Five Accounting Webinar Programs that Build Client Engagement

The accounting market is saturated with competition and service commoditization is causing prices to go down. These changes make it difficult for firms to showcase their value and expertise. To counter this, accountancy is going digital and rolling out webinar programs to scale, reach and communicate effectively with current and future clients.

So what do these digital programs look like? We’ve scoured our customer base to examine what kind of webinars accounting firms are running and why. We’ve consolidated those findings in our report, “High Growth Report for Accounting,” but when it comes to actually delivering webinars, we found that these five formats tend to be the most popular among accounting firms.

Continuing Education

Accountants and most tax professionals require continuing education credits to maintain their licenses. So it’s no surprise accounting firms use this fact to their advantage and create their own regular series of CE-accredited webinars. CE webinars draw in large crowds of CPAs. This provides firms with a channel to showcase their expertise and recognize new business. Because ON24 is designed to meet certification requirements set by most governing bodies, our customers can adjust credit allotments based on viewing time and auto-generate certificates for attendees upon completion.

Niche Topic Series

We’re seeing firms build thought leadership in their communities by producing a weekly or monthly cadence of niche webinar topics. A topical webinar series provides firms with a channel to respond to industry news and trends, showcase the expertise of their partners and build and maintain client relationships. Companies can maximize the life of their programs by repurposing live webinars and using them in content hubs for on-demand consumption.

ABM Experiences: Portfolio Updates

The latest tax updates and regulations can be difficult to understand and clients will turn to their accounting firms for guidance on how to move forward. Firms are using this as an opportunity to provide personalized webinar experiences for top clients. How they do this is by running webinars for a specific private equity firm and their subsequent portfolio companies to share how the latest update affects those companies specifically. ABM programs such as these are a great way to retain customers by providing a white-glove experience for high-value clients.

Podcasts

Podcasts are incredibly popular in the accounting space and are a great way to broadcast a firm’s voice to busy financial executives. Firms can have partners host regular podcasts that share their perspectives on industry topics of interest to their target audiences. In addition to webinars, ON24 Webcast Elite can be used to record podcasts with the option of including video and additional resources.

Employee Skills Development

Every company needs to ensure employees are educated on company positioning, can identify upsell opportunities and know how to use company technology — especially accounting firms. For this reason, many accounting firms  use webinars as a tool to facilitate employee training programs. Webinars provide the ability to scale to global workforces and the flexibility for employees to watch at their own convenience. Organizing training content using Engagement Hubs is a great tool to simplify employee onboarding.

To see peer examples and hear a deeper explanation into these programs, check out the webinar Digital Engagement for Accounting Firms.

Five Asset Management Webinars To Kickstart Your Marketing

Without face-to-face interactions, asset management companies struggle to maintain expertise, spread influence and establish themselves as trusted experts in the digital age. To combat this challenge, asset management marketers are turning to webinars as a digital channel that creates more human interactions on a digital scale.

So what do these digital programs look like? We’ve scoured our asset management customer webinars to find out what events they’re running and why. Here are the five most popular webinar programs we found.

Global and Sector Outlooks

Asset management companies are using webinars to share market conditions and outlooks with investment communities. It’s an opportunity to promote your firm’s expertise, build thought leadership with advisors and create stickiness with clients. To help validate your predictions, showcase your investment advisors or portfolio managers — you can even consider having an economist join the conversation. Within your webinar consoles, you can provide links to further research, calls-to-actions linking to specific funds and influence investments without pushing products. Offering global and sector outlook webinars also enables you to connect with your audience in a more meaningful way than a simple report.

Fund Updates

Sending fund updates via newsletters lacks engagement and deprives you of valuable data. Firms know this and are shifting to a regular cadence of webinars to keep investors informed and engaged. With a webinar program in place, you can show performance metrics while providing color around the data points and open up the conversation for questions and answers. Delivering full transparency on everything you’re doing with funds helps make up for the lack of face-to-face interactions the digital age has lead to.

Fund Launches

Digital fund launches are empowering asset management companies to announce new funds that are engaging, scalable and provide a more human touch. But advisors often have hesitations when it comes to investing in new funds. With live webinars, you can answer advisors’ burning questions in real-time, provide resources on new funds and remove any barriers holding them back. Webinars also provide advisors with all of the relevant content you’ve created in support of a fund, including presentations, reports, videos and interviews. Post-event, you can use webinar data to discover who is most interested and direct your sales team appropriately.

Continuing Education

Webinars are taking the place of online tutorials as a channel for advisors to obtain continuing education credits. Webinars provide a more dynamic experience for self-education and a better way to connect with company expertise. With ON24, you can offer full or partial CE credits and auto-generate certificates after attendees complete standard governing body requirements, including tests, required viewing time and more.

Knowledge Centers

If you’re running all the programs above, you’ve created a lot of content, including accompanying reports, articles and videos as well. Aggregate this content into Engagement Hubs where advisors can binge on the information most relevant to their needs and interests. You can create specific content hubs for unique clients, topics or CE accredited webinars. Collect data on every piece of content a person watches, what they did, what they downloaded and how long they watched webinars or spent on a piece of content.

To see peer examples and hear a deeper explanation into these programs, check out the webinar Digital Engagement for Asset Management Marketers.

Five Pharmaceutical Marketing Webinars That Drive HCP Engagement

It’s no secret that pharmaceutical marketing is becoming more challenging. Physicians are difficult to reach, you’re faced with more and more regulatory restraints but you still need to take products to market quickly.

As in-person meetings become a thing of the past, more pharma companies are meeting HCPs where they are: online. According to Docplexus’ “Pharma’s Guide to a Kickass Marketing Webinar,” 72% of physicians source drug-related information online, and 78% of physicians favor learning through videos or digital media. Because of this shift, it’s increasingly important for marketers to create a diverse digital program that attracts HCPs, educates them, and keeps them coming back for industry-leading medical information.

So what do these HCP engagement programs look like? We’ve scoured our pharmaceutical customer’s webinars to find out what webinar programs they’re running and why. Here are the five most popular pharmaceutical marketing webinar programs we found.

Key Opinion Leader Events

Your audience wants to receive expert, scientific information and key opinion leaders are the influencers of the healthcare space. KOLs help position companies as experts and thought leaders, effectively doing what a publisher in their space would do. To take advantage of this digital program, feature a KOL as your main webinar speaker and share clinical research, outcomes, cases, medical best practices or current topics in the field. Speakers can help drive registrations by promoting the webinar to their network of physicians.

Digital Symposiums and Congresses

The healthcare industry is no stranger to symposiums. But these in-person events are expensive to host and can’t scale. Plus, geographical boundaries make it difficult for targeted experts and HCPs to attend. If you host symposiums, stream them live through a webinar platform to maximize the reach of an in-person event and accommodate those who cannot attend in person. Next, take every presentation and break them into on-demand webinars. With a digital, on-demand symposium in hand, you can enable participants (both those who attended and those who missed the event) to watch later and drive eyeballs well after the event is over.

Product Launches

Speed to market is one of the biggest challenges in a product launch. Instead of having physicians read your product brochures, easily create high-production webinars that get you in front of your audience for 20-30 minutes, even an hour. During this captive time, educate them at a deeper level about your new treatment and showcase your product videos and internal experts. Use webinar analytics to discover who is the most interested based on their engagement during the presentation. You can also include a “contact us” form in your webinar for interested physicians to raise their hand and instantly request a meeting.

Peer-to-Peer Meetups

HCPs want to learn from their peers and other subject matter experts in the field. Facilitate digital peer-to-peer interactions that nurture a learning environment for HCPs. Manage the conversation by having one of your own experts as a moderator who’ll help guests to share information and build connections. These networking opportunities are valuable for helping HCPs gather information they can apply back to their clinical practices. Use ON24’s resource list to provide related content to download and use group chat to collect data on these conversations.

Sales Trainings

Your sales reps are now scattered around the world, they’re harder to reach which makes in-person training less effective. Online tutorials lack employee interaction and you have no visibility into who has watched and how engaged they are. With webinars, you can go in-depth with education, enable testing in real-time and even generate a certificate of completion. Reps are able to ask and get questions answered in real-time, download additional related content and access this training anytime, anywhere.

To see peer examples and hear a deeper explanation into these pharmaceutical marketing programs, check out the webinar Marketing Playbook: Digital Engagement for Pharma Marketers.

Why Manufacturing Can Build Pipeline with Educational Offerings

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring how marketers and professionals in the manufacturing sector are adapting to an always-on digital age. We’ve taken a look at the challenges and opportunities the industry faces in a digital world and how manufacturers can use digital tools to nurture relationships.

This week, we explore how and why manufacturers ought to consider providing educational resources for prospects and clients — and the tools they may use in doing so.

Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute suggests most manufacturers are failing to put their audience’s informational needs before their sales or promotional message.

While around two-thirds of manufacturers surveyed claim they have used content marketing successfully to educate audiences (69%) and generate leads (66%), just over half (51%) say they ‘always’ or ‘frequently’ prioritize their promotional message over the audience’s informational needs when creating content for marketing purposes. Additionally, only 47% use their content initiatives to nurture leads.

ON24 Tip: Use educational content to ensure a steady flow of sales qualified leads.

It might sound counterintuitive, but sharing your expertise instead of pushing products will help you bring your lead generation efforts to the next level, particularly at the early stages of the buying process. Use our white paper to learn how you can use webinars to shift focus from ‘more leads’ to ‘better leads’.

Even in the B2B world, customer experience is the new battlefield. Content that is insightful and engaging is the foundation of any lead generation and nurturing program. It can become a strong competitive differentiator, particularly when properly distributed with clients and partners.

Manufacturers should use content to ensure a steady flow of qualified leads that they can either nurture themselves or share with their distributor network. Overcoming the traditional sales mindset was identified as a key challenge, along with creating content that appeals to multi-level roles and types of decision-makers during prolonged sales cycles. Addressing these issues takes time, and requires a comprehensive content strategy, but the results are worth the effort.

Encouragingly, the commitment is there. Fifty-two percent of manufacturers report that their organization is ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ committed to content marketing and two-thirds have increased their use of audio and visual content, such as webinars, in the last year. The future is rife with opportunities for manufacturers that understand and prioritize the information needs of their audiences.

Manufacturing’s Digital Challenges and Opportunities

Manufacturing is one of the most important value-generating sectors worldwide. In the US alone, for every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.89 is added to the economy – the highest multiplier of any economic sector. But the industry is at an inflection point, being reshaped by digital transformation across all divisions, and the outlook is upbeat.

The vast majority (89.5%) of manufacturers surveyed by NAM feel either somewhat or very positive about their company’s prospects. Manufacturing is ripe for change and leading players are investing in automation and digitization to pursue a different model for driving growth.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of manufacturing companies surveyed by PwC said they are dramatically increasing their level of digitization, and are expecting to be ranked as digitally advanced by 2020 compared with only 33% today.

With so many market variables at play and technology trends converging to drive significant change, the bar for success in the manufacturing industry keeps going up. Demonstrating knowledge and leadership will help position your firm as a trusted partner to work with.

Create mutually beneficial relationships with distributors and channel partners

Developing long-standing relationships with distributors and channel partners can help manufacturers maintain their competitive edge in the Industry 4.0 age, unlocking significant value from the supply chain. Distributors handle a significant proportion of the industry’s revenue, so they represent a crucial component of manufacturers’ channel strategies.

The manufacturer-distributor relationship has historically been complicated (or downright antagonistic), and market pressures haven’t made it any easier. For example in the eCommerce sector, research revealed a third (33%) of distributors consider Amazon Business to be the most significant threat to their business, more than double the proportion for the next most cited challenge of economic instability (15%).

Manufacturing Needs to Evolve Its Distributor Relationships

All too often, manufacturer-distributor relationships are tactical and purely transactional in nature, not extending beyond a focus on driving sales and margins. At its core, each of these relationships should be a strategic partnership where the two parties share mutual goals and invest accordingly. Adopting a more collaborative approach can create a wider range of dependable revenue streams for both sides as they capitalize on insights they wouldn’t be privy to if they worked separately. This two-way knowledge transfer helps foster stronger relationships with existing customers and win business from new ones.

To build a mutually beneficial partnership, manufacturers need to establish a reliable channel to provide partners with the information they need and  create meaningful, two-way conversations. A lack of support is one of the most common complains distributors have about the manufacturers they work with, so it’s essential to provide all channel partners with appropriate support and ensure they have everything they need to help meet and drive further demand.

This post is a part series on how the manufacturing industry has adapted to the digital world. To learn more about how the manufacturing sector has changed, check out our report, ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report: Manufacturing Trends.