October 31, 2017 Jamie Allison Moehlenkamp
An on-demand webinar help marketers, educators, and thought leaders meet their audiences on their own terms, and on their own schedules. That’s crucial for marketers — according to Gartner, 80% of the buying process will take place with no direct human interaction by 2020. At the same time, customers still demand personalization and authentic, interactive experiences. But it’s also crucial for training webinars, online CPE courses, and other applications outside of marketing, where an expert speaker can provide insight and authority in a way a white paper or reading assignment can’t.
Whether you’re driving the marketing funnel or delving into some serious professional development, making your content available as an on-demand webinar after the event lets you meet your audience on their own terms. We come from very different companies that use ON24 in very different ways, but webinar best practices hold from industry to industry and company to company. Here are three things our on-demand webinar programs have in common.
On-demand webinars at Twilio and RSM
RSM and Twilio are very different companies that use on-demand webinars for different reasons. RSM US LLC is a leader in tax, audit and consulting services, specializing in the middle market. Drawing on a large professional network, nationwide and in 120 countries, we work with businesses to bring the right team to the project, with the right approach.
RSM’s webinar program focuses on delivering timely and relevant tax, audit, and consulting updates to clients and prospects, and CPE credit is often offered and awarded to eligible participants. These virtual training events, on-demand webinars in practice, are interactive, requiring students to view all the content and answer questions to earn the credits. As an added value, an on-demand webinar empowers students to learn on their own, even if they can’t make it to a particular class.
Twilio uses webinars in a traditional marketing role. As a communication platform, delivering a global, scalable telecommunications API, Twilio relies on multi-channel campaigns to connect with developers and decision-makers. Our platform and infrastructure address a wide range of use cases involving communications, from streamlining dispatch notifications for repair technicians to providing the tools to automate phone surveys. As such, webinars are a key ingredient in complex, multi-channel campaigns to connect with stakeholders. We’ve found that there are three key things on-demand marketing and training webinars have in common:
1. Your webinar platform needs to go beyond merely archiving video
Whether you’re involved with marketing, virtual training, thought leadership, continuing education, or all of the above, on-demand webinars will give more value to your audience (and more audience to your brand!). However, the value requires a platform that can go beyond merely archiving your video, with features to engage viewers, target content, and record results. As a continuing education provider, RSM needs the ability to test our audience, and hold them accountable for viewing the content. ON24 verified that students were actually watching the on-demand webinar, and to quiz them at various points throughout each training.
Twilio also needed to go beyond video archiving with an on-demand webinar program, and gather data from viewers for a different reason: targeting. Twilio uses webinars as part of a wider marketing program, employing use-case focused content and sophisticated lead nurturing. ON24 helps us drive our marketing funnel, with registration, attendance and engagement statistics they can use to target the right content to the right user on the right channel.
2. On-demand webinars aren’t just rebroadcast live webinars
It’s great when your viewers sit down and watch your training webinars or marketing presentations from beginning to end, but that’s not always how it works. With on-demand content, you’ll often get better results with shorter, targeted clips. RSM used these “snackable clips” following a two-hour post-election webinar on the tax and audit implications of the election. By providing a library of small, accessible clips, We were able to continue to use the content to engage customers and drive traffic to future virtual training events.
Twilio uses a similar strategy, using ON24’s ability to divide webinars into chapters for easy navigation. Twilio extracts short, two to three-minute video clips to drive registration for the complete on-demand webinar.
3. On-demand webinars must be easy to find
Your on-demand content can give insight into a whole segment, or answer very specific audience questions. You can lure people into an on-demand webinar or drive registration for your next live event. But whether your webinars give major ROI or just sit there depends on you. Your content needs to find your audience, because most of the time, your audience isn’t going to work that hard to find your content.
For Twilio, that meant creating an entire learning center as an extension of our main page. Webinars are packaged by use case and carefully targeted to the correct segment. RSM puts an equally high priority on making content easy to find. By tagging webinars the way we want our customers to find them, we can turn casual searchers into an engaged audience.
All great on-demand webinar programs have one basic thing in common: they get everything they can out of their content. Whether you’re training professionals or pouring leads down your marketing funnel, that doesn’t change.