How Webinars Fuel Captivating Digital Experiences

Webinars are powerful lead generation tools that capture attendee interest and give marketers the insights they need to what audiences genuinely want. But webinars are only one part of the audience’s content journey. With the right eye and the right tools, scrappy marketers can use webinars to craft unified digital experiences that audiences love.

To see how marketers can use webinars to push digital experiences forward, we asked some of the smartest people we know: our #Webinerd community. Here’s what they had to say about transforming basic webinar marketing into captivating digital experiences:

Use Webinars for Podcasts, Branded Series and More

With the right vision, webinars can be more than webinars. One webinerd said that, since podcasts are so popular right now, they’re using the ON24 Platform to create and record short live video podcasts. With these recordings in hand, they can then extract the audio and share it across multiple podcast platforms.

Learn how you can turn your webinars into podcasts here.

Podcasts are great, but there’s a lot to be said for running a great webinar series as well. One webinerd said their organization is testing out a “webinar-a-week” program for its major product line and will use simulive webinars to run the same lead generation or thought leadership webinar throughout the month. It’s a great way to kickstart a simple webinar series, test post-webinar engagement tools like surveys and polls and — as this webinerd points out — make the most out of limited speaker time.

Kickstart your own webinar series with WBPS: How To Create Engaging Webinar Programming.

Drop the Slides and Pick Up Video 

Webinars ought to be exciting, engaging affairs. But too many webinars are simply presenters calling in and speaking to a set of slides. Dull.

Well, the webinerd community it changing it up with video. Multiple community members say they’re not only dropping slides in favor of video, but incorporating video elements throughout the entire audience content journey. One webinerd said they’re moving away from slides in favor of speaker panels, video podcasts and short video clips that play before a live webinar.

Another webinerd is planning to turn away from slides in their presentations and use videos instead while others say they’re using video clips to point audiences towards other webinars of interest. Regardless, integrating video in your webinars isn’t as difficult — or expensive — as it seems. Learn how you can easily incorporate video into your webinars here.

Focus On Audience Engagement

By far, the number one thing webinerds do to enhance digital experiences is focusing on the audience’s engagement. For example, one webinerds has created an early access program that requires an orientation webinar with their company’s product manager. The result: exclusive features for engaged members and a direct line between the end-use and product manager.

Other webinerds are mapping out engagement opportunities throughout their customer journey using the ON24 CTA tool. This tool allows marketers to direct audiences towards the next step in their content journey, flag important assets to download or directly schedule meetings with a member of the sales team. One webinerd said they’re getting scrappy and using engagement tools — like polls and downloadable resources — to support email campaigns and product launches.

So, next time you find yourself wondering what you can do to enhance your marketing program, take a page from the webinerds and think about how the creative ways webinars can help enhance your digital experiences.

Webinars That Rocked: Collette

In late 2019, we ran the annual Webinars That Rocked edition of Webinar Best Practices Series. During the episode, Mark Bornstein dived into what made rockin’ webinars so excellent. There were a lot of great entries, but Collette stood apart from the pack, taking bronze in last year’s Webinars That Rocked. Let’s take a look at why.

Collette, a leading worldwide destination and travel company that got its start in 1918. So what did Collette do to make its webinars rock?

Killer Consoles

Looking to tour the world? Then you’re looking for places that make your interest pop. And what better way to capture curiosity than with plenty of resources and a console that makes Kodachrome jealous. Collette’s console uses a high-quality image of Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral to capture the viewer’s attention and includes an array of colorful icons for its toolbar at the bottom of the page. Great use of color.

Lots of Interactive Opportunities

Take another look at the slide above. How many engagement opportunities do you see? There are at least 15 — 10 resources, two CTAs, a Q&A, a Survey and a Social Media tool. And there could be more! The point is: don’t be afraid to provide your audiences with resources and opportunities for them to signal what they want from you. You can, as Collette did, let attendees sign up for an entire webinar series, direct them to a salesperson and much more. Get creative and refine as you go.

Seamless Multimedia Experience

When it comes to webinars, you don’t have to choose between audio, video or PowerPoint slides. You can use all three to great effect. Collette’s winning webinar, for example, is a primarily an audio-based webinar where the presenters dial-in and speak to a pre-loaded slide deck. But instead of just leaving it (admittedly stylish) slides, Collette also weaved in multiple video clips throughout its presentation. As Mark said, it’s a perfect way of making an audio webinar feel like a video webinar.

Webinars That Rocked: Securly

In late 2019, we ran the annual Webinars That Rocked edition of Webinar Best Practices Series. During the episode, Mark Bornstein dived into what made rockin’ webinars so excellent. There were a lot of great entries, but Securly stood apart from the pack, taking silver in last year’s Webinars That Rocked. Let’s take a look at why.

Securly — an awesome company that helps communities to keep kids safe and engaged online, at school and at home. But how did it rock webinars exactly? Simple: smart branded design, approachable hosts, screen-share demos and tons of content.

Great Branded Design

First, let’s talk about design. Securly themed its summer webinars around an immediate pop culture phenomenon that’s surprisingly in sync with what the company is about (minus supernatural ghouls and all that): Stranger Things. Getting inspiration from pop culture and TV shows is an excellent idea because it’s defusing and makes what you’re trying to share immediately relatable.

Serialized Webinars

But series branding is only one element at play. Hosts, too, can play an essential role in how a webinar series is received and how audiences relate to an organization. Securly’s approach is to bring Will Patterson, Security and Safety Evangelist (and competing Chief Webinerd) front and center to guide attendees through the webinar series, introduce subject matter experts and more.

Of course, you need to get audiences to sign up for your webinar series. To encourage sign-ups, Securly offers registrants the ability to sign up for more than one event in the series — letting them choose which courses to take over the summer. This is great on two levels. First, it gives registrants the control they deserve. Second, it highlights for you the topics that resonate with your audience.

Great Interactivity

Finally — and most critically — Securly knows how to generate interactivity. During its webinars, the company would facilitate an extended Q&A session that put audience questions up on the slide window — thrilling for the person who asked the questions and inspiring for those who’d like to get their questions up on the board. In addition to it’s great Q&A, Securly has a range of resources for attendees to download, link out to and read.

Webinars That Rocked: Red Whale

In late 2019, we ran the annual Webinars That Rocked edition of Webinar Best Practices Series. During the episode, Mark Bornstein dived into what made rockin’ webinars so excellent. There were a lot of great entries, but Red  Whale — a leading provider of primary care medical care education in the United Kingdom — took the top spot as the most rockin’ webinars of 2019 (as voted on by #webinerds like you). But what did it do to make its webinars rock? Let’s take a look:

Making a Difficult Topic Approachable

Red Whale had a tough job: take a fundamentally personal and sensitive issue, menopause, and make it both relatable and lighthearted to a mass audience that needs to know how to discuss menopause similarly with patients. How did it manage this task? Well, Red Whale provided its audience with a range of resources to download for their education, a Q&A chat, a CTA to for future webinars, polls and hosts that tied the whole thing together.

Multiple Presenters

Red Whale’s hosts played a critical part by diving into the details (also: note that “deep dive” is a recurring theme for the webinar background too — apt for a deep dive series) in their own way.

How? The hosts crafted their own skits that they then acted out in front of green screens to make their lessons more approachable. They even used baking as a metaphor to explain hormone replacement therapy. That’s incredible. And it brings us to our next point.

Making It All Seamless and Relatable

Red Whale had one focal point in its webinar: to make its subject as relatable and understandable as possible. It didn’t assume anything of its audience and it took the time to walk through its topic in memorable ways. But most of all, its hosts weaved the entire presentation together to create a fun, educational event that made it the most rockin’ webinar of the year.

ON24 Webinars of 2019 Wrap-up

We hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31 and are ready for a fantastic new decade. If you were on social (and you know you were) you probably saw a little #webinerd countdown recapping what went down in 2019. We thought it had such great tidbits (who knew dogs, cats and cannabis made for a webinar?) that we’re re-listing the countdown here.

Take a look:

We keep feeding the content beast, and the appetite for binge-ing has yet to be satisfied:
ON24 #webinerds load ten new pieces of content into their ON24 Engagement Hub every 90 days.

Data is the reigning webinar keyword of 2019… and there’s a growing concern for keeping it safe. Nearly 90 webinars were held on data privacy.

Every single ON24 webinar rocked this year. And, eight of those webinars, covering topics that ranged from medical education to international travel, rocked especially hard and were featured on the main stage as winners of our annual “Webinars that Rocked” webinar. Watch the replay to see what makes these webinars truly rock! Watch now.

Our audience wants to keep their journey going… and going… and going… More than 17,000 webinar attendees in 2019 clicked through from a webinar into another webinar or content experience.

Webinars are getting personal. Really personal. More than six body parts underwent live surgery on webcam this year, including a human heart, eyeball, mouth, nose, feet and full set of toes.

The OK Boomer meme made its way into webinars… in a nice way 😉 five webinars focused on helping Boomers and Millennials bridge the generational gap.

People want the facts more than ever before. More than 400 webinars about research happened in 2019.

Cannabis, cats and dogs. The three most surprising words combined in a single webinar title this year.

Climate Change is a HOT topic … pun intended. Over 20 webinars this summer included it in their title.

But of all the 200K+ webinars we powered this year, only one webinar series was entirely dedicated to, well, you guessed it, webinars. Led by the one and only Chief Webinerd, Mark Bornstein, we broke all kinds of records, engaging in 10K+ unique interactions with over 13K of you #webinerds over the past 12 months.

So, if there’s one thing for sure about 2019… we couldn’t have achieved any of it without you.

Thank you, and cheers to an even better year of webinars in 2020!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

The Top Three Webinars That Rocked 2019

At ON24, we like to cap the end of the year on a high note. To do so, we go out and ask #webinerds like you to highlight the webinars you came across that you thought rocked. Then, we curate the best of the best and present them to you in our annual Webinars That Rocked event.

This year, we had a slew of excellent webinars to work through. And that’s not an exaggeration: from console design and programmatic approaches to planned interactivity and engagement — the crop of webinars this year was the best yet.

But who was the best? Let’s take a look at the three winners from this year’s Webinars That Rocked.

#3 Collette

Our first webinar that rocked is from Collette, a leading worldwide destination and travel company that got its start in 1918. So what did Collette do to make its webinars rock?

A Killer Console

Looking to tour the world? Then you’re looking for places that make your interest pop. And what better way to capture curiosity than with plenty of resources and a console that makes Kodachrome jealous. Collette’s console uses a high-quality image of Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral to capture the viewer’s attention and includes an array of colorful icons for its toolbar at the bottom of the page. Great use of color.

Lots of Interactive Opportunities

Take another look at the slide above. How many engagement opportunities do you see? There are at least 15: 10 resources, two CTAs, a Q&A, a Survey and a Social Media tool. And there could be more! The point is: don’t be afraid to provide your audience with resources and opportunities for them to signal what they want from you. You can, as Collette did, let attendees sign up for an entire webinar series, direct them to a salesperson and much more. Get creative and refine as you go.

Seamless Multimedia Experience

When it comes to webinars, you don’t have to choose between audio, video or PowerPoint slides. You can use all three. Collette’s winning webinar, for example, is primarily an audio-based webinar where the presenters dial-in and speak to a pre-loaded slide deck. But instead of just leaving it at (admittedly stylish) slides, Collette also weaved in multiple video clips throughout its presentation. As Mark said, it’s a perfect way of making an audio webinar feel like a video webinar.

#2 Securly

Taking silver in this year’s Webinars That Rocked is Securly — an awesome company that helps communities to keep kids safe and engaged online, at school and at home. But how did it rock webinars exactly? Simple: smart branded design, approachable hosts, screen-share demos and tons of content.

Great Branded Design

First, let’s talk about design. Securly themed its summer webinars around an immediate pop culture phenomenon that’s surprisingly in sync with what the company is about (minus supernatural ghouls and all that): Stranger Things. Getting inspiration from pop culture and TV shows is an excellent idea because it can be defusing and makes what you’re trying to share immediately relatable.

Serialized Webinars

But series branding is only one element at play. Hosts, too, can play an essential role in how a webinar series is received and how audiences relate to an organization. Securly’s approach is to bring Will Patterson, Security and Safety Evangelist (and competing Chief Webinerd) front and center to guide attendees through the webinar series, introduce subject matter experts and more.

Of course, you need to get audiences to sign up for your webinar series. To encourage sign-ups, Securly offers registrants the ability to sign up for more than one event in the series — letting them choose which courses to take over the summer. This is great on two levels. First, it gives registrants the control they deserve. Second, it highlights for you the topics that resonate with your audience.

Great Interactivity

Finally — and most critically — Securly knows how to generate interactivity. During its webinars, the company would facilitate an extended Q&A session that put audience questions up on the slide window — thrilling for the person who asked the questions and inspiring for those who’d like to get their questions up on the board. In addition to it’s great Q&A, Securly has a range of resources for attendees to download, link out to and read.

#1 Red Whale

Alright, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the webinar that rocked 2019. And that prize goes to Red Whale — a leading provider of primary care medical care education in the United Kingdom. But what did it do to make its webinars rock? Let’s take a look:

Making a Difficult Topic Approachable

Red Whale had a tough job: take a fundamentally personal and sensitive issue, menopause, and make it both relatable and lighthearted to a mass audience that needs to know how to discuss menopause similarly with patients. How did it manage this task? Well, Red Whale provided its audience with a range of resources to download for their education, a Q&A chat, a CTA to for future webinars, polls and hosts that tied the whole thing together.

Multiple Presenters

Red Whale’s multiple presenters played a critical part by diving into the details (also: note that “deep dive” is a recurring theme for the webinar background too — apt for a deep dive series) in their own way.

How? The hosts crafted their own skits that they then acted out in front of green screens to make their lessons more approachable. They even used baking as a metaphor to explain hormone replacement therapy. That’s incredible. And it brings us to our next point.

Making It All Seamless and Relatable

Red Whale had one focal point in its webinar: to make its subject as relatable and understandable as possible. It didn’t assume anything of its audience and it took the time to walk through its topic in memorable ways. But most of all, its hosts weaved the entire presentation together to create a fun, educational event that made it the most rockin’ webinar of the year.

So there you have it. Three webinars that went above and beyond in 2019 to deliver approachable content that resonated, educated and engaged with audiences of all backgrounds. If you’d like to learn more about how you can create a webinar that rocks, then keep an eye on this space in January — Webinerd Appreciation Month — when we take a closer look at all of the Webinars That Rocked 2019 finalists and why they each rocked in their way.

Meet the #Webinerd: AccuWeather’s Ashely Bergman

At ON24, we love our webinerd community. That’s why, on occasion, we like to take the time to highlight and celebrate the ultimate webinerds out there — you — with our Webinerd of the Week series.

This week’s webinerd of the week is Ashely Bergman, Sales Marketing Manager at AccuWeather. Ashely is AccuWeather’s onboarding and training guru for its enterprise solutions sales team. To help get her peers and others in the company onto the same page, Ashely crafts webinars that everyone can turn to for reference.

To see what makes as a #webinerd, we asked Ashley a few questions. Here they are in Q&A format:

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

Ashley: To be able to host awesome high engagement webinars for your company.

Q: Tell us about an app/tool that you can’t live without

Ashley: Facebook and Snapchat.

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

Ashley: Chasing my two boys (Six and two years old), Man-child (a.k.a. husband), and our dog.

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

Ashley: Creating training, new hire “battle book” that everyone (including seasonal and board members) in the office wanted. Think of like the Webinar bible you mention in Period 2, I believe. but this was the bible for the whole company.

Q: Okay, what do you love about ON24?

Ashley:

So easy, simple and resources galore!

Q: Final question. Why is the ON24 #webinerd community important to you?

Ashley: Resource list!

Announcing the W.E.B.I.N.E.R.D. EDU Superlatives

A few weeks ago, we wrapped up the W.E.B.I.N.E.R.D. Educational program, a course designed to teach webinar practitioners how they can get more out of the ON24 Platform. As extra credit, we asked our course participants to highlight themselves, or a colleague, to identify the superlative webinerds among us.

We got a lot of submissions, but we whittled them down to seven superlative winners. Here they are by category.

BEST WEBINERD TEAM

Your webinar program wouldn’t be a success without the help of your talented teammates. Through your collective efforts, you guys push the boundaries on webinar creativity and crush goals.

Winner: Abit Luempert of Ulmer & Berne LLP

We’re doing our best to improve, become self-sufficient and best utilize the many, many tools offered by ON24.

NERDIEST OF THE WEBINERDS

When it comes to your webinar program, you totally geek out about the data and analytics and can’t wait to report back the metrics to your stakeholders.

Winner: Jocelyn Robertson of Edelman Financial Engines

I have read nearly all of the articles in the Knowledge Center a few times like an obsessed person needing to know every inch and functionality your platform brings. From that knowledge, I can solve any problem super quick that might arise before/during/after a webinar so that no one would even know we had an issue. Also, I have created a few hacks for getting things done that might not be super straightforward to do on the platform. Not to mention trying to integrate ON24 with as many other platforms as I can to help increase my productivity. I geek out about technology and all the fun things you can do with it! So bring on the apocalypse!

MOST LIKELY TO SURVIVE THE WEBINAR APOCALYPSE

You’re prepared for everything and anything. When it comes to your webinar program, you have a backup plan for your backup plan.

Winner: Stacy Combest of Hootsuite

Picture it: A zombie just spotted me! But I don’t panic. My next steps are determined by what type of zombie I’m dealing with; are we talking Walking Dead Zombie, World World Z, Zombieland, or worse! Night of the Living Dead zombie! (Brains not included.) Always a cool cucumber under pressure, I take aim and fire! Crisis averted, zombie dead and the webinar is a success!

THE CLASS CLOWN

You always bring an element of fun and creativity to your webinars. Whether it is the occasional dad joke to get your audience’s attention or catchy webinar title, you prioritize turning boring webinar topics into sessions that wow.

Winner: Brian Higgins of Collette Travel

Our team has gone through a transition, with our Webinar Manager moving into a different role and a new Webinar Coordinator joining the team as we simultaneously were shifting focus from sales and marketing to also be part of the Learning Team. Despite still being a small Webinar team of 2 people, we continue to produce hundreds of high quality live and on-demand webinars each year.

As a presenter, I always try to keep it lively and engaging; sometimes that means adding a little joke or fun fact to keep the audience on their toes, while also using my presentation style to make sure they don’t fall asleep on their keyboards – I don’t want to see what that would look like in the Q&A!

MOST LIKELY TO DETHRONE MARK AS CHIEF WEBINERD

Mark Bornstein, the man, the myth, the webinerd legend. If you don’t know him or his work, refrain from nominating for this superlative. 😉

Winner: Allison Snyder of RSM US LLP

I share Mark’s passion, energy and overall geekdom for all things webinars!

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

You recently joined the ON24 #webinerd family. And guess what? You love it. The newcomer of the year is someone who has fully embraced the #webinerd community to learn and level up their skills.

Winner: Becca Wolfe of Relativity

I was handed the project of scheduling and coordinating webinars weeks after starting my role and ended up flying to SF for Webinar World 2019 that upcoming weekend! I went to the event, not knowing much at all about the platform, having only once attended an ON24 webinar. I dove right in and not even five months later, I’m running our webinars like it’s no big deal! I’m working to bring more to our continuing education and ask the expert programs by trying new features that our company has never used. I’m learning more and more each day and have completed the Webinerd Certifications as well. I now lead my quarterly webinar meetings rocking my #Webinerd bomber I earned through the network. I feel like I’ve come a long way since March!

MOST IMPROVED WEBINERD

You started out as a complete webinewbie, but now you’ve embraced the webinerd lifestyle to its fullest. Your webinar program is a well-oiled machine that delivers results.

Winner: Pam Granzin of SCOR Global Life Reinsurance of North America

I’ve been using ON24 for two years, but I’ve learned more about features, functions and the fun of the platform during the past eight weeks than in the prior two years. I wasn’t a total WebNewbie, and we aren’t quite a well-oiled machine (yet), but I have created a playbook and a creative brief template. I’ve added CTAs to our console design for the first time. I’ve spoken to our presenters about using Webcams for webinars vs. just showing their slides with voiceover. I have a list of questions to discuss with my tech rep at ON24. I have a list of goals for the webinar program and ideas to achieve them. I have been energized by this training and look forward to wearing my WEBINERD label with pride!

#Webinerd of the Week: Jocelyn Robertson

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

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

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

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

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

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

What app or tool can you not live without?

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

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

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

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

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

What do you love about ON24?

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

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

How has the ON24 webinerd community helped you?

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