Business growth, webinars and the Netflix effect

This guest post was originally featured on bcms.com. Shared with permission. What Webinar World 2019 all about? Click here to find out. 

Does a successful business really need a good marketing strategy? Interestingly, many of our clients tell us that sales and marketing is a weakness in their companies. But it’s only a weakness because they don’t do much of it. To win new business, many simply rely on the three Rs – repeat business, referral and recommendations. Which means their work comes to them, so putting any sort of budget behind a sophisticated marketing programme doesn’t make commercial sense.

What if you’re looking at the next stage: to grow and scale your business, maybe with a company sale later down the line? You need to get the word out, and then a “multi-channel” marketing strategy becomes a key weapon, raising your brand in the wider marketplace, targeting potential new clients online, at events, in print, via social media.

If you’re engaged in any kind of marketing currently, you’ll be aware that the landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years, driven by technology. It’s no longer enough to have one brochure, or a few flyers. Today, you need a full marketing mix, a blend of different resources, driven by content that ‘speaks’ to your customers. In short: stuff that is of use to them, rather than just talks about you.

HINTS AND TIPS ON BUSINESS WEBINARS

This is where the webinar fits in – the subject of this week’s fascinating, informative two-day Webinar World conference at London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, and hosted by leading platform provider ON24. The webinar is, in the words of one presenter, “the intersection of engagement and scale”. In non-marketing speak, that means it can be both personable and personal (like a friendly chat) but it can go out to as many people as possible, wherever they are in the world, and be watched again and again.

In the words of ON24 Content Marketing VP Mark Bornstein, “webinars transform your content”. He would of course say that, but the statistics are powerful. According to ON24’s benchmark report, the average viewing time for a webinar is a lengthy 56 minutes. The Netflix effect on viewing habits (whereby consumers ‘binge-watch” multiple episodes at one sitting) is also impacting here. You don’t have to watch webinars live, but can instead watch them on your terms, in your own time. On-demand viewings are rising dramatically, now accounting for 35% of all views.

Cost is often an issue with marketing strategies, but you don’t need to spend mega-bucks to get started. In one presentation, Autotrader’s Insight Director Nick King revealed his early efforts were made with a £35 camera bought from Amazon. If, like Nick, you need to start reaching out to customers in Aberdeen, Aldershot and Aberdare in the same week, then an informative, helpful webinar represents a hefty saving on time, not to mention petrol.

It was gratifying to see a snippet from one of BCMS’ past efforts used in ON24’s promotional video, and the Webinar World conference offered hints, tips and pointers on best practice, elements that we’ll certainly be putting into practice to improve our future webinars. Forgive the plug, but for the binge-watchers among you, there are now 13 episodes of the BCMS webinar now available on demand. They typically feature past clients, experts from partner organisations and across BCMS in the UK and North America, and seek to cover key topics in detail, from negotiation and motives for sale to earn-outs and business valuation.

In short: stuff that is of use to you, rather than just shouts about us!

Get your #webinerd on – All Hail the Rise of the Webinar!

By Paula Morris, Senior Director, Pi Marketing Solutions

This article was originally published on pi-marketingsolutions.com. Syndicated with permission.

Picture the scene … on a surprisingly warm and pleasant autumnal day in central London a room full of almost 400 B2B marketers were spending the day talking about webinars! ‘Surely it isn’t possible to fill a full day just talking about webinars!’ I hear you cry but as ON24’s global #WebinarWorld event came to London last week that’s exactly what happened!

And as Mark Bornstein, ON24’s Chief Webinerd (more on #webinerd later) mentioned in the opening address it really is time that we aren’t shocked about this anymore as the rise of ‘The Webinar’ in the B2B marketing space is truly upon us.

We are all trying to grab people’s attention in a very noisy and crowded space but, if used creatively and effectively, webinars can become a critical part of your marketing outreach allowing you to drive significant engagement not only within your account-based marketing activity but also within a larger target audience or segment.

As we continue to learn and analyse our prospects and customers digital body language the more we understand that these days the buyer journey isn’t necessarily linear, and that we can’t control at what stage of the buyer journey certain types of content are consumed. And this is where webinars come in to play…..buyers now want to receive content on their terms, on their time and in any order. People want to view easy to digest material when and where they want.

During the opening session at #WebinarWorld London the audience were asked: ‘How many of you have downloaded a whitepaper in the last 6 months?’ – the result, a few half-raised hands, however we are all pre-disposed into thinking that this is the type of content that we should be producing. Yes static white papers have their place but a webinar can bring them to life by turning traditionally passive content into rich media interactive experiences. For example a quick 10 minute webinar on the ‘Top 3 Findings’ of said industry white paper is a perfect webinar for a C-level audience to consume whilst at an airport lounge, or a more in depth 3 part series could be created for those subject matter experts – the key point is that ‘the webinar’ is now an essential part of our marketing mix and a fundamental medium that should be leveraged across all marketing activity and not used as a tactic in isolation. Therefore, if done well, it really is a case of ‘build it and they will come’ – but only if relevancy and authenticity are achieved.

And so on to the notion of the #webinerd (Web-i-nerd web-e-nərd noun: a person who loves webinars so much they made an urban dictionary definition). An official rallying cry was sent out to all the attendees of WebinarWorld to join the #webinerd movement and by judging by the length of the queue for the complimentary #webinerd branded t-shirts (which incidentally were printed with your choice of colour before your very eyes leaving Joel Harrison, Editor-in-chief at B2B Marketing almost lost for words) social media was awash with pictures of attendees donning their new attire declaring that they ‘have now got their #webinerd on’ – it is safe to say that the modern #webinerd is not shy about stepping forward to declare their inner marketing geek.

With great content presented, shared and discussed in the Genius, Best Practices and Execution theatres it was more than apparent that this is an area of marketing that deserves the focus of a dedicated event. The future leaning, thought provoking and insightful content really highlighted how impactful a well-executed webinar programme can be in delivering a wealth of customer insights and actionable data.

So if you are looking at how to drive customer engagement with scale, come join the #webinerd movement……the only decision you now need to make is whether you want a blue, green, red or purple #webinerd logo on your t-shirt!


About the Author

With over 20 years B2B marketing experience Paula has a proven track record of leading successful strategic marketing campaigns in the enterprise ICT space. With a focus on delivering ROI her experience includes developing and aligning marketing strategy, full persona and solution based programme delivery, behavioural based nurture programmes and leading successful teams across a broad range of projects.

Twitter: @pmorris_99

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paula-morris/