B2B Webinars Closing Deals

I came across this post today on the MarketCapture Blog. Eran points to a positive experience his client had with a webinar. In this case, the webinar helped his client close several deals that had been in limbo for a period of time. He learned, as we know at ReadyTalk, that webinars can be very powerful vehicles in progressing the sales cycle. In this case, a timely webinar on something valuable to the participants spurned action.

What is also important in this story is the use of a webinar as a touchpoint in the clients nurturing cycle. In B2B, there are a limited number of ways to engage potential prospects including things like white papers, free trials, demos and press releases. If you are not doing them now, you should add webinars to the list. They are a great way to entice qualified prospects into raising their hand since valuable content will appeal more to a qualified prospect.

[tags]MarketCapture, lead generation, web conferencing, webinars [/tags]

Branding in B2B

brands.jpgDoes branding matter in B2B. I came across this post on B2B branding the other day. The author posits that in this day of micro messaging, branding no longer matters because you can micro-target with messaging.

I would disagree. I think the exact opposite is happening. It is specifically because of targeted messaging that brand matters more. Brand recognition helps us filter out the noise. It is human condition that when faced with uncertainty we will gravitate towards the familiar. Personally, I get hit so many times a day that unless it is a brand I have heard of or has been recommended by a colleague; I tune most of it out.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Does branding matter more or less today in B2B?

B2B Social Media

Business to business selling is a much different animal than business to consumer. Consumers are interested in what is hip, trendy and cool. Businesses are into what works, saves money and is well supported. Additionally, most business go through a much more complicated buying process than your typical consumer. For the B2B marketer, social media is just one tactic in a portfolio of techniques that we use to generate awareness, drive leads and nurture relationships. whereas B2C is mostly about exposure, branding and impressions.

Let's use my industry as an example. The web conferencing industry has been through some consolidation recently. Audio conferencing has become a commodity and most web conferencing platforms tout the same features and functionality. Within this industry, your mainstream social media tools will not work as effectively. Link love rewards the trendy and controversial and viral campaigns the same. This does not mean that social media does not have a role to play in B2B marketing. Quite the contrary, social media is important for driving traffic, building though leadership and creating word of mouth.

In the next couple of blogs, I am going to talk about some of the social media tools that B2B people have at their disposal. I wanted to start out by linking to one of my favorite B2B blogs.

Recordings vs. Podcasts

The other day I colleague of mine and I were discussing the relatively misunderstood technology of podcasting. In the web conferencing industry, the terminology gets even more muddled when you introduce the notion of recorded web conferences that can also be posted on public sites. Consider the two definitions below.

1. Continuously updated multimedia content distributed through an RSS feed.
2. A method of posting multimedia files to the internet.

Obviously, number one is the the correct definition. The important two points to notice are "continuously update" and "RSS feed". Listeners who subscribe to a podcast are expecting to get regularly updated "episodes" from that podcast. If you only have one "episode", you would be better off simply posting the file on your site for public consumption rather than putting it behind a feed.

We get many calls into our support center asking questions about our podcasting feature and how best to take advantage of it. The simple answer is this: If you have regularly updated content you would like to communicate to your listeners then podcasting is probably a viable way to distribute that information.