Build Better Email Marketing Campaigns (With Tips From Webinar World!)

At ON24, we’re all about webinar marketing. But webinars are more than just the event — they require a full suite of marketing expertise. That’s why we’re thrilled to share this article by Betty Kaufman, Senior Director of Content Marketing for Position² . In it, Betty lays out the email marketing rules — inspired by Webinar World 2019 — you need to abide by. This article originally appeared on Position².com. Shared with the author’s permission. 

Email continues to be a critical piece of most demand-gen marketing campaigns. But sadly, email doesn’t always perform the way you need it. Often leaving you to wonder if the email was opened, was it just deleted, or even worse, was it seen at all?

You know how it is, we have all done it. We skim through the long list of emails we receive daily and delete the ones that do not grab our attention. We are busy, in a hurry and usually on a different mission.

I recently attended Webinar World and took away a lot of great ideas that apply not only to webinars but also to email marketing.

Many of these ideas you will probably know, but do you use them on every email? Do your emails grab your email recipients’ attention and hold it long enough for them actually to open the email, and click through?

What can you do to send an effective email and to improve that email’s performance and get better click-through rates? If you follow these seven tips to improve emails, you’re likely to see much better open rates and marketing ROI from your email marketing strategy.

Email Tip #1: Enhance your Emails

Start with your email subject line. This is where you will grab or lose your email recipient’s attention. Spend a little extra time on your subject line. Treat this as if you were creating a thought-provoking, engaging blog headline. However, keep the length in mind. The optimal range should be between six and ten words. Keeping subject lines short and sweet will ensure that they look and read great for both PC and mobile users. Subject lines that are too long are often cut off on mobile devices. Thus, your reader will not get the best view of your email and may delete it or send it to the spam folder.

Your subject line should include action verbs that help direct the reader before they even open the email, and:

  • Be disruptive
  • Address a specific pain point
  • Promise change
  • Build curiosity
  • Create a sense of urgency

Try titles like these:

  • Top 10…
  • How to…
  • Insider’s Guide to…
  • 2018/2019 report…
  • Solving…

If you really want your email to have personality, consider adding an image, an icon, a dynamic gif or an emoji to the subject line or header. This will help use fewer words but get more information in a fun, engaging way.

Make sure to optimize images using alt text to help give a context for your email images. This helps if your images get blocked by the spam filters or email clients. Also, if you can, make the whole email clickable. If not, at least make the entire header clickable.

Try to alternate between HTML and plain text. Include images and colors along with plain text with no graphics or formatting.

Email Tip #2: Prepare Preview Text

The preview or preheader text is a quick snippet of text that follows the email subject line. Many email programs show a preview to help you decide whether to open the email or not, especially on mobile devices. If you use the preview text in the right way, it presents an extra shot at picking up the reader’s interest and sway them to read past the subject line. However, you only have a few characters to do so.

Remember to:

  • Keep preview text short and engaging
  • Keep the keyword or buzzwords to the beginning of the preview
  • Keep your headline promise the same through your preview text
  • Include a sense of urgency

Email Tip #3: target your Target Audience

Writing email copy that meets the needs of your audience can improve conversion rates tremendously. When you know your audience, you can better target their need and provide solutions. Build out a persona list before drafting your email copy. Use a segment list and sort it by demographic, gender, age, and type of industry. One piece of advice is to target the subscribers who interact with your emails the most.

There are times when people will look, but not download an asset. Send these people an email saying something like “We know this is very important to you. Here is one last reason why you should look at…” Make these on-the-fence emails look different from other marketing emails. Build those loyal customers and clients, one email at a time.

Email Tip #4: Personalize

Forget those email templates. Address the reader by their name and make them feel like a friend. Personalized emails can improve open rates tremendously and keep your email from being sent to the spam folder. Let’s face it; when we see our name, we feel a sense of belonging and feel that the email is created especially for us. Stay away from templatizing your emails and create them on a more personalized level by signing off with your own name instead of a generic company name. By keeping your email personal, you are instilling a sense of trust.

Improving Emails Tip #5: Use more you and less we – write in the second person

Keep your email targeting towards the reader. Try to refrain from the “me, our, we,” syndrome. Create your emails by using the pronouns “you,” “your,” “yours,” keeping the focus on the brand of the customer. Remember to give them answers that explain what is in it for them, how you can help them or their company.

Improving Emails Tip #6: Short, Sweet and Scannable

Recognize that the earlier somebody is in the sales cycle, the less time you have to talk to them. Get to your enticing point or value proposition quickly. Be respectful of their time. Do not use technical or sales talk. Keep it jargon-free and in layperson’s terms. Steer clear of overly promotional claims. Overall, create your email for those that scan read with subheads, bullet and numbered lists and small bite-sized information that is quick to digest.

Don’t forget those images!

No one said it better than Elliott Erwitt. “The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” Images help support your marketing email message and tell your story.

Email Tip #7: Make those Calls to Action Shine

Never send an email that doesn’t have a follow-up call to action. If you want to increase your conversion rate, you need to think of your email campaigns as a customer journey. Each email should be an experience for your email recipients. Remember, when you’re on a journey, you’re always looking for the next step. So, figure out what path or following action you want the email recipient to take as a result of reading each email. Use your calls to action to make that step crystal clear.

A Couple Email Marketing Tips Beyond Email Content

Share your Information First

Forget about getting names as a priority strategy. This was the hardest takeaway for me. However, I am going to try to abide by it. The moment you ask people to fill out a form, you get pushback. How many people do not download your asset because they are not ready to tell you who they are? Therefore, you do not get their name or information. However, if your information is so valuable that everybody should see it, let everybody see it. Share it instead of hiding behind it. Wait until the bewitching hour – perhaps when somebody’s ready to request a demo – to get their information. This will also help with your subscriber list.

A/B Test Everything and Learn from Every Drop

Remember your email marketing strategy does not stop after sending the email. Don’t write all of your emails in advance. Learn from each email drop. Build a stronger marketing strategy by A/B testing everything – from the titles to the headers to the text to the images. Use what you learn to create subsequent emails to make them more effective.

Remember, your email copy and subject lines are only a part of a larger email marketing strategy. Get the strategy right and follow through with compelling email messages to get better open rates, conversion rates, and marketing ROI.

I hope these email tips have a positive impact on the performance of your next email campaign.

How an Award-Winning Community Boosts Engagement with Webinars

Newark element14 is a high-service distributor of technology products, services and solutions for electronic system design, maintenance and repair. Bringing together the latest products, services, and development software, all connected to an innovative online engineering community where purchasers and engineers can access peers and experts, a wide range of independent technical information and helpful tools.

Whether researching new technology, designing an electronic product, or looking for parts to repair an existing system, Newark is the trusted global source to find the answers and parts you need to keep your project on the fast track, right from the start.

 

Diane Kibbey, VP of Community and Social Media at Newark, is responsible for reaching out and connecting with a  community of more than 600,000 engineers. For the Newark team, aside from the community experience and discussion board, webinars traditionally performed as a top tactic to cost-effectively connect and engage hundreds of Newark element 14 community members. However, over time, attendance and active participation declined. As she explored how she could improve the webinar experience, she realized the current tool, WebEx, couldn’t provide the data she needed to investigate declining performance and didn’t support her vision to provide a seamless journey from community platform to webinar program.

After researching alternatives to WebEx, Diane turned to the ON24 webinar platform to engage with and delight her community members, and the first webinar was a hit! The company engaged with 220+ community members with 200 survey responses. Even better, Diane and her team recruited 30 new members to the community from the webinar and, over time, generated 500 additional on-demand views.

Newark selected ON24 for three key benefits:

  • Ease of use for remote presenters – With the help of the ON24 platform, Newark humanized their brand by having their experts from around the world present using video seamlessly.
  • Detailed analytics – With ON24, Newark could see how the audience interacted with the provided resources, surveys and determine how to follow up with each attendee.
  • Single-Sign-On capability – Using ON24’s integration services, Newark set up single-sign-on between the community platform and ON24, allowing community members, when logged into the community, the ability to register for webinars without having to input their information again.

How Can We Humanise the Digital Marketing Experience?

Each month, the team at ON24 puts together Insight50 – where we provide fellow Webinerds with 50 minutes of expert insight and answer the questions that are important to you.

One of our recent sessions was on humanising the digital marketing experience. With just about every marketer singing the praises of the benefits of personalisation, how can it be done at scale without losing the personal touch and putting off prospects?

The below is just a brief wrap up of insights from Joel Harrison at B2B Marketing, Leanne Chesco at Demandbase and Matt Heinz at Heinz Marketing – and of course, you the viewers! If you didn’t manage to see it, view it on-demand here.

As we move further into the world of digital, keeping marketing personal and human can prove to be difficult. While it is one thing to be able to personalise the experience for one or even a few targets, it’s another to do it at scale.

So how do marketers use the technology available to them to work at scale, keep it personal and make it human? Here are a few insights from our panel of experts.

Why is it important to be human at scale?

You could probably look in your inbox right now and find an email that was meant to be personalised, but somehow failed for any number of reasons. In fact, more than 4 in 10 (43.3%) of webinar attendees reported that on a weekly basis, they received ‘personal’ emails that were clearly automated and as a result became irritated. Another one-third (33.3%) said they receive these types of emails daily.

It’s clear that receiving emails where it is apparent that no one bothered to research who the recipient is, what their organisation does or the specific needs of the organisation are can be off-putting to the recipient and counterproductive for the sender.

For Joel, the importance of being human at scale is because as marketing continues to become more digital, it becomes more difficult to get more traction in brands and to see through what is not relevant.

“As much as we need to be digital, we need to be human. That’s what creates traction with our audience. I think it’s fair to say that B2B buyers are becoming more and more cynical so I think that, for me, that’s the importance of being human.”

At the same time, Matt Heinz warned about getting too caught up on efficiency and scale at the expense of the experience for the buyer. He reminds the audience of the importance of creating a one-on-one experience for their customers.

“I think it’s important to keep in mind that no matter what your campaign is, no matter where you’re sending it from, for the recipient, for the buyer, for your customer, it is always a one-on-one interaction. They don’t care how many other people you’re sending that message to. They are just thinking about themselves. And they’re receiving that message as one person as an individual.”

How can automation be used more effectively?

When webinar attendees were asked to describe their organisation’s approach when it comes to automation 39.3% said they did not use marketing automation and 28.6% said they use automation in a limited way.

One-fifth (21.4%) said they do use automation more than before, but it still sometimes appears stilted and unnatural. For these organisations who reported using automation but maybe not in the most effective way, Matt suggested stepping back away from working in ‘fire drill mode’ and looking at what automation can do for the organisation.

“What you’re doing in eight hours, you could do in two. What you’re doing to impact 100 customers, you could impact 10,000 customers. And yes, you’re going to have to step back and do some work to put that in place. But that investment and creating those automated systems is going to have a far-reaching, scalable, highly valuable impact on what marketing can do not only with those customers, but the impact marketing can have on sales and revenue.”

For organisations that have marketing automation in place but their sales teams are not taking advantage of it, Leanne suggests that marketers get that data into the hands of reps. Providing them information like intent data can help validate that their prospects are showing buying signals, while behavioural data from target accounts can inform salespeople that their prospects are visiting their website.

“Say a customer is coming up for renewal, you can look at things like intent data to understand actually what that company is looking at. That includes content that’s on your website, but also content that could be on your competitor’s website. That’s definitely the type of data that is great to get in the hands of your salespeople to help them validate that this account is in a good position to either engage in a sales cycle, or that the sales cycle looks healthy.”

What are the barriers to making the digital marketing experience more human?

One of the barriers to humanising the digital experience for one-quarter (25%) of the webinar attendees was a lack of time and personnel to develop processes and campaigns. Other barriers to a lesser degree included legacy technology, integration between systems and internal disagreements about the best approach to take.

However, the biggest barrier for one-third (33.3%) of attendees was a lack of quality data. Leanne recommended that organisations make sure they are targeting the right accounts and that they have a good contact acquisition strategy in place so they know they are targeting the right stakeholders.

“If you’re leveraging those different technologies or tools out there to show you that those accounts are active and showing you active buying signals, I think that’s definitely going to help with engagement and improve your quality of data.”

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 strengthen your topical marketing campaigns for the year ahead.

Rising Above the Noise at Sirius Decisions

 

ON24 has been a sponsor at the Sirius Decisions Summit for many years. It’s a great conference and a bellwether for the latest marketing trends. Every year, there are new buzzwords, “hot takes” and an onslaught of emerging technologies that are supposed to make us better marketers.

We seem to be plunging towards a future where all of our marketing will become completely automated and powered by intelligences far greater than our own. And this new world of marketing is all about digital signals. Tiny increments of data that tell us whether a set of ones and zeros would be more likely to buy something. What has gotten lost in this futuristic story? Our prospects and customers.

Well, this year something has changed. Maybe all of the talk about personalization and ABM has marketers finally taking a more customer-centric view of the world. Or maybe marketers are realizing all of this automation is starting to turn audiences off. I actually overheard one woman at the conference say “people are really starting to hate my marketing because there is just too damn much of it.” Yikes! Regardless of its origin, this year people were thinking a LOT about their audience’s experience. It’s this mindset, that could very well save marketing from itself.

More on building better audience experiences:

I felt this shift profoundly during the two break-out sessions I gave and the many conversations I had at our booth. Usually, all marketers ever want to talk about, with regard to webinars, are topics like how to drive higher registration or how to find better leads. This year, the focus was on how to deliver a better audience experience. And it’s about time.

To rise above the noise, marketers need to start thinking about how to build experiences that their prospects and customers will WANT to opt-in for, not run away from. All of these amazing marketing tools, and all of this great automation, were made to get us to our marketing, and lately, it has become our marketing. That’s where webinars are taking on a completely new role.

At SiriusDecisions, I talked about the “modern webinar”, an engagement-driven experience where audience members are interacting with your presenters, immersed in your content and fully experiencing your brand. The modern webinar is becoming more like TV programming than the PowerPoints many of us deliver. Instead of one-off webinars, I am seeing companies creating serialized programming, with established hosts, talking about topical issues with their guests. In many cases, these webinars don’t even have slides, just great conversation — and the audience is a part of that conversation. In these webinars, audience members are responding to polls, asking questions, downloading content, clicking on CTAs, tweeting and much more. It really is an experience. And these experiences are increasingly the tip of the spear for many marketing functions, including ABM, customer marketing and programs at every stage of the buying cycle. Wherever there is marketing, there are engaging webinar experiences connecting people to brands.

The true magic of the modern webinar is that if you build this model, something extraordinary happens: all of that engagement turns into data. Real data. Actionable data. Now instead of measuring clicks and opens, you are getting actual insights into the minds of your prospects and customers. In a recent report from Sirius Decisions, they called webinars the highest rated “human touchpoint.” This is how we put human engagement into our digital marketing.

At this year’s SiriusDecisions Summit, I could see the light bulb going on. Marketers from companies everywhere are beginning to figure out that to truly rise above the noise, you have to build immersive audiences experiences. And through these experiences, we will get much better at turning those ones and zeros into happy customers.

Want to know how you can break through the noise and connect with your audience? Download our joint report, “Break Through the Digital Noise: Drive Engagement, Action, Conversion and Loyalty.”

The Webinerd Channel: How Protolabs Does Digital Marketing with Webinars

Today’s manufacturing industry is where digital initiatives meet physical demand. New techniques, designs and processes are seemingly generated each day largely thanks to advances in networking, computation and design. But to make this happen, digital marketing needs to be a part of the process.

Few organizations know this better than Protolabs, a digital manufacturer of custom prototypes. The company’s prototypes — designed, molded and created through new manufacturing techniques — fuel the innovations the manufacturing industry sees today.

But before Protolabs can provide its rapid manufacturing to engineers, it needs to market and sell its services. And that means it needs a digital approach.

On Thursday, May 9, Protolabs’ Marketing Specialist, Tommy Rongistch, will sit down with The Webinerd Channel crew to explain how his team uses webinars to fuel its marketing needs. During this event, Tommy will explain how Protolabs:

  • Hypothesized, experimented and refined its webinar program
  • Brought marketing and sales together to create a valuable content channel
  • Uses webinars to power its account-based marketing initiatives

Protolabs’ has an extensive library of fascinating always-on webinars, including how one customer used its service to rapidly prototype and refine DUCK!, a genuine BattleBot.

If you’d like to learn how Protolabs drive manufacturing innovation, check out its webinar channel here. Tune in to The Webinerd Channel next Thursday at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) to learn how digital manufacturers master digital marketing.

Why Webinar Marketing Requires Great Planning

Interested in learning the latest webinar tips, tricks and innovations? Discover how APAC gets digital marketing done on May 2 at Webinar World Sydney. Click here to learn more.

This post was originally published on which-50.com.  

Webinars are an extremely powerful marketing tool, according to Alison Jack, Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Employsure. She warns that they take time and effort to organise — but the rewards are worth it.

She says, “Planning is key. A lack of planning and structure can lead to ad hoc webinars thrown together at the last minute. A proper strategy maps out exactly how your webinars will contribute to your overall marketing activity.

She also believes there has to be engaging content. “Before we had a strategy in place, it was common to reuse presentations from live seminars to try to replicate the same success.

“However, keep in mind an online audience often has a shorter attention span and can easily be distracted. Webinar content therefore needs to be highly engaging with a range of video content, clean slides, polls, and a Q&A to keep the audience engaged and switched on.”

Creating Consistent Branded User Experience

Jack says that when various teams are creating webinars, it can be hard to keep a consistent standard approach.

“For example, our teams were using different types of landing pages and registration forms that weren’t consistent.

“To resolve this, we created new landing page templates, EDM templates, PPT templates and webinar background for the teams to use.”

To streamline some of their processes, they updated their CRM with the ON24 attendee list, so it is updated every four to 24 hours.

Before they were manually updating the CRM with the list. There was also two- to three-day waiting period before receiving the attendee list.

She says, “We also can sort the leads by engagement score, so we know the sales team are reaching out to the hottest leads first. Giving the sales team access to the questions asked during the Q&A had a huge impact on the quality of the conversation with the leads.

“Pre-recording the webinar and creating a Simu live or On-demand event has been a huge time saver. The production schedule is carefully planned, and we do not have worry about nervous presenters or technical issues.”

Improving Knowledge Of Webinars

Improving the sales team’s knowledge of webinars is important, as Jack argues webinar leads require a different approach to inbound leads or leads that attend physical events.

She says Employsure conducted an internal analysis of its webinar follow-up strategy and discovered the first 24 to 48 hours after the webinar is a crucial time to begin to nurture attendees and move them down the sales funnel.

“This timeframe is your chance to continue the dialogue with your audience, including reaching out to the no-shows, which we also discovered converted better between 48 to 72 hours following the webinar.

“We worked with key stakeholders in the sales department to set up a dedicated team of sales people to target these webinar leads. To arm the dedicated sales team, we also created a best practice guide with useful info on the types of questions the sales team should ask on the call,” she says.

Hard Work Pays Off

Earlier this year Employsure conducted a webinar series called Back to Basics — a three-part series helping small business owners start the new year right.

Jack says this webinar series was a huge success, with more than 520 registrations, 228 attendees, 68 sales meetings booked, and sales of $236,828 from three webinars.

She says, “For marketers, this is where all your hard work in planning and hosting a webinar pays off. You now have a wealth of data and can strategically package it for a smooth handoff to your sales team.

“The success was the result of an effective strategy, engaging content and a confident team of sales people that knew exactly how to approach these leads.”

Webinar World 2019 is Coming to Sydney, Australia on May 2

On March 11, Webinar World 2019 took to San Francisco to discuss how marketers can build engagement into their experiences and motivate audiences to take action. It, by all accounts, was a big success. So much so that we’re taking Webinar World 2019 on a global tour. First stop: Sydney, Australia.

Webinar World Sydney takes place on May 2 at the scenic Pier One Sydney Harbor, nestled underneath the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. This one-day event offers attendees the opportunity to learn from webinar experts, discover new strategies for engagement and network with APAC peers.

What kind of sessions can attendees expect? Well, here’s a small sample of the overall agenda:

Engage Smarter Not Harder: Lessons Learned in the Experience Economy

Daniel Harrison, General Manager, Customer Experience, Oracle Digital, Oracle

Digital trends, like the rise of smart mobility and social media, have made customers more aware of how they can interact with brands. Customer experience is now just as important as the actual goods or services themselves. We call this the experience economy. And guess what? Webinars are experience powerhouses.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to create a webinar that puts customers at the steering wheel
  • Lessons learned on using webinar data to effectively follow-up with leads
  • Why working with partners is key to deliver memorable content and reach mid-market companies

Think Global. Engage Local.

Michael Meinhardt, CEO and Founder, Cloudwords

Michael Meinhardt, CEO of Cloudwords, will take the stage to discuss how leading brands are thinking differently about how they go-to-market globally. What does it boil down to? Developing relevant multilingual content and create better conversations with current and future customers. But that’s easier said than done. Join this session to learn how marketing professionals can drive strategy for regional demand generation, revenue, customer retention and more.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The digital tools empowering language localization today
  • How a strong digital strategy enables any organization to scale globally
  • Where webinars fit into the global marketing puzzle

Building Killer Webinars with Rock Solid Process

Joanne Pok, Webinar Program Lead, Salesforce

Webinars are one of the most effective content marketing tactics that drive demand. But creating an impactful webinar involves multiple moving parts and reliance on many different teams. Important elements can fall through the cracks.

In this presentation Joanne Pok, Webinar Program Lead at Salesforce, details how she seals those cracks with a rock-solid process. Join us to learn her recipe for creating a killer webinar, including:

  • Planning, driving, and delivering: the key steps at each phase
  • Managing multiple stakeholders and streamlining webinar operations
  • Refining your strategy as your webinar program evolves

Finally, Webinar World Sydney attendees will be the first to learn what the state of play in webinar marketing in Australia and New Zealand is with the unveiling of the State of Webinar Marketing 2019 Report. Sara Gonzalez, General Manager of Digital Events at RedBack Connect, will reveal the findings of the annual research study. The study itself evaluates how APAC marketers use webinars, what success looks like for the region and how practitioners are organising resources to support their programs.

Webinar World Sydney will be a great time for APAC marketers looking to develop a strategy that’ll drive audiences to engage and take action through powerful digital experiences. To learn more about Webinar World Sydney and register, click on this link.

3 Women Webinerds Share Their Webinar Wisdom

During Women’s History month, we took note of women who fearlessly push the envelope on their company’s marketing programs, and we’re excited to tell you about them. Let us introduce you to three women webinerds you should aspire to be!

Brandy Rowden – Sr. Marketing Program Manager, ServiceNow

The Webinerd Diva

Brandy doesn’t mind being nicknamed the “Webinerd Diva.” She knows being meticulous and innovative when it comes to her webinar program is what drives results. In just a few years, Brandy has grown the webinar program from 45 webinars a year to 135 webinars a year.

She’s all about delivering results and loves that she can feed leads to her inside sales team and drive marketing influenced pipeline directly from her webinar program, seamlessly.

Words of Wisdom:

“Always be prepared for the unexpected. Have a plan b and be able to think on your feet. Things happen during a live webinar. You just have to remain calm and act with your backup plan.”

Check out Brandy’s webinar program in action by perusing her on-demand webinar library here.

Rory Tokunaga – Sr. Marketing Manager, Demandbase

The ABM Trailblazer

Sometimes it’s hard to try something new, but not for Rory. She’s not afraid to think outside the box. Rory and her team embraced various webinar formats for their ABM program, from product demos to customer-success stories, and the results paid off! They ultimately engaged with 30 percent of their target accounts and increased pipeline by 178 percent.

Why is she a webinerd?

“I’m a webinerd because webinars give me the opportunity to be creative, tell stories, but also allow me to be analytical, keeping me focused on the business objectives.”

Words of Wisdom:

“Wiley Coyote has influenced me throughout my career because he never gives up! Same goes for my webinar program; I’m always looking to optimize and improve.”

You can learn more wisdom from Rory by watching this on-demand panel webinar where she shares insights into her webinar program and new ideas for your own.

 

Sheri Butts – Marketing Manager, G3 Communications

The Webinar Project Management Guru

Sheri, who recently presented at Webinar World 2019, knows that to accomplish stellar things with your webinar programs, like build a webinar series, you need to start with a solid foundation. That’s why over the past three years she’s taken the time to build and optimize her Webinar Planning Guide. Not only does this guide keep Sheri on track, but it also gives full transparency to other stakeholders in the program. Take a sneak peek into her planning guide here.

Words of Wisdom:

Think about investing in tools that help streamline your webinar program processes. Our team couldn’t live without Trello, Slack and AddEvent!”

You can take on more wisdom from Sheri by checking out her full WW’19 presentation here.

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.