How to Streamline Webinars Ops with Integrations

This post was originally published on heinzmarketing.com. Syndicated with permission.

Last week, we debuted a new blog series: The Road to Webinar Success designed to help you better plan, think about, and utilize webinars in your broader demand generation initiatives. Our first installment covered a brief background on the value of webinars as well as their effectiveness, and also dug into The Power of Panel Webinars. If you haven’t yet, go back and read that blog to get yourself oriented.

This week, I want to look at what it means to streamline your webinar operations using integrated tools and technologies. What are the values of integration? Who are the key stakeholders involved? What do you need to consider when it comes to integration? That’s what we’re here to find out.

An overview on streamlining webinar operations with integrated technologies

While the functionality of an individual tool matters, at some point, you’re going to need it to start sharing information. With robust integration between your webinar platform and the rest of your marketing tech stack, you can streamline operations across your sales and marketing initiatives.

Why should you care about streamlining webinar operations with integration?

To act on buying signals

Today, marketing is all about identifying signals and acting on them, and while we’re in no short supply of tools to identify what people do, when, and where, siloed tools makes acting on those signals much more difficult.

To react more intelligently

When your data is effectively integrated, you can identify prospect actions across your tech stack and better understand how best to follow-up on that action, without the manual data pulls. If a lead attends a webinar, sales can be notified to follow-up. If a lead registers but doesn’t attend a webinar, they can be added to a specific nurture program. If a lead asks a question on a webinar, an SDR can answer immediately. With the right integration, you are able to continue the conversation rather than reaching out cold.

To reduce manual workflows

Automation allows you to reduce the amount of manual processes to get the data you want before, during, and after a webinar. It also makes possible to develop programs or see new angles to data that were previously too difficult or too risky to do manually.

The ability to integrate helps mitigate risks with tricky data, and it allows you to focus your time on more important facets of your role, rather than spending hours sifting through data trying to decipher what’s actually relevant.

To share data across sales and marketing

When your webinars are integrated, sales and marketing can be better aligned when it comes time to engage a lead. With your webinar data being shared across systems, both teams know how leads have engaged in your webinars and can more thoughtfully route them accordingly as part of continued nurture.

When it comes to integrations, anything that speeds up the sales and marketing process is beneficial. Anything that delays it is a problem.

To improve data and reporting capabilities

Gain a single source of truth not just for your webinar data, but also the role it plays amongst your broader sales and marketing activities. With this, you can simplify reporting and analytics and ensure that marketing, sales, and executive leadership are all looking at the same data to see reports with the same lens.

With integration, you are also able to build a process around how data is collected and acted on, getting the right data in front of the right people at the right time.

The more you can do to automate your workflows with inputs from integrations, the more you can do to drive the business forward.

When should you consider streamlining webinar operations with integration?

You should never not think about the possibility of integration.

The minute you have two systems, you should ask if they’re able to talk with each other. Consider using this play when you want your webinar program to play a larger role in your marketing strategy, you’re tired of manually sifting through webinar data, or your marketing, sales, and executive teams all lack a central data source.

You may also want more transparency and reliability in your data and reporting. Maybe you want tighter alignment between sales and marketing before, during, and after a webinar happens. Or perhaps you want to improve your lead conversion rates, follow-up actions, and broader lead engagement tactics.

Who are the key stakeholders involved in streamlining webinar operations with integration?

When it comes to integration, your marketing operations team should lead the charge. However, they should be sure to work with both sales and marketing to identify what tools need to be integrated, what inputs need to be involved, and what signals need to be tracked.

Want more?

Now that you know the principles of streamlining your webinar operations, it’s time to put it all together. To learn how to do this and much, much more, join us at ON24’s Webinar World 2019 from March 11-13 in San Francisco, CA! PLUS save $500 and get free tickets using the code “Heinz_VIP” at checkout!

Watch keynote presentations, join breakout sessions, and participate in interactive labs all designed to help you utilize webinars and engage for action.

We’ll see you there!

Can’t make it to Webinar World? Join us with a panel of experts from ON24, Netline, Sketchdeck, and DemandBase for our Panel Webinar to Drive Engagement, Action, Conversion, and Loyalty. Learn More >>

6 Steps to Integrating ON24 Webinar Emails with NetLine

How can you get more engagement from your webinars? Learn the tips, tricks and tactics that make webinars work at Webinar World 2019.

Integrations today are a critical part of the marketing stack puzzle. But getting applications to talk to each other — whether an integration runs directly from app-to-app or uses a third-party solution, like Zapier — isn’t always easy. Recently, we’ve partnered with NetLine, a scalable lead-generation solution, to help drive ON24 webinar syndication through its powerful tool. Netline’s solution allows us to build an offsite content hub enabling a continual lead flow from third-party sources.

Often, third-party syndication can result in a disconnected experience for registrations. For example, registering for a webinar on another website can cause delays between the time a potential attendee registered and the time a confirmation email is sent. This creates a small window of opportunity to either get the registrant to add the live event to their business calendar or to access the on-demand recording. It should be no surprise that when you introduce delays in the handover process, your attendance rates suffer.

To make this partnership better, we created a Marketo integration to seamlessly receive webinar registrants from NetLine directly into ON24’s webinars. We have to say that we’re quite satisfied with the integration and wanted to share our little recipe with you.

The Setup

There are two ways you can get NetLine and ON24 to talk to one another. The first is the easiest: use our direct integration with Netline that brings NetLine registrants to our native Webcast Elite form. The second way is to map Netline to a marketing automation platform, like Marketo, that then maps back to ON24 for faster email communications.

The setup for option number two is easy: We start by creating a Marketo form to be used for the NetLine registrations. NetLine recommends a unique form for each campaign, but we opted to use just one form and to distinguish traffic using hidden fields (if you’ve ever had to make urgent updates on all your Marketo forms, you will appreciate the importance of keeping the number of forms to a minimum).

Once we had our form, we went to NetLine and set up the field mapping at the account level. We set the post URL and map each of the NetLine standard fields to the fields we are using on the webinar registration form:

In this account-level configuration, we also indicated our unique form; this is a “constant” that will show up with each new campaign:

That’s it for the account-level form setup. On to specific campaigns.

Campaigns

The NetLine campaigns are where we add custom fields to the form. We have just one non-standard field, so we add that here, along with its picklist values:

Then the final step of the form setup is to set the campaign-level “Constants” – that is where we add the identifiers for the specific webinar. For this example, we’ll use “Webinars that Rocked 2018.”

We are using our “utm_source” and “utm_campaign” fields as the identifiers here. Our Marketo program for the webinar listens for form-fills with this form ID as well as this utm_campaign.

Leads flow in and the Marketo program takes it from there: the lead is registered for the event in Elite, and the confirmation email containing all the needed webinar information goes out to the registrant.

In Conclusion

Integrating with the NetLine platform gives us seamless registration. The handover from Netline to Marketo to ON24 Elite is working well. We’re able to capture registrant attention while interest is high and deliver an ON24-branded email inviting the registrant into the on-demand recording. As a result, we’re able to drive higher conversions from registration to attendee rates, ultimately improving our on-demand attendance while drastically cutting the time it takes to upload leads.

Microsoft and ON24 Team Up for Seamless Webinars

At ON24, we’re all about making personal engagement at scale as easy as possible. Which is why we’re pretty excited to be selected as the only webinar platform supported by the flourishing Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 platform. And it’s a booming platform, seeing a 65 percent growth rate during the first three quarters of fiscal 2018 — even faster than Microsoft Office 365.

Dynamics 365 is a combination of applications, including customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and marketing automation, hosted on Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud platform. Dynamics 365 for Marketing is an ideal solution for marketers and marketing agencies seeking to simplify their business applications on the Microsoft stack.

To get a better idea of just what this partnership between Microsoft and ON24 entails — and what everyone gets out of it — we sat down with Lou Pelosi, VP of Business Development and Partnerships at ON24 to ask him a few questions about this development. Here’s what he had to say:

Q:

Can you explain the relationship between Microsoft and ON24?

Lou Pelosi:

From a high level, we’ve expanded our customer and technical relationship with Microsoft and signed a co-marketing agreement with their Microsoft Dynamics 365 team. The goals of the agreement are to drive greater value for our joint customers and to market and sell together to obtain new customers.

Q:

What was the impetus for this partnership?

Lou Pelosi:

Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 for Marketing earlier this spring to connect sales and marketing and help them to make smarter decisions to maximize marketing ROI. Our strategies and promises — especially when it comes to facilitating both human engagement and actionable insights at scale — to marketers are aligned and complementary.

Microsoft, and Dynamics 365, in particular, has been on a tear recently. Market share is up, the stock price has tripled in recent years, and investing in new SaaS architectures and applications which have significant momentum in the market.

Q:

How will ON24 work with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing?

Lou Pelosi:

The Microsoft marketing application includes an out-of-the-box ON24 adapter allowing marketers to schedule and reserve ON24 webinars without leaving the marketing application. It also provides both the ON24 presenter and audience URLs to use in emails and landing pages for event promotion and execution. Ultimately, the marketer understands who registered, who attended and collects actionable data on engaged attendees.

Microsoft customers must still purchase an ON24 account, but the initial integration simplifies the webinar process. ON24 is making a special 30-day free trial available to Dynamics 365 for Marketing customers and prospect. You can learn more here.

Q:

How will this evolve over time?

Lou Pelosi:

Microsoft and ON24 continue to invest heavily in marketing technologies and solutions. There are several ways our relationship could evolve as we move forward. Options include improving the out-of-the-box integration capabilities to add more fields and more data for the marketer to gain more insights, improving workflows to simplify webinar management and execution and collaborating on our broader portfolio of martech solutions. We’ll be working diligently in the coming months to communicate our value to customers, prospects and partners. If there are any questions about how you can benefit from the partnership, you can email dynamics@on24.com.