3 Quick Tips for Buzzworthy Webinars

Best Practices

Building buzz around webinars is a process. It takes time, perseverance and a lot of internal collaboration. It also takes a bit of know-how to pull off — the secret knowledge, if you will. In this edition of our Summer Series Reading List, which runs adjacent to our Sumer Series Playlist, we take a quick look at the secrets behind buzzworthy webinars.

So what are the secrets to building buzzworthy webinars? There are a few, but first, you need to have the right webinar platform in place. You’ll need a platform that can scale, provide analytics and reporting, can issue certifications, provides attendees with downloadable resources and provide easy-to-promote materials.

1. Build Your Scale

First, you’ll need to plot out how you’ll scale your webinars to address your audiences. Included strategies should target multiple buyer personas and hyper-target vital aspects of your field such as certification, continuing education, and industry-relevant deep-dives.

For example, Paycom, a payroll, and human resource provider use some of its webinars for certification across its clientele’s different demographics. At almost any time, the company can issue certificates from HRCI, SHRM or NASBA to qualifying attendees. For Paycom, putting in the extra work to become an industry resource is a great investment. It creates advocates, increases attendance — by roughly 155 percent — and boosts their marketing efforts.

2. Engage Thought Leaders

Every industry, every vertical, every team has their celebrities. Seek these audience-pulling names out and bring them into your webinars. Good thought leaders provide with more than just a name — they provide your program with topics, co-marketing opportunities, and content.

Potential thought leaders can include your co-workers and internal experts. Product team members, internal speakers at company meetings and even department leaders — all are viable webinar presenters that can drive audience attendance and contribute to your program. Sit down with them, plan your event and practice, practice, practice.

3. Be Relevant

General topics are great and perform well over the long-run, but timely and relevant webinars catch attention and bring your expertise to the forefront. Keep an eye on any industry-related news — or even general news — and use those developments to inspire and inform your events.

For example, if your audience is affected by significant policy moves, like the General Data Privacy Regulation or The Affordable Care Act, then producing a newsworthy event explaining the policy’s impact will likely bring your audience in. Remember to coordinate with your PR and legal teams to make sure your messaging is on-point, accurate and objective. Nine times out of ten, you’re helping your audience understand an aspect of their industry — not selling.

And that’s it. Three quick-and-dirty tips on buzz-worthy webinars and how you can start building the buzzing foundations for your own program.

What else can you do to make your webinars pop? You can check out our entire Webinerd Summer Playlist right here. You can also check out our summer reading list for this track:

Reading list:

1. Increase Webinar Audience 30% with Twilio’s On-Demand Strategy

2. Using Big Marketing Event Ideas to Drive Pipeline

3. Your Checklist for a Successful Webinar Program – For Newbies!

4. Q&A with Alex Blumberg, CEO of Gimlet Media

5. Webinar Best Practices Series: Spice Up Your Webinars with Video

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To view our Partner blog, click here

Summer Reading: How Webinars Help Drive Pipeline

Best Practices

For today’s marketers, generating leads is the name of the game. Make more leads, get more money. Sadly, identifying quality prospects — those sales can turn into revenue — isn’t easy. As marketers, we need to look beyond measuring the potential for pipeline and move towards measuring results for pipeline.

So, how does this work? Well, we Mark Bornstein lays it out on track three of our Summer Playlist , but we can also summarize the main points here.

Conceptually, it’s straightforward. Take a look at all of your marketing tactics and analyze conversions by percentage of market-qualified leads. Then, focus your efforts and exploit the tactics that work.

Microsoft, for example, analyzed its methods and found webinars converted leads — attendees to buyers — at a high rate (7.2 percent) . It doubled-down on its webinar efforts, going from 200 to more than 4,000 webinars per year — and netted SiruisDecisions’ 2016 ROI Award in the process.

So what are the basics of using webinars to drive pipeline?

First, webinars need to drive movement across the entire buying cycle — not just top. That means you’ll need to develop thought leadership webinars, company and product positioning webinars, case studies, validation and, of course, demonstration webinars to offer your prospects a full picture of what your organization has to offer.

Keep in mind the tone needed for each stage. Top-of-funnel events, like thought leadership webinars, should remain high-level and avoid being too “pitchy.” Similarly, bottom-of-funnel events should address specific pain points attendees are experiencing and demonstrate what your solution can accomplish for them.

The second step in getting webinars to drive pipeline is to increase the number of content touches in each webinar event. Creating these opportunities is advantageous in and of itself — it makes your webinars more interactive (by having your presenter point out where visitors can go for more information), and it gives you the opportunity to audit your content.

Still, you’ll want to make your content available in a webinar for one key reason: to let your audience members choose their own buyer’s journey experience. By enabling attendees to decide which steps they want to take, whether be it downloading content, registering for a demo, contacting a salesperson, or simply looking up the presenter’s biography, you provide your prospects with the subtle tools to indicate where they are on the buyer’s map, what stage and how likely they are to convert.

Just remember: more content means more opportunity for engagement and potentially more qualified leads.

The third step in using webinars to drive pipeline is to take a closer look at lead scoring. By examining how an attendee engages with a webinar — by asking questions, downloading content, answering polls and surveys and more — you can get a clearer understanding of where the attendee is on the buying cycle as well as the likelihood of future engagement and if they’re a good fit for a potential buyer.

Engagement scoring through webinars is a great way to break out leads across different tiers as well. For example, the most engaged leads can be matched with an account executive while the least engaged leads can be given nature material — saving your sales team time and effort. The point is, by measuring webinar engagement, you can better break out leads by quality and give them the appropriate amount of care and attention.

The final step for driving pipeline is handing off to sales. With right marketing systems in place, complete with engagement analysis, webinars can provide your sales teams with the critical contextual information they need to make a quality call with a lead. For example, if the lead asked a question during a webinar, a sales rep could provide them with additional content or offer a direct answer to their problem. They could also reference the content of the webinar to continue the conversation with a lead and, hopefully, bring in a close.

Webinars make it easy to drive pipeline. All you have to do create, provide, articulate and follow up on the content you’ve already created.

Speaking of which, we have some more material for you to peruse. It’s our Summer Reading list inspired by track three of our Summer Playlist. Take a look:

  1. Using Big Marketing Event Ideas to Drive Pipeline
  2. It’s Time for Marketing to take on Revenue Responsibility
  3. How Genesys scaled its global webinar program with ON24
  4. Lead Intelligence: A Better Model for Lead Gen
  5. How Microsoft creates world-class, ROI-driven webinar programs

The post Summer Reading: How Webinars Help Drive Pipeline appeared first on ON24 .

To view our Partner blog, click here

Your Checklist for a Successful Webinar Program – For Newbies!

Best Practices

Webinars are a great tool for modern-day marketers and can offer a variety of ways for companies to engage with different audiences. You can connect with your customers by communicating new and exciting product information; you can give live demos to prospects; the possibilities are endless!

Before executing a webinar program, however, it’s important first to examine the goal of the webinar and where it fits into your organization’s marketing plan. Often times, program managers think too micro-level. It’s important to remember that organizational alignment is key.

Take the time to ask yourself a few questions to get a better idea of where your webinar program is heading. You need to be aware of your target audience. For example, is the goal of the webinar to inform top-level leads? Or is it to engage mid-funnel leads with a more targeted message to evoke some type of action? After answering these main questions, choose a topic (and speaker) who can engage those leads thoroughly. Finally, think through lead-flow and what you want to happen when certain conditions are met. For example, what happens when a guest is sent an invitation to the webinar but doesn’t register? What if they register for the webinar but don’t attend? What will you do after they attend the webinar? What about attendees who ask a question (how will you follow up?).

Also,  be sure to formalize a plan for post-promotion of the on-demand version your event. You should have a clear understanding of how you can leverage on-demand webinars to engage inactive leads and push them down the funnel.

Once you have created your webinar marketing plan, you can formalize the details for your webinar. Here is a checklist for you to get started:

  1. Create your program in ON24. It’s easier if you have a ‘fake program’ you can use as a  template to clone from when you create your program. Remember to select your specific time zone and customize the console to fit your brand identity.
  2. Decide if you want emails coming from ON24 or your marketing automation platform. I have always used Marketo, as it provides an easy integration of lead status and more customization of emails and landing pages.
  3. Set up your campaign in your CRM (e.g., Salesforce) so you can track lead status and sync all of your marketing automation.
  4. Integrate your marketing automation platform with ON24 and then sync your program with the event ID from the ON24 program you created.
  5. Send a calendar invite to your speakers with the dial-in info for the webinar (found in the links section of your main programs page in ON24).
  6. Set up your dry run in ON24 and send a calendar invite to your speakers. Don’t forget to book your webinar room at your organization!
  7. Work with your marketing operations team to build the email and landing page assets, and schedule accordingly. I like to send two invitations — a day-before reminder and a day-of reminder — as well as a follow-up email to attendees and one to no-shows.
  8. Work closely with your speakers on content and give them a branded company PowerPoint (PPT) template to work with.
  9. Hold your dry run by going through the webinar completely with the speakers and to test the platform.
  10. Upload the final PPT template to ON24 and do any last-minute customization such as adding a poll to the webinar.
  11. Hold the webinar!
  12. Download the PPT and conclude post-promotion, including adding it to your website resource section.
  13. Brief your team on how the webinar went and arm your sales team with the recording to send to prospects who may find the content useful.

Some tips for success:

  • Ask the audience to submit questions before the webinar to have a backup list of questions in case no one asks any during the live recording.
  • Provide the PPT and webinar recording to all of the webinar registrants in the follow-up emails.
  • Make the PPT and speaker information, as well as relevant company assets, available in the console for attendees to download while they are watching the live webinar.
  • Answer any questions asked during the webinar and train your sales team on following up on those questions.
  • Ensure everything externally facing has a cohesive message and branding identity.

I know what you’re thinking: this is a lot to think through, especially when you couple this with all of the nitty-gritty details of program management and set-up. Don’t worry, though! All programs take time to perfect. All you have to do is start.

The post Your Checklist for a Successful Webinar Program – For Newbies! appeared first on ON24 .

To view our Partner blog, click here