How To Make Viral Videos for LinkedIn in 15 Minutes
A complete guide on the tech, titles, and keeping your viewer’s attention
I hit that scary red button, open my mouth and say:
Hello LinkedIn! It’s Tom Kuegler here…
That’s right, I’m making a video for LinkedIn — not for YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, or even Instagram.
I’m making a video for LinkedIn. Why?
Because I’m about to get 2,000 views without breaking a sweat.
A man named Quentin Allums posted a video on YouTube about two years ago that got a total of 20 views.
Then he posted a video on LinkedIn a few days later and it got about 30,000 views the first week it went live. He didn’t stop. Now he has over 29,000 followers, makes multiple videos per week, and even built a company that employs a few of his friends off the back of his LinkedIn following.
In a world where it’s tough to get more than 30 views on a blog post, and more than 9 views on a YouTube video, posting on LinkedIn feels like cheating.
If you’re a blogger/vlogger and just hearing about LinkedIn video, keep reading.
If you’re a writer who thinks they’ll never feel comfortable on video in a billion years, keep reading.
This article is about to blow your mind.
LinkedIn Can Help You If You’re a Blogger (or If You’re Breathing)
If you asked me whether LinkedIn is easier to grow on than Medium, I’d not only say it is — it’s not even close.
That’s because the LinkedIn algorithm drastically favors creators. It’s also way easier to make videos than blog posts.
I’ve made and posted some videos in under 15 minutes. How long does it take you to write a blog post? One hour? Two? Six?
It takes time, but with LinkedIn video, all you need is to take a two-minute selfie video. Like this:
Ignore the quality of this image (left). You can view this video to see it doesn’t look like garbage.
This is a video I shot in Paris. It’s about 75 seconds long and I recorded it with the front-facing camera of my iPhone 7.
I added the Paris title in the LinkedIn app, wrote a small two-sentence description, then uploaded the video in less than 5 minutes. Below are the statistics …
It doesn’t take that much.
Okay Tom, it’s easy to make videos, but what if I don’t want to post videos? What if I just want to write?
LinkedIn is good for that too. You can repost your blog posts as LinkedIn articles — you can also write status updates (like a Facebook status).
How To Post a LinkedIn Video (Picture Tutorial)
The first thing you want to do is download the LinkedIn app on your phone (left). Once downloaded, open the app and click on the video camera logo in the top right (right).
From there, a camera view should pop up. There I am! This is how I look when I write articles.
Hit the red button at the bottom of the screen to start recording (left).
You’ll want to leave the right side of your video open (middle). Why? Because we’re going to put our title there.
After you’re done recording, a T icon will appear in the top right of the video recording pane (right).
Press the icon and a title box will appear. Click on the title box and get to typing. Hit the blue arrow on the bottom right of the screen to write a description of your video.
From here, type in a description and add any relevant hashtags (LinkedIn will recommend these for you). Then select Post on the top right.
You’ve just posted your first LinkedIn video!
How To Capture and Keep Attention in Your Videos
It turns out vlogging isn’t that different from blogging.
Headlines mean a lot.
The introduction means a lot.
The initial image that people see means a lot.
I’ll cover headlines in a minute. What I want to talk about now is the 5/15/50 rule.
Let’s break down what each of these means.
The “first 5 seconds” rule
The first five seconds of your video are the most crucial.
Whatever you do, you must stand out visually. It doesn’t matter what you’re saying because your video will most likely be muted.
Stand out visually.
I stand out visually by showing people where I am. If I’m in a beautiful environment, I do a quick scan with the camera.
Sometimes I make it a point to film in a beautiful area (left). If I know I’m going on a weekend trip somewhere, I remind myself to film a few videos.
Another way to stand out is to give yourself props (right). Hold something, like a camera. One time I took my shirt off because the LinkedIn crowd definitely does not make videos with their shirt off.
The “15 second rule”
Unlike the five second rule, the 15 second rule has everything to do with what you’re saying. You’ve hooked the viewer visually, now they’re listening.
Don’t bore them.
The first 15 seconds of the video are for two things …
- State the lesson you want to convey (e.g., Stop using oxford commas).
- Begin to tell a relevant short story related to your topic (e.g., The other day, someone used an oxford comma in an article and I politely told them the oxford comma is horrible).
(I’m being funny with the above example so don’t come at me in the comments.)
The first 15 seconds are for stating the lesson you want to convey, and for beginning to tell a story.
Get right to it. Don’t dilly-dally saying this is your first LinkedIn video and that you’re so excited. No. Get to the point.
Your viewers don’t care about you (yet).
The “50 second rule”
By the 50 second mark, you should be finished with your story. Get through it quick. Make no mistake, the 50 second mark is a deadline. If you finish your story at 30 seconds, that’s cool. If you finish it at 49 seconds that’s cool, but if you go over 50 seconds, that’s not cool.
Why? Because we have short attention spans.
At the 50 second mark, you should be getting into your points. OK, the oxford comma is bad, but why? What are three tangible steps I can take to eradicate the oxford comma from my writing repertoire?
Follow the story with 2–3 takeaways and then end the video.
There’s another deadline I wanted to talk about, and that’s the 2-minute deadline. End your video at 2 minutes.
Yes, you can go over 2 minutes, and you can even go over 50 seconds on rare occasions, but try to stick with these deadlines.
How To Make Tantalizing Titles
The 5/15/50 rule is important, but the first five seconds of your video relies a lot on your title too.
I’ll give you a few examples of titles I’ve used …
(Excuse me for being shirtless — only one shirtless video was done on purpose.)
One thing you should know about titles is the shorter the better. I never make my titles three lines long. Notice how figures examples 2 and 3 feature titles with only two lines.
Also, pay attention to word count. Six words are the limit. Three to four words are the sweet spot.
Also, use emojis. Yes, emojis. This drives LinkedIn purists up the wall.
All three of my headlines above feature some sort of an emoji because I like them and they can convey a lot of information in the space of one character.
They draw the eye as well.
Another tip is to keep the headline well above the bottom of the video frame. Vertical and square videos are best on LinkedIn, but sometimes the top and bottom of vertical videos get cut off in the feed.
We want the audience to see our title — that’s the whole point of titles, so make sure to give yourself some buffer room from the bottom of the video.
Pay close attention to the two examples above (middle and right). These airport videos got me 130,000 views and 250,000 views respectively.
Notice how my Singapore Airport title was two words long and had an emoji in it. It didn’t tantalize all that much with clever wordplay. It just stated what the video was about.
What can we gather from that title? Well, that I like the Singapore Airport.
*LinkedIn rains views on it*
Make sure to ask questions in your titles (left and middle), and don’t shy away from mild clickbait. I don’t think you should be overly clickbaity in every headline, but don’t hesitate to use it every once in a while.
Why Every Blogger Should Consider Making LinkedIn Videos
I could write 10,000 words on this, but I’ll boil it down for you.
For one, many writers think they need a big vlogging setup and a controlled environment to record videos. You really don’t!
In the case of LinkedIn, all you need is your mobile phone — and feel free to record outside!
Second, blog posts have a much lower chance of collecting attention compared to videos. You need a damn good headline and a great cover photo to grab attention in blogging. With video, you can use motion, props, stunning backdrops, and other people to win attention.
Our eyes are immediately drawn to motion. When I scroll down the feed and have to chose between video or written word, my eyes jump towards the video.
I can’t help it. It’s my first reaction and it’s probably yours, too.
When compared to blogging, making a LinkedIn video does not require fancy equipment, it takes a fraction of the time, it generally attracts attention more, and the LinkedIn algorithm will get your content in front of people.
LinkedIn’s algorithm reminds me of Medium’s algorithm from 2016 — it’s a free for all.