Connection’s Three Steps for Turning Internal Trainings Digital

Each year, Connection holds an internal training session for its sales team. The session trains team members on the latest healthcare industry trends and how Connection can address IT needs.

But Covid-19 changed things. The in-person event was canceled. To make up for it, and to keep Connection’s sales team in top-selling shape, they devised a plan to bring the in-person event into the digital world.

But first, the Connection team needed a solution to make the plan a reality. After a short review, the team signed on with ON24. The team now had 43 days to learn the ON24 Platform, train presenters, record sessions, produce designs, test events and set up an experience Connection’s sales team would love.

Here’s how they did it:

Train up all participants

A webinerd and her coworkers discuss optimization

First, the Connection team needed to familiarize themselves with the ON24 Platform. So, the team worked with ON24 to set up intensive training sessions for not only the internal Connection team, but also any sponsors that would be involved in bringing the virtual conference to life.

With everyone trained up, the team bought themselves more time to make the annual Healthcare University Training event a success.

Pre-Record all Session

With knowledge of the ON24 Platform under everyone’s belt, the team turned its attention to recording the sessions that would go live online. To help coordinate, Connection teamed up with their Events Manager to round up all the sponsor speakers, scheduled recording times and recorded sessions. Their plan? To turn each session into a simulive event.

The Connection team also had to collect, compile and load speaker content for the partners to record their audio over their slides.

With simulive in place, the team could broadcast all 23 recordings while giving attendees a live experience through ON24’s Q&A engagement tool, bringing value to its partners.

One-Stop Hosting

To provide the sales team with an always-on, easy-to-access resource they could return to at any time, the team set up a specialized landing page using ON24 Target. With Target in place, the sales team could easily access each training session on their own time, allowing them to relearn as needed.

With everything in place, Connection managed to record an entire event, digitalize its training and provide its sales team with information they needed to keep driving sales in a digital-first world. And it did so in just 43 days. Now, the Connection team is planning out several more internal training sessions that they’ll carry out utilizing the ON24 Platform.

Three Things Every Lawyer Ought to Know About Digital Marketing

This article originally appeared on JDsupra.com. Shared with author’s permission.

Hinge Research Institute recently polled marketers from accounting firms to better understand how the key challenges for the industry – increased competition, shifts in service offerings, and battles for top talent – are shaping their marketing strategies. The findings translate into valuable insights for lawyers and firms who are facing similar obstacles.

The report separates accounting firms into two categories: “high-growth firms,” which include those that experienced 20% or more revenue growth each year over a three-year period, and “no-growth firms,” which had 0% (or less!) growth every year during that same time.

What did we find? Three useful lessons for law firm leadership:

1. Digital engagement pays off

High-growth firms devote more resources to connecting with audiences through digital channels: email marketing campaigns, social media networking, on-line publishing (blogs, JD Supra, etc.), webinars, and more.

Webinars stand out as particularly popular with successful firms: five times as many high-growth firms include webinars in their digital strategy as do their no-growth counterparts. Similarly, written content in all its forms – blog posts, gated content, original research – are used twice as often by growing firms to increase visibility, generate leads, and differentiate themselves from competitors.

One interesting note: advertising is an important component of the digital marketing techniques used by high-growth firms, which are 57% more likely to use digital ads than their no-growth peers.

2. Audience-facing activities generate the best ROI

Marketing tactics that put accountants directly in contact with their clients and targets – like speaking at conferences, giving webinars, making phone calls, and the like – create the maximum return on investment for their firms.

Why do we think the ROI is higher from these types of activities? Because interacting directly with your audience creates and strengthens the relationships that lead to new business. But conferences and phone calls can be expensive, time-intensive, and difficult to scale. That’s why firms use webinars to showcase their expertise and connect with their prospects, while keeping costs down and billable hours up.

What’s more, by building microsites and knowledge portals like ON24 Engagement Hubs to make their webinar content accessible to clients and new viewers alike, accounting firms are extending the shelf life of their thought leadership to generate additional leads and opportunities.

3. Multi-tiered marketing campaigns produce results

The report offers an insightful case study of how Deloitte was able to engage new and existing clients, using a digital marketing campaign anchored by a series of webinars.

Deloitte’s challenge was a familiar one: advise clients on changes to tax laws while generating new client leads and creating cross-selling opportunities for the firm. Their campaign, which included a strong mix of live seminars, premium content, SEO, PR and webinars to drive awareness and interest, led to enviable engagement:

– High registration and attendance numbers for each of their webinars, with more than 50% of registrants attending the program

– The use of real-time polling and Q&A that allowed for more than 300 audience questions and 900+ responses to four polls

– More than 400 on-demand viewers for the webinars once housed on Deloitte’s website

Download the full report here for additional insight effective digital strategies of high-growth accounting firms.

Webinars Empower Financial Organizations with Better Digital Experiences

This article was originally published on paymentssource.com. Shared with the author’s permission.

New data protection laws are changing marketing forever for merchants, payment firms and other companies.

It started with GDPR, the EU’s landmark privacy regulation that ensured consumers must consent to receive digital communications from corporations. California is next: The California Consumer Privacy Act, modeled largely after GDPR, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

As more state and national governments feel the privacy demands from their constituents, this trend will fundamentally change how we market to our audiences. Making phone calls and sending unsolicited emails will eventually be a tactic of the past.

When it comes to certain marketing tactics, such as promoting webinars, the strategy is too often to simply blast as many emails and try to get as many folks to attend as possible. The same goes for in-person events. As these regulations take hold, marketers need to move from force-feeding and spamming their database to create engaging experiences that audiences will want to sign up for and even subscribe to long term. It’s no longer about generating leads, now we have to learn how to build an audience.

So you may wonder, who is executing the model? What companies are already creating valuable, subscription-worthy content right now? The answer may surprise you: Financial services and payment companies are leading the way.

That’s right. A sector not known for its innovation or willingness to change is actually a shining example when it comes to creating hubs of engaging content. Charles Schwab, for example, this summer announced a first-of-its-kind pilot program modeled after Netflix: a $300 signup fee gets customers a one-on-one consulting session and $30 a month after provides unlimited access to their videos and content. A glance at Schwab Live illustrates how they’ve created a news source for their customers, with wall-to-wall programming covering topics ranging from “Introduction to Futures Trading” to “How to Invest in Dividend Paying Stocks” to live market coverage and more. It’s a shrewd move. Now customers have a CNBC-style content stream that’s on-demand and personalized to their needs and interests.

Citi has its “Life and Money by Citi” section that features sit-down interviews with celebrities and athletes like Noah Syndergaard, Dak Prescott and Saquon Barkley. These conversations draw in a wider range of audiences, including those who are not as engaged in the financial community.

Meanwhile, American Express, which has long been the leader in the business market, has a landing page that features a range of topics to advise SMB owners and executives alike. These topics include — in a very meta sense — content marketing. Other titles include “Should You Create Your Own Podcast?” and “Doing Business in Japan: 10 Etiquette Rules You Should Know.” Many of these subjects seemingly have no connection to the financial services expertise you’d think American Express would be touting.

But that’s because this industry understands what it was built on, and that’s face-to-face relationships.

These financial services companies are still building relationships, but they’re doing it in innovative, digital new ways. They’re doing it through creating engaging content experiences and news hubs that their customers can enjoy on their own time. The rest of us should follow their lead — or risk having our own marketing messages go bankrupt.

Supporting Personalized Sales Outreach

Today’s sales reps have to keep leads engaged from first touch to purchase if they want to shorten sales cycles. But to close a deal faster, having the information on a lead’s interests and the right content to drive effective outreach is essential.

ON24 Target can help sales provide a personalized content journey and close more deals. Reps can use Target pages to drive personalized campaigns to engage leads or provide follow-up content from previous discussions. Regardless, sales reps are put in control of the experience they’re delivering.

To deliver personalized experiences, all sales reps need to do is simply log into Target, select a layout then drag and drop in the resources they want to use. They can select resources from all your shared digital assets, including videos, PDFs, blog posts and webinars, or they can upload their own content like proposals or recorded meeting calls.

Reps can add their digital business card to the experience, creating a simple way for prospects to follow up with questions or next steps.

For sales enablement and marketing teams who want to standardize the experiences reps share, they can create templates with all the right content and creative. Then the only thing a rep needs to do is clone and share with for a particular account, and watch the engagement roll in.

Once Target pages are in use, ON24 will capture robust engagement data so you can track content performance and audience interactivity so reps can track lead interests and continually optimize information that drives successful buyer journeys.

To learn more about building personalized content experiences that empower your sales team, watch this quick demo.

Five Accounting Webinar Programs that Build Client Engagement

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

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

Continuing Education

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

Niche Topic Series

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

ABM Experiences: Portfolio Updates

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

Podcasts

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

Employee Skills Development

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

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

Reaching and Engaging Vertical Markets With ON24 Target

For growing organizations, selling a world-class product isn’t enough. They need to shift from selling horizontal product offerings to providing holistic vertical solutions addressing a customer’s specific needs.

But proving that your company solves unique problems in a particular industry or buyer is challenging — especially when most of your market-facing content is designed for a broader audience. To provide the right content experience for target industries, vertical marketers need to create and establish a sub-brand that curates and delivers relevant experiences.

ON24 Target helps you to build the right experience with unique, easy-to-use layouts that don’t require any web development experience.  Simply select your preferred layout and drag and drop in your desired content. Easily customize messages and CTAs for select vertical audiences to create a buyer’s journey specific to an industry and their needs.

When verticalizing Target pages, a best practice to follow is to ungate an intro piece of content or video. By ungating your hero piece of content, your audience can quickly learn more about your company and be encouraged to consume more content. And with web cookies, you don’t need to worry about losing that lead activity.

Vertically-targeted experiences ensure your audience is served the most relevant content to influence their purchasing decisions.

To learn more about creating ongoing content journeys for industries, watch our quick demo.

Five Asset Management Webinars To Kickstart Your Marketing

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

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

Global and Sector Outlooks

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

Fund Updates

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

Fund Launches

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

Continuing Education

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

Knowledge Centers

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

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

Three Ways Manufacturing Can Create a Better Digital Experience

Manufacturing has been one of the few industries to quickly and successfully adapt to the digital era. And, by all indications, the industry isn’t slowing down in its adept use of digital tools. According to a recent PwC survey, 72% of manufacturers say they’re planning to dramatically increase their overall level of digitization and expect to be ranked as “digitally advanced” by 2020.

This is a smart approach. Increased digital competency means manufacturers can swiftly react to market forces, coordinate efforts more easily and drive more pipeline and business.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve investigated the key areas manufacturers need to focus on to improve their digital efforts. These suggestions focus on using digital tools, such as webinars, to build better relationships with partners and distributors.

We’ve also surveyed our manufacturing clients to see how they’re using webinars in their digital efforts, and what successes they’re seeing. You can read what they have to say in our report, “ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report: Manufacturing Trends,” or check out our infographic at the end of this blog post for high-level takeaways.

So, how exactly can manufacturers improve their digital game? Here’s a brief recap of what we’ve found:

Build Better Relationships Faster

Manufacturers have to contend with a massive ecosystem. Partners, clients, distributors and more need the latest information to act on, understand trends and connect with new potential clients.

To coordinate all of these disparate elements, manufacturers are increasingly turning to digital tools. This is a wise decision. By using digital distribution tools, manufacturers can — at any point in the supply chain — provide critical partners with the latest information they need to take an appropriate or corrective action.

But these newfound digital abilities do more than just share information. They also open new business opportunities. Tesla, for example, is famous for using its digital channels to sell directly to consumers, bypassing car dealerships entirely. But these tools can also enhance relationships across a broad spectrum of partners.

Move Distributor Relationships From Tactical to Strategic

Distributors are a critical link in the manufacturing process. But the manufacturer-distributor relationship is a complicated one, at best. Manufacturers are increasingly turning to Amazon Business to distribute their wares, putting smaller distributors at a disadvantage.

While Amazon Business may be convenient for manufacturers, ignoring smaller distributors is a strategic mistake. Manufacturers would do well to view the distributor relationship as a strategic one where all parties can benefit by creating and nurturing revenue streams with a two-way conversation.

To transform this transactional relationship into a strategic one, manufacturers can use webinars to provide distributors with a reliable forum with the latest information. Webinars also provide distributors with the opportunity to ask questions, get clarity and provide a two-way knowledge transfer.

Fuel Pipeline With Educational Opportunities

Manufacturers need to fundamentally reassess how they market online. According to recent research by Content Marketing Institute, a slim majority of manufacturers (51%) say they prioritize promotional messaging over an audience’s informational needs when creating marketing content.

This is a backward approach. Modern marketing content must be made in the service of a well-defined audience. Manufacturers would do well to create and maintain educational content, or outright courses, for clients and prospects.

Doing so will help accelerate the overall buyer’s journey. Creating educational content for clients keeps customers informed of the latest trends and methods, builds brand trust and, finally, creates a community that engages with a manufacturer that has earned their loyalty. A successful engagement program, like those facilitated by Procore and Jackson Systems, generates pipeline and fuels recurring revenue.

Check out the infographic below to see how manufacturers are using webinars to improve their business and check out our report, “ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report: Manufacturing Trends.

71% of manufacturers say webinars enable them to reach targeted accounts.

Six Ways to Create Personalized B2B Content at Scale

Digital marketing has provided endless opportunities to share your message with the world. But in a crowded, competitive market, cutting through the noise to reach the people you care about the most can be a huge challenge.

That’s why marketers are changing strategies. They are now focused on creating personalized and relevant content experiences to reach target accounts and personas.

Personalization Evolution: from B2C to B2B

Personalization started in the B2C world and has quickly become the norm. So much so, that 78% of consumers will only engage offers if they’re personalized to previous engagements with the brand. Like many effective B2C strategies, personalization is taking off in B2B as new technologies enter the market. Which is good news for marketers, since individual stakeholders within companies who perceived supplier content to be tailored to their specific needs were 40% more willing to buy from that supplier than stakeholders who didn’t.

Of course, strategies for B2C and B2B will never really match up. For enterprises, the increased value of personalization doesn’t come from slapping a person’s name on your product or having the data to know what the weather is like in their city. It’s about exposing leads to the most relevant information for their interests while creating an engaging buying experience that increases a company’s overall conversion rates.

Six Common Personalization Opportunities

At ON24, we’re seeing more and more businesses creating personalized content experiences to scale targeted engagements. Here are the six most common applications:

  1. Account-Based Marketing – An experience curated for target accounts based on their interests, account-specific needs and buying journeys.
  2. Vertical Marketing – Distributing packaged or nuanced content to better resonate with target industries.
  3. Regional Marketing – Supporting local interests and customizing content experiences for different languages.
  4. Sales Enablement – Empowering sales reps to drive their own personalized campaigns or follow-up from conversations.
  5. Customer Engagement – Enabling teams to engage customers with the right information throughout the customer lifecycle.
  6. And lastly, Digital Events – Extending the value of event content and reaching a broader audience.

Creating custom engagement might seem like a daunting project, but the returns – both from efficiencies of scale and from booked business – will quickly justify the effort. With a little organization and the right tools to distribute personalized experiences, you can evolve your brand.

To learn more about how you can create targeted experiences, watch our quick demo.