When it comes to driving results that you’ll love, there are few tools as powerful as webinars. To show you how you can realize those results, we’ve four excellent events for you to tune into to optimize your operations, integrations, presentations and, of course, brand.
Take a look at the list below to see what ON24 has in store for you this February. One month down, 11 more to go. Here’s what’s in store:
RevOps – Built For Growth: The Revenue Engine Tech Stack
Marketing now shares revenue responsibility with sales. But assuming ownership is more than just saying so — it requires a holistic strategy aligning your revenue operations, and the technology infrastructure that supports it, under a single goal.
Tune in to “Built for Growth: The Revenue Engine Tech Stack” on Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) as the experts from ON24, Allocadia and Forrester examine what it takes to build a tech stack for growth. Register here.
Ingram Micro Cloud’s Approach to Always-On Buyer Experiences
Sifting through data for actionable insights is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack: a tedious manual process where you can easily make a mistake. But Sam Ancliff, Senior Marketing Executive at Ingram Micro Cloud, how found a way to make his search for insights easier: automate it.
Join us on Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) as Sam guides us through how integrates Ingram Micro Cloud’s API and CRM systems to automate data analysis and take his marketing to the next level. Register here.
How to Turn Your Webinar Presenters Into Superstars
Nobody likes a dull webinar. Your content may be great, but if your presenter is boring, your audience will check out.
Join us on Feb. 12 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) to learn how you can spice up your webinars with great presenters and the best practices for making your existing presenters more engaged and your webinars more fun. Register here.
#AlwaysOn: How to Amplify Your Brand Across Channels and Audiences
According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, only one in three respondents say they trust most of the brands they buy and use. How can marketing close this gap? By delivering on brand promise across every interaction using content that earns audience attention and builds real connections.
Join us on Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) as the marketing experts from ON24 and NetLine discuss how marketers can build emotional experiences, trust and connect with audiences. Register here.
In late 2019, we ran the annual Webinars That Rocked edition of Webinar Best Practices Series. During the episode, Mark Bornstein dived into what made rockin’ webinars so excellent. There were a lot of great entries, but Collette stood apart from the pack, taking bronze in last year’s Webinars That Rocked. Let’s take a look at why.
Collette, a leading worldwide destination and travel company that got its start in 1918. So what did Collette do to make its webinars rock?
Looking to tour the world? Then you’re looking for places that make your interest pop. And what better way to capture curiosity than with plenty of resources and a console that makes Kodachrome jealous. Collette’s console uses a high-quality image of Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral to capture the viewer’s attention and includes an array of colorful icons for its toolbar at the bottom of the page. Great use of color.
Lots of Interactive Opportunities
Take another look at the slide above. How many engagement opportunities do you see? There are at least 15 — 10 resources, two CTAs, a Q&A, a Survey and a Social Media tool. And there could be more! The point is: don’t be afraid to provide your audiences with resources and opportunities for them to signal what they want from you. You can, as Collette did, let attendees sign up for an entire webinar series, direct them to a salesperson and much more. Get creative and refine as you go.
Seamless Multimedia Experience
When it comes to webinars, you don’t have to choose between audio, video or PowerPoint slides. You can use all three to great effect. Collette’s winning webinar, for example, is a primarily an audio-based webinar where the presenters dial-in and speak to a pre-loaded slide deck. But instead of just leaving it (admittedly stylish) slides, Collette also weaved in multiple video clips throughout its presentation. As Mark said, it’s a perfect way of making an audio webinar feel like a video webinar.
Webinars have become one of the quickest and easiest ways for organizations to share information and commit to the continued learning and education of their employees.
Additionally, webinars can be an excellent way for you to show your team’s expertise, demo your product, and build your company’s credentials as a thought leader in a given industry or skill. The potential benefits of running a successful and well-executed webinar are clear. But how do you ensure you organize your program for maximum ROI? Ensuring that you have a well built out webinar program will not only yield a positive experience for your viewers, but it can be a major step towards building momentum around any number of marketing initiatives.
Pick a tool to help you plan your webinar
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to launch a truly successful webinar, it’s important to consider the technical aspect of executing your program and evaluate the different tools at your disposal.
G2.com has collected hundreds of real user reviews to help you choose a variety of webinar software that you can choose from to help you execute the best virtual seminar possible.
Make sure the software you’re looking for has the capabilities and features you need in order to reach the audience you’re expecting. Is this going to be an internal program for a few dozen employees or will it be a large seminar for (hopefully) thousands of viewers hanging onto your every word? What sort of budget considerations do you have? Making sure you have the appropriate software, such as a backup software that will save your progress if some accident occurs, can go a long way towards creating a seamless, enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Now, let’s dive into making that plan.
1. Carefully consider your audience
One of the most important aspects of crafting a successful plan for your marketing webinar is crafting an audience persona around which you can organize your content.
Luckily, you don’t need special training or the knowledge of an industry insider to do this. Creating an audience persona is simply the process of putting yourself in the shoes of your potential viewers and trying to understand what might motivate them to watch your webinar. An easy way to do this would be to ask yourself what problems might your audience be experiencing and what you can offer in your content to help them solve it. Of course, you can’t actually fix it for them, but you can provide them with relevant insight to help spur their thinking and problem-solving. Doing this will make sure your webinar is relevant and valuable, creating an overall positive experience with you and your brand.
2. Spread the word
You can mess up your marketing webinar before the host even starts to speak. After all, if nobody watches it, you might as well not have put it on in the first place.
It might seem obvious at first, but the importance of a strong social media campaign around each and every webinar you put on cannot be overstated. Of course, there’s more to this than simply sending a bunch of tweets the day before. According to Sprout Social, platforms such as Twitter have differing levels of audience engagement depending on the day of the week and the time of day. For example, some of the best times to promote your upcoming webinar would be early in the day on Wednesday or Friday, or mid-day on Tuesday.
Just like with planning the content of the webinar itself, you also need to tailor the messaging of your posts to the audience your targeting. Having a clear goal in mind in terms of who you want to reach and tailoring your messages accordingly will be much more effective than launching a generic copy into the void. Your marketing automation tool can help you target the right audience and tailor messaging as you measure the success of promotion campaigns.
You can even use a landing page builder in order to have a central hub for all webinar information. Make sure to include information such as time, topic covered, any special guests, and more. Think of all the information you’d need to know before committing to going and provide it for your audience.
3. Format your program
Now that you know who your audience is and hopefully have started raking in the engagement, the next thing you need to do is package that information in a way that’s entertaining and effective at communicating information. After all, it won’t matter how well thought out your audience persona is if the actual webinar is poorly executed.
Below are some of the more common formats for a webinar.
This is the most classic style of webinar; it is characterized by having a single speaker who presents all information, runs the show, and answers questions from the audience. This form of webinar is by far the easiest to put on. It’s also the most common and might lack perspective and variety boasted by the other forms.
An interview-style webinar is where a discussion is had between two people, generally an authority and an interviewer who acts as a stand-in for the audience. It’s usually considered to be more engaging than a seminar-style webinar, however, it can be difficult to coordinate, particularly if you plan on sourcing outside help.
The panel discussion
This last form of webinar features an even more conversational tone than either the seminar or interview; instead of being presented information by experts, the audience is instead invited into a conversation between equals about the topics at hand. Despite this benefit, panels are by far the hardest to execute as they require mediation to keep the conversation on track and can often suffer from having some of the voices drowned out.
Put your best foot forward
Once you’ve selected a tool, considered the appropriate audience, built a promotional campaign, and decided on a format, you’re ready for your expertise to shine through and dazzle your audience. Webinars can be powerful tools for brand building and establishing your team’s expertise, so it’s important to slow down and take your time to ensure you create the best representation possible.
Piper Thomson works with G2 as a Content Marketing Associate. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, they graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in Sociology. Their interests include podcasts, rock climbing, and understanding how people form systems of knowledge in the digital age.
We’ve heard it all before: Spammy. Creepy. Disruptive. Annoying. Clickbait. Marketing. Since when did marketing become a bad word? Well, ever since marketers decided to rely on marketing technology over audience experience.
It’s time for marketers to create experiences that audiences actually demand, not ignore. To do that, our experiences need to start conversations, surround audiences with information that’s valuable and delivers content in a way that’s entertaining, informative and relevant.
That’s why, at Webinar World 2020, we’re exploring how we, as marketers, can deliver better Experiences Everywhere. Taking place at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco on June 15 and 16, this two-day event will provide you with the skills you need to organize, craft, deliver and refine experiences that connect with audiences on their terms.
Here’s what’s going to happen:
On day one, we’ll offer you and your team the opportunity to receive the industry’s first and only “Webinar Marketing Certification.” This half-day certification program provides attendees with the skills and best practices they need to organize, produce and refine webinars throughout the entire webinar lifecycle.
On day two, we’ll host our annual Webinar World conference. There, you’ll learn from like-minded peers and genuine #webinerds on how they create, refine and reproduce webinar programs and content experiences that stand out and drive experiences audiences crave.
So how can you participate? Simple. Register here and choose whether you would like to participate in our certification program (taking place June 15), our conference (taking place June 16) or both. Then, make your way to Webinar World on June 15 and 16.
Keep an eye on both this blog and our registration page over the coming months — we’ll update both spaces with conference tracks, tips on making your Webinar World experience great and practical best practices that you can use to make your webinar program shine.
Let’s make 2020 the year that we stop creating experiences audiences avoid and start creating experiences they want. See you at Webinar World!
In late 2019, we ran the annual Webinars That Rocked edition of Webinar Best Practices Series. During the episode, Mark Bornstein dived into what made rockin’ webinars so excellent. There were a lot of great entries, but Securly stood apart from the pack, taking silver in last year’s Webinars That Rocked. Let’s take a look at why.
Securly — an awesome company that helps communities to keep kids safe and engaged online, at school and at home. But how did it rock webinars exactly? Simple: smart branded design, approachable hosts, screen-share demos and tons of content.
Great Branded Design
First, let’s talk about design. Securly themed its summer webinars around an immediate pop culture phenomenon that’s surprisingly in sync with what the company is about (minus supernatural ghouls and all that): Stranger Things. Getting inspiration from pop culture and TV shows is an excellent idea because it’s defusing and makes what you’re trying to share immediately relatable.
But series branding is only one element at play. Hosts, too, can play an essential role in how a webinar series is received and how audiences relate to an organization. Securly’s approach is to bring Will Patterson, Security and Safety Evangelist (and competing Chief Webinerd) front and center to guide attendees through the webinar series, introduce subject matter experts and more.
Of course, you need to get audiences to sign up for your webinar series. To encourage sign-ups, Securly offers registrants the ability to sign up for more than one event in the series — letting them choose which courses to take over the summer. This is great on two levels. First, it gives registrants the control they deserve. Second, it highlights for you the topics that resonate with your audience.
Finally — and most critically — Securly knows how to generate interactivity. During its webinars, the company would facilitate an extended Q&A session that put audience questions up on the slide window — thrilling for the person who asked the questions and inspiring for those who’d like to get their questions up on the board. In addition to it’s great Q&A, Securly has a range of resources for attendees to download, link out to and read.
In late 2019, we ran the annual Webinars That Rocked edition of Webinar Best Practices Series. During the episode, Mark Bornstein dived into what made rockin’ webinars so excellent. There were a lot of great entries, but Red Whale — a leading provider of primary care medical care education in the United Kingdom — took the top spot as the most rockin’ webinars of 2019 (as voted on by #webinerds like you). But what did it do to make its webinars rock? Let’s take a look:
Making a Difficult Topic Approachable
Red Whale had a tough job: take a fundamentally personal and sensitive issue, menopause, and make it both relatable and lighthearted to a mass audience that needs to know how to discuss menopause similarly with patients. How did it manage this task? Well, Red Whale provided its audience with a range of resources to download for their education, a Q&A chat, a CTA to for future webinars, polls and hosts that tied the whole thing together.
Red Whale’s hosts played a critical part by diving into the details (also: note that “deep dive” is a recurring theme for the webinar background too — apt for a deep dive series) in their own way.
How? The hosts crafted their own skits that they then acted out in front of green screens to make their lessons more approachable. They even used baking as a metaphor to explain hormone replacement therapy. That’s incredible. And it brings us to our next point.
Making It All Seamless and Relatable
Red Whale had one focal point in its webinar: to make its subject as relatable and understandable as possible. It didn’t assume anything of its audience and it took the time to walk through its topic in memorable ways. But most of all, its hosts weaved the entire presentation together to create a fun, educational event that made it the most rockin’ webinar of the year.
In early 2018, GDPR, the European Union’s data privacy regulation, went into effect, fundamentally changing how marketers approach European Union audiences both in the region and abroad. The fundamental change is this: marketers must market based on interest and intent, rather than spamming audiences with the same old invasive tactics, or face hefty fines.
GDPR is a direct response to spam, spam phone calls, aggressive social media ads and other tactics where marketers blast messages without bothering to learn what target audiences actually want to hear. It’s a law forcing marketers to do what they should’ve been doing in the first place: evolving the customer experience — from lead to prospect to advocacy — to match with the expectations of modern audiences.
Marketers need to take a step back to learn what audiences want to actually hear. To get this critical information and act on it, marketers need to provide permission-based interactive, unique experiences at each touchpoint of the buyer’s journey. A robust webinar ecosystem can help manage each aspect while gathering the data needed to improve the buyer’s journey.
A Webinar Ecosystem Helps Build Branded, Interactive Experiences
Let’s start with the obvious: webinars enable marketers to create branded, interactive events that put audiences in control of their own experience — from downloading resources and asking questions to participating in polls and watching events on their own time.
That’s good. It’s no longer acceptable to ask attendees to stare at a static screen for up to an hour without giving them a chance to engage. Interactive tools help to start a conversation and enable attendees to flag how interested they are in your services, where on the buyer’s journey and what, exactly, they need from your organization. In fact, interactivity in webinars is so important that, according to our 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report nearly 70% of ON24 webinar producers say they build webinars with interactivity in mind, such as allowing for breaks for attendees to respond to polls or taking the time to respond to chat questions during a live broadcast.
By providing interactive webinars, organizations can boost engagement in both digital and in-person experiences. That interactivity during a webinar, for example, can influence what a sales representative shows to a prospect in the field, thereby accelerating the buyer’s journey.
A Webinar Ecosystem Creates On-demand Content Hubs
Netflix introduced binging to the world a few short years ago by making it easier to watch TV. All you have to do is turn your favorite program on and let each episode play. But the same binge-consumption habits also work when we watch professional content. According to our 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report, 36% of all audiences only watch webinars on-demand. The average viewing time for always-on webinars, too, is 47 minutes, suggesting audiences are all-in on watching on-demand.
With such a strong push for on-demand content, it makes sense for webinar practitioners to consolidate and organize their events in a programmatic manner. For example, webinar practitioners can bundle up a series of webinars, like technical deep dives on a product or service, and make that on-demand series available for easy consumption through a content hub where audiences can access, engage and binge anytime, anywhere.
But content hubs, like ON24’s Engagement Hub, isn’t just about binging webinars. Marketers can publish, curate and share all relevant content — like e-books, reports and guides — to create in-depth tracks for virtually any audience at any stage of the buyer’s journey. Most importantly, these hubs can collect data and help you to analyze engagement with always-on content, allowing you to better understand content performance and prioritize high-traffic pieces for updates and distribution.
A Webinar Ecosystem Powers Bespoke, Personalized Landing Pages
Remember the first time an unknown vendor sent you an automated email with your name on it? Or, after viewing a product on Amazon, seeing on your Facebook feed? Well, those surprises in marketing are now the norm. And, as consumers, we’re becoming accustomed to seeing these heavily targeted, personalized experiences.
Now, we’re seeing the same shift to personalization in B2B marketing. According to a CEB survey, stakeholders who believe content is tailored to their specific needs were 40% more willing to buy from that supplier. The results are so compelling that 95% of CMOs are prioritizing “better-tailored content,” according to the same study.
Here, a strong webinar ecosystem can truly shine — and do so across the entire customer lifecycle. Webinars and webinar-affiliated content can easily power landing pages targeted at a specific account, vertical or stage of the buyer’s journey. In fact, you can use this content to power a combination of all of the above. By using targeted landing pages, you can create a better onboarding experience and scale your engagement programs by developing a series of experiences timed to the customer lifecycle. You can even clone and customize pages for unique accounts, helping your customers see the experience is uniquely theirs.
Marketers need to improve the overall brand experience across the entire customer lifecycle and actually engage with audiences. A robust webinar ecosystem helps marketers to stop trying to generate demand and start being in demand with content experiences that engage audiences everywhere.
We hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31 and are ready for a fantastic new decade. If you were on social (and you know you were) you probably saw a little #webinerd countdown recapping what went down in 2019. We thought it had such great tidbits (who knew dogs, cats and cannabis made for a webinar?) that we’re re-listing the countdown here.
Take a look:
We keep feeding the content beast, and the appetite for binge-ing has yet to be satisfied:
ON24 #webinerds load ten new pieces of content into their ON24 Engagement Hub every 90 days.
Data is the reigning webinar keyword of 2019… and there’s a growing concern for keeping it safe. Nearly 90 webinars were held on data privacy.
Every single ON24 webinar rocked this year. And, eight of those webinars, covering topics that ranged from medical education to international travel, rocked especially hard and were featured on the main stage as winners of our annual “Webinars that Rocked” webinar. Watch the replay to see what makes these webinars truly rock! Watch now.
Our audience wants to keep their journey going… and going… and going… More than 17,000 webinar attendees in 2019 clicked through from a webinar into another webinar or content experience.
Webinars are getting personal. Really personal. More than six body parts underwent live surgery on webcam this year, including a human heart, eyeball, mouth, nose, feet and full set of toes.
The OK Boomer meme made its way into webinars… in a nice way 😉 five webinars focused on helping Boomers and Millennials bridge the generational gap.
People want the facts more than ever before. More than 400 webinars about research happened in 2019.
Cannabis, cats and dogs. The three most surprising words combined in a single webinar title this year.
Climate Change is a HOT topic … pun intended. Over 20 webinars this summer included it in their title.
But of all the 200K+ webinars we powered this year, only one webinar series was entirely dedicated to, well, you guessed it, webinars. Led by the one and only Chief Webinerd, Mark Bornstein, we broke all kinds of records, engaging in 10K+ unique interactions with over 13K of you #webinerds over the past 12 months.
So, if there’s one thing for sure about 2019… we couldn’t have achieved any of it without you.
Thank you, and cheers to an even better year of webinars in 2020!
Happy New Year and welcome to 2020! We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and are fully rested, recovered and ready for another 12 months of great webinar guidance.
This month at ON24, we’ve three webinars you’ll want to tune into to make sure your 2020 webinar year starts off right. Here’s what’s in store:
1. How Sage Intacct Makes Webinars the Secret Sauce at their ABM BBQ
The last of our end-of-the-year series for 2019, “How Sage Intacct Makes Webinars the Secret Sauce at their ABM BBQ” will explore how you can use webinars to power a variety of initiatives — including ABM. Tune in on Jan. 3 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) to learn how it’s done. Click here to register.
2. How Walden University Uses Webinars to Attract Prospective Students
Building trust behind an online service isn’t easy. Just ask David Richardson, manager of digital events and webinars at Walden University. On Jan. 15 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST), David will share how he uses webinars to boost brand identity, enrollment and develop a continuing education program that’s the envy of higher ed. Register for class here.
3. Webinar Marketing Predictions for 2020
Marketing is changing. It has to change. Audiences today expect more than an endless sea of spam and SDR calls. What they want are engaging experiences, and webinars will be taking us into that future. And what does that future look like? Join us on Jan. 15 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) as our own Mark Bornstein peers into his crystal ball in Webinar Marketing Predictions for 2020. Register here.