Three Ways You Can Use Existing Webinars to Drive Customer Engagement

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

One of the principles of scrappy marketing is making good use of what you have.

Webinars are a great way of engaging potential customers, as well as nurturing your relationships with them, but they take a lot of work to make. How can you get as much mileage as possible out of them?

In an earlier post, we discussed methods you can use to extend the lifecycle of a webinar. This post focuses on ways you can use webinar recordings to engage your on-demand audience.

Create a webinar hub

On-demand webinars are a huge part of your audience – a potential third, according to ON24 research. How can we serve them better?

Creating a central place on your website where all of your webinars are based is a great place to start. Make it attractive, make it accessible, and above all, make it searchable.

This needs to be a place where visitors can start a long journey with you, so, for example, after viewing a webinar, they can be recommended some of your related content, such as a white paper or case study that was discussed on the recording.

Creating a webinar hub helps you draw parallels between the different kinds of content you host while catering for the bingers who like to watch several webinars on the trot or a whole series at once.

The choice is yours on whether to ask visitors to sign up once for access to all of your webinars, or to gate each video individually – you’ll have to weigh up user experience against your desire for leads.

Syndicate your webinar content

Third-party sites can be great places to host your webinar content. By placing lead forms and calls-to-action on other sites, you can capture an audience that you otherwise wouldn’t have reached.

You can also reach additional viewers organically by making parts of your webinar content available on video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and SlideShare. These platforms can help grow your audience further by making your webinar content more searchable and accessible, although you should weigh up the benefits of reach versus capturing leads.

Again, it’s up to you whether you publish your webinars as full videos, create shorter chapters to create series, or just post shorter clips of the best bits. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to link back to your webinar hub for those who want more.

Cut webinars into bite-sized pieces

Breaking longer recordings into shorter, easier to digest clips makes your webinar content so much more versatile. Not only do they present a lower barrier to entry for the rest of your content (an hour-long video may prove intimidating), but you can be more targeted with how you share them, as a shorter clip is likely to be far more focused in its subject matter than a 60-minute webinar that covers many topics.

Research by ON24, which found that half of webinars have audiences of between 100 and 199 people, suggests that webinars are tending towards smaller, more niche audiences for mid to bottom of the funnel prospects, so it makes sense to specialize where you can.

Shorter clips can also serve as teaser videos in your webinar promotion – post them on social media – organic or paid – to generate interest in your longer on-demand webinars.

Want more tips? Check out our guide on the Keys to Building an On-Demand Webinar Strategy.

How to Pass Off an Old Webinar As Brand New

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

Do you have a webinar in your archive which could do with being promoted again, or that you just think deserves a wider audience? Have you thought about rerunning it, as if it were brand new? How would that even work?

The good news is that your old webinars are likely to be a treasure trove of content that can help get you results. The hard work has been done, and as scrappy marketing is about doing more with less, refreshing your previous content can be a key pillar of a scrappy program.

There are a number of different approaches you can take in repurposing your old webinars. Some ideas include:

  • Running a new webinar with existing content. This is where you take your notes, slides, promotional material and other assets but run the session completely new. This can be particularly valuable if you think a tweak of the title might bring in more viewers, but want to use your content again.
  • Running an old webinar as simuliveFor this type of session, it’s easy – your recording from the previous session is presented as if it were a live, scheduled event. There’s no material difference between running a webinar live or simulive. All of the interactivity offered by polls and chat and are retained, and it still ‘feels’ live, although you should check it first to make sure that there is nothing to impact the experience. Product demos work particularly well as simulive, especially as you can have your sales team on hand for chat and typed Q&A.
  • Mixing old recordings with live content. There are two different ways you can blend this approach. The first is to take video recordings from your previous webinars and put them in as video clips and run a live webinar session either before or after these clips. This can be valuable if you’ve had a speaker that can’t present again, but you still want to use their words and presenting. The other method is to run what ON24 calls a “Sim-2-Live” session – this is where you run a simulive webinar, complete with all functionality, before rolling over to a live audio feed.
  • Promoting pre-recorded webinars as an “always-on” session. This is where you take your old webinars and host them for people to view whenever they are available. This can be particularly useful in building out evergreen content, syndicating them on third-party sites, and serving customers in different time zones.

Whichever approach you take, here are the stages you should go through to make your refreshed webinar a success.

Review your old webinar along with any related materials

Before you promote your old webinar, watch the recording and review any related assets.

This is particularly important if you plan to run your old session as simulive or Sim-2-Live. In this case, keep a careful eye out for dates and times. Check any slides don’t have a date on them that is in the past. If you happened to do a screenshare, check that there is no giveaway date or time in the menu bar.

For an “always-on” webinar, these dates are not as important, but you may want to reconsider their use on slides going forward to keep them as evergreen content.

If you’re running a brand new webinar using old content, have a quick look over your materials to see if anything needs a refresh.

Set up your webinar ready to go

Whatever type of webinar you will look to run with, make sure you get everything set up ready to capture registrations.

Use your webinar console to set a date and time for your session, or to publish it as an always-on asset.

For practical guidance on this, the Webinar Best Practices series can show you everything you need to do.

Drum up interest on the topic through social media and other channels

Start posting existing content that’s related to the webinar, such as blog posts, to social media. Look at using other tactics to start driving traffic and building authority.

Taking such an approach helps you achieve two things: firstly, it renews interest in the subject of your webinar, and secondly, it allows you to gauge the level of interest. This can help you decide which of your old webinars you will look to promote the most, which can be particularly important if you have limited budget or resources.

For live and simulive sessions, start promotion at least two weeks out

It’s best to promote your webinar over a longer period, ramping up intensity as the date of broadcast draws nearer. We suggest starting promotion at least two weeks before the day it’s due to go out, based on data in our Webinar Benchmarks Report.

If you want to take the paid route, take advantage of retargeting tools and lead gen forms offered by both LinkedIn and Facebook, which you can integrate using a platform like Zapier. Retargeting tools let you target those who have demonstrated interest in your content before, while pre-filled lead gen forms reduce the friction of signing up to the webinar, through whatever device.

You can also syndicate your webinar through demand generation platforms and third-party sites. Services like NetLine can automatically connect with your webinar and marketing automation platforms, making sure you get accurate data and a great experience for registrants.

Reap the results

If you have your webinar as “always-on”, your efforts will now start yielding registrants. Check how your promotional efforts are going and make any tweaks to keep the stream running.

For new recordings, simulive or Sim-2-Live, the date and time of the session will be the proof of your efforts. Assess how it’s worked and use that insight for your next revived webinar.

There’s no reason you can’t repeat this cycle again for any of your webinars to save you time and drive results.

For more tips, make sure to register for ON24’s session on How to Bring Your Webinars Back From The Dead.

How to Market Your Webinar After It’s Finished

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

Let’s say you just ran a webinar, and it was great. Your speakers knocked it out of the park, the discussion was lively and informative, and your audience asked some inspired questions. What now? Do you just shelve the project and move on? After all that work?

The lifecycle of a webinar doesn’t have to end with its broadcast date. In this post, we’ll suggest scrappy ways of extending the life of your latest webinar by six months and beyond by making it into an on-demand webinar.

Up to 48 hours

After the stream is stopped, the panel has been thanked, and the mics are packed away, the first thing you need to do is send out a link to the recording of the webinar – not just to those who attended, but to anyone who registered who may not have shown.

Don’t worry about those streaming your webinar having a lesser experience – most interactive tools, such as chat, polls and CTAs – will still work on an on-demand webinar. Your on-demand viewers will still get answers to their questions, they just won’t be in real time.

One week

Even though the webinar is over, it’s important to keep promoting it, and social is a great way to keep the momentum going. Post links to your webinar with the call to action ‘Watch now’ along with some eye-catching imagery on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s fine to keep it informal – that’s what we expect on social media.

Change up the message by drawing out different topics of the webinar and giving these their own social campaigns – say, SEO this week, paid search next week – so it doesn’t go stale, and that you can capture different audiences.

Six months… and beyond

Even when the webinar is well and truly in its long tail stage of popularity, you can continue to put it to work by making sure it’s always on. In fact, you can continue to promote the webinar by creating the following pieces of content that can point back to the on-demand webinar. Some ideas include:

  • Tweets: Was there an interesting poll result during the webinar? Tweet it out with a link to the webinar page.
  • Blogs: Write a blog post, perhaps a round-up of what was discussed in the webinar, or a series of blogs, each based around one of the webinar’s themes. Drop a link to the webinar in the sidebar.
  • Slides: If you have permission, post the webinar slides on SlideShare to reach a larger audience.
  • White paper: A longer piece of content, this could draw and expand on the themes raised in the webinar. Keep it relatively short.
  • Infographic: This could sum up everything that the webinar covered on a single screen. If you don’t have a design team, hire a freelancer to create this for you.
  • Put it in other webinars: Use the resources section of your webinar platform to link back to previous sessions. By doing so, you can encourage the type of ‘webinar bingeing’ that makes it easier for your audience to further their buyer journey.
  • Syndicate on other sites: To get new leads from a new audience, try syndicating your webinars on third-party sites and publishers. One bonus is that if you’re using a performance-based model for syndication, you’ll only pay for the leads that sign up.

Finally, as the original air date of the webinar draws further away, you might start to consider running it again as a simulive event, say, after about six months. This will allow you to reach a different audience and build on the insights offered by the webinar on its first airing.

To find out more about how you can make your webinars deliver results for longer, check out our guide on the Keys to Building an On-Demand Webinar Strategy.

How To Build an Improvised Webinar Studio

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

Webinars can be run using potentially very little equipment, potentially with no more than a computer with a microphone or even just a phone dial-in for guests.

If you’re new to using webinars, there’s plenty of information on how to host webinars on our Webinar Best Practices series which will help you get started.

But if you’re looking to ramp up the number of webinars you hold, want to lift the experience for attendees, or want to save yourself time when it comes to setting them up, building an improvised webinar studio can help you become more effective even with a scrappy marketing budget.

Such an approach has been taken by car sales site AutoTrader, as the team looked to replace in-person meetings with live webinars. As described by AutoTrader’s insight director (which you can hear about on-demand), their path to running webinars took an incremental approach, starting by adding just a cheap webcam to their sessions, before eventually investing in a dedicated studio with top-notch hardware.

So what are the steps to help putting a basic studio in place? Below are a few suggestions that you can action.

Find a quiet room to commandeer

To help set up an improvised studio, look around to see if there is a spare room you can set up to help run these sessions. This will allow you to leave any decorations or equipment you have in one place, saving you valuable time as you prepare each session. For wherever you choose, make sure it’s quiet enough that your attendees won’t have to hear any background noise.

If you can’t get exclusive use of such a room, look at ways you can store any hardware or decorations in there. Get a small cabinet (ideally with a lock and key) so you can quickly bring out what you need.

Get a wired connection in place

In busy offices, wifi can frequently drop out, leaving your audience with a potentially sub-par experience.

Look to ensure there is a wired connection available in any room you choose. If there are any ports free on the wall, check that they work, as you may have to ask IT or building services to activate them.

A wired connection will give you the fastest and most stable speeds, minimizing the risk of any mishaps that could happen during a session.

Make a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign

Whether or not you’ve repurposed a room, you don’t want anyone walking in while you’re running a session.

Make sure you have a sign that you can put on the front of your door to make sure no one walks in unannounced. It doesn’t need to be fancy – even a simple piece of paper will do the job.

Get a dedicated camera – or at least raise your laptop

The latest Webinar Benchmarks Report showed that the use of video is up among marketers. It’s proven to increase engagement and help you form a stronger connection with your audience.

Getting a separate camera can help you deliver video that is better than that of a laptop’s webcam. Even with a cheap model, a camera can be set at a level that means you’re not hunched over and looking down at a screen, which might be the case if you’re relying on a laptop.

If you can’t get a webcam, try putting the laptop you’re using on a stand to bring it closer to eye level. At the very least, it will avoid the likelihood of making it look like you have a double chin.

Decorate on the cheap

If you’re going to appear on camera, it makes sense for where you present to look as good as it can. But it doesn’t need to be expensive.

If you have any pop-up banners that you use at tradeshows, these can act as a good looking backdrop to any session. Likewise, any other subtle decorations such as pot plants or side tables can liven up what otherwise might be meeting room that isn’t the most photogenic.

If you have a television screen on the wall, this can also help improve visuals. You don’t even need to put any slides on it – just a logo might help lift the visuals in your session.

Improve the lighting

Once you’ve got a basic set up in place, you may wish to improve the lighting to further lift the quality of your sessions.

There are a wide range of lighting solutions now available that are surprisingly low cost. LEDs and softboxes range from the basic to professional levels.

If you are looking for an even scrappier approach, try adding greaseproof paper to desklamps to add diffuse lighting.

Get better sound with dedicated microphones

Almost any microphone – even those on most laptops – will sound better than using a low bitrate phone line. But if you’re not very close, it can pay dividends to get a dedicated microphone.

Many types are available at a wide range of price points. From USB microphones used for podcasting, to lavalier mics that you can wear, to boom mics that are either standalone or attached to a camera, all can help improve the sound quality and lead to a more engaging session.

Experiment and improve

Whatever you start with when building an improvised webinar studio, don’t worry about starting small. Running webinars frequently will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t, and allow you to make gradual improvements that lead to becoming a webimaster.

For more ideas, check out our on-demand session on How to Engage Your Webinars With Video.

4 Quick and Easy Webinar Formats You Can Use Right Now

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

The webinar’s primary purpose is to convey useful information to the viewer. If done well, it’s a format that can do wonders for engaging customers, but stick with the same formula and you run the risk of switching them off completely.

However, some types of webinar can take a lot of time to produce – particularly if you’re still learning the best practices. But if you’re looking to take a scrappy approach to your marketing, you want to drive results quickly. So what formats work well and require less effort than others?

Here are four webinar formats you can quickly pull together to start getting results quickly.

Run a panel discussion

What it is: A discussion among about three subject experts, moderated by the presenter.

How to do it: Find a few favorite contacts who are reliable, knowledgeable and great at communicating. They might be clients of the company or industry experts. The presenter, although moderating the discussion, should also be well-versed in discussion topics so that they can guide discussion, and think of different angles on the fly.

The discussion will be more lively and could yield more interesting insights, including offering several different approaches to a single problem, if the panelists have differing opinions. A diverse panel will make for a greater depth of discussion and have broader appeal.

Before going live, create a list of discussion topics to keep things moving and on track. Let the panel know in advance so they can prepare for the questions you’ll be asking.

For more information, read our tips for running better panel webinars.

Schedule a product demo

What it is: A look at how certain features of your product work, presented by an expert.

If your customers have a common problem that can be solved by your product, a product demo could show them how to solve that problem, while showcasing your product to a clutch of new potential customers.

How to do it: Base the webinar around a particular, concrete, problem that the solution can help users solve, rather than giving a whistlestop tour of the product, which might come off as a pitch. This approach will also help the webinar sell itself, as offer of how to solve a problem is a far more compelling proposition than a generic tour. The approach may also alert potential customers to problems they might not even know they had.

Find someone on your team who knows the product back to front, can clearly communicate complicated concepts and who won’t be thrown by unexpected questions from the audience.

ON24’s Mark Bornstein terms these sessions ‘The Deminar‘. Taking this approach allows you to have a conversation as you present, and therefore act as great bottom-of-funnel webinars.

Webinars like these have great simulive potential – that is, you can run them again and again as live ensuring that new customers also get to see them. And by putting your sales team on Q&A duty, you can have them engage in real-time even when you aren’t actually presenting. For accounting firm Sage, their daily “Coffee Break Demo” sees more than 20 sign-ups a day on average – meaning they generate as many opportunities from this automated session as all their other webinars combined.

Interview Your Boss, a Co-Worker or a Client

What it is: A chat with one of the company’s highest-ranking personnel, such as the CEO or Chief Product Officer, or with one of the company’s clients. Remember, this can be recorded in advance.

How to do it: Recruit a member of your team who is comfortable in front of the camera and may have some interviewing experience.

Draft a set of about 10 questions to put to your interviewee – you won’t need to ask all of these, in fact, you’ll probably only have time to ask more than in 45 minutes, but 10 gives you some room for maneuver. You might talk to a client about how they’ve used your product or service, or a member of your C-suite about upcoming opportunities, threats and trends in the industry. Make sure to engage the audience too, and field their questions as much as possible.

Share these with the interviewee in advance so that they can prepare, and make any suggestions – as they’re experts, they may have great ideas for discussion you may have missed. Read our article on interview webinar tips for more guidance.

Do a Content recap / revisit

What it is: A new look at an old subject which may have been rendered relevant with recent events, such as a change in legislation.

How to do it: Bring together all the material from the old webinar, including slides, audience data and ad creative. Update anything that has gone out of date.

You’ve got a headstart on promotion here – target all those who watched the webinar last time, and refresh the ad creative that worked best if you decide to take the paid social route.

Our webinar on “Bring Your Webinars Back From The Dead” provides more guidance on how to do this effectively.

The Ultimate Content Marketing Brainstorming Session Checklist

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

Previously on the ON24 blog we’ve explored ideas on the theme of scrappy marketing, specifically:

So what should you do next after reading this all? If you’re lucky, this information might have provided the ‘lightbulb moment’ that has allowed you to identify the content and the steps needed for your next campaign – if so, great! You should get started and not waste any more time than is necessary.

That being said, you might feel you need more structure to bring these ideas together into a tangible plan of action. If so, running a brainstorming session that has a clear objective at the end of it can help you get to that position.

That being said, make sure you prioritize speed over rigidly following a process. The faster you can pull a campaign together, the quicker you will see results and be able to iterate accordingly.

How can brainstorming help with scrappy marketing?

On its own, a brainstorming session can offer the following benefits:

  • It can help bring your team together and energize them for further action. As such, you’ll be able to inspire your co-workers to drive results quickly.
  • If you need more ideas, brainstorming allows for divergent thinking – taking the information you have and thinking of the possible ways you can generate results.
  • For those who want a concrete plan, brainstorming can also assist with convergent thinking – taking all the threads you have and choosing a plan of action. It’s this final step of convergent thinking that will help turn a laundry list of ideas into a concrete series of next steps.

Our checklist below aims to cover all of these.

The Six-Step Checklist for a Content Marketing Brainstorm Session

We’ve broken up how you can run a brainstorming session that will provide you with a plan of action, based loosely on David Allen’s Natural Planning Model from the book Getting Things Done.

While the below is focused on running a session with a team, there’s no reason why you can’t adapt the steps as an individual.

1. Prepare the session

Preparing your brainstorming session in advance will help you to make sure it is a success. Follow the below steps to get things off on the right foot.

  • Choose a time and a place to bring people together. Setting a time in the calendar will help ensure that the right people come together. Make sure any place has enough space and ideally has a whiteboard (or at least a flipchart where the pieces of paper can be torn off and put on the wall).
  • Make sure your session is time-limited. Too many internal meetings and creative sessions can stretch beyond a useful period of time. By limiting the amount of time you spend – perhaps to no more than an hour – will place an emphasis on keeping energy levels high and getting to a plan of action, both of which are characteristics of a plan of action.
  • Share an agenda with a clear outcome. Sharing an agenda in advance will help to set structure for the session and make sure people come prepared. Your clear outcome should be to leave with a plan and the next actions that you can put in play.
  • Set the ground rule for deciding on the chosen plan. In a group activity, there is a chance that you won’t gain consensus on the right approach. To avoid this, set a ground rule for how you’ll decide. A suggestion included in this checklist is to have the group add a tally mark to any ideas but on the board.
  • Assemble your information and bring equipment for the session. Tell people to bring any insights that you may have gathered previously, whether from external sources or from your own customer insight. If you’re going to use a whiteboard (as suggested below), bring pens, Post-Its and any other material that will help to get ideas together.

2. Start the session by agreeing on a goal that your plan should achieve.

  • Restate the outcome. So everyone is clear, make sure you emphasize that the aim of the session is to come out with a plan.
  • List out your marketing priorities. While your objective for the session will be to come out with a plan of action, ultimately that’s not an end in itself. What’s the aim of your plan? Listing out your priorities will help you choose. They may include a number of marketing-qualified leads you have to generate, the number of opportunities for sales, or a number of conversations opened with target accounts.
  • Choose a SMART goal that meets at least one of those priorities. Setting a specific, measurable, and actionable goal to achieve by a particular time will help focus your ideas accordingly. Remember, part of a scrappy mentality is to deliver outsized results. As such, make sure not to limit yourself – but also, make sure that your goal can be quick enough to achieve that you will be able to get results sooner rather than later.

3. Set a loose structure for your plan

  • Differentiate between themes and tactics. Marketing campaigns can be looked at from two different angles – a creative or messaging angle (themes) and the approaches you’ll take to get there (tactics). Your brainstorm will produce both, but it’s important to distinguish between the two. To help with this, you might find it helpful to divide your whiteboard initially into these two blocks.
  • Identify what stages your campaign needs. Any quality marketing campaign doesn’t consist of just one touch. At its most basic level, you need to think of how you’ll acquire prospects, how they will engage, and what happens after that (often a conversion of some kind, but there may be a number of steps involved – particularly if you are looking to nurture prospects over a period of time). A very simple method might be to take one particular campaign and split it into three sections: beginning, middle and end. For a webinar, this will likely consist of how you’ll drive registrations, how you’ll engage them as they watch, and what the follow-up activity will be.
  • Draw out on a whiteboard (or a very large piece of paper) a column for each of these stages. If you’re in a meeting room with a whiteboard, break up the ‘tactics’ section into these sections. During the actual brainstorm part, you can then have your team add their ideas on Post-Its which you can then put into each part.

4. Start brainstorming for ideas

After you’ve run through the above steps, your whiteboard might look something like the below:

The next part is to start creating ideas that can fill this out into a plan of action. This part is the divergent element of the session.

  • Collate any information you’ve already been able to gather. Make sure all those ideas and data points that you’ve been able to gather prior to the session are laid out for people to see.
  • Get your team to write down as many theme ideas as they can. Set a timer, and let them loose on the kinds of messages and angles that might resonate with your target audience to reach your goal.
  • Get your team to write down any tactical ideas as they can. Set another timer, and get them to write down the tactics you might employ in line with any themes.
    Put these all on the whiteboard. So everyone can see the ideas, make sure they are visible for those looking.

5. Explain, assess and order the ideas

This part of the session is the convergent aspect – where ideas come together in an order that will help you take action.

  • Ask each person in turn to explain the ideas they’ve put on the whiteboard. A small Post-It might not describe the full context of what they’ve written down.
  • Choose which ones to move forward with. If you want your team to vote, an easy approach is to ask them to put a tally mark on their favorite ideas. Those with the most tally marks will be the ones you move forward with.
  • Confirm the plan. If you’ve taken the voting method, you’ll now have an idea of the themes you’ll cover and the tactics to be used. Congratulations! This is the foundation of your plan. Say this out loud so everyone is clear on the approach.
  • Save the other ideas. You will have spent a great deal of creative effort on getting these ideas together, so don’t waste them! Take a photograph or save the Post-Its to help with the next campaign going forward.

6. List the next actions

It’s now time to put the plan into action without delay.

  • Write down at least five next steps you’ll take to put this into play. You may be in a position to plan out all the actions required to bring your plan to fruition, but if not, make sure you list out at least five next steps you’ll need to take.
  • Assign these next steps to members of the team with a date for completion. Make sure each of the next steps has an owner and a deadline for completion.
  • Set a check-in date. While this doesn’t need to be a full meeting, you’ll want to ensure that any plan doesn’t get taken over by the other day-to-day demands placed on your team.
  • Optional – set a retrospective date. So you can learn moving forward, it can be helpful to review your plan to find out whether you achieved your goal, what worked well and what can be improved.

Final Takeaways

  • Be pragmatic. Run with what works. The above steps aren’t all mandatory – and following them rigidly can eat into the sense of agility that you should look to encourage in a team.
  • Make it fun! All too often, group sessions can leave people with lower energy than they started with. As such, make sure to frame it as a fun exercise. You may find it helpful asking someone with facilitation skills to help bring it together.
  • Keep in mind ‘always on’ marketing. Make sure you’re not creating one-hit wonders. From any plan you develop, you’ll want to use it as the foundation for continuous improvement. While this learning can help you re-run the plan, considering ‘always on’ approaches can help you create systems that continue to pay dividends long after they’ve been created.

5 Scrappy Ways To Accelerate Your Marketing

Earlier on the ON24 blog, we introduced the theme of scrappy marketing and why it can help you achieve more. This next post provides ideas on how you can put that into practice.

As marketers, we’re pushed for time to achieve our goals – and we rarely have the budget or resource we would love to have. But with a scrappy mindset, we don’t let that limit our ambitions. Instead, we embrace the challenge and look for creative ways to drive gain results quickly.

So how can you make moves to accelerate your marketing, find out what works and what doesn’t, and ultimately smash your targets?

Below are five tactics to consider when you’re looking to drive results more quickly.

Run Micro-campaigns: A Low-Risk Way of Testing Ideas

If you’re only just starting to dip your toe into scrappy waters, and are feeling a little apprehensive, running micro-campaigns is a great place to start.

These are small, low-cost and highly-targeted efforts to test an idea or a target market. Because of the little investment micro-campaigns need to get off the ground – they can take just days or hours to pull together – you can afford to take some risks with them, experiment with different angles, and discover what kinds of ideas and themes resonate with your audience.

Some types of micro-campaign could include:

  • Running display ads with experimental creative, perhaps limited to a particular type of day. For example, if you’re selling technology for B2B lead generation, you could run a campaign with the slogan “Hungry for leads?” around lunchtime.
  • Promoting a webinar format aimed at just one account. If this works, you could repurpose it as part of your account-based marketing efforts.
  • Testing paid search terms for verticals that use cases you haven’t focused on in the past. Providing you get enough volume, you may discover a market that you haven’t previously targeted.

Micro-campaigns can also encourage your team to be more creative. By giving them permission to think beyond existing campaigns and messaging, but limiting the time and budget they can spend on such efforts, you empower them to find new ways of improving performance.

Curate and Syndicate Existing Content

There’s really no need to reinvent the wheel. By curating consistently useful, comprehensive and relevant content, sourced from different places online, you can establish yourself as a reliable source of information.

Even major enterprise businesses are built on the back of curating useful data. As an example, research firm eMarketer collects data points from studies by other companies and distills it down to the most important takeaways.

Syndicating content can also help in terms of both building your content on-site and reaching audiences elsewhere. Many excellent posts on the ON24 blog have originally been published elsewhere (and are marked as such). In addition, ON24’s webinars and resources are promoted on third-party sites.

To save time reaching out to individual publishers and media sites, syndication networks such as NetLine can help you get your content hosted elsewhere, driving leads automatically.

Apply the Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE) Principle

If you’ve invested a great deal of time (and sweat) into creating a resource from scratch, it only seems right that the resource works hard too. Think about different types of content you could launch off the back of the resource that you can post on different platforms and reach different audiences with.

In a blog post on Search Engine Land, Ted Ives shows how a single whitepaper can be repurposed into 19 different content assets – including blog posts, a webinar, a podcast, or even an email newsletter.

Transcription can also be particularly powerful, especially given the range of low-cost tools and solutions now on the market. If you assume a speaking rate of just one word a second, an hour-long webinar could produce 3,600 words of content that can all be repurposed elsewhere.

Automate routine processes

In scrappy marketing, speed is key, so it makes sense to automate as many of the simple, routine processes marketing as possible.

Tools like Zapier let you schedule the publication of content on blogging platforms or social by getting apps to talk to each other, while marketing automation platforms like Marketo can keep interested customers engaged by sending them more of your relevant content at a pace that suits them.

Some types of automation you could consider include:

  • Automated social posts when you publish a new blog post on your site.
  • Triggered emails based on a particular on-site action, such as visiting a particular page on your site.
  • Automatically adding content to a newsletter by using dynamic email templates.
  • Running automated product demos, where your sales team can answer questions from any attendees.

While you should take care to make sure any automation doesn’t appear spammy or low-quality, this can also act as a creative exercise for your team in terms of figuring out ways to drive results automatically.

Establish Checklists, Templates and Reusable Formats

In other words: don’t think more than you need to. Trying to remember the same steps of a process each time you do it, or creating similar pieces of content over and over… this takes a lot of cognitive energy that could be saved by falling back on established content formats, templates and checklists.

Marketing publisher Econsultancy built much of its audience using a list of 34 different blog post formats. As a result, even on a slow day, the editorial team can quickly go to this list as a source of inspiration, allowing them to turn content around quickly and with less effort.

Checklists can also help you get things done more quickly, reduce the chance of failure and aid team coherence, just what your organization needs to succeed in its scrappy endeavors. ON24 even uses its own Webinar Checklist to plan its sessions and make sure they are a success.

What Are the Challenges of International Marketing?

Our upcoming Insight50 session will be exploring how marketers can simplify their international marketing. Sign up for the session to get your questions answered, with expert speakers including Michael Meinhardt, CEO and Founder at Cloudwords, Peter Bell, Marketing Director at Marketo, and Paula Morris, Senior Director and Founder at Pi Marketing.

Digital technology opens up a literal world of opportunity when it comes to B2B marketing. Teams no longer need to stick to targeting companies that are based close enough for a face-to-face meeting, as both identifying and connecting with prospects can be done from anywhere with an internet connection.

But scaling efforts to reach a global market isn’t as straightforward as it might sound, as there are a whole host of potential challenges that can get in the way.

Ahead of the webinar, we’ve put together a few thoughts to consider before you run your campaigns internationally.

Engagement differs across markets

An obvious challenge when marketing internationally is language. Your target audience may not speak the same language as you so translations need to be consistent and accurate and your content needs to resonate.

But it’s more than language. There will be local challenges for each target audience that are different and could present a challenge. You will want to be conscientious about cultural factors may exist and, depending on the area you are dealing with, the regulatory and competitive landscape may vary. Another thing to keep in mind is campaign performance can also vary significantly.

Aligning efforts need effective coordination

Even in a single market, it can be easy to step on a colleague’s toes when it comes to running campaigns. It can be even more complicated when you’re dealing with global and regional teams that may not interact regularly and may have some crossover of accounts.

Communication is really the key here. To avoid crossing streams and getting in each others’ way, it’s important for the different teams to establish clear ownership of accounts and establish targeting rules. Through effective and ongoing communication, regional and global marketing teams can actually help instead of hinder each other.

Small teams can struggle to be heard and win resources

Depending on your organization’s structure, local teams may find it hard to get the resources and buy-in they need if they require approval from head office. Other factors such as language and vastly different time zones can exacerbate the problem making smaller teams feel stranded out there on their own.

Technology can help

The good news is that technology can assist with all these challenges and others.

Language barriers can be overcome with translation technology, which has improved considerably in recent years. A centralised and well-maintained marketing technology stack (including CRM and marketing automation) can avoid different teams getting in each others’ way or approaching the same targets. In addition, collaboration software such as Slack can narrow the gap between teams within the organisation as well as bring smaller groups into the loop with the head office.

Furthermore, technology can also help simplify your efforts, which can help you reach more markets even when resources are limited.

So while there may be challenges to marketing internationally, these will always be outweighed by the opportunities.

To find out more and ask your questions, make sure to sign up to our Insight50 webinar on Simplifying International Marketing.

5 Ways to Drive Webinar Registrations At Speed

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

With so much competition for your audience’s attention, driving webinar registrations is becoming even more challenging. How do you convince people to spend an hour of their working day with you? You’re going to need a compelling proposition, as well as a kick-ass promotion strategy.

Let’s say you have a great webinar idea that’s super topical, so you need to get it out there, fast. You know that generally, the longer the promotion cycle, the better, but what if you don’t have time? In this blog, we look at five scrappy ways to drive webinar sign-ups, and at speed.

Use email marketing to drive sign-ups ahead of time

Still one of the biggest drivers of webinar registrations, it’s important to get email marketing right. But how do you accelerate the process while retaining effectiveness?

As detailed in our guide on webinar promotions, it’s usually best to at least three emails in a webinar promo cycle – the first least two weeks before the webinar, another one week before and a final one on the day (or on the day before). With a shorter window for promotion, however, you’re going to have to keep things interesting so that your audience doesn’t fatigue.

Pull out different angles of interest for each email that follows the first, perhaps personalizing the messaging and creative to different segments of the email list. Alternatively, emphasize the appearance of one of your panel members, according to who the segment would be most interested in.

Engage in Partner Marketing to Increase Your Reach

Striking up a strategic partnership with a business with similar customers to yours – but that crucially, does not have a competing offering – can significantly extend your reach.

With more brains behind the campaign and a wider audience to target, you’ll make a greater impact. You can also take advantage of each other’s strengths – for example, if they’re great at content, have them take the reins on creating assets for the campaign, while you get busy with SEO, if that’s your thing.

As a case in point, this scrappy marketing series is a partnership between NetLine and ON24 – so you’re reading an example of this in action!

Use Your Sales Team – and Incentivize Them

When you have a webinar to promote, and at speed, it’s got to be all hands on deck. This is where the assets you create to promote the campaign really come into their own. Share them with your sales team, along with some email messaging that they can send to their prospects. Sales will have a nose for who will be most interested in the webinar, so get them involved as soon as possible.

Also consider using your marketing budget towards sales bonuses for driving registrations. That way they will have even more of a reason to reach out.

Promote via Paid Social

When time is of the essence, it may be necessary to take the paid route. First up, you need to know where your customers like to hang out. Are they more of a LinkedIn, or a Twitter crowd?

Consider sponsoring organic posts on LinkedIn so that they will be shown to a wider audience. Choose those that have already been performing well to give them an extra push. The platform also lets you target ads to specific audiences based on demographic information, job type, or what skills they’ve declared. These ads will appear in the sidebar when the user logs into LinkedIn.

Driving webinar registrations on the double requires creating a sense of urgency. In your creative, use images that include people (bonus if their gaze appears to be in the direction of the call to action), as well as the name of the webinar, the date and the time it will take place.

If you do decide to promote your webinar on LinkedIn, consider taking advantage of lead gen forms, so that when a user clicks the call to action on an ad or sponsored post, the form they need to fill to register for the webinar has already been filled with information from their LinkedIn profile – easier for the user, and more accurate information for you.

Facebook also offers lead ads, and also lets marketers build custom audiences, so that you can target ads to prospects who, say, may have attended past webinars, or have visited a few pages on your website about the webinar topic.

Use Display Networks to Reach Prospects Across the Web

For access to the widest audience the web can offer, turn to ad networks. Google Display Network as an example, which reaches more than 90% of people on the internet, lets advertisers serve relevant ads to prospects while they’re browsing websites, checking their Gmail or – which could be very useful while promoting a webinar – when they’re watching a video on YouTube.

The network also lets you target existing customers or find new ones by placing ads on sites that you have chosen, and that are relevant to the customer. It also lets you retarget customers who might have expressed an interest in the webinar, for example, by visiting its landing page but not signing up.