Feature Friday: The ON24 CTA Tool, Webinars and You

As part of our effort to extend audience content journeys, ON24 has built a Call to Action (CTA) engagement tool to drive ongoing engagement after a live or simulive webinar ends. This new CTA tool invites your live audience to continue their content journey with you.

For example, live webinar viewers can choose to register for upcoming events, automatically driving registration to upcoming events or send attendees directly to an ON24 Engagement Hub or other web destination to view more content. Finally, they can also open an email to engage directly with your sales team.

All audience interactions with the CTA tool are captured within the event report so you can track conversion and better understand your audience’s interest and intent.

How To Use The CTA tool

The CTA tool comes in two flavors, “always on” and “end of the webcast.” Both are useful in different situations. Let’s take a look at them now.

CTA, Always On

Available for live, simulive and on-demand webcasts.

With this method, the tool appears as a window in your webinar console. The colors, text, background image and CTA(s) are all fully customizable. It’s a great way to call attention to more of your awesome content and further engage visitors.

End of the Webcast

Available for live and simulive webcasts only.

At the end of the webcast, the other tools and windows will disappear, and the CTA(s) will take over the audience console. Think of it like the suggested videos you see on Netflix or YouTube. Similar to the always-on version of the tool, the colors, text, background image and CTA are all fully customizable. If you want to foster a bingeable experience, this is a great way to do it. No more dead ends!

So go ahead, jump into your ON24 engagement tool options and give the CTA tool a try. Be sure to let us know what you think!

GDPR: One Year Later, How Has It Changed How We Market?

Last week, ON24 ran its latest Insight50 session on how GDPR has made us better marketers – where we provide fellow Webinerds with 50 minutes of expert insight and answer the questions that are important to you.

Below is just a brief wrap up of insight from Hellen Beveridge at Data Oversight, Sean Donnelly at Econsultancy, James McLeod at Leadscale – and of course, you the viewers! If you didn’t manage to see it, watch it on-demand here.

Last year, at this time, GDPR was on everybody’s lips with companies wondering if their practices were compliant with these stricter regulations and marketers wondering what stricter data would mean to how they did their jobs.

It has now been a full year since GDPR came into force. What impact has it had on the way we do marketing? Below are a few insights from the webinar.

Have data regulations made us better marketers?

While more than half (58%) of webinar attendees said that GDPR has somewhat improved their organisation’s marketing performance and practices, another one-quarter (25%) say that there hasn’t been a change at all. Luckily, only 17% report that their marketing performance has suffered a decline since GDPR went into effect.

Although the jury is still out for James McLeod as to whether GDPR has made us better marketers, he does think it has made marketers more cautious. On the other hand, Hellen Beveridge, who consults on data protection practices, has a positive view of what stricter data has done for marketers.

“I actually think that data protection has made marketers clever and more thoughtful because they have to look at everything they do through the lens of lawfulness, fairness and transparency. So, I’m firmly on the side of yes, this has been a really good thing.”

Sean Donnelly has also seen indications that GDPR has had a positive effect on businesses in general:

“Of the companies that we surveyed (about 12,000), all those marketers that identify their companies as being mature with regards to customer centricity indicated that GDPR has been more of an opportunity for them than anything else.”

What Best Practices Can Marketers Put Into Place?

The majority (60%) of webinar attendees reported that one of the benefits to stricter data regulations has been a shift from quantity to quality. However, 43% also said that their lack of knowledge of how to market in a GDPR world has proven to be a challenge for them.

So, what practices can marketers put into place to ease this challenge? James shared several best practice tips:

“I think [when it comes to acquiring new data] number one is transparency. You need to know where your data is coming from and what it is. Number two is to maintain brand safety… Then be on the lookout for any of those fraudulent activities that unfortunately do mire the B2B landscape… Everyone is talking about compliance, but I think it’s also very important that we talk about accuracy when we’re talking about best practice.”

Hellen is in agreement with the importance of data accuracy and elaborates on the fact that part of what causes data inaccuracy is that marketers are asking for too much information at one time and the data is unstructured. To alleviate this problem, she strongly advises investing in a single customer view.

“If you have a single customer view, where all your marketing is going after one fact, as a living piece of data, and constantly adding more and more information to this single customer view, it’s accurate, and it’s alive, and it’s useful. Then, by default, it will become compliant.”

What Are Some Top Tips For Marketing With Stricter Data?

As a closing to the webinar, the panel was asked to give one top tip as a takeaway.

First off, Hellen advises that having a good relationship with your data protection officer (DPO) has its advantages:

“Do involve them at an early stage. A knowledgeable data protection officer will save you from the really boring bits. You don’t have to know about all the article compliance; we can do that. We can summarize it and make it look pretty. Remember that at the end of the day, what you want is fit data and not fat data and the DPO can make your data fit.”

While Sean agrees with Hellen’s advice, he also adds that knowing the language of data protection can be beneficial:

“Equip yourself with some of the vocabulary around the operational aspects of data. Because, if you can do that, then you can understand some of the different use cases and you will be better able to collaborate with your DPO.”

And lastly, James reiterated the importance of data accuracy:

“Make sure that all the data you’ve got coming into your business and your funnel through all of your different channels is accurate and usable.”

Hear more on our Insight50 session

The quotes above are just a small sample of what was discussed and answered on May’s Insight50 session. Make sure to register to watch on-demand and find out how stricter data can work in your favour.

The Everything Experience Comes to Marketing

Prospects, leads and customers want everything. They want all the relevant information you can provide them. They want your attention. They want the best deals possible. They want your commitment. They want this every time they interact with your organization. What they want, what they expect, is the everything experience.  

Like Amazon’s claim to be “the everything store,” B2B marketers need to provide “the everything experience,” to audiences at every stage of the buying cycle. Marketers need to develop, consolidate, personalize and publish a comprehensive experience encapsulating all the relevant content from first-touch and close-won to retention and upsell.  And marketers need to do it at scale for nearly every customer.

To their credit, marketing teams are organizing to provide “everything” experiences. But there are a few problems they need to tackle first. They need to know what goes into an everything experience, how an experience works and, finally, how to scale that experience to the variety of markets it needs to address.

The Elements of Everything

First, organizations need to start with the basics. This includes personas, a map to your buyer’s journey and a keen understanding of what content you have. Marketers should also know what resonates with audiences and where within the buyer’s journey that content is most relevant.

Once these elements are mapped out, marketers ought to fill in any content gaps in their buyer’s journey. Prioritize material that scale easily, like case studies, ebooks and blog posts. After that, look for opportunities to craft intimate messages, like videos and podcasts, that address a company’s specific pain point or stage of the buyer’s journey.  

Making The Everything Experience Work

Okay, so let’s say you have most, if not all, of the content you need to address your buyer’s journey. First: congrats — you have everything it takes to create an everything experience. All you have to do now is put the parts in the right order and present them with the help of content hubs. Here, digital tools — like ON24 Target or ON24 Engagement Hub — can help simplify the creation of an experience through standardization and scale.    

Assuming you’re using a digital tool, you’ll want to create different content hubs — the centerpieces of each experience. For example, you can create several content hubs that map to a typical buyer’s journey — top, middle, bottom (or awareness, consideration and decision) as well as a hub that helps new customers to onboard, or make use of, your solution. Combined, these hubs provide the everything experience.  

Once these hubs are outlined, it’s time to map your content to them. However. There are three elements you’ll want to emphasize: interactivity, two-way communication and personalization. Don’t worry, these aren’t complicated concepts.  

Interactivity simply means providing opportunities for visitors to click, download and otherwise interact with content. This can be as simple as providing a report to download or as complex as providing an on-demand webinar with additional content to interact with.

Two-way communication is any dialogue where you ask a question and the audience provides feedback — or vice versa. Polls, surveys, feedback prompts, on-demand webinars and “contact us” buttons are some great examples where you can dialogue with your audience.

Finally, personalize it. Hubs targeting a specific account, for example, should have personalized welcomes and content addressed to the account (even if it’s only in the title). Introduction videos, ones showing visitors how to interact with the hub, where relevant items are and how they can reach your team, are a great way to add a personal touch to your hubs as well.

Providing Everything at Scale

Alright. So you have your content, you have your hubs. You have, in essence, the everything experience in place. There’s just one thing left to do: scale it up to address a growing roster of accounts and industries.

Once you’ve got one in place, duplicate content experiences for different audiences is easy. Tweak your messaging, adjust your content and suddenly you’ve created an account-based marketing campaign.

And as you iterate, you can also assess. Specialized digital content hubs — like ON24 Target and ON24 Engagement Hub — are useful tools for content creators. Here’s why: they show who interacted with what content and how often. With this data, you can identify what connects, what doesn’t, who’s most interested in your services.

The best part is that you can continue to make this assessment over time. Depending on how you deploy your everything experiences, you can even A/B test titles, headlines and additional content to learn what you need more of, how you can make your hubs more interactive and provide the perfect everything experience every time.  

Consumers have enjoyed the everything experience for a long time. B2B buyers, consumers themselves, are starting to expect the same treatment. Being able to adapt to these demands means taking the content you have and serving it up differently. It means thinking just as much about the delivery of your content as the creation of it. The everything experience is everything marketing should be — providing audiences a seamless, unlimited way to engage with your brand. The leads will follow.

How ON24 Does Webinar Registration Without the Forms

This past month, we tested a new registration process for our Webinar Best Practices Series. Instead of filling out a cumbersome form, users simply click a button to add the webinar to their calendar, and voilà, they are registered. This simplified process lowers the barrier to registration and, so far, has led to an uplift in our numbers. After a few requests for an explanation of how it works we decided it was time to share it with our fellow webinerds!

How it works

The mechanics are simple. Note that, while we are using Marketo to accomplish this, it should also be possible with other automation platforms.

The first thing we did was create a simple landing page with buttons to add the webinar to the user’s calendar. We marked the page with both noidex and nofollow so search engines can’t find it. We’ll explain why soon.

ON24’s integration with Marketo means we can use any action to trigger a webinar registration flow. Generally we wait for a form-fill, but, in this case, what we’re looking for is a click on either of two particular landing page links.

The information in the calendar invites is stored as query strings at the end of the links, so make sure you strip everything after (and including) the question mark off of the end of the link.

After we set up the trigger, all we have to do is add our standard registration flow steps to the smart campaign. Once that’s done, we’re ready for the races.

Things to consider

This process does have two major limitations to consider:

  1. This only works for people who have your Marketo cookie. To combat this, we only included in email sends from Marketo and we made sure that page was not findable on Google.
  2. The process doesn’t work if people forward the email. Depending on your audience, this could be a big problem. So far, it hasn’t been for us, but we are still in the testing phase.

Three Content Delivery Tips That’ll Make Your Customers Feel Happy

When evaluating brands, studies have shown that emotions drive buying decisions. So, every marketing strategy should aim to invoke emotion on a personal level. It’s a difficult task, but marketers need to focus on how their target audiences feel.

Here are three ways ON24 can help give your target audience that special feeling.

Engagement Should Be Personal

What does your audience want? Prospects and customers want to feel special and not just “one of many.” They crave content, but they only want content that pertains to them and helps them in their journey.

A recent Gartner survey found companies risk losing 38 percent of customers with poor personalization. The problem: while personalization is important, it’s also difficult. That’s why ON24 Webcast Elite and  ON24 Target makes building personalized content experiences based on accounts, personas or industry, easy.

With robust content insights on viewing time, comments and more, ON24 allows you to track content performance to ensure you choose the right content for each target audience. Coupled with high-touch, customizable CTAs, you can provide personalized content journeys and engagement points with your brand.

Mix Up the Content Delivery

Content is more than static words or images. To bring your stat static content to life by mixing up the  experience’s delivery! Webcast Elite enables you to dynamically engage with audiences through live or recorded video streaming and tools like Q&A and group chat.

Providing various types of multimedia assets keeps your audience engaged with your brand for longer. ON24 Engagement Hub provides an always-on resource that delivers content how your audience wants it (à la Netflix binging), it also doesn’t limit you to one type of content.

Having a mix of webinars, videos and case studies available in your Hub lets prospects better engage with your content. By putting your best content all in one location, you create your own mini-Netflix experience, putting audience members in control.

Listen

It’s that simple. People want to be heard. However you’re communicating with your audience, you need to create a connection. ON24 products offer interactivity tools—such as polls, surveys, an ideation tool to encourage group engagement and ratings and comments — all to engage with your audience in unique ways. Give your audience the opportunity to be more engaged and create more of a conversation.

Remembering “the feels” will help improve your interaction with prospects and customers, no matter the communication method you use. See how ON24 helps you create engagement that matters.

ON24 Will Make Austin Webi-weird at SiriusDecisions Summit 2019

There’s a lot of noise out there in the B2B world — especially when digital is involved. How can you break through it? Simple: by getting serious about engagement and getting yourself to SiriusDecisions Summit 2019. That’s right, webinerds, we’re about to get webi-weird in Austin, Texas.

SiriusDecisions Summit runs from May 5-8 at the Austin Convention Center — and we’ll be there in full force to help you break through the digital noise. Here’s how:

ON24 at SiriusDecisions Summit 2019

The Booth

Have a burning webinar question? Need to cut your way through the digital noise? Join us at booth #625 to make it happen. We’ll have webiexperts on hand to answer any questions you may have and show you how your marketing program can stand out and deliver genuine engagement with prospects and clients with webinars. We’ll also have a short webinar assessment tool you can use to measure how your webinar program stacks up.

The Sessions

SiriusDecisions recently said webinars “are the highest rated human touchpoint.” As a result, webinars are the primary channel to drive prospects from lead to revenue. But how can you drive the results you want to see from your webinars?

Mark Bornstein, our Vice President of Content Marketing and Webimaster, will show you how to build engaging audience experiences putting “human marketing” at the front of your programs and campaigns. Mark will host two sessions in meeting room 13AB on Tuesday, May 7, and Wednesday, May 8, at 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on both days. During these sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to learn:

  • Which webinar formats drive engagement
  • How to use webinars at every stage of the buying cycle
  • How to turn webinar engagement into actionable data
  • How to use webinars to supercharge ABM programs

The Fun

It’s not a conference unless there’s some offsite fun. So, to provide you with that fun, we and our Account-Based Marketing Leadership Alliance friends are putting on a little speakeasy cocktail reception on May 6 from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Will there be signature cocktails? Of course. There’ll also be live music, Prohibition-era stories and much more.

Oh, and there’s one last thing we forgot to mention: swag. We’ll have some sweet, sweet swag for you to grab at booth #625, including stickers, pens and the chance to win some noise canceling headphones. But you can only get ’em if you stop by our booth!

We’re looking forward to a great SiriusDecisions Summit and can’t wait to see you there.

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.”

How to Use Customer Data for Quick Campaign Ideas

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

Earlier on the ON24 blog, we provided a list of scrappy tools and techniques that can help provide some sources of inspiration when you’re looking to get campaigns out quickly to market. These were mostly based on using sources of external data.

However, the most valuable insights are likely to come from your own customers. As such, harnessing information you can gather directly from them can be even more powerful. Below are a few places to turn to so you can gather this information.

Look at your customers’ questions – and ask more

Chances are that you already have a host of questions that your customers have asked previously in one way or another. Past interactive webinars can act as an archive of both Q&A material, poll responses and surveys. This can both help to guide a path to new ideas and provide an easy way to start repurposing content.

While more commonly used by product and development teams, support tickets can also act as a treasure trove of information, particularly if you are able to segment out those asked by high-value target groups.

If you need more information, then don’t be afraid to reach out and ask directly. Create a short survey to send out by email, run a poll on social media, or even engage those on your site via on-site chat. It doesn’t need to be complicated – a simple question such as “What content would you help you be better at your job?” or “What topics are most important to you right now?” will often be enough to surface valuable pointers.

Ask your sales team for insights

While marketers like to own the customer experience, it’s most likely your sales or customer success team that has a closer relationship with the customer than anyone else in the business. Find out from them what burning questions they’re most frequently asked by leads or customers.

It’s certainly worth working more closely with your sales team so you can more easily share your insights with each other, not only to keep tabs on what matters most to your customer, which can inform your marketing activities, but also so that the sales team can be in a better position to answer their questions.

Dive into your engagement metrics

On the quantitative side, customers can tell you a great deal about their interests and preferences through their behavior. Content intelligence can be gathered through a number of sources, which come in the following different flavors:

Website traffic: Use your on-site analytics to find out what kinds of content on your site are most popular (most visits and longest dwell time), where site visitors are coming from (channel and geography), and (if you have it available) the keywords they’re using to find you.

Email data: Look at your email campaigns. Which subject lines have proven the most engaging? Which links (to internal or external content) are getting the most clicks?

Content downloads: Which of your existing assets have performed most strongly? Are there any that could do with a refresh? Are there any areas lacking engagement but have the opportunity to perform more strongly?

Webinar engagement: Review the webinars you’ve held in recent years. Are there specific topics that see more registrations? Which webinars get the most audience interaction? Make note of the questions audience members ask the end – these can often form the basis of a blog post at the very least.

Investigate your CRM Data

One more place you can find inspiration for campaign ideas is your CRM data. What industries are you targeting? Does the CRM tell you which are more receptive to your existing content? Are there any particular clients or target accounts you should be focusing more attention on?

Cross-reference these insights with the other information you’ve gathered, and this can help you think differently about new content going forward.

Announcing ON24’s 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report

Here is a fact about webinar marketing: Thursday is the best day for webinar attendance, followed closely by Wednesday. Here’s another fact webinars in general: about two-thirds of ON24 users personalize webinars to their audience while over a third produce one-to-one webinars for targeted accounts.

There are a lot of facts to learn about webinars, from the best time to attend to what tools practitioners use to record video. Fortunately, you can find all of them in the ON24 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report.

This year’s benchmarks report assesses the trends behind webinar use in 2018, evaluating everything from the best day to send promotional emails (Wednesday) to which webinar formats are taking off with practitioners (video adoption, for example, jumped by 16 percent).

But the 2019 edition of ON24’s Webinar Benchmarks Report is a little different. We not only included a quantitative assessment of the state of webinars circa 2018, but we also asked our community members what they think about webinars today and how they are actually using webinars.

So, what did they have to say? Here are a few high-level takeaways:

  • 76% of respondents say webinars allow them to drive more leads
  • 86% of participants say they run up to 150 webinars in a given year
  • 89% of those offering webinar-based training say they can easily scale programs
  • 52% of respondents say they share quality leads generated from webinars with sales

Why does this matter? Because a well-run webinar program is defined by knowing what’s possible and how. The ON24 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report provides you with the ability to make your one-to-one communications scale in a digital world. This is especially important as marketing budgets, and the pressure to prove ROI, grow.

In fact, according to Demand Generation Report’s “2019 Demand Generation Benchmarks Report,” 58 percent of B2B marketers cite webinars as their most successful tactic for top-of-funnel engagement. Nearly half said webinars were the most effective channel they had in converting and accelerating leads at middle and late stages of the funnel.

There are a lot of great facts in the 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report that’ll help you build a robust, engaging and data-driven webinar program. Download the report today to get started.

For more insights and guidance on how to make the most of your webinar platform, download ON24’s 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report and watch the corresponding always-on webinar for more best practices.