attend an online conference or other virtual event. All bets are off after the stream is over, though. LinkedIn actually recommends that publishers download their live streams to be repurposed or transcribed and turned into articles and blog posts.
LinkedIn also recommends that publishers plan to stream their events for at least 15 minutes, and that they review the Follower Tab to see where most of their attendees are located.
To learn more about how to host virtual events on LinkedIn, visit LinkedIn Events.