Insight50: Three Key Points Ahead Of Our Scrappy Marketing Webinar

To discuss ON24’s latest theme of scrappy marketing, our upcoming Insight50 session will be exploring just that – and answering all your questions on how to put scrappy marketing into place. Sign up to the session to get your questions answered.

We’ve been discussing scrappy marketing on the ON24 blog so, in case you somehow missed it, here’s just a taste with the first post of the series.

What is scrappy marketing? Simply put it is a mindset that looks to drive results quickly by being creative and standing out from all the rest of the noise. It means setting aside the habit of thinking your marketing needs to be polished and perfect and, instead, getting into the habit of just getting it done and out there.

Changing habits can be difficult but once you’re consistently applying them to your marketing, you’ll start to reap the benefits. So how should go about putting scrappy marketing into place? Ahead of our next Insight50 webinar, here are a few points to encourage you to learn more.

Scrappy marketing drives results – fast

By letting go of the thought that every bit of marketing you do has to be done to perfection, you are able to get more out there, quickly. This means you are connecting with your audience more frequently. So, while the bigger players are spending more time and money polishing up their marketing, yours is already in front of your audience.

Scrappy marketing also gives you the advantage of learning by doing. By quickly getting campaigns out, you are able to gather the performance data and learn what works and what needs to be improved upon.

Don’t forget, being a little rough around the edges can actually work as an advantage. People love the underdog and so do businesses. It’s that lack of perfection that will make your marketing more relatable and establish a connection with your buyers.

But scrappy marketing needs team buy-in

There may be members of your team that will resist this different approach but having everyone on board is essential to its success. To get your team’s buy-in, you can create urgency by showing them the threats and opportunities and then build an alliance, not just with your marketing team but with an array of individuals at different levels of your organisation and who have different capabilities. Don’t be afraid to use data to gain support. Sometimes numbers speak louder than words.

Once you’ve got your team’s buy-in, encourage innovation and don’t let them be afraid to fail. Test quickly and learn from your mistakes just as quickly. This can help you from having big failures later on.

Scrappy marketing helps you close the loop

Part of the problem new companies have with new initiatives is that they tend to spend too much time arguing and stressing over what might be considered the minutiae of a campaign which only services to delay it going to market and receiving feedback from customers.

Scrappy marketing makes it possible to get things done quickly so it’s out there in front of your customers in no time. In turn, you receive feedback quickly so that you can start adjusting and improving where you need to for your next launch. Each time you run through a cycle, you are able to improve what you are doing but at a much quicker pace than if your team was trying to perfecting and polishing everything at once.

To find out more and ask your questions, make sure to sign up to our Insight50 webinar on scrappy marketing.

Wake Up Your Content with ON24 Webinars

Successful content has to engage. It has to pull your audience in, build a genuine connection and address a specific problem each audience member is facing. But far too often, content today doesn’t engage. It interrupts.

It’s time to wake up your content with a solution that works for both buyers and sellers. It’s time to wake up your webinars.

According to a recent Demand Gen report, nearly 70 percent of all buyers prefer webinars over any other form of content. What does that mean? It means 75 percent of buyers will share more information about themselves to gain access to webinar content. It means 37 percent of buyers will spend 30 to 60 engagement-driving minutes with webinars. It means 61 percent of the information a buyer takes from a webinar is shared with a colleague.

That’s because real webinars engage with their audience instead of just speaking to. Chats, polls, live Q&A sessions and more gives your brand the means of connecting with your audience. It’s no wonder nearly half of Demand Gen report’s respondents said webinars were their top choice and most valuable content format in the mid-stage of their buying journey

It’s time to wake up your content — click here to learn how.

Heading to CMWorld 2018? Stop by booth #539 to learn more about how ON24 can wake up your content — and don’t forget to see what real webinars are capable of at “Webinars That Rock: Keys to Engagement-Driven Content Delivery,” in Grand Ballroom B at 12:20 on Sept. 5.

Summer Reading: The Five Elements of Webinar Storytelling

For the next summer series playlist track, we’re going to put on the ritz. Jazz it up a little. Add some flair to the webinar air. We’re going to talk, of course, about generating great webinar stories.

So, how can you add some glitz to your webinar story glamor? Simple: organize. Plot, plan and then push your content. Getting the elements of your story right is critical because, as Mark Bornstein notes in “10 Secrets for Creating Great Webinar Content,” webinars are getting longer — up to 56 minutes on average in 2017. That added length means you have an exceptional opportunity to draw your audience in and push great content out.

So, where to start? Well, right here:

1. Have a goal in mind.

First, you need to have a goal for your specific webinar. This is where having detailed ideal customer profiles, personas and buying cycles in place helps. By knowing where your proposed webinar is going to fall across those three elements, you can select, craft or recycle highly relevant content that benefits the audience your aiming to address. Consider this the plotting stage of your webinar story.

2. Find inspiration in content that works

Your organization has stories. It has content. It has material you can take and turn into a webinar. For example, it has content for top, bottom, and middle-of-funnel buyers. Find the material that performs best — whether it’s a white paper, ebook, case study, research or just a blog post — and use it as inspiration for your webinars. Break your selected content down into topic areas and build out webinars based on those topics.

3. Refine

Once you have a topic selected — one that solves a problem for your audience — it’s time to refine. By refining, we mean focusing your webinar entirely on one subject and one subject only. Refrain from asides. Don’t try to connect one subject to another. Just focus on the topic you chose. By going deep into one issue, you’ll provide your audience with tangible benefits and prove your expertise.

4. Build your story

Finally, it’s time to build your story. This is where you get to add the neat little details. It’s hard, sure, but the good news is most of the heavy lifting is already done. You have an audience in mind, a topic and a specific pain point you’re trying to address. Now, all you have to do is decide how you’ll address your topic.

You’ve got a few options. You can showcase a new concept, compare strategies and tactics, demonstrate your solution (if you’re talking to bottom-of-funnel attendees) or give news-like updates on new industry developments. Whatever you chose, make sure the event sticks to your agenda, speaks on what you’ve advertised in your webinar abstract and is paced so your audience can follow along.

There are two things you should avoid, however. First, don’t make filler content. Your event should only be as long as it takes to address your topic (plus questions). Second, don’t pitch until it’s time to pitch. Audiences are coming to you for advice and help — help them first, then, when a prospect is at the bottom of the funnel, you can start talking about your company.

5. Outline and build your slides

Right, you have your narrative built out. Everything’s practically done except for the actual event content. Often, this means slides. Don’t worry — building slides to your content is easy.

First, outline what you’re going to go through during your event. This outline will serve as the basis for your slides. Second, know who’s speaking to your slides (heck, it could be you) and build your deck to their speaking cadence. This could range anywhere between 20 to 40 slides.

Does that sound like a lot? It not as intimidating as it sounds. That’s because when you build your slides, you should use a lot of white space, very little text (typically no more than three to four bullet points) and use pictures that either build a connection to your audience or help you to tell your story. The slides will fly by.

And that’s it! The basis of your webinar story is built out. All that’s left is for you to practice, adjust and present.

What else can you do to build out excellent webinar content? You can check out our entire Webinerd Summer Playlist right here. You can also check out our summer reading list for track three:

1. Webinars As a Content-Delivery Machine

2. How to Build a Killer Webinar Presentation

3. Q&A with Alex Blumberg, CEO of Gimlet Media

4. Four tips to detox your webinar slides

5. The Role of Webinars in the Buying Cycle

Four tips to detox your webinar slides

Let’s say you’re presenting a webinar and everything is going smoothly. You’re charming (of course you are! No, really, you’re more charming than you know), making great points about your solution and your attendees are asking questions. Except, their questions are “Can anyone else read those slides?” and “What’s going on with those colors?”

Sadly, you’ve fallen into a familiar trap. In all likelihood, you brought your PowerPoint presentation habits into your webinar deck.

Slides in webinars are different from those in a PowerPoint presentation. The text in a webinar’s slides needs to be bigger. Their bullet points need to be fewer. They need to be instantly readable and understandable without distracting from your presenter’s overall points. They need to accentuate you, the presenter, and your story, rather than acting as a white paper in slide format.

Toxic slides can kill a great webinar. But don’t worry — here are four quick and dirty tips to help you detoxify your webinar slides:

Tip One: Declutter your slides

The first webinar tip is making a better webinar slide deck is to declutter. Strip your slides of unnecessary text, pictures, graphs — any element that either doesn’t add to your story or — and this is an important bit — tries to tell your story for you.

This is a busy, busy slide! In fact, it’s too busy to provide any meaningful takeaways on its own and would be terribly distracting if the presenter needed to highlight a single item. Not only that, but the text is far too small for any attendees to read (more on this in a moment). Your first of 4 webinar tips is to simplify your webinar life with simplified slides.

Tip Two: Boost your font size

Take a look at this:

Oh, boy. That picture says and contains about a thousand words, doesn’t it? This is an extreme example, sure, but if you were to present such a word-dense slide during a webinar, you would be able to hear your attendees collectively squint to make any sense of it.

Here is how to clean-up a text-heavy slide. First, makes sure your font sizes are at least size 24 or over. Why? Because when you’re giving a webinar presentation, your slides will appear smaller than you’d anticipate — especially if you’re used to speaking to in-person and projected slides — which means you need to boost your font’s size to make it legible.

Second, make sure you have a readable font. Avoid the goofy fonts like Comic Sans and Papyrus that are distracting and hard to read in a small window. Personally, I prefer the easy-to-read Franklin Gothic Medium.

Third, and this loops back to tip one, avoid over-saturating your slides with text. Slides need to enhance the story you’re telling first and foremost and be readable at-a-glance, second. Bold your key points to make them readable and have them speak to your story. If you’re relying on your slides to tell a story you’re delivering webinars all wrong.

Tip Three: Get your colors right

Colors are weird. And I don’t mean that in an existential sort of way. I mean using the wrong colors in your presentation can make your webinar look weird and distracting to attendees — even if they look perfectly fine to you as you prepare your webinar slides.

There are a few rules-of-thumb to go by when it comes to colors in your webinars. First, avoid pastel colors. I know they look pretty, but they don’t translate well to webinar presentations.

Second, avoid slides with too many colors. Having more than two or three prominent colors in your slides — especially in the background — will make your presentation busy and distracting.

Third, when you do use color on a slide — or on your console — make sure there’s a predominant color (typically just one) that provides a reliable contrast to your slides, text, and windows.

Tip Four: Use pretty pictures to tell a story

Finally, if appropriate for your event, add some slides that are just some simple images. Pictures, if you will. Simple pictures are a great way to slow down your event and highlight an important point you want to make.

Have nice analogy involving ships? Well, simply push an image-based slide and talk to it. You don’t even need to include any text! You could spend a good minute or two discussing the direction your organization or profession is going with an image as simple as this:

Image-only slides are great for webinars because it both provides you with the opportunity to give a subject-appropriate analogy or metaphor while gently guiding your audience’s ears to what you have to say — not what you’re showing. Image-only slides add focus and structure to your presentations without you having to pause on a slide that’s not wholly relevant to the story you’re telling.

They can also add some much-needed breaks in long webinar sessions. Need a moment of relief? Want to send out good vibes? Then consider adding a picture of a furry little kitten to your presentation.

After all, who doesn’t like kittens?

Your slides are one of the most important parts of a webinar. By taking the time to detoxify your slide, you’ll ensure your attendees can easily follow along with you, understand your story and help you produce even better events. Happy webinaring!

Want more webinar tips and tricks? No worries. Head on over to our Webinar Best Practices Series section here. If you’d like to see the episode this post is based on, just click here.