How Do We Create the Sales and Marketing Organization of the Future?

For our next Insight50 session, leaders from ON24, NetLine, and Conversica are sharing their tips on “How to Augment the Sales-Marketing Organization for a Digital-First Future.” Watch the session to get tips and best practices on how to adapt.

Organizations across the world have had to rapidly adjust their marketing and sales practices to a digital-only world in just a few short months. Many of these changes are likely to stick even once stay-at-home restrictions ease. Indeed, a survey of B2B decision-makers by McKinsey found that 79% believe the changes they have made to their sales models are likely to be sustained for more than a year. Some 65% also state their new go-to-market models are as effective or more effective than those before COVID-19.

With that in mind, here are a few thoughts to bear in mind as you adapt to a digital-first future:

Roles and responsibilities will need to adjust

Before the crisis, many organizations — from B2B enterprises to educational establishments — made face-to-face events and interactions a core part of their operations.

Today, these in-person meetings must shift online. As a result, it’s more important than ever that all professionals develop their skills at providing experiences everywhere to their target audiences.

For those in sales and marketing leadership, this means that the day-to-day work and the ongoing targets for those in the team will also need to change. If you haven’t done so already, make sure to decide upon these changes and communicate them across your organization.

Campaigns and go-to-market plans need to shift

Even if the majority of your sales and marketing efforts are online, the change in the working environment has caused significant changes in how people engage with brands.

In an earlier webinar on “How to Make Your Marketing Stay Relevant During Uncertain Times”, NetLine’s David Fortino described that they had seen a significant increase in content consumption.

This is good news for B2B marketers, but it may also mean that while the new prospects generated by online activity are increasing, there needs to be a review of whether the online buying behavior of your customers has changed. Otherwise, there may be a new debate about the quality of leads that marketing is generating.

Needless to say, any face-to-face events also need to be revisited. These reviews shouldn’t take place just from a logistical point of view, but also in how best to create an experience that is relevant for the screen rather than the stage.

Reassess your KPIs

The new normal of today’s business needs to be reflected in KPIs. For marketers, this may mean looking at metrics further along the sales process than normally would be the case. For sales leaders, this also requires an understanding of how buying cycles are changing, and what your team needs to do to adapt.

Finally, it’s important to remember that human connections count even more today. As we spend more time physically away from colleagues and customers, we need to ensure that all our outreach both provides the contact that all people crave while being respectful and understanding of the challenges many of us are facing.

Find out more tips about how to transform your marketing and sales organization

Whether you or your organization is struggling or faring well, you can find out more about how to adapt by watching the session on “How to Augment the Sales-Marketing Organization for a Digital-First Future”.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Three Reassuring Tips About Running Webinars During a Crisis

For April’s Insight50 session, leaders from ON24, NetLine, Demandbase and SAP are sharing their tips on “How to Make Your Marketing Stay Relevant During Uncertain Times.” Watch the session to hear how others are adapting.

Given what’s happening in the world in 2020, many people are feeling anxious and wondering how they should adapt.

Marketers aren’t alone in this regard, particularly when well-developed plans need to be completely rewritten. Many more marketers are turning to webinars to maintain a connection with their audiences, but that doesn’t mean anxieties go away.

In line with April’s Insight50 session, here are a few thoughts to bear in mind that might ease the pressure.

Don’t Worry About Being Perfect

Regardless of industry, many people around the world have now needed to work from home even when previously they didn’t. Whether it’s journalists reporting on developments from their home offices, or the cast of Saturday Night Live doing sketches from their apartments, everyone is adapting to the new normal.

For those running webinars from home, this means that everyone recognizes that from news and TV studios to the best Webinerd hosts, production standards aren’t going to be the finest. So even if you’re hosting a webinar from your kitchen table with poor lighting and a low-resolution webcam, your audience will be empathetic and understand why this is the case.

Indeed, ON24 has for a long time been preaching the benefits of scrappy marketing. With everyone now working from home, this means that scrappy webinars will be even better received than previously.

Feel Free to Be Human

Webinars are known to be the format that allows for building one-to-one connections at scale. As we’re all in the current crisis together, this means that you have the chance to relate to people with a greater degree of common ground.

The problems you might be facing are likely going to be the same as those experienced by your audience – from kids making noise in the background to a less than ideal internet speed. You likely also have loved ones and friends you are worried about, whether about their health or their economic security. As such, look to build empathy and offer real help along these lines. Share your challenges and how you’re dealing with them so you can build a more personal connection.

Reach out and Be Present Everywhere You Can

When few people are able to connect face-to-face, it becomes even more important to connect in other ways. For those locked down at home, this means that digital channels are where the connection is happening.

So when it comes to promoting, hosting or repurposing your webinars, look to share that connection as widely as possible. From social and email to content hubs and third-party sites, look to make your content accessible and visible.

By doing so, you’ll increase the number of people you are able to reach and help out.

Find out more tips about marketing during uncertain times

Whether you or your organization is struggling or faring well, you can find out more about how to adapt by watching the Insight50 session on “How to Make Your Marketing Stay Relevant During Uncertain Times.”

How to Use Webinars to Boost SALs and SQLs

This post is the latest in our series on B2B marketing optimization and how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

In our last post, we looked at how to optimize webinars to increase engagement and drive conversion. However, from examining your performance across the customer journey, you may find a bottleneck at the point where marketing hands its MQLs over to sales — even if your sessions have engaged brilliantly.

Where this problem might identify itself is in the proportion of MQLs that become sales-accepted leads (SALs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs).

Because this has an impact on marketing’s contribution to pipeline, it’s something marketers need to monitor and find ways to keep the process moving forward smoothly. In this post, we are going to see how you can use webinars to improve this metric.

Find out from sales what’s behind SALs and SQLs

Because marketing’s job does not stop at the handover of an MQL to sales, you need to monitor your CRM for what happens to those MQLs. Do they become SALs or an SQL or do they get disqualified somewhere along the way? And, if they were disqualified along the way, why?

The best way to find out is to go directly to the source. Speak to sales directly and identify what stops leads from being accepted. Are leads going cold because they aren’t being picked up as quickly as they should be? Is there information about the leads that marketing isn’t including in their lead scoring process that is causing leads to be rejected when they get to sales? What questions and approaches do sales use to qualify a lead?

Use these elements to optimize your webinars

In B2B sales, getting to conversion means you need to start a conversation. So, you can use your webinars to ask the questions sales reps typically pose and begin the conversation during your session. As an example, if sales wants to know about potential budgets, you can build a question about budgets into a poll and then pass those results over to sales.

While it’s always possible for marketing to start conversations within a webinar and then manually hand  prospects over to sales to continue and expand those conversations, it’s also helpful to have someone from sales on the webinar. They can either be out in front presenting or in the background doing Q&A.

Keep in mind it’s not all about metrics. You want to enable your sales to develop one-on-one connections and webinars can help with that.

Bring webinar data into the workflow of your sales team

Another way you can help marketing leads to become  sales-accepted leads is to bring the insights gained through your webinars into the tools they use — namely, the customer relationship management platform.

ON24’s Prospect Engagement Profile can help here, as sales team members can see the actions and engagement points an individual takes during a webinar. This can help improve conversations by providing talking points based on what they have read or consumed.

Encourage webinars as an always-on sales enablement tactic

All marketers want sales to have the tools they need so that they can do their jobs effectively. Webinars can act as a great sales enablement tool — both as a live session and one that is always on, ready for viewing.

For example, if the sales team is struggling with qualifying a lead because it has either gone cold or they are not getting a response, sales can invite them to attend a live webinar to ask questions, or refer them to a past webinar that they can watch in their own time. This can help to reignite engagement and conversation which can move the lead closer towards being sales-qualified.

Align promotion of webinars specifically for the sales stage

Consider creating webinars that are specifically for leads that have been marketing qualified but have not progressed into opportunities. Typically these will be aligned further towards the end of the buyer journey, containing information to help them become engaged and interested in speaking to sales.

This could include doing customer webinars, where you invite your brand advocates to come on and talk about how successful they have been using your product or service or go over case studies. Also, consider creating an on-demand demo webinar — Sage Intacct, for example, manages to drive 50% of their webinar pipeline purely from a daily demo webinar.

Use your marketing automation system to identify and target just those leads which have reached MQL status, but are yet to become SQLs.

Monitor, test, improve

No matter what you are doing, be it amending your webinars to fill in the gaps for SALs and SQLs, creating webinars as a sales enablement tactic or creating webinars specifically for that stage of the buyer’s journey, you need to always be monitoring, testing and optimizing over time. And don’t forget to make sure marketing gets credit for opportunities in your CRM.

Webinars also make great tools for sales enablement training. To find out more, read about how ON24 can help with your sales enablement training.

What Is Marketing Operations and What Advantages Does It Offer?

Last month, ON24 ran its Insight50 session on B2B Marketing Operations – Using People, Process, Tech and Data to Maximize Revenue. Each month we offer 50 minutes of expert advice to answer your questions.

Below is just a brief wrap up of insights from Rebecca Le Grange at Sojourn Solutions and Bekkah Lyman at Oracle NetSuite – and of course, you the viewers! If you didn’t manage to see it, view it on-demand here.

About half of the attendees to this Insight50 webinar said that marketing operations is delivering almost all of their marketing team’s value right now. But, at the same time, another portion of attendees report being at the other end of the spectrum, not even knowing what marketing operations is.

So, how does marketing ops benefit marketing and the business at large? Here are just a few insights our panelists shared for the benefit of those in the dark.

What Is Marketing Operations?

There are individuals who may come from a traditional B2B marketing background where the use of tech and data isn’t as prevalent. As such, they may be uncertain about what role marketing ops plays. Rebecca helps to define what marketing operations does and its importance to the company as a whole:

“Ultimately, marketing operations has the responsibility of taking a look at the overall marketing strategy and then looking at what does the organization have in place around the way it uses its team, the way those teams are structured, the way the processes are defined. Not only within marketing, but between marketing and sales and potentially other departments within the business and then how the martech is utilized to support all of that…The other consideration is this is the team that has access to data and understands the holistic strategy. They have this unique position within marketing to be able to ask some really tough questions. Are we being truly accountable for the budgets that we’ve been given and are we using them in the smartest way?”

Additionally, Bekkah equates marketing ops to Batman’s computer in order to help understand what marketing operations do and their importance to the overall team:

“We are the computer that has all the information, all the details. We have insights into the data, we have insights into the technology, we have insights into the process and the strategic alignment from the business. And, if you think about it, Batman’s computer is always on, it always has the answer and it’s able to give it back to them in relatively quick order, providing an answer that is digestible to whoever’s reading it.”

What are the Advantages?

Having a team that asks difficult questions and is also able to provide answers has definite benefits. Rebecca believes that marketing ops helps marketing be more efficient and effective:

“It’s about how is marketing using all of those resources that it has at hand as wisely as possible, in alignment with the overall marketing strategy and to drive ROI… [It helps to answer] how we can use all of those resources and in the best way.”

Part of driving ROI is making sure sales has the leads they need to do their part in the overall process. Bekkah emphasizes the role marketing ops plays in this process:

“A marketing operations organization is supposed to make sure that leads are constantly flowing and are going to the sales reps, and ensuring that they have activities to act upon in a concise and clear manner. We can do that by leveraging multiple technologies. We can also ensure that our sales team provides us with feedback as to how those leads are performing. Then we can identify ways to improve our data collection or the facilitation of that data over to them.”

Hear more on our Insight50 session

The quotes above are just a small sample of what was discussed and answered on this Insight50 session. Make sure to register to watch on-demand and find out more about what was shared.

How to Structure and Optimize Your Webinars for Engagement and Conversion

This post is the latest in our series on B2B marketing optimization and how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

In our last post, we made the case that even as you look to optimize the performance of your B2B marketing and webinars, it’s vital that anything you create should be built for the needs of your customers.

The good news is that careful optimization can produce a win-win, where you meet your goals and customers gain value from your interaction.

Earlier, we covered how to optimize webinars for attendance and driving MQLs. But we shouldn’t stop there, because webinars can provide a valuable tool in establishing and strengthening connections across the entire customer journey. Indeed, data from SiriusDecisions shows that buyers see webinars as one of their preferred channels.

Delivering engaging webinars helps to drive conversations and, ultimately, conversations will deliver conversions when the sale is made.

With that in mind, here are some steps you should take to structure and optimize your webinars for engagement and conversion.

Be Clear On Customer Needs and Wants

Before you begin with planning your webinars, make sure you are clear on the exact needs of your target customers. What do they want to achieve? What is valuable for them?

Getting clarity on this aspect will make sure that any webinar program you deliver provides a compelling reason to engage.

Define Your Goals and Know Your Benchmarks

You can use webinars for a whole variety of goals. So what are the metrics you would like to improve? The number of free trials or demos taken? Meetings booked with sales? The number of customers successfully onboarding or completing a training program?

Use your own figures to set a SMART goal  you can achieve through optimization — that is, a goal which is specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and timed.

You may find it helpful to have a marketing brainstorming session which can help you align your own goals to the needs of your customers.

Design and Plan Your Webinars With These In Mind

Now that you have both an understanding of what your customers need and what you want to achieve, you can plan accordingly.

To see continual improvement, you’ll need to deliver or promote more than just one webinar to optimize against your goals. With that in mind, here are some areas to consider:

  • What value will you deliver through your content? Think about what you’ll present, what assets you’ll share, what questions you’ll look to answer.
  • What engagement options will you offer? In addition to the content, how else will you offer attendees and viewers the opportunity to engage? Will you take questions? Will you ask and respond to polls? Will you show video or do a screenshare?
  • How will you structure your webinar console? With many potential options to drive engagement, think carefully about how you will design the webinar console to make the most valuable widgets and interaction points as accessible as possible. Also consider branding your console to improve its visual appeal.
  • When will you encourage engagement through your delivery? Planning the delivery of your webinar should be more than just a running order of slides. Plan when and how during your delivery you will encourage your attendees and viewers to interact. For example, you might plan polls at the beginning and in the middle, Q&A throughout the session, or reference the assets as you present.
  • When will you deliver calls-to-action? If you have a particular goal in mind (for example, to get attendees on a free trial or demo), plan how and when you’ll ask attendees to take that next step.
  • How will you take the conversation further? The webinar shouldn’t be a single event where you speak with your attendees. Instead, look for opportunities to develop conversations that can continue after the session. Having your sales or customer success colleagues onboard can be particularly valuable here.

Assess Performance and Optimize Accordingly

After you have sufficient data, assess your performance and look for areas where you can optimize your webinars.

For example, you might vary the layout of the webinar console to prioritize particular engagement options. You might change the times at which you deliver engagement options and a call-to-action.

Use Simulive and Always-On To Maximise Optimization Opportunities

Every live webinar will  have difficult to control variables. However, by running simulive and always-on webinars, you can make changes without even having to record the session another time.

Simulive and always-on sessions also offer the benefit of making webinars available whenever anyone wants to access them. ON24’s Webinar Benchmarks Report also notes that buyers are increasingly accessing webinars that have already been broadcast, so offering them in this way helps to serve your customers in a flexible manner.

Don’t Forget the Post-Webinar Opportunity

Once your webinar has wrapped, or when your viewer has finished with their session, also look to optimize the post-webinar experience.

Consider how you can help continue the conversation. Some options include:

  • Invite them to your next webinar.
  • Send a personalized message after their attendance.
  • Provide additional useful information to help them with their goals.

Interested in making your webinars more engaging? Then tune in and find out some top tips from ON24’s Chief Webinerd and MarketingProfs on the Keys to Engagement Driven Webinars.

How To Design Webinars For Customer Engagement, Not Marketers

This post is the latest in our series on B2B marketing optimization and how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Previously, we covered how you can optimize your marketing efforts at the acquisition stage of the customer journey — from improving your reach across channels and optimizing your landing pages to using webinars to drive attendees and turn them into MQLs.

Whatever medium you use to acquire, engage and convert your customers, a focus on metrics can help you to achieve your key goals. But this can also create a danger of losing sight of the bigger picture.

Webinars are no different. Even though webinars provide lots of data that you can use to set optimization goals against, from the basic (e.g., attendee count and percentage) right through to granular (e.g., questions asked, polls answered), chasing these will be fruitless unless you make sure you build your webinars for your customer first. With that in mind, here are some points to consider.

Your customer wants to engage on their own terms – not yours

Earlier posts on the ON24 blog have demonstrated that customers don’t follow linear paths when it comes to their journey. While we might want them to download a particular piece of content or sign-up to a particular session, we can’t force them to do that. Even with the best possible lead scoring and profiling technology, it’s impossible to know exactly how each individual will want to continue their journey, or what interaction option they’ll choose.

Make sure both your webinars and your on-site experience offer lots of different ways to engage, both live and on-demand. This will help them to choose their own journey — and allow you to collect the engagement data to improve it over time.

What interests you doesn’t necessarily interest your customer

Offering many options to interact isn’t enough. Even if you have a lot of content on your site, plenty of resources in your webinar consoles, and lots of polls and surveys, none of it will matter if your content doesn’t help your customer.

Before you create any asset or build-in any interaction, ask yourself: does this help address the needs of my target audience? Is it compelling? If the answer to either of these is no, rethink what you are offering.

If you already have detailed customer personas, use these as an aide to review your content offerings.

A single event is not the endpoint of success

As you choose how to optimize your B2B marketing efforts, you will need to use some quantitative indicators to measure performance, set goals and take steps to reach them.

However, while these metrics are both insightful and important for you, they are of no value to your customer. They care about addressing their own needs and priorities — both today and in the future.

Whenever you run a campaign, make sure to keep this front of mind. Look to address their immediate needs and demonstrate you’ll be there to offer value in the future.

So how can you do this with webinars? First, as mentioned above, make sure your webinar addresses the needs of your customer. Second, make sure the next interaction they have will offer value too — if a great webinar is followed by a poor experience, you’ve lost the chance to keep the momentum of that relationship positive. Third, keep running webinars of regular value to your buyers. This will keep them engaged.

Focusing on engagement and customer experience will pay off

There’s a chance that after reading this far, you might be asking whether the pursuit of quantitative optimization can actually align with the customer experience.

The good news is that the hard-to-measure changes you make in improving the quality of your content and how you are delivering it does result in a measurable difference.

Assessing its own data, ON24 has found that a high webinar customer engagement score correlates with a lift in the pipeline metrics that marketers are often targeted on. An engagement score of 4 – 6 led to a 38% conversion of attendees to sales accepted leads (SAL). However, a more dramatic finding was that a score of 6 or higher led to an 89% conversion of attendees to SALs.

To find out ways in which you can make your webinars better for your customers – and drive engagement as a result – download the Webinerd’s Guide to Always-On Engagement.

How to Use Webinars to Boost MQLs

This post is the latest in our series on B2B marketing optimization and how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

In our previous post, we covered how you can optimize webinar attendance for lead acquisition.

But just because someone attended a webinar doesn’t make them a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) ready to be handed over to sales. We should also note that the pursuit of MQLs shouldn’t cause you to lose sight of optimizing for the entire customer journey.

Even so, MQLs are a common metric for marketers, and there are at least two key ways that you can use webinars to turn attendees into MQLs if that’s a goal for your optimization efforts:

  1. You can optimize your data collection to better identify those ready to have a conversation and who would be a good fit for your company’s offerings.
  2. You can optimize how you engage your attendees to progress and nurture their buying journey, as measured by an increased lead score.

Here are the steps you should take to make that happen.

Identify what makes up an MQL

Take a look at your lead scoring criteria to find out what the indicators of an MQL are for your team and company. Deciding these criteria should be a collaborative effort between sales and marketing to ensure a high likelihood of any leads being accepted (a topic of a future post).

Typically your lead score will be broken into two elements:

  1. Personal attributes – these might include elements such as seniority or job title, firmographic criteria (e.g., company headcount, company revenues) and details related to BANT (i.e., budget, authority, need and time). It might also include technographic criteria (i.e., the technologies they use which indicate a good fit for your offerings).
  2. Behavioral attributes – these will represent the behaviors you are looking for to demonstrate progression along the buying journey. For example, you might assign points to viewing certain pieces of content, a separate score for webinar registration and another one based on attendance and/or engagement.

Make sure your webinar platform can send data to your lead scoring system

Chances are your lead scoring happens within your marketing automation platform, although in some instances data may go to your CRM first. Either way, make sure your webinar platform is connected to your martech/sales stack, that the key data fields are mapped and you can trigger updates to your lead scoring. While you might be able to export data manually from your webinar to upload afterward, this will add time to your process that can reduce the overall impact of your efforts. Here, ON24 Connect can help and save you time.

The data fields you choose should align with the areas that impact lead score. If you’re just getting started with using webinars for lead scoring, it might be easier to only use a small number of fields to test how everything works before adding additional elements later.

At the very least, make sure you can send registration and attended status (i.e., attendee or no-show) to your platform, along with any other key fields in your registration page.

Over time, you might wish to include more data fields. For example, ON24 calculates a number of values across several webinars for its Prospect Engagement Profile, which can be pushed to your own systems.

Set up your webinars to collect data

There are two ways you can collect the data you need:

  1. At registration. Consider the information you want to collect, but remember that asking too much may impact the performance on the landing page.
  2. During the webinar. As your attendees tune in, their engagement can be measured to provide the behavioral data points you need to impact their lead score and raise them to MQL level. In addition, polls and surveys create a great opportunity to collect data manually if you need them or chose to not include those fields at registration.

Engage your attendees to drive behavior – and lift your lead scores

Attendance is half the battle. If you don’t provide an engaging session you will miss both the opportunity to create a great experience and the chance to drive actions that will impact lead scores.

ON24’s Webinar Best Practices series has a lot of tips on how to drive engagement, but a few ideas include:

  • Deliver calls-to-action to download resources and assets, sign up for free trials or request a demo.
  • Run polls and surveys to collect data. If you want people to stay tuned for longer, don’t share the results straight away – instead, deliver them later in the session.
  • Encourage sign-ups for future events and on-demand webinars.
  • Tell the audience to submit questions either during the webinar, before or both.

All of these engagements can help attendees progress in their buyer journey and provide data to lift your lead scores.

Make best use of your on-demand webinars

There are still opportunities to look for to drive additional MQLs once your webinar is over. Our post on How to Market Your Webinar After It’s Finished provides detail on the steps you can take to drive additional registrations and engagement.

All great webinars have a long shelf-life, meaning that you can promote them on an ongoing basis. Consider adding them to a content syndication platform such as NetLine, which can also be connected directly to your marketing automation and lead scoring system.

Assess the results and look for opportunities to optimize

Once you’ve run a few webinars and collected some data, you’ll have a benchmark to work against. Look at where you can improve your efforts and set yourself optimization goals to achieve them.

To save you time, you can refresh your existing webinars with optimization in mind, rather than planning them all from scratch.

To find out how you can have your webinar data within your CRM and marketing automation systems, check out ON24 Connect to help you streamline and automate your optimization efforts.

How to Optimize Webinar Attendance for Lead Acquisition

This post is the latest in our series on B2B marketing optimization and how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Earlier on the ON24 blog, we covered how to optimize your landing pages to turn more of your unknown visitors into known prospects.

As a tactic that is widely preferred by buyers, chances are that you have been using your landing pages to get people to register for webinars. But if you want to engage those prospects and turn them into leads, ultimately you’ll need them to attend the webinar or watch it on-demand.

You can optimize to drive both attendance and viewings as you host a webinar. Below we’ll explore some of the metrics you can use for setting optimization goals along with some key tactics to help reach them.

What key metrics should I look at for optimizing webinar attendance?

When optimizing for attendance and setting goals, there are a number of metrics to choose from. Just remember to take into account your performance across a series of webinars rather than the performance of a single session. This will keep your eyes on long-term performance and improvement.

Here are a few key metrics to consider when optimizing for webinar attendance:

Attendance percentage rate

There are plenty of benchmarks in ON24’s Webinar Benchmarks Report, and on average 56% of registrants to all webinars with more than 100 attendees end up tuning in.

But this percentage figure varies across function and industry. For example, marketers saw a 39% registration to attendance conversion rate.

Look at your own percentage attendance rate and use that as the start of your optimization efforts.

Number of attendees

As well as the percentage attendance rate, look at the total number of attendees you drive through your webinar program.

You might want to consider promoting more webinars (even if the percentage attendance rate may drop) to lift the number of attendees going through your program to your desired level.

Number of qualified attendees

The purpose of your webinars is likely to drive leads. So, remember to check the number of qualified registrants that actually view your webinar.

How you define qualified will be up to you, but it may include areas such as:

  • The number of attendees from organizations with a particular employee headcount.
  • The number of attendees who are sufficiently senior or in a decision-making level position.
  • The number of attendees who work at one or more of your targeted accounts.

Always-on views

One benefit of webinars is that they don’t need to be attended live for attendance. Prospects ought to be able to access your events at a time and place that suits them.

As such, you can add always-on views to your total attendance numbers. Alternatively, you can optimize for on-demand views separately.

What can I change to optimize attendance?

Okay, so you have a metric to optimize against. Now it’s time to drive improvement. Here are a few ideas you can use to get started on optimizing your events.

Personalize your communication

Once someone has registered for a webinar, personalize your communication and encourage them to attend.

Around two-thirds (68%) of ON24’s customers personalize their webinars to their audience, but there are other ways to personalize your efforts. Calling out their company, industry or other key data points in your reminder emails is great way to provide more targeted outreach.

Make attendance compelling

Any webinar you run should provide value to the attendee. But you can experiment with the values you use to drive attendees a webinar.

For example, you could offer a complimentary white paper not available elsewhere; offer free tickets to a live event for attendees, or even just offer to answer questions in real-time.

On that last tactic, Atlassian managed to drive more than 1,100 attendees to a fireside chat session by having the CEO on the panel to take questions from the audience.

Experiment with the time and date

ON24’s benchmark data shows that, on average, webinars held midweek and lunchtime to early afternoon are the most common option offered. But while these times might work for some organizations, it might be different for yours.

Try making your webinars available at different days and times. Using Simulive and Sim-2-Live, you can even have your pre-recorded sessions appear when you want them, with the option to roll over into live audio and Q&A at the end of the session.

Experiment with your reminder emails and send them from your team

There are a number of ways you can change your reminder emails to optimize performance. These can include changing the days and times of your reminder emails, the subject lines and body copy, and even the use of imagery within them.

Another powerful way to optimize your attendance rates is to send them from an email address belonging to a real person. Consider sending emails on behalf of the sales team or account managers that will build the relationship with them, the webinar presenter, or even the CEO of the company.

Finally, consider the counterintuitive approach of emailing registrants after the webinar has started. Sending a reminder email that the event is underway may remind busy would-be attendees that they can still join in on the event.

Offer calendar options and invites

To help remind people to attend, also look to add calendar invites to help registrants tune in on the day and the time.

As covered in Jack Wildt’s post on using Marketo for webinar registration emails, ON24 adds calendar options in its own registration emails to great effect.

To find out more about how you can boost webinar registration and attendance, sign up for ON24’s webinar on The Secrets for Driving Webinar Registration and Attendance.

How to Optimize B2B Landing Pages

This post is the latest in our series on B2B marketing optimization and how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

In our last post on optimization, we examined how you can set goals to increase your reach by examining the impressions and visits that your channels are driving.

Let’s assume now that the number of visits to your key converting pages — whether they are for demo requests, free trials, whitepapers or webinars — is sufficient. Also, let’s assume that whatever you are offering is compelling enough for someone to fill out a lead form so you can turn an anonymous visitor into a known prospect.

Below are some steps and strategies you can experiment with to optimize that conversion for your demand generation efforts.

Make sure you know your baseline and sources so you can set a goal

Before you begin to make changes to your landing page, you need to understand what your baseline is so you can optimize accordingly. At the very least, look into your analytics to understand how many visitors are coming to the landing page and how many are converting.

You also ought to have an understanding of the source of your traffic. If the source changes significantly, the overall conversion rate may change even if nothing else. Ideally, you want this to be consistent to figure out exactly what works and what doesn’t.

You may also want to set the landing page up with a dedicated optimization or testing tool or use the testing functionality within your landing page builder (if you have one). These tools have the benefit of not requiring historical data because they can run at least two variations of a landing page simultaneously. Some tools also offer multivariate testing, allowing you to change several elements at once, with the ‘winning’ option being presented from then on.

Make a change and test the impact

For this post, we’ll assume you are making just one change. You can make this change as an A/B test format (i.e., where two variations are shown and a test is run live) or you can simply make a change and contrast it against your historical baseline.

Once the change is made, you will need to wait for a period to collect sufficient data on which you can make an accurate decision. If you are receiving a lot of visits, then you will need less time to get a valid picture.

If you want to assess the validity of the result to a level of statistical confidence, a free calculator at AB Testguide can help determine whether you have enough data to come to a particular conclusion. Dedicated optimization or A/B testing tools almost always have this functionality built-in.

What you can change to optimize your landing page

Okay, so it’s time to try to optimize your landing page performance. Note that when it comes to optimization, success or failure of a test might be significantly different from your original expectations.

If you’re using ON24 Target, you can pretty much edit any of the below elements using the page builder function.

Optimize the headline and value proposition

Most landing pages have a large headline, often with a strapline or value proposition underneath them. They are typically the first thing that people read – if they read anything at all.

In his 1968 book Confessions of an Advertising Man, ad legend David Ogilvy said:

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

He also remarked that particular phrases such as ‘How To’ can generate interest – and Google’s own search data shows that in the 21st century, searches containing the phrase ‘how to’ have rocketed.

Optimize the call-to-action and key copy

Once you’ve tested the headline, try changing the copy in the call-to-action and body text.

Bullets can be particularly effective in making text scannable and concise. Research by Nielsen Norman Group has found scannable formats can increase usability by 47%.

Optimize the imagery and creative

Got images on your landing page? Try changing these around. Use images with or without people, of different genders and even emotional states.

Consider putting a video in the mix, too. If you have a webinar you’ve already done or that is always-on, try including a clip to see if that boosts form fills.

Personalize the offer

If you can, try personalizing the offer relevant to the visitor. For example, if your landing page is part of your account-based marketing strategy, incorporate the logo of the brand directly on the landing page.

Some testing tools also allow you to make changes based on the source of the traffic.

Optimize the form

There are lots of ways you can optimize a form to increase conversions, along with technology that allows forms to be filled in more easily.

At the very least, try removing fields that you do not need to make sign-ups easier for the user. As covered in ON24’s guide on The Engagement Imperative, many people resent filling in forms and even add false data, making it nearly impossible to maintain a clean database.

Also explore adding in autocompletion to various fields, testing your form validation and consider using progressive profiling (which is included in many marketing automation form builders) to gradually collect data over several visits, rather than asking for it all at once.

Consider using a timed pop-up modal or widget

While pop-ups can interrupt the user experience, you might want to experiment with offering a modal that suggests a new offer if someone hasn’t converted on that page for some time.

Some modal designs can also preview the content, making it more enticing to download and engage with.

Don’t forget about the experience afterward

Even though this post is about optimizing what is happening directly on the landing page, ensure the experience following the conversion offers a good experience for your new contact.

Test your landing page to make sure users actually receive the content and that they aren’t immediately bombarded with further emails, even if they have a high lead score. And consider using retargeting for those that don’t quite convert — if they’ve come once already, hopefully you can persuade them the next time around.

To find out more about how you can engage buyers and stand out above the noise, download ON24’s guide on The Engagement Imperative.