#Webinerd of the Week: Jocelyn Robertson

At ON24, we take pride in our community of webinar experts. We call them “webinerds.” They’re the ones who come up with innovative new uses for webinars, develop and design eye-popping landing pages and create such a unified webinar program that you can’t help but wonder how they managed it.

To show you what the ON24 community is all about, and what it’s up to, we’re highlighting some of the top #webinerds in the industry.

This week, we’re featuring Jocelyn Robertson, Webinar/Webcast Producer at Edelman Financial Engines. With more than 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, Jocelyn how important it is to keep customers engaged and interested in content. To help keep clients and prospects engaged, Jocelyn makes expert use of webinars.

We asked Jocelyn a few questions about herself and what she thinks of the ON24 Platform. Here’s what she had to say:

To you, what does it mean to be a webinerd?

To me, being a webinerd means understanding the marketing and lead generation power of webinars and offering them as a solution for everything!

What app or tool can you not live without?

My Outlook and Google calendars. I can’t live without them at work or at home. I also love that I can integrate my ON24 webinars directly into them using Zapier!

When you’re not in the office, you’re…

At home hanging out with my family or binge-watching something on Netflix or Hulu.

What is one of your career highlights? What are you most proud of in your career thus far?

Winning the ON24 Content Re-Generator for a project I worked on that solved a very big need we had for our clients.

What do you love about ON24?

There are a few things I love about ON24! First of all, I love how interactive the audience console is. In a multi-tasking world, keeping your audience engaged in your webinar isn’t easy. The audience console allows your audience to fill the need to multitask, but stay on the console and do it with your content and widgets.

Secondly, they [ON24] are great at constantly making improvements to their platform and staying up on current trends. They are always willing to listen to suggestions from their users and keep that information in mind for updates.

How has the ON24 webinerd community helped you?

I love being able to come to the community and see how others are using ON24. I think it’s a great place to share ideas that can help improve what we are doing with webinars.

How Manufacturing Can Use Digital to Build Relationships

A Deloitte study highlighted that manufacturing frontrunners – defined as organizations that “strongly believe in the business value of adopting new technology for digital transformation and are ready to use the new technologies” – exhibit a distinctive trait: they use the power of the broader ecosystem. They are 2.3 times more likely than stragglers, who are behind on adoption readiness, to seek out ecosystem relationships that create new value for customers.

In order to reap the benefits of their investment in digitization, manufacturing marketers and enablement teams can extend their reach through the new data-driven, engagement model to ensure that information is relayed to every part of the ecosystem instantly. Whenever new product insights are available, any point in the supply chain, product teams, sales, channel partners and clients can access the information and take appropriate action without delay. This shift to the information-based economy enables manufacturers to take collaboration with their partners to a whole new level.

ON24 Tip: Build a digital engagement program to set your distributors and channel partners up for success.

Provide ongoing support by creating a series of educational webinars that cover anything from technical documentation and training to current industry issues and best practices. Your partners (and your bottom line) will thank you.

ON24 Tip: Use webinars to strengthen your brand and establish credibility as a thought leader.

Instead of pitching products, share best practices and insights from subject matter experts in your webinars and use strong, cohesive and recognizable branding. Read our Webinar Console Branding Guide to learn how you can set up a fully branded, customized webinar console.

Roles within the traditional supply chain are also changing because more end users are purchasing directly from manufacturers. Direct-to-end-user models (the equivalent of direct-to-consumer models in the B2C world), which enable companies to manufacture and ship their products directly to buyers without relying on distributors or resellers, are becoming more common.

For example, Chinese electric car start-ups are often selling directly to consumers or attempting to create ecosystems that encourage customer loyalty. Tesla is another automaker trying to bypass car dealers and shift a portion of its sales to online. This move has received mixed reviews, but is inherently a customer-friendly proposition according to Rosemary Shahan, president of the advocacy group Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety: It gives you more of an opportunity to take control of the action, and you’re not on the dealer’s turf.

Owning a larger part of the customer journey also provides the opportunity to capture more customer data, which can feed back into new go-to-market strategies.

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.

Five Great ON24 Events You Can’t Miss in October

It’s October, which means we have a thrilling month ahead of us filled with ghoulish webinar tips, devilishly clever guides and frightfully exciting approaches to scaling your marketing program through integrated digital engagement efforts. And, oh yes, Halloween references.

Curious? Excited for some more webinar treats? Here’s what’s in store for October 2019:

Oct. 2: Webinars + Martech: How Integrated Engagement Drives Value and Scale

Find the prospect of sharing webinar data with your sales team frightening? Have no fear, Alena Larson is here. As the Senior Director of Demand Generation at Optum, Alena knows the power of integration with the ON24 Platform. Tune in on Oct. 2 to learn how you can connect your MAP and CRM systems with ON24 for fast data transfer on Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT).

Oct. 8: How Should B2B Marketers Approach Optimization?

Afraid of how you approach optimization? Leery of landing page layout? Well, we have the webinar for you. Join us on Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. BST (4 p.m. CEST) for a frank talk about how marketers can drive a little bit more from their efforts with the right kind of optimization. Learn more here.

Oct. 9: 7 Secrets to Avoid A Boring Webinar

It’s the scariest thing imaginable for digital marketers: boring webinars! Fortunately, it’s easy to add some spice to your events to keep your audience on their toes. What’s in store? Tips for audience interactivity, formats that drive action and interest, gamification methods that make everyone a winner and more. Tune in on Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) to learn how it’s done!

Oct. 10: Securly’s Guide to Scaling Customer Succes Through Digital Engagement

It’s time for a fall class in driving engagement. Who’s teaching? Why, Securly’s Will Patterson, Customer Success Engineer. Tune in on Oct. 10 to learn how webinars helped Will to scale his customer education and outreach and craft an educational summer series. It all goes down at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT). Register here to learn how it’s done.

Oct. 17: How To Make Events and Webinars Central to Your Demand Gen Strategy

Demand gen leaders are under a lot of pressure. Treat them to some great demand generation tips with this Oct. 17 webinar. What’s in store? Well, just a fantastic guide on how you can seamlessly make live events and webinars a central part of any go-to-market approach. It’s a crash course on real omnichannel campaigns. Tune in on Oct. 17 at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) to learn more.

Jack’s Hacks: 5 Tips for Driving Engagement During Your Webinars

When it comes to digital marketing, we’re often looking to drive engagement with audiences. Fortunately, webinars are the most effective way to drive engagement with your audience over digital channels.

But simply running a webinar isn’t enough to drive engagement. Your audience has to interact with you and to encourage that interaction you need to make use of the engagement tools made available to you. Polls, surveys, chat rooms, downloadable resources are all valuable tools to get your audience to interact with your content.

Knowing how to use them is critical to webinar engagement and success. Here are five tips and tricks you can use to ensure you get the most engagement possible.

Webinar Q/A

The Q/A widget is the bread and butter of your webinar engagement. It allows your audience to talk with you directly and even to influence the flow/content of the webinar. The best way to start driving Q/A is to start asking, and answering, questions early and often. Encourage your audience to submit their questions and share stories from the get-go. Often you will find that when you read what people submit, it encourages more attendees to chime in. Before you know it, everyone will be participating.

To help run the Q/A it is very helpful to have a non-presenter logged into the Q/A roll during the event. I suggest creating folders that this person can organize submissions into to make things easier for the presenter(s). They can also answer questions that the presenter(s) isn’t able to get to.

webinar Polls

Similar to Q/A, polls allow the audience to share their own thoughts with the presenter in real-time. We like to include a poll very early in each webinar to help set the tone and get people used to interacting. The live results are a fun way to show the audience how their peers feel about a given topic.

Use Video in webinars 

You audience wants to see your smiling face. Liven things up by moving away from just audio with slides. Your audience is less likely to zone out if they can see you on camera.

Don’t let video scare you. You don’t need any fancy equipment. Fifty-one percent of video presentations are done using a webcam.

Have Fun With It

I am firm a firm believer that if you are having, fun others will have fun too. Try new things, make jokes, and think outside of the box.

Don’t Stop at the End of the Webinar

The engagement doesn’t need to end just because the webinar has! Offer your viewers more ways to engage. You can promote other events via resources, images and especially the CTA widget. Don’t let your webinar be a dead end.

Don’t forget to check out “7 Secrets to Avoid a Boring Webinar” on October 9th for tips on livening up your webinars!

Three Tips For Localizing Content Anywhere on the Globe

Over the past year I’ve been hitting the road with ON24’s Webinar World crew, traveling to and from San Francisco, Sydney, Singapore and, now, London. All of these Webinar World events have had a few things in common. For one, each stop has featured great global cuisine. For another, and somewhat related to the first point, each stop has been incredibly accommodating to global travelers.

And that accommodating nature reflects what this Webinar World Tour is all about. The world is now a place where anyone can travel nearly anywhere and many businesses are accommodating global audiences. In the B2B world, a global focus means meeting the needs of buyers across channels in many different languages.

On my various trips I am often asked, “I have to get some content translated, do you know any translation service companies I can use?” Or “I have video content, do you know where I can get a transcription?” Need to send gifts to customers in 10 counties? What about corporate gifting services? Generally speaking, I do have answers for all of these questions, but what strikes me is the tactical nature of the question.

Michael Meinhardt is the CEO of Cloudwords and will be attending Webinar World London, taking place on Oct. 1. To learn more about Webinar World London, click here.

There are more than 30,000 translation agencies to choose from. Many of them will do transcription and Amazon.com is a good option for sending gifts to your customers and partners — although a new company, Sendoso, can help you get those personalized gifts out globally as well.

However, more recently, the line of questioning has changed from tactical to, in my mind, strategic. These strategic questions, “I need more pipeline in Germany,” or, “I need to grow revenue in Japan,” or, “I need to improve the split of my revenue from 80/20 home country to international to a 50/50 revenue split in the next five years.” How can I get there? What resources do I need? How should I align my go-to-market teams internally? What investment should I make?

I love these questions.

My first piece of guidance is always the same: Always start with the end result — what are you trying to achieve? More new customer meetings? More pipeline? More revenue? How much? There are plenty of services companies, and technology, that can help you get “there,” but you have to first know where “there” is. If you don’t know where you are going, then how do you expect to get there?

Going global doesn’t happen overnight – it takes a measurable and focused process

Translating your website, email campaign or an amazing new video isn’t going to get you that new set of customers, or even impress your current customers. The best companies in the world have realized that creating engaging global content is a series of micro-processes that often include a massive web of coordinated teams, both internally and externally. Once your company appreciates this fact, then you can begin to chart the course for the introduction of your company globally.

Salesforce automation, marketing automation and localization automation

I would guess that your sales team has a set of processes to identify opportunities and perhaps they even use some level of CRM to help them automate and capture this sales process. Further, some companies automate their marketing function, enabling them to create ever more engaging emails, landing pages and help them target ideal customer profiles. Well, if your sales and marketing teams leverage automation technologies, and you are thinking about the next step in your global content processes, localization automation can help you improve the speed of multilingual content production.

Localization is really just another global business process, albeit an insanely manual process historically for even the most global enterprises. Most companies who have tried to improve their processes have relied on massive spreadsheets, confusing email strings and content repositories that lack version control. Engaging with your global customers is extremely critical, so an investment in localization automation technology is imperative, just like salesforce automation and marketing automation.

Consider the global customer experience

Imagine a customer visits your website, do they see their native language? If they do, how much of the content has been translated? If they click on a link to a marketing asset or on-demand webinar, do they see that asset in their native language, or is it simply in English?

I can’t stress enough how important it is for visitors to have a consistent experience from the first time they visit your website, your booth at a conference or even when they engage with your frontline organization. If you aren’t willing to invest appropriately, then it becomes very obvious to your future potential customers. I would simply recommend making sure the content available to your global customers is consistent with “what” you are selling in that region. Doing so provides these potential clients with the sense that your organization truly cares about them and their culture. This is, in essence, true localization.

Lastly, the journey to becoming a truly global organization is just that — a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight and there will be setbacks, but if you start with “why” you are entering a new market, the true reason for localizing global content and understand how you are going to measure your success, then you are already 50% there!

Feature Friday: Content Insights

In 1996, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote “Content is King,” and that phrase continues to reign 23 years later (see what I did there?). In the decades since “content is king” has become a mantra for marketers—because content is the essential element of digital marketing strategies, prospect self-education and sales engagement.

Having a strategy with content at the forefront is essential and critical for reaching audiences. With half of B2B buyers now relying even more on content than before to make their purchase decisions, 95% of B2B CMOs consider “better tailoring of content” a top priority. And a robust strategy isn’t just about simply producing content, but also about ensuring the most pertinent and relevant content is provided to target audiences.

The ON24 Platform enables Content Insights that provide marketers with an understanding of how each piece of content is performing, how their audience is engaging with that content and further informs them of the right content for their audiences. Wherever that content is hosted, such as in your Engagement Hub or a Target experience, key metrics are captured so users  can choose the right content for each audience and digital content experience that they build. Content Insights’ actionable data includes:

  • Total content views
  • Unique viewers
  • Average viewing time
  • Ratings and Comments
  • Top accounts that viewed the content
  • Audience comments
  • And more!

Equipped with this level of robust data, marketers can start to optimize their campaigns and select the best content for specific audiences, personas or accounts. The delivery of tailored and customized content experiences effectively increases engagement, content consumption and accelerates buyer journeys.

Content Insights can easily be accessed across ON24 products and tools including Engagement Hub, Target and the Media Manager.

If you’d like to learn more about ON24 Intelligence and Content Insights, please contact us. If you’re an ON24 customer, learn more about Content Insights in the Knowledge Center.

Meet the #Webinerd: Julia Riess

At ON24, we take pride in our community of webinar experts. They plan programs, design educational resources and implement new methods that build genuine human connections online. We call them “webinerds” and we like to pay homage to them by highlighting exceptional webinerds every so often.

This week, we’re featuring Julia Riess, Technical Producer at The Institute of Internal Auditors, Inc. At IIA, Julia is responsible for developing webinars that keep professional auditors on top of their game. These topics can include education, research and technical guidance. The IIA also produces webinars that keeps member auditors certified.

To get a better understanding how Julia makes the most out of her webinerd life, we asked her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: To you, what does it mean to be a webinerd?

Embracing my nerdy self by incorporating my nerd-dom in my work life.

Q: What app or tool can you not live without?

Console builder makes my job SOOOO much easier. 🙂

Q: When you’re not in the office, you’re…

Either hunting on PS4, watching a movie (preferably horror or sci-fi), or at the beach.

Q: What is one of your career highlights? What are you most proud of in your career thus far?

Prior to me getting promoted as technical producer, I used to work in Customer Service at our company. Back in 2011, I won the DIAMOND award for my Customer Service skills from ICSA (International Customer Service Association). I was selected from about 25 other nominees to represent Central Florida. They posted my picture on a billboard on International Drive in Orlando for 30 days.

Q: What do you love about ON24?

User friendliness, resources and tech support are top notch. I also love the free information webinars and the webinerd community.

How has the ON24 webinerd community helped you?

I’ve learned some helpful best practices and generated ideas to improve our processes with respect to webinar creation and execution.

5 Ways Marketing Can Drive Sales to Close

In a post yesterday I wrote about the fact that only 2% of marketers believe they have an ‘excellent’ relationship with Sales. This was in response to a webinar that I was invited to attend by ON24 with the title webinar “How Marketers can Help Sales to Always be Closing” with where the excellent Maya Ahluwalia and I took slightly different perspectives on the subject … marketing versus sales! Doing prep for events like this is great fun, and I thought I would see if anyone agreed with me or if I missed something in terms of my top five ways Marketing can help Sales.

Matthew Kelleher is the Chief Commercial Officer for Technology, SaaS and Data Platforms at RedEye. This post was originally published on LinkedIn.com. Shared with author’s permission.

Method 1: Develop and manage an effective pipeline.

A great question was asked during the webinar – ‘What can I do to get Sales to pick up the MQLs we are delivering?’ My reaction to this, with my background in sales, is that if a sales team is not picking up MQLs then they don’t see a value in them. And this takes us back to the point: developing and managing an effective pipeline is not about delivering MQLs, it goes way beyond that.

Method 2: Work Down the Pipeline.

It is an exciting trend to see marketers increasingly take responsibility further in the process, nurturing opportunities further down the pipeline and thereby delivering warmer leads, more likely to be in the buying window, to Sales. After all, Marketing is the brains of the outfit (ouch, did I just say that?!), the Holmes to sales’ Watson, Hardy to their Laurel (that last one might not work, but I still like it). Marketing should own the science, sales the brawn!

Method 3: Use Open Communication Channels to Gather and Utilise Key Information

Demand and Lead Gen strategies need to be built around the buyer drivers. What are prospects saying are their motivations for engaging with the vendor? Why do clients buy? Indeed, why are deals lost? All of this information is held by Sales, but with a solid partnership and open communication between Sales and Marketing, then this type of information is critical to developing winning content and lead gen strategies.

Method 4: Take Nurture away from Sales.

Marketing automation platforms are now able to deliver highly sophisticated programmes that can help develop opportunities closer to the buying stage. As part of the answer to (1) above, Marketing needs to maximise this process to make sure spend and performance are optimised.

Method 5: Support ‘In the Room’

This is not only the obvious stuff, for instance: collateral, case studies, client stories, excellent sales decks, client testimonials, etc. But whilst Marketers don’t often want to actually be in the room, nor do sales always want them there, senior marketers, CMOs for instance, can add both sometimes deeper product and market understanding but also Board level kudos.

But on the webinar last week everything kept coming back to what a key partnership Sales and Marketing is and that the most important element of that is to have both parties understand and committed to the partnership and willing to share important information. But this is not always the easiest thing to do!

To read more on Matthew’s takes from “How Marketers Can Help Sales To Always Be Closing” click here. To watch the webinar itself, click here.

Three Ways Media and Publishing Can Adapt to Digital

Few industries have been hit as hard as the media and publishing industry. Newspapers, trade journals, magazines and more have lost circulation or closed. Book publishers battle over ebooks and their distribution rights. Streaming is now standard and Blockbuster, famously, is no more. Most everyone knows what happened: digital technology provided an easier, faster and cheaper medium to relay the same information.

Still, the media and publishing industry lives — even if it has drastically changed from only ten years ago. But how has the industry adapted to today’s digital-first world? Over the past few weeks, we’ve investigated the high-level changes to the industry and surveyed our media and publishing customers for their opinion on the state of the industry. You can find the results of the survey and data on the use of webinars within the industry in our report, “ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report: Media and Publishing Trends.

What we found is an industry recovering and growing more resilient to digital changes day by day. Still, there are some key areas of concern — from subscriptions and ads to digital experiences — that the industry needs to figure out if it’s to remain competitive with its digital-native counterparts. Here’s a brief recap of our findings:

The Customer Comes First

Digital audiences have high expectations, especially when it comes to the overall experience of interacting with an outlet. Search and discovery should be simple. Ads should be absent or, if they must be tolerated, unobtrusive. Desktop and mobile sites should provide equally high-quality experiences.

For the media and publishing industry, developing high-quality, seamless experiences is new territory. But establishing a good digital experience is important as consumers and customers flock to outlets that respond to their needs and interests. To make the shift from content and distribution to experience, outlets need to take advantage of what’s immediately available to them: data. By using data, media and publishing companies can sift through interests, better target ads and provide a consumer with the experience he or she desires.

The Subscription/Ad Problem  

Many companies in the media and publishing industry made revenue from paid advertisements in their printed materials. But the ad-based revenue model doesn’t translate well to the digital world. The cost of advertising online is much, much lower for one. Ad buyers, for another, have a cost-effective — and data-rich — alternative with auction-based media buying outlets. Finally, consumers can, easily and cheaply, find the information they’re looking for without paying for an outlet.

As a way of staunching the bleeding, some media outlets have turned to subscription-based models. These models offer consumers the opportunity to pay a flat fee for an ad-free experience. While this is a popular option among consumers, industry analysts suggest subscriptions are not sustainable in the long run and that a blended model — one with subscriptions and ads could likely succeed if the company extends a customer-first approach to ads.

Bringing a Seamless Experience Together

The media and publishing industry has a twofold task to remain competitive in a digital age. First, it needs to provide consumers with the content they want when they want it. Second, the industry needs to provide a unified, seamless experience that anticipates the consumer’s needs. To do this, industry organizations will need to focus on customer experience and how customers interact with both content and advertisements.

For media outlets and publishers, focusing on customer experience means making ads and content distinct, but seamless. Ads must be relevant to an individual’s interests and non-intrusive. Content needs to be distinct from ads, but of enough caliber to justify both subscribing to an outlet and tolerating ads. Finally, put together, the two elements need to become a part of a brand’s identity — one which puts the consumer’s wants first and adapts to them in an agile fashion.