Webinars and virtual events have emerged as a powerful marketing tool, allowing businesses to connect with their target audience in a more engaging and interactive way. When it comes to hosting webinars, LinkedIn, the leading professional networking platform, offers a unique opportunity for B2B marketers to reach a highly relevant audience and drive meaningful engagement. In this article, we will explore how webinars hosted on LinkedIn (through LinkedIn Live) can be a potential solution for B2B marketing strategies.
Can you run webinars or virtual events on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn provides users with a tool called LinkedIn Live. This allows members and company pages to broadcast live video content to a user or event. Depending on your level of expertise with streaming live video, you can choose third party tools or custom streams (RTMP). In either scenario you CANNOT directly stream from LinkedIn and you must use an additional broadcast tool that integrates with LinkedIn Live. Once you've selected your broadcast tool, integrate it with LinkedIn, create an event from LinkedIn to stream to, set up your livestream configuration, and go live.
Leveraging LinkedIn Live for webinars
So what are the advantages to attempting to run a webinar style event on LinkedIn?
One of the biggest advantages is the built in reach your event will get. Each "LinkedIn Live Event" has a chat associated with it where watchers and audience members can engage with whoever is broadcasting. These chats are then posted as comments on LinkedIn which extend the reach and awareness of your webinar when you're live.
Naturally, LinkedIn is a networking tool as well, so built-in networking is also a large benefit of running your live events on LinkedIn Live.
Last, registration is a breeze for LinkedIn users. With one click, a LinkedIn user can register for an event and get notifications about when the event is about to start.
Limitations of using LinkedIn Live for webinars
Although LinkedIn excels in providing a networking base and exposure for your events, there are several very real disadvantages to the platform.
- LinkedIn does not have a native live streaming tool, so you’d need to use a third party platform to broadcast your event.
- Your audience will be limited to LinkedIn members - additionally, these members have minimum following requirements. Members and Pages must have at least 150 followers or connections to be eligible for access.
- You can’t test your event. You will be required to publish a post in order to complete your event setup. You can not create an event without immediately posting about it or promoting it on your profile or page.
- You can’t customize the landing page, graphics, or any other branding elements
- You can’t engage with the audience with Q&A, Polls, CTAs, etc
- You can’t integrate any data from the event into your marketing automation system such as Hubspot or Marketo.
So, should you run webinars on LinkedIn?
Unless you are already well versed with third party broadcasting tools and are very confident that your entire target audience has a LinkedIn profile, it’s more work than it’s worth.
Sure it’s “free,” but you’d still need to pay to spend on a third party broadcasting tool. You also won’t be able to get any data OUT of LinkedIn to actually leverage in your marketing or sales efforts without manually copying and pasting registrant and attendee data - some of which doesn’t even include the registrants/attendees email address.
So what should you do?
If webinars and virtual events are a part of your marketing strategy, you should leverage a leading webinar platform to support your efforts. After selecting the best webinar software for your needs, leverage LinkedIn for PROMOTING your webinar or event, not hosting it.