Announcing ON24’s 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report

Here is a fact about webinar marketing: Thursday is the best day for webinar attendance, followed closely by Wednesday. Here’s another fact webinars in general: about two-thirds of ON24 users personalize webinars to their audience while over a third produce one-to-one webinars for targeted accounts.

There are a lot of facts to learn about webinars, from the best time to attend to what tools practitioners use to record video. Fortunately, you can find all of them in the ON24 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report.

This year’s benchmarks report assesses the trends behind webinar use in 2018, evaluating everything from the best day to send promotional emails (Wednesday) to which webinar formats are taking off with practitioners (video adoption, for example, jumped by 16 percent).

But the 2019 edition of ON24’s Webinar Benchmarks Report is a little different. We not only included a quantitative assessment of the state of webinars circa 2018, but we also asked our community members what they think about webinars today and how they are actually using webinars.

So, what did they have to say? Here are a few high-level takeaways:

  • 76% of respondents say webinars allow them to drive more leads
  • 86% of participants say they run up to 150 webinars in a given year
  • 89% of those offering webinar-based training say they can easily scale programs
  • 52% of respondents say they share quality leads generated from webinars with sales

Why does this matter? Because a well-run webinar program is defined by knowing what’s possible and how. The ON24 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report provides you with the ability to make your one-to-one communications scale in a digital world. This is especially important as marketing budgets, and the pressure to prove ROI, grow.

In fact, according to Demand Generation Report’s “2019 Demand Generation Benchmarks Report,” 58 percent of B2B marketers cite webinars as their most successful tactic for top-of-funnel engagement. Nearly half said webinars were the most effective channel they had in converting and accelerating leads at middle and late stages of the funnel.

There are a lot of great facts in the 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report that’ll help you build a robust, engaging and data-driven webinar program. Download the report today to get started.

For more insights and guidance on how to make the most of your webinar platform, download ON24’s 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report and watch the corresponding always-on webinar for more best practices.

3 Tips for Running an Expert Interview Webinar

I recently wrote about different webinar formats you can use to keep your audience engaged. One of my personal favorites is the expert interview because it gives you a fabulous opportunity to bring your audience the unique experience and knowledge of an authoritative voice while allowing you at the same time to showcase your own skills and understanding of the issues.

Equally important, preparing for and leading an interview gives you a chance to spend valuable one-on-one time with a guest who matters as much for your own practice as he or she does for your participants: a government agent or regulator, an industry leader, or an executive from a key client, for example.

Finally, building your webinar around an interview lets you move away from the traditional slide presentation to lead a dynamic discussion around issues facing your audience. It is, above all, a conversation, which provides you with broad freedom to explore questions in depth without becoming weighed down by bullet points and linear logic.

So how to make sure your expert interview is memorable for participants and guests alike? Here are three ways:

1. Remember your audience

Yes, you want to make the webinar interesting and fun and engaging for your attendees, but a story about the time your guest went surfing amid sharks off the coast of Australia – as entertaining as it may be – isn’t going to help participants revise their workplace policies, for example, to account for legal recreational marijuana use in their state.

Never forget that your audience signed up to learn something and that it’s your job to make sure they do. It’s ok to go off topic from time to time with anecdotes, as long as you don’t take too long to get back on.

Takeaway: prepare your questions, and the structure of the conversation, with audience needs in mind.

2. Let your guest be the expert

You may have the broadest knowledge about the topic you’re covering, but when you’re interviewing an influential guest, you’re no longer the star of the show.

Let your interviewee do most of the talking. Ask them relevant questions that allow for meaningful answers. Listen to their responses so you can follow up when you think your audience needs more detail or explanation.

And above all, try not to interrupt your guest unless it’s absolutely necessary: to get immediate clarification on a particular point they made, or allow them to correct misstatements. You can follow-up and probe deeper into the issues when they’re done talking.

3. Fine-tune your questions (while also allowing the conversation to go anywhere)

Good questions make for great interviews: the way you frame the issues, the way you tee up responses, the way you elicit insight and perspective. And the best way to make your webinar a success is to ask questions that allow your guest to provide valuable and perceptive answers that get straight to the core of your audience’s concerns.

Spend time fine-tuning your questions. Edit them down to the essentials, then edit them down again to make sure you get quickly to the point while providing essential context. Have a colleague put them to you so you can hear what you’re actually asking rather than what you think they say.

During the interview, it’s a good idea to use your questions as a guide to the conversation rather than as a strict outline that you must follow: the discussion is likely to take unplanned directions that lead you down paths that are relevant to attendees.

Why Webinars Are Great for Research and New Content

This post was originally published on heinzmarketing.com. Syndicated with permission.

Before diving in, be sure to read our previous posts on Panel Webinars, Webinar Operations, Internal Alignment, and ABM! Now, for our fifth entry into this blog series, let’s talk about how you can use webinars as a means of gathering new data to fuel your content strategy. By utilizing polls, questions, and other interactive assets in your webinars, you’re able to capture more data on your attendee’s level of intent and interest areas while simultaneously gaining insights for new research, content, and messaging.

Why should you use webinars for research and new content?

To Easily Conduct Research

With a captive audience and interactive tools on your webinar, you can conduct research to uncover new data trends, insights, or simply to fuel your content marketing strategy based on the responses you get back. This enables you to spend more of your time actually using your research rather than spending hours and hours conducting 1:1 calls, putting together surveys, or trying to schedule meetings.

To Produce Custom Content

By taking the pulse of attendees on your webinar through questions, polls, and downloadable assets, you’re able to better understand what content your audience actually wants to see. Use your findings to create custom research reports, share insights with your audience, and refine the relevance of your go-to-market in association with marketing campaigns, partner efforts, PR, analysts, as well as your customers.

To Gain Live Intelligence

When you ask questions or polls during your webinar, it makes it possible to tailor or shift the focus of your webinar on the fly to better align to what your audience wants to see or hear about. This can turn your webinar from one that just focuses on topics at a high-level to one that goes into more detail where the audience actually wants it to go.

When should you use this play?

Using your webinars to conduct research and fuel new content initiatives can be an effort spurred by a number of reasons. It may be time to reinvigorate your content, messaging, and persona strategies, or maybe you want to generate better engagement in your marketing campaigns overall. Or, there may be a need or want to discover new insights and trends, but you don’t have the resources or means to conduct more formal, survey-driven research

Stakeholders and roles

While utilizing webinars to gain better insights into trends and content themes may seem like a simple enough tactic, there are still a specific set of roles to consider. To ensure that you’re capturing data in the most efficient, natural way possible, a successful team should be made up of the following roles:

  • Webinar Presenter: to lead the conversations, ask the right questions, and guide and prompt the audience to respond to questions and polls
  • Webinar Producer or Technician: to set up surveys & polls and show questions and answers on screen in real-time
  • Marketing: to apply the insights gained in the webinar into their different campaigns, strategies, and tactics around content development and demand generation

Want more?

Stay tuned! In the next few weeks, we’ll revisit this topic to dive into the specifics and how-tos of using webinars to conduct research for your content strategy.

 

 

Organizing Internal Teams for Webinar Success

This post was originally published on heinzmarketing.com. Syndicated with permission.

So far in our blog series, The Road to Webinar Success, we’ve covered The Power of Panel Webinars and Streamlining Webinar Operations with Integrated Technologies. This week, we continue our journey to webinar success by understanding the roles, responsibilities, and importance of your internal teams, and how you can empower them to drive your webinar program forward.

Let’s dive in.

An overview on driving webinar success with your internal teams

Drive the success of your webinar program with best practices for communicating, collaborating, planning, and executing across your internal teams.

Why should you care about enabling your internal teams?

To drive the success of your webinar program at-scale

In order to implement a scalable, repeatable process for planning, promoting, and executing your webinar activities, you must ensure that all relevant parties within your organization know their roles and responsibilities.

To ensure alignment across your sales and marketing organizations

By aligning your internal teams, you enable marketing and sales to each knows what they’re responsible for both pre- and post-webinar. This alignment also helps facilitate sales and marketing’s ability to promote and produce webinars concurrently as well as in part of their larger efforts.

To effectively utilize webinars throughout your entire buyer’s journey

Gain the ability to more efficiently plan webinars ahead of time, rather than on an ad-hoc basis. With a repeatable process and central webinar planning hub, you gain a clearer picture of upcoming and past webinars and are able to better strategize where, in your buyer’s journey, you could include more or improve.

When should you start evangelizing your internal teams?

Evangelizing your internal teams for webinar success could be sparked from a number of catalysts.

You may want to make your webinar program more repeatable and scalable, you may be tired of constantly feeling the pressure to produce new webinars, or maybe you just want your webinars to more effectively touch on relevant themes and topics.

You could want to improve your organization’s internal alignment around webinars because you’re using them more often and need to ensure that your audiences, topics, speakers, sales and marketing channels, and other operations do not overlap.

Or, perhaps your webinars play a larger, more important channel in your demand generation program and you want to be able to more strategically plan them. Whatever the reason, rallying your teams behind you ensures that everyone is marching to the beat of the same drum.

Who are the key stakeholders involved?

To ensure alignment across the different teams involved in your webinar program, your primary webinar team should involve the following stakeholders:

  • Project Manager: Webinar Program Hub, Webinar Program Strategy, Webinar Calendar and Planning, Overarching Webinar Processes, Webinar Topics
  • Resource Manager: Webinar Resource Allocation
  • Other Roles and Responsibilities:
    • Webinar Abstract Development
    • Speaker and Moderator Scheduling
    • Webinar Deck and Content Development
    • Webinar Console Management

The webinar team should work with marketing (for top-mid funnel webinars), sales (for mid-bottom funnel webinars), product marketing (for bottom-funnel and new product webinars), and customer success (for customer and new product webinars) to determine things like webinar topics, promotion channels, and timing.

Want more?

Now that you know the principles of driving webinar success with your internal teams, it’s time to put it all together. To learn how to do this and much, much more, join us at ON24’s Webinar World 2019 from March 11-13 in San Francisco, CA! PLUS save $500 and get free tickets using the code “Heinz_VIP” at checkout!

Watch keynote presentations, join breakout sessions, and participate in interactive labs all designed to help you utilize webinars and engage for action.

We’ll see you there!

Want to see what the leading engagement platform can do for you? Try our free 30-day Trial.

How to Streamline Webinars Ops with Integrations

This post was originally published on heinzmarketing.com. Syndicated with permission.

Last week, we debuted a new blog series: The Road to Webinar Success designed to help you better plan, think about, and utilize webinars in your broader demand generation initiatives. Our first installment covered a brief background on the value of webinars as well as their effectiveness, and also dug into The Power of Panel Webinars. If you haven’t yet, go back and read that blog to get yourself oriented.

This week, I want to look at what it means to streamline your webinar operations using integrated tools and technologies. What are the values of integration? Who are the key stakeholders involved? What do you need to consider when it comes to integration? That’s what we’re here to find out.

An overview on streamlining webinar operations with integrated technologies

While the functionality of an individual tool matters, at some point, you’re going to need it to start sharing information. With robust integration between your webinar platform and the rest of your marketing tech stack, you can streamline operations across your sales and marketing initiatives.

Why should you care about streamlining webinar operations with integration?

To act on buying signals

Today, marketing is all about identifying signals and acting on them, and while we’re in no short supply of tools to identify what people do, when, and where, siloed tools makes acting on those signals much more difficult.

To react more intelligently

When your data is effectively integrated, you can identify prospect actions across your tech stack and better understand how best to follow-up on that action, without the manual data pulls. If a lead attends a webinar, sales can be notified to follow-up. If a lead registers but doesn’t attend a webinar, they can be added to a specific nurture program. If a lead asks a question on a webinar, an SDR can answer immediately. With the right integration, you are able to continue the conversation rather than reaching out cold.

To reduce manual workflows

Automation allows you to reduce the amount of manual processes to get the data you want before, during, and after a webinar. It also makes possible to develop programs or see new angles to data that were previously too difficult or too risky to do manually.

The ability to integrate helps mitigate risks with tricky data, and it allows you to focus your time on more important facets of your role, rather than spending hours sifting through data trying to decipher what’s actually relevant.

To share data across sales and marketing

When your webinars are integrated, sales and marketing can be better aligned when it comes time to engage a lead. With your webinar data being shared across systems, both teams know how leads have engaged in your webinars and can more thoughtfully route them accordingly as part of continued nurture.

When it comes to integrations, anything that speeds up the sales and marketing process is beneficial. Anything that delays it is a problem.

To improve data and reporting capabilities

Gain a single source of truth not just for your webinar data, but also the role it plays amongst your broader sales and marketing activities. With this, you can simplify reporting and analytics and ensure that marketing, sales, and executive leadership are all looking at the same data to see reports with the same lens.

With integration, you are also able to build a process around how data is collected and acted on, getting the right data in front of the right people at the right time.

The more you can do to automate your workflows with inputs from integrations, the more you can do to drive the business forward.

When should you consider streamlining webinar operations with integration?

You should never not think about the possibility of integration.

The minute you have two systems, you should ask if they’re able to talk with each other. Consider using this play when you want your webinar program to play a larger role in your marketing strategy, you’re tired of manually sifting through webinar data, or your marketing, sales, and executive teams all lack a central data source.

You may also want more transparency and reliability in your data and reporting. Maybe you want tighter alignment between sales and marketing before, during, and after a webinar happens. Or perhaps you want to improve your lead conversion rates, follow-up actions, and broader lead engagement tactics.

Who are the key stakeholders involved in streamlining webinar operations with integration?

When it comes to integration, your marketing operations team should lead the charge. However, they should be sure to work with both sales and marketing to identify what tools need to be integrated, what inputs need to be involved, and what signals need to be tracked.

Want more?

Now that you know the principles of streamlining your webinar operations, it’s time to put it all together. To learn how to do this and much, much more, join us at ON24’s Webinar World 2019 from March 11-13 in San Francisco, CA! PLUS save $500 and get free tickets using the code “Heinz_VIP” at checkout!

Watch keynote presentations, join breakout sessions, and participate in interactive labs all designed to help you utilize webinars and engage for action.

We’ll see you there!

Can’t make it to Webinar World? Join us with a panel of experts from ON24, Netline, Sketchdeck, and DemandBase for our Panel Webinar to Drive Engagement, Action, Conversion, and Loyalty. Learn More >>

8 Ways Panel Webinars Provide Marketing Power

This post was originally published on heinzmarketing.com. Syndicated with permission.

With a panel webinar in your tool belt, you can give your prospects, leads and customers an authentic experience while engaging them far more meaningfully than with traditional assets. And, all while demonstrating your organization’s thought leadership with the added bonus of third-party endorsements from your panelists.

So, why should you care about panel webinars?

To Stand Out

Webinars have been done the same way for a long, long time, essentially comprised of one-sided PowerPoints, linear presentations, and a feeling of being lectured at. With a panel webinar, however, you’re able to foster much more fluid conversations not just between your panelists, but with the audience as well.

To Drive Authenticity

With a panel webinar, you become more approachable, more interactive, and more conversational. And these, in turn, highlight the more human, the more authentic, side of your organization.

To Gain Actionable Insights

Panel webinars allow you to engage leads in a much more powerful way — to make them a part of the conversation. And the more you involve them, the better you’re able to qualify them based on questions they ask and polls they respond to.

Through their interaction on the webinar, you are able learn more about them and move them through the funnel more effectively. And with this data, you’ll also have an easier time handing these leads to sales.

To Save Time and Resources

Most experts find panel discussions much easier than presentations. They’re more conversational, require less prep, and aren’t nearly as demanding as more traditional webinars are. Because of this, it will likely be much easier to get speakers to participate.

When Should You Use Panel Webinars?

As Mark Bornstein, VP of Marketing at ON24 says, “No matter where a lead is in the buyer’s journey, a conversation can be just as effective as a presentation.”

Top of Funnel

At the top of funnel, panel webinars can be used in a number of ways:

  • To establish your organization as a thought leader and trusted adviser
  • To generate net new leads with value-added content
  • To generate demand for and awareness of your organization’s expertise and focus areas
  • To drive deeper, more meaningful engagement amongst top of funnel leads

Middle of Funnel

In the middle of the funnel, panel webinars should be used to further qualify lead intent with more technical, educational topics that work to differentiate your brand. You can also use them to address use cases and scenarios by hosting a panel of customers who speak about their experiences with your product.

Bottom of Funnel

And at the bottom of the funnel, panel webinars can be used to speak to your core product capabilities with a panel of engineers or product managers, up-sell or cross-sell by promoting new features and product launches, and validate your organization with customers speaking to your expertise.

How Much Time Do You Need to Prepare a Panel Webinar?

When planning a panel webinar, you should give yourself between 6-8 weeks to prepare. This will ensure you have your resources planned, promotions mapped out, and topics and speakers confirmed.

Like most webinars, a panel webinar should be between 30-60 minutes. This will help ensure the audience stays engaged the entire length of the session and reduces the possibility of drop-off.

Who Are the Key Stakeholders Involved in a Panel Webinar?

Who’s responsible for what in a panel webinar?  Here’s a quick view of the roles and responsibilities:

  • Marketing: Strategy, Planning, Production, Promotion
  • Sales: Promotion, Lead Engagement, Follow-Up
  • Moderator: Discussion Guide, Time Management, Audience Input Management
  • Panelists: Subject Matter Experts, Strong Speakers, Engaging Perspectives

How Do You Produce a Panel Webinar?

Now that you know the principles of producing a panel webinar, it’s time to put it all together. To learn how to do this and much, much more, join us at ON24’s Webinar World 2019 from March 11-13 in San Francisco, CA! PLUS save $500 and get free tickets using the code “Heinz_VIP” at checkout!

Watch keynote presentations, join breakout sessions, and participate in interactive labs all designed to help you utilize webinars and engage for action.

We’ll see you there!

Can’t make it to Webinar World? Join Matt Heinz and a panel of experts from ON24, Netline, Sketchdeck, and DemandBase for our panel webinar, “Cut Thorugh the B2B Noise: Drive Engagement, Action, Conversion, and Loyalty.”

ON24 Master Classes: Deep Dives into Engagement

Getting the most out of your webinar programs means knowing how to drive engagement and setting up systems for success.  And the best way to learn how to do both is with a community.

That’s why at Webinar World 2019, we’re offering two pre-conference master class sessions, collectively called Mastering ON24.

The Mastering ON24 pre-conference tracks will boost your webinar abilities, program and provide you with the tools to drive real measurable results. The sessions, running from 1 – 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 11, will cover essential webinar techniques, expert opinion on webinar strategies and the inside view on how to use webinar data — all directly from the ON24 team!

Here are the two master class sessions in store for you at Webinar World 2019:

Mastering ON24: Webinerd Deep-Dive

If you’re ready to take your webinar strategy and execution to the next level, this session is for you. You’ll have a chance to go deep into Webcast Elite and learn expert tips to optimize your webinars and maximize results by learning:

  • Tips and best practices for webinar presentations, from delivering to on-boarding to managing
  • Using your webinar data to take action and inform campaigns
  • Creating different content experiences using webinars, from on-demand to personalized

Mastering ON24: Webinewbie Introduction

Accelerate your webinerd transformation with this introductory training. Learn critical techniques for setting yourself up for webinar program success.

You’ll learn:

  • Webinar project management 101
  • Best practices for running simulive webinars
  • Deep dive into widgets that increase engagement and collaboration

Mastering ON24 classes at Webinar World 2019 require a basic familiarity with the ON24 Platform.

3 Ways Valeo Rocks Its Training Webinars

Good design can break the language barrier — especially good webinar design. Don’t believe us? This webinar by Valeo, a participant in the 2018 Webinars That Rocked, proves the case.

Valeo is a multinational automotive supplier and partner to automakers. To build its brand and provide a critical service to its main audience, the company provides face-to-face training. But in-person training are limited in nature, and generally can’t reach a large audience and maintain a one-to-one presence at scale.

To address these issues, Valeo uses webinars to promote its training. And it provides some of the best training webinars we’ve ever seen. How? Well let’s take a look:

Valeo Does Mixed-Media Training Right

Valeo structured its webinar to provide attendees with the clearest understanding of its subject as possible. For the company, this meant starting with a live video recording of its experts giving the lay of the course’s land followed by a series of slides diagraming the automotive parts in questions.

To make its diagrams digestible, and to stay on track with its course, the trainers used pre-recorded audio to explain what its audience is looking at. But here’s what makes Valeo stand out from the rest: the company cut to a video demo showing attendees the actual parts in question, how they interact with automotive parts and how the parts can be broken down. Once the demo ended, it cut back to its presenters for a live Q&A session.

Simply put: they optimized the educational webinar for a technical audience. It’s brilliant.

Certification For Attendees

So what’s at the end of the rainbow for Valeo webinar attendees? Well, a valuable certificate showing they’ve completed the company’s training. For professionals needing to maintain a license or prove they’re continuing their professional education, certificates are invaluable.

For Valeo, it only offers a certificate after its attendees watch the demo for 30 minutes. But, if it needed to, it could stipulate that attendees must also ask questions, participate in polls and more to receive credit.

Makes Resources Easily Available

Last but not least, Valeo provides its attendees with downloadable resources they can use. This ranges from the company’s online catalog and service portal to a downloadable .PDF laying out how to maintain a hybrid car, what parts they’ll need and how these parts interact with automobiles in general.

All in all, Valeo assembled a fantastic training webinar that really drives home how to translate face-to-face training to a digital environment. How it structured its webinar is well thought out and amplifies its educational content to attendees.

Keep an eye on the ON24 blog for more insights and inspiration from the Webinars That Rocked 2018. Curious to see what a great webinar can do for you? Check out Webinars That Rocked on demand.