Q&A with Bailey Gannett about Cherwell Software's Beta Testing of LinkedIn Live

    By: Mallory Feeney, PRSA Colorado Communications Committee Member, Marketing Coordinator for Visit Aurora, Colorado

    Most companies watch from the wings as major social media networks test new software developments, including video streaming. However, Cherwell Software was selected to be a part of an elite group to conduct beta testing on LinkedIn's new streaming service, LinkedIn Live. We chatted with Bailey Gannett, Communications Specialist at Cherwell Software and PRSA Colorado Student Outreach Chair and New Professionals Co-Chair, to gain some insight on this incoming feature.

    Q: Give us a little introduction to Cherwell Software.

    A: Cherwell Software is an IT Service Management (ITSM) company based in Colorado. Cherwell Software designs software solutions to automate workflows and processes that used to be manual. For example, HR onboarding and IT ticketing can be accomplished faster through automation and integration. We're changing the way employees do work, by eliminating silos and streamlining work tasks to save more time for essential things like innovation and strategizing.

    Q: Talk about the process of Cherwell applying to do beta testing for LinkedIn Live. What were some of the tools and talking points you used in your application to convince LinkedIn?

    A: Any organization or personal page can request to get the beta version of LinkedIn Live. However, submission doesn't equal acceptance. At Cherwell, our strategy revolves around technical topics and leadership content. We chose to launch the live streaming with whiteboard-based videos featuring issues such as the importance of employee experience, how to understand software pricing and more. Our goal was to create thought leadership-based content and not just promotional materials. We chose to feature topics outside of Cherwell but inside our industry to draw a wider audience.

    Q: Can you talk about the first two months using the product? What were the benefits and drawbacks?

    A: The trickiest thing about LinkedIn Live is not streaming directly from the LinkedIn platform like we're used to doing with Facebook and Instagram. Before using LinkedIn Live, users have to purchase a third-party streaming service. LinkedIn offers four options: Cherwell went with Switcher Studio because of its free trial option. From my experience, navigating the third-party streaming service was a little tricky and required some testing on our part.

    For example, Cherwell live-streamed industry leader interviews with partners and customers at our global conference in September 2019, and occasionally there were issues with audio and or low-quality streaming when the wifi was weak. As we continued to use the product, we realized the need for a high-quality iPhone, a simple tripod, and a nice space to stream in to maximize the content. In my opinion, it would be better if one could stream directly from LinkedIn. Also, there currently isn't a feature to sponsor the video afterward, making it harder to gain an audience post-stream. However, LinkedIn Live does notify all of your follows each time you go live which is a great way to enhance viewership.

    Q: Based on your experience, how could other companies take advantage of LinkedIn Live?

    A: I suggest using Linkedin Live for thought-leadership and brand awareness content to establish yourself or your company in the industry. Streaming also doesn't have to be super high quality; some of our videos were shot on an iPhone spur-of-the-moment, selfie-style, and people still tuned in to engage with us. The live factor is massive right now on the social media front and is worth taking advantage of because I predict live-streaming will be more expensive in the future, and the content area will become more crowded than it is now. It is worth engaging in this platform while it's still relatively new.

    Q: Talk about how your team measured success while using LinkedIn Live.

    A: We measure our monthly social results based on engagements, impressions, followers, and conversions. Engagements and impressions shot up more than 200% when we first started using Live. Our live videos continue to get significant engagement and impressions, drastically more than any other piece of content.

    Q: What is one thing you'd like everyone to know about LinkedIn Live?

    A: LinkedIn Live is a great way to connect with your audience and build relationships. It's nice that it notifies all followers, and my guess is that feature will be eliminated in the post-beta version, so take advantage of it while you can.

    Q: Anything else you'd like to add?

    A: Live video overall is the way of the future. It's not about high quality, well-produced content. People want authentic connection and to feel like they're a part of something in real-time! You can also read more about LinkedIn Live on my personal blog.

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