October 24, 2019 Andrew Warren-Payne
This post is the latest in our series on B2B marketing optimization and how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.
Previously, we covered how you can optimize your marketing efforts at the acquisition stage of the customer journey — from improving your reach across channels and optimizing your landing pages to using webinars to drive attendees and turn them into MQLs.
Whatever medium you use to acquire, engage and convert your customers, a focus on metrics can help you to achieve your key goals. But this can also create a danger of losing sight of the bigger picture.
Webinars are no different. Even though webinars provide lots of data that you can use to set optimization goals against, from the basic (e.g., attendee count and percentage) right through to granular (e.g., questions asked, polls answered), chasing these will be fruitless unless you make sure you build your webinars for your customer first. With that in mind, here are some points to consider.
Your customer wants to engage on their own terms – not yours
Earlier posts on the ON24 blog have demonstrated that customers don’t follow linear paths when it comes to their journey. While we might want them to download a particular piece of content or sign-up to a particular session, we can’t force them to do that. Even with the best possible lead scoring and profiling technology, it’s impossible to know exactly how each individual will want to continue their journey, or what interaction option they’ll choose.
Make sure both your webinars and your on-site experience offer lots of different ways to engage, both live and on-demand. This will help them to choose their own journey — and allow you to collect the engagement data to improve it over time.
What interests you doesn’t necessarily interest your customer
Offering many options to interact isn’t enough. Even if you have a lot of content on your site, plenty of resources in your webinar consoles, and lots of polls and surveys, none of it will matter if your content doesn’t help your customer.
Before you create any asset or build-in any interaction, ask yourself: does this help address the needs of my target audience? Is it compelling? If the answer to either of these is no, rethink what you are offering.
If you already have detailed customer personas, use these as an aide to review your content offerings.
A single event is not the endpoint of success
As you choose how to optimize your B2B marketing efforts, you will need to use some quantitative indicators to measure performance, set goals and take steps to reach them.
However, while these metrics are both insightful and important for you, they are of no value to your customer. They care about addressing their own needs and priorities — both today and in the future.
Whenever you run a campaign, make sure to keep this front of mind. Look to address their immediate needs and demonstrate you’ll be there to offer value in the future.
So how can you do this with webinars? First, as mentioned above, make sure your webinar addresses the needs of your customer. Second, make sure the next interaction they have will offer value too — if a great webinar is followed by a poor experience, you’ve lost the chance to keep the momentum of that relationship positive. Third, keep running webinars of regular value to your buyers. This will keep them engaged.
Focusing on engagement and customer experience will pay off
There’s a chance that after reading this far, you might be asking whether the pursuit of quantitative optimization can actually align with the customer experience.
The good news is that the hard-to-measure changes you make in improving the quality of your content and how you are delivering it does result in a measurable difference.
Assessing its own data, ON24 has found that a high webinar customer engagement score correlates with a lift in the pipeline metrics that marketers are often targeted on. An engagement score of 4 – 6 led to a 38% conversion of attendees to sales accepted leads (SAL). However, a more dramatic finding was that a score of 6 or higher led to an 89% conversion of attendees to SALs.
To find out ways in which you can make your webinars better for your customers – and drive engagement as a result – download the Webinerd’s Guide to Always-On Engagement.