The Ultimate Content Marketing Brainstorming Session Checklist

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

Previously on the ON24 blog we’ve explored ideas on the theme of scrappy marketing, specifically:

So what should you do next after reading this all? If you’re lucky, this information might have provided the ‘lightbulb moment’ that has allowed you to identify the content and the steps needed for your next campaign – if so, great! You should get started and not waste any more time than is necessary.

That being said, you might feel you need more structure to bring these ideas together into a tangible plan of action. If so, running a brainstorming session that has a clear objective at the end of it can help you get to that position.

That being said, make sure you prioritize speed over rigidly following a process. The faster you can pull a campaign together, the quicker you will see results and be able to iterate accordingly.

How can brainstorming help with scrappy marketing?

On its own, a brainstorming session can offer the following benefits:

  • It can help bring your team together and energize them for further action. As such, you’ll be able to inspire your co-workers to drive results quickly.
  • If you need more ideas, brainstorming allows for divergent thinking – taking the information you have and thinking of the possible ways you can generate results.
  • For those who want a concrete plan, brainstorming can also assist with convergent thinking – taking all the threads you have and choosing a plan of action. It’s this final step of convergent thinking that will help turn a laundry list of ideas into a concrete series of next steps.

Our checklist below aims to cover all of these.

The Six-Step Checklist for a Content Marketing Brainstorm Session

We’ve broken up how you can run a brainstorming session that will provide you with a plan of action, based loosely on David Allen’s Natural Planning Model from the book Getting Things Done.

While the below is focused on running a session with a team, there’s no reason why you can’t adapt the steps as an individual.

1. Prepare the session

Preparing your brainstorming session in advance will help you to make sure it is a success. Follow the below steps to get things off on the right foot.

  • Choose a time and a place to bring people together. Setting a time in the calendar will help ensure that the right people come together. Make sure any place has enough space and ideally has a whiteboard (or at least a flipchart where the pieces of paper can be torn off and put on the wall).
  • Make sure your session is time-limited. Too many internal meetings and creative sessions can stretch beyond a useful period of time. By limiting the amount of time you spend – perhaps to no more than an hour – will place an emphasis on keeping energy levels high and getting to a plan of action, both of which are characteristics of a plan of action.
  • Share an agenda with a clear outcome. Sharing an agenda in advance will help to set structure for the session and make sure people come prepared. Your clear outcome should be to leave with a plan and the next actions that you can put in play.
  • Set the ground rule for deciding on the chosen plan. In a group activity, there is a chance that you won’t gain consensus on the right approach. To avoid this, set a ground rule for how you’ll decide. A suggestion included in this checklist is to have the group add a tally mark to any ideas but on the board.
  • Assemble your information and bring equipment for the session. Tell people to bring any insights that you may have gathered previously, whether from external sources or from your own customer insight. If you’re going to use a whiteboard (as suggested below), bring pens, Post-Its and any other material that will help to get ideas together.

2. Start the session by agreeing on a goal that your plan should achieve.

  • Restate the outcome. So everyone is clear, make sure you emphasize that the aim of the session is to come out with a plan.
  • List out your marketing priorities. While your objective for the session will be to come out with a plan of action, ultimately that’s not an end in itself. What’s the aim of your plan? Listing out your priorities will help you choose. They may include a number of marketing-qualified leads you have to generate, the number of opportunities for sales, or a number of conversations opened with target accounts.
  • Choose a SMART goal that meets at least one of those priorities. Setting a specific, measurable, and actionable goal to achieve by a particular time will help focus your ideas accordingly. Remember, part of a scrappy mentality is to deliver outsized results. As such, make sure not to limit yourself – but also, make sure that your goal can be quick enough to achieve that you will be able to get results sooner rather than later.

3. Set a loose structure for your plan

  • Differentiate between themes and tactics. Marketing campaigns can be looked at from two different angles – a creative or messaging angle (themes) and the approaches you’ll take to get there (tactics). Your brainstorm will produce both, but it’s important to distinguish between the two. To help with this, you might find it helpful to divide your whiteboard initially into these two blocks.
  • Identify what stages your campaign needs. Any quality marketing campaign doesn’t consist of just one touch. At its most basic level, you need to think of how you’ll acquire prospects, how they will engage, and what happens after that (often a conversion of some kind, but there may be a number of steps involved – particularly if you are looking to nurture prospects over a period of time). A very simple method might be to take one particular campaign and split it into three sections: beginning, middle and end. For a webinar, this will likely consist of how you’ll drive registrations, how you’ll engage them as they watch, and what the follow-up activity will be.
  • Draw out on a whiteboard (or a very large piece of paper) a column for each of these stages. If you’re in a meeting room with a whiteboard, break up the ‘tactics’ section into these sections. During the actual brainstorm part, you can then have your team add their ideas on Post-Its which you can then put into each part.

4. Start brainstorming for ideas

After you’ve run through the above steps, your whiteboard might look something like the below:

The next part is to start creating ideas that can fill this out into a plan of action. This part is the divergent element of the session.

  • Collate any information you’ve already been able to gather. Make sure all those ideas and data points that you’ve been able to gather prior to the session are laid out for people to see.
  • Get your team to write down as many theme ideas as they can. Set a timer, and let them loose on the kinds of messages and angles that might resonate with your target audience to reach your goal.
  • Get your team to write down any tactical ideas as they can. Set another timer, and get them to write down the tactics you might employ in line with any themes.
    Put these all on the whiteboard. So everyone can see the ideas, make sure they are visible for those looking.

5. Explain, assess and order the ideas

This part of the session is the convergent aspect – where ideas come together in an order that will help you take action.

  • Ask each person in turn to explain the ideas they’ve put on the whiteboard. A small Post-It might not describe the full context of what they’ve written down.
  • Choose which ones to move forward with. If you want your team to vote, an easy approach is to ask them to put a tally mark on their favorite ideas. Those with the most tally marks will be the ones you move forward with.
  • Confirm the plan. If you’ve taken the voting method, you’ll now have an idea of the themes you’ll cover and the tactics to be used. Congratulations! This is the foundation of your plan. Say this out loud so everyone is clear on the approach.
  • Save the other ideas. You will have spent a great deal of creative effort on getting these ideas together, so don’t waste them! Take a photograph or save the Post-Its to help with the next campaign going forward.

6. List the next actions

It’s now time to put the plan into action without delay.

  • Write down at least five next steps you’ll take to put this into play. You may be in a position to plan out all the actions required to bring your plan to fruition, but if not, make sure you list out at least five next steps you’ll need to take.
  • Assign these next steps to members of the team with a date for completion. Make sure each of the next steps has an owner and a deadline for completion.
  • Set a check-in date. While this doesn’t need to be a full meeting, you’ll want to ensure that any plan doesn’t get taken over by the other day-to-day demands placed on your team.
  • Optional – set a retrospective date. So you can learn moving forward, it can be helpful to review your plan to find out whether you achieved your goal, what worked well and what can be improved.

Final Takeaways

  • Be pragmatic. Run with what works. The above steps aren’t all mandatory – and following them rigidly can eat into the sense of agility that you should look to encourage in a team.
  • Make it fun! All too often, group sessions can leave people with lower energy than they started with. As such, make sure to frame it as a fun exercise. You may find it helpful asking someone with facilitation skills to help bring it together.
  • Keep in mind ‘always on’ marketing. Make sure you’re not creating one-hit wonders. From any plan you develop, you’ll want to use it as the foundation for continuous improvement. While this learning can help you re-run the plan, considering ‘always on’ approaches can help you create systems that continue to pay dividends long after they’ve been created.

5 Scrappy Ways To Accelerate Your Marketing

Earlier on the ON24 blog, we introduced the theme of scrappy marketing and why it can help you achieve more. This next post provides ideas on how you can put that into practice.

As marketers, we’re pushed for time to achieve our goals – and we rarely have the budget or resource we would love to have. But with a scrappy mindset, we don’t let that limit our ambitions. Instead, we embrace the challenge and look for creative ways to drive gain results quickly.

So how can you make moves to accelerate your marketing, find out what works and what doesn’t, and ultimately smash your targets?

Below are five tactics to consider when you’re looking to drive results more quickly.

Run Micro-campaigns: A Low-Risk Way of Testing Ideas

If you’re only just starting to dip your toe into scrappy waters, and are feeling a little apprehensive, running micro-campaigns is a great place to start.

These are small, low-cost and highly-targeted efforts to test an idea or a target market. Because of the little investment micro-campaigns need to get off the ground – they can take just days or hours to pull together – you can afford to take some risks with them, experiment with different angles, and discover what kinds of ideas and themes resonate with your audience.

Some types of micro-campaign could include:

  • Running display ads with experimental creative, perhaps limited to a particular type of day. For example, if you’re selling technology for B2B lead generation, you could run a campaign with the slogan “Hungry for leads?” around lunchtime.
  • Promoting a webinar format aimed at just one account. If this works, you could repurpose it as part of your account-based marketing efforts.
  • Testing paid search terms for verticals that use cases you haven’t focused on in the past. Providing you get enough volume, you may discover a market that you haven’t previously targeted.

Micro-campaigns can also encourage your team to be more creative. By giving them permission to think beyond existing campaigns and messaging, but limiting the time and budget they can spend on such efforts, you empower them to find new ways of improving performance.

Curate and Syndicate Existing Content

There’s really no need to reinvent the wheel. By curating consistently useful, comprehensive and relevant content, sourced from different places online, you can establish yourself as a reliable source of information.

Even major enterprise businesses are built on the back of curating useful data. As an example, research firm eMarketer collects data points from studies by other companies and distills it down to the most important takeaways.

Syndicating content can also help in terms of both building your content on-site and reaching audiences elsewhere. Many excellent posts on the ON24 blog have originally been published elsewhere (and are marked as such). In addition, ON24’s webinars and resources are promoted on third-party sites.

To save time reaching out to individual publishers and media sites, syndication networks such as NetLine can help you get your content hosted elsewhere, driving leads automatically.

Apply the Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE) Principle

If you’ve invested a great deal of time (and sweat) into creating a resource from scratch, it only seems right that the resource works hard too. Think about different types of content you could launch off the back of the resource that you can post on different platforms and reach different audiences with.

In a blog post on Search Engine Land, Ted Ives shows how a single whitepaper can be repurposed into 19 different content assets – including blog posts, a webinar, a podcast, or even an email newsletter.

Transcription can also be particularly powerful, especially given the range of low-cost tools and solutions now on the market. If you assume a speaking rate of just one word a second, an hour-long webinar could produce 3,600 words of content that can all be repurposed elsewhere.

Automate routine processes

In scrappy marketing, speed is key, so it makes sense to automate as many of the simple, routine processes marketing as possible.

Tools like Zapier let you schedule the publication of content on blogging platforms or social by getting apps to talk to each other, while marketing automation platforms like Marketo can keep interested customers engaged by sending them more of your relevant content at a pace that suits them.

Some types of automation you could consider include:

  • Automated social posts when you publish a new blog post on your site.
  • Triggered emails based on a particular on-site action, such as visiting a particular page on your site.
  • Automatically adding content to a newsletter by using dynamic email templates.
  • Running automated product demos, where your sales team can answer questions from any attendees.

While you should take care to make sure any automation doesn’t appear spammy or low-quality, this can also act as a creative exercise for your team in terms of figuring out ways to drive results automatically.

Establish Checklists, Templates and Reusable Formats

In other words: don’t think more than you need to. Trying to remember the same steps of a process each time you do it, or creating similar pieces of content over and over… this takes a lot of cognitive energy that could be saved by falling back on established content formats, templates and checklists.

Marketing publisher Econsultancy built much of its audience using a list of 34 different blog post formats. As a result, even on a slow day, the editorial team can quickly go to this list as a source of inspiration, allowing them to turn content around quickly and with less effort.

Checklists can also help you get things done more quickly, reduce the chance of failure and aid team coherence, just what your organization needs to succeed in its scrappy endeavors. ON24 even uses its own Webinar Checklist to plan its sessions and make sure they are a success.

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.

5 Tips to Inspire Quick Marketing Campaigns

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

Creating content campaigns with serious impact doesn’t have to be the preserve of larger companies. But creating content that’s both fast to produce and effective in driving results requires inspiration.

This blog looks at scrappy ways you can use free digital tools to conceive, build and launch winning content campaigns fast.

Zero-in on the right content titles with Google Autocomplete

Even though you may have buyer journey maps and positioning documents that define what your target customers might be looking for, there may be specific terms buyers are using that you have missed.

Google Autocomplete makes its search predictions based on what other people have searched for. By reviewing what phrases or questions are associated with your keyword, you can discover what people want to know about your product and create content that they’ll want to engage with.

You can also use Autocomplete to find out what terms your keywords are related to, and place these into your content to help improve its relevance.

While taking this approach alone is unlikely to result in winning lots of organic traffic, it can provide both a useful tool for gathering ideas and a place to make sure you’re creating content that people are actually looking for.

Plan your next webinar campaign with Google Trends

In addition to Autocomplete, check out Google Trends to see how the popularity of a particular search term, and its related queries, have varied with time. Which industry topics are most relevant to your potential customers, and what’s falling out of favor? Are there any seasonal patterns?

There’s also an option to view ‘rising’ search terms, which shows you which topics and queries related to your industry have increased most rapidly in popularity over the last year. Are there search queries that imply emerging pain points for your customers? Insights like these could inform what emerging subject your next webinar could be about.

Discover existing content to repurpose with social data

Which of your social posts have had the most shares? Are there any themes that have worked well for other companies? Go back through your timelines to find out. If you go back far enough, you may find a piece of content that still has legs, or for which a recent theme has given it new relevance.

Discuss what it might be about the popular post that worked so well. Does it solve a problem that your potential customers might have? If so, it may be possible to repurpose the content.

For example, a popular how-to video could be spun into a longer guide that goes into greater detail than the video. Make the guide available to only those who have filled out a form, and you can start generating leads.

Make the most of upcoming events

Events are a great opportunity to generate content, even those you’re not holding.

If there’s an industry event on the horizon, find out what main themes will be discussed and use these as inspiration for your own content. Keep an eye on social activity during the event, making note of the topics that are firing up the most discussion among your potential customers.

Even for events that aren’t your own, producers will often release delegate lists to show what companies are attending or presenting. This can provide you with a list of targets that could form part of an account-based marketing campaign.

Create your next breakout blog with ego bait

Content that boosts the egos of influencers or industry leaders, or ego bait, can prove a major traffic driver if done well. Ego bait usually takes the form of an interview or listicle, and tends to perform well as the subjects featured are – unsurprisingly – keen to share any content that praises their work.

The key is to keep it authentic. Put aside your metrics head while your building the campaign and focus on engaging the person you’d like to feature in your content. If they’re a good fit, the content is informative and your customers find it helpful, all those shares and links back to the site will follow.

How to Make Your Marketing Team More Agile

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing, and follows on from some tips that can help you accelerate your marketing campaigns. This post provides ideas on how you can get your team to join you in putting scrappy marketing into action.

Taking a scrappy approach to your marketing can transform your company’s fortunes, making it possible to bring more ideas to market, and at speed. But if your team isn’t flexible enough to take risks and start experimenting, you’ll never reap its benefits.

A word that sums up this flexibility is agile. While it’s often used to describe an approach to developing software, its broader definition refers to “having a quick, resourceful and adaptable character”. So how should you go about developing this in those you work with?

Get Buy-In for a Scrappy Approach

Resistance to change will be your biggest stumbling block when it comes to introducing the scrappy method, so before doing anything, ensure everyone in the team is on board.

According to Kotter’s Change Model, which provides eight overlapping steps for effecting change in an organization, you must first create urgency, which you might do by identifying potential threats, or opportunities to exploit.

This is followed by building a coalition, which would involve identifying who must lead the change, and ensuring the team is made of a mix of people from different levels of the business, who have different capabilities. Kotter’s model applies more to larger projects, but there are certainly some ideas that you can take from it.

Using data can be a great way to both drive urgency and build support. Look for spikes or dips in your analytics or engagement data, which can help spur on what could happen if you did something outside the norm. Share these around and ask questions to get people to think differently. Get people excited about the potential for better results while encouraging them to start taking action.

Remove Barriers to Productivity

Once you have the team on board, you must ensure they have everything they need to get started. Do they have the tools they need? Do they feel supported? Does everyone know what they’re doing, and how to do it?

You’ll also need to ensure your team is able to communicate effectively. Is everyone on board with the method? What tools will you use to communicate quickly? If they have questions, will someone be there to answer them? How will tasks be assigned, and how will everyone know they’re in hand?

To encourage the scrappy mindset, look at where people can set aside times to get stuck into the project. Eliminate any meetings that don’t add value. Look to cancel commitments that are cutting into your colleagues’ time. If some people prefer working elsewhere, allow them to be productive at a place where they feel they can get into a state of flow.

Encourage experimentation – remove the fear of failure and perfectionism

The more innovative you are, the more robust you are – you can roll with the punches that will inevitably come in a rapidly changing market.

In order to be innovative, you must foster a culture of experimentation. This means testing ideas quickly, and failing fast so you know what to do next – there’s no lingering over something that doesn’t work, and that will never work.

Testing things out on a small scale now to determine what works will save bigger failures in the future.

However, creativity in a business can only blossom if individuals aren’t afraid to fail. Sara Critchfield, founding editorial director of Upworthy, reportedly the fastest-growing media company of all time, says that in order to encourage a team to be more innovative, there must be a shift from a ‘best practices’ mentality to a dynamic ‘laboratory’ mentality, and that team members rather than managers should be made responsible for the results.

She also advocates ‘normalizing’ failure by setting a baseline failure rate and success rate, and measuring the team’s work by that baseline.

Publish and Promote at Speed

Publishing content regularly and consistently is the best way to grow your audience.

As Nick Westergaard writes in Get Scrappy, setting a consistent schedule and editorial calendar will establish audience expectations and help “develop your own content creation muscles and routine.”

This means you can’t be too precious about your work – there’s no time for perfectionism. As long as your content says what you want it to say, makes sense and is factually accurate, it’s fit to publish. Of course, the content you’re working on can always be improved upon. But resist the urge to keep tweaking and get it out there.

The same method can be applied to webinars. Rather than dwelling on might work well, producing one and getting it to market will provide an answer. Your best marketing webinars can be highlighted as always-on content, while those that didn’t perform brilliantly can be hidden further down the list of your website’s resources.

Maintain the underdog mentality to help people keep going

Keeping up a consistent and fast pace can be a challenge. To keep the scrappy marketing method alive in your business, you’re going to need a mascot. Make that mascot an underdog.

As covered in the first post, taking an underdog approach can endear you with your customers and help your team to keep going even when it’s tough.

The underdog is always looking for different ways they can win the game. They’re looking for a competitive edge, because they can’t rely on their size, or reputation, or firepower. They’re more resourceful. By definition, they’re more agile.

What is Scrappy Marketing and Why Is It Beneficial?

As marketers, we can be a picky bunch. In an effort to put our best foot forward, we often use brand guidelines, tone-of-voice documents, and documented approval processes. We check and double check our work, asking for everyone to go over a fine-tuned piece of copy.

In an age where a print ad, a brochure or a quarterly thought leadership article in the trade press was all that needed to happen, getting things perfect was a noble goal. There’s no way to edit a magazine after it’s been printed.

But in today’s digital age, we simply don’t have the time to do all of this. Targets don’t wait while we revise a whitepaper, and our colleagues in sales aren’t going to hold back from reaching out to prospects in the absence of perfect collateral.

And to add to this, startups and new competitors don’t wait either. Content now needs to be always on to stand above the noise. So what approach should we be taking?

What is scrappy marketing – and is it an answer?

Look up the term scrappy and you’ll see a number of definitions. Merriam-Webster defines the term as referring to “having an aggressive and determined spirit.” The Oxford English Dictionary adds that it is something “consisting of disorganized, untidy or incomplete parts.”

Meanwhile, Urban Dictionary offers “someone or something that appears dwarfed by a challenge but more than compensates for seeing inadequacies through will, persistence and heart”. It also suggests that it could describe “a person who is little but can really kick some ass.”

Nick Westergaard, author of the book Get Scrappy and someone who also quotes from Urban Dictionary, says that a scrappy approach to marketing is simply “doing more with less”.

We suggest scrappy marketing is all of the above. Standing out above the noise in the digital age requires persistence and determination – particularly when going against better-established peers and competitors. It means getting rid of perfectionism, being comfortable with putting forward marketing that isn’t polished to the finest sheen. And it’s about being creative, finding out ways to get the most out of your marketing efforts even when you don’t have all the answers.
In short – if you’re limited on time and resource but still want to achieve great results – scrappy marketing is an approach you should be taking.

Why is scrappy marketing beneficial?

Here are a few reasons why being scrappy can benefit your marketing team.

It places an emphasis on getting it done, rather than being perfect

Marketing at its heart is about putting out a message. Scrappy marketing is about doing that quickly and resourcefully.

Professionals today rely heavily on both researching their own problems and being presented with new approaches. A recent report by PathFactory and Heinz Marketing found that 92% of marketers say content is either very important or important to their decision-making process, while 48% say they have started a buying journey because they or their coworkers have come across an interesting piece of content from a supplier.

As scrappy methods are more likely to result in marketing being available more quickly and at higher volume, they fit more closely with how prospects start their own buying journeys. Any moment spent waiting to publish is a moment where a prospect could be consuming your content.

Through an always-on approach, scrappy marketing allows you to build both visibility and engagement as your prospects enter the buying journey.

Building campaigns helps you to learn by doing

One of the most common models now being adopted is that popularised in the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. The approach emphasizes that the most effective way to learn about a new product is to get it to a minimally-viable version to market, measure its performance, and apply the findings to future iterations.

The same is true for marketing. By running campaigns quickly and measuring their performance, you can use this data to improve the next time you do it.

You can also learn about the tools and technology as you do so, meaning you and your teams becomes more efficient over time.

Speed, volume and personality helps you to cut above bigger players

While the competition will loom large, if you can connect with your audience more frequently by taking a more nimble approach – and showcase your personality while doing so – you can build greater engagement with them, increasing the chance that you will be on their short list when considering a solution.

Furthermore, people love the underdog – as highlighted in a study featured in the Harvard Business Review, which demonstrated that buyers naturally gravitate towards underdog brands, particularly if they too feel a sense of struggling in tough circumstances.

Being rough around the edges makes us human

Nobody is perfect – so if we’re looking to build genuine connections with people, why should our marketing be perfect?

By demonstrating our vulnerabilities and being open about them, we can start to market in a way that makes our buyers more receptive to our efforts at building a connection.

How does this apply to webinars?

Webinars are a great place to start with a scrappy approach to marketing. You can put yourself in front of an audience, engage with them in real-time, and learn how to do it better next time.

In addition, webinar content can be repurposed, made available on-demand, and provide a rich source of data for both sales intelligence and marketing insight.

And if you’re already running webinars, going scrappy can act as an interesting method to driving up the volume of your content and lifting your results.

Finally – is this article scrappy?

Yes, it is! As proof, find below the notes that were written in putting this together – and enabled this post to reach you in quick time.

Trimming the Fat: Lean Marketing Tips

Did you spend a little too much during the holiday season? Want to cut down on your caloric intake of programmatic spending? While I have been bombarded with messages lately on ways to trim the fat, be healthier, and move more, I can’t help but think about how much we as marketers are often called to practice lean approaches in the start of a new year. How are you supposed to do more (run more miles faster or create more shareable content) with less (calories, money, time, team members)? Fear not, marketing friends, I have compiled a list of tips to help you have your most successful lean marketing year yet! Use these three marketing tips to jumpstart your marketing diet today:

Compound Content

Why do four different exercises for four different body parts, when you can do one that works all four? A compound exercise is a workout that works multiple muscle groups and body parts at the same time. It effectively helps you get in and out of the gym faster, making you more efficient with your time. Likewise, when you approach content creation this year, consider different ways that you can make or do more with the one program that you have.

For example, at ON24, we always host one webinar a month. Instead of creating extra unrelated content, we create an entire content ecosystem out of that one webinar’s topic, giving our audience a theme that is easy to follow along with and also easily understandable by the end of our monthly push. Out of the one webinar, we create a promotional blog post, a post-event blog post, and a slew of other potential creative content formats such as white papers, supporting infographics, multiple social media posts, SlideShare upload, etc. This enables our small but mighty marketing team to create content that has a ripple effect. We are also able to learn what resonated best with our audience during the webinar itself via interactive tools (Q&A, polls, and social chatter) which help inform the post-event content that we create.

Friends in The Right Places

Kickstart your weight loss goals by working out with a friend! Working out with friends provides accountability, encouragement, and enables you to pull your resources together to find exciting and innovative ways to achieve success together. Likewise, working with partner companies to co-sponsor events (both online and in-person) enables you to do more with less. Who needs one set of social profiles and databases to promote a co-sponsored event when you can combine your clout and reach more people together. By doing this, you can get more leads, share them, and cut down any potential costs associated with your event. Sharing is caring!

Proving Your Success

Just like a scale and how well you fit into your jeans are ways to judge the success of your weight loss program, setting up strong program metrics ahead of time provides a way for you to be more accountable with your marketing campaigns. Success doesn’t come to those who say that they generically want to lose weight “sometime” over the course of the next 366 (leap year!) days. You need mini-goals to keep you motivated along the way, solid numbers to track, and (your own) sentiment analysis.

Likewise, when practicing lean marketing, you need to set up strong KPIs before executing a program. Doing so will help you determine ahead of time if you have created the right content to help you get there (i.e., maybe you really like hosting local networking sessions, but the KPIs for your program would better be achieved by attracting a more global audience via an on-demand webinar that you already have in your arsenal). Setting up these metrics will help you save money and be more nimble along the way.