This Just In: Include a Calendar File (with a unique join meeting link) in your Marketo Emails

Like many of my peers, I sign up for a few webinars a week….to learn about competitor products, best practices that I can use in my role, or what's on the roadmap for different partners.  Almost every confirmation email I receive has a handy 'Add to Calendar' option…making it easy for me to block the specific date and time in Outlook.  After adding the webinar to my calendar, the confirmation email (which tells me how to access the event), is promptly deleted.  I keep a very clean inbox!

When the time comes for the live event, and my meeting reminder pops up, one of two things happens:

  1. I open the calendar item, click on the link to join the webinar, and BOOM. I'm in and ready to learn.
  2. I open the calendar item….and see that I need to find my confirmation email to join the webinar. FAIL.

So my next thoughts? I could start frantically searching my trash folder….or, I could try to find a customer support number to call. But, that seems like a lot of effort. I'll just skip it and wait for the recording.

Add to Calendar (with unique join meeting link!)

Most likely, I'm not alone in that thought…which is going to affect your attendance rates, which then decreases the number (and possibly, the quality) of the leads from your webinar that will go into the sales funnel, and on, and on. 

But, if you are a Marketo customer, now is the time to get excited! Marketo recently released the ability to include a calendar file, with a placeholder for the unique join meeting link that is passed from ReadyTalk via the integration, in your emails. And, word on the street is, it's easy to setup! To get complete, step-by-step instructions, visit the help article on the Marketo community and start using it!  Your attendees (and sales team) will thank you.

 

Are you a customer of Marketo and ReadyTalk, but not using our integration yet? Check it out on Marketo's Launchpoint

Guest Post: 5 Reasons to Fit Webinars into Your Content Marketing Strategy

global webinarsToday's post is provided by Christine Leas, from Kapost.

Webinars are fabulous affairs, indeed. 

They’re convenient, inexpensive, educational, social…and they’re one of the most popular ways for B2B marketers to reach new customers and build enduring relationships with existing ones. According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute, 59% of B2B marketers are using webinars (up from 46% last year) and 61% believe that webinars are an effective content marketing tactic.

And that 61% are absolutely correct. But why are they so beneficial and what do they accomplish?

 

Here are 5 reasons webinars should be a key part of your content marketing strategy: 

1. Lead Generation: Webinars on timely topics or useful how-tos can be a great way to generate leads. To get the word out, you should produce email invitations, social media promotions and blog posts–all of which can bring new eyes to your content or get current leads to engage with you in new ways. But they don’t just provide an outlet to generate buzz on your end, you’ll also receive retweets and mentions from the people planning to attend. Webinars are also great for list-building, because unlike a lot of top of the funnel content, attendees usually register with contact information before participating in a webinar. That means you can capture their information in your database, so you can follow up with content on topics you already know they’re interested in.

 

2. Relationship Building: When it comes to engagement at the top of the funnel, webinars are hard to beat. Unlike blog posts, how-to articles and even social media, webinars let you get right in front of your target audience and have real-time interactions with them. Most webinars also feature a Q&A section, where you can directly address any concerns or questions your prospects have. This lets your audience get to know your brand on a personal level, and allows them to interact with experts and thought leaders from your organization.

 

3. Affordability: Some people dismiss webinars because they’re not as effective as live events. But frankly, they don’t need to be. The time, money, and resources required for producing a webinar are only a small fraction of those needed for a live event, so the return on your investment can be huge. Also, webinars still provide an opportunity to speak to your audience and provide insights from leading experts. Because they are so cost effective, you don’t need to worry about cancelling due to low attendance. If you only have twenty people attend your webinar, it just means you have that more time to answer their questions and address concerns. 

 

4. Repurposing: One of the biggest challenges for content marketers is producing enough content to fill their distribution channels. So once you’ve created all that fabulous content for your webinar, don’t forget about it. Repurpose your ideas into other pieces of content. Break your webinar topics down into a series of blog posts, tweet memorable quotes, make notes of the questions your audience asks for future content inspiration, and don’t forget to share any slides you produced on SlideShare. 

 

5. Long Term Value: Webinars shouldn’t be a one-and-done deal. Record your webinars and host them on a resources page. You can add these recordings to nurture campaigns, include calls to action across channels (marketing automation, blog, social) to download the recording to generate new leads, and share the educational content with current clients to keep them informed and engaged. By continuing to promote and link to your webinars, you can produce a steady return on your investment, long after the webinar is over. 

 

Those are just a few of the benefits webinars have to offer the modern marketer. To dig deeper into how to optimize your content marketing strategy with webinars, Kapost CEO Toby Murdock is teaming up with marketing experts Anita Wehnert, from ReadyTalk and Ian Hutchinson fromVidyard to host a free webinar “Where do Webinars Fit in a Content Marketing Strategy.” Please join us on Tuesday, April 30th at 2pm EST for this free event

 

 

 

ReadyTalk: A Title Sponsor of CTA’s Sip & Connect Fest

CTA Sip & Connect LogoWe’ve got our mugs chilling and our koozies ready. Join members of the ReadyTalk team at the Colorado Technology Association’s inaugural Sip & Connect Fest on May 2 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the historic McNichols Building at Civic Center.

Sample a selection of beers and spirits from Colorado-based hand craft brewers and distillers while mingling among technology leaders and professionals. Enjoy distinctive drinks, delicious food, and great networking. And speaking of networking they have a really cool piece of functionality that allows you to see who is attending so you can plan your night in advance. 

Many thanks to the staff at CTA for allowing us to be a ReadyTalk Title Sponsor of this event.  Register now and you may even come away with a ReadyTalk koozie.

 

How to Add ICS Files with Unique Join Meeting Links to Eloqua Webinar Emails

 

I recently posted a poll on Eloqua's Topliners community asking “What new features would you like to see in Eloqua webinar apps?” What was the response? A whopping 64% of respondents said that an "Add to Calendar" (ICS) file with unique join meeting link for confirmation and reminder emails was their top priority. Why is this feature important? Simply put, this seemingly small change can deliver higher webinar attendance rates.

I have some good news for those who responded to the poll (and others who are looking to advance their Eloqua webinar programs): the ReadyTalk integration with Eloqua now provides ICS files with unique join meeting URLs and this functionality is delivering measurable results. In fact, one ReadyTalk customer (Compendium) saw their webinar attendance rate double with the addition of this feature. Read more about their success in this Compendium Case Study.
 
Here are some brief instructions to help you get started …

Step 1: Install the ReadyTalk App from AppCloud

To get started, install the ReadyTalk Cloud Connectors from the Eloqua AppCloud (it's free). You can get complete instructions for installing and using the ReadyTalk App in our comprehensive Getting Started Guide.

Step 2: Add the ReadyTalk Cloud Connector to Your Campaign

In your Eloqua Webinar Campaign, add the ReadyTalk Register Attendee Cloud Connector as a step between the Registration Form and the Confirmation Email steps in your campaign:
 
Eloqua Webinar Program
 

Step 3: Create New Fields

On the Data Card you use for your webinar programs (or on the Contact Record), add two new fields to store the unique ICS files returned from ReadyTalk for each registrant:
  1. Outlook Calendar Link
  2. Google Calendar Link
In our instance of Eloqua, we have named these fields “Event ICS File (Outlook)” and “Gmail Add to Calendar Link” but you can use your own naming convention.
 
Eloqua Webinar Data Card

Step 4: Map ICS File Links to the New Fields

In the Optional Output tab of the ReadyTalk Register Attendee Cloud Connector, click on “New Output Mapping” to map the appropriate ReadyTalk Output Fields to the new fields you created on the Data Card or Contact Record:
  • Map “Event ICS File URL” to the “Outlook Calendar Link” field on the Data Card or Contact Record
  • Map “Event Google Calendar URL” to the “Google Calendar Link” field on the Data Card or Contact Record

This will ensure that the unique Add to Calendar links created for each registrant are captured in Eloqua.

Mapping ICS Files to Eloqua

Step 5: Add the Unique Calendar Links to Your Eloqua Emails

Create an “Add to Calendar” section on your Eloqua confirmation and reminder emails and include two new links/buttons:
  1. One to allow registrants to add the webinar to their Outlook calendar
  2. One to allow registrants to add the webinar to their Google calendar
Then, use Eloqua Field Merge functionality to automatically populate the emails with the unique Outlook and Google calendar links stored on the Data Card or Contact Record. Each registrant will then be able to add the webinar to their Outlook or Google calendar and have all of the information they need to join the meeting (including their unique “join meeting” URL) at their fingertips.
 
Webinar confirmation email with ICS file
 
Webinar ICS File for Outlook
 
 
Hope this feature helps you drive higher attendance rates for your next webinar! If it does, please share your success story!

Beyond the Slide Deck- It’s all in the delivery (Part III)

This is the last post of a three-part series on creating and delivering content that inspires viewers, beyond just your slides (beautiful as they may be). Be sure to check out Part I (content) and Part II (medium) if you haven't Don't be that guy. Deliever engaging content to your webinar audience.had the chance, but today's topic is all about the delivery.

Delivery can make or break your presentation. As presenter, make sure you and your materials are not redundant. You are the one bringing life to the slides by adding useful information, not reading them verbatim. Usually there are 3 scenarios for a presentation:

  1. Bad content, poor presenter – this is just awkward for everyone
  2. Bad content, good presenter – good presentation skills can partially make up for lousy content, making this a slight step above the first scenario
  3. Good content, good presenter – this obviously produces the best retention, leaves the strongest impression and delivers favorable outcomes. Everyone wins.

So how do we assure that our presentation is on par with the third scenario? Here are the tips Jerry had to offer:

  • Watch your speed – there’s no substitute for practice when it comes to the speed of your delivery
  • Engage the audience – create a two-way communication experience, whether in-person at a live event or online in a webinar. There are plenty of tools at your disposal, just get creative.
  • Two are (often) better than one – having two presenters can break up the monotony of one voice and also offer additional perspective on the topic
  • Take a poll or tell a story – both grab the attention of your audience and make them feel like they’re part of the presentation, not just being ‘talked at’.

Audience question "What are your thoughts on having a panel discussion during a webinar?"

Jerry's answer”I think you can host a panel discussion during a webinar very effectively.  I would limit the panel size to 3 or 4 members, so that you don't have panelists trying to talk over each other.  The other thing I would do is host a dry run, so the panelists can all get comfortable with the webinar platform and understand how things will flow during the session.  You don't want to be figuring those things out during a live discussion! I think it's a great idea, and I also think it would have a lot of appeal to attendees.”

ReadyTalk has worked closely with Demand Metric over the last six months to develop a number of marketing toolkits to make your job a bit more manageable when it comes to planning, producing and delivering your next webinar. Download the “Beyond the Slidedeck” toolkit which includes the Webinar Topic Mapping Template,  the Web Conferencing Vendor Evaluation Tool, and the Webinar Presenter Evaluation Tool.