Tag Archives: Customer Marketing

Webinars — Voluntary Marketing for Qualified Leads

We’re no stranger to hearing the phrase “our product is different.” Considering ReadyTalk’s experience vetting vendors and agencies, we’ve learned that everyone says it. Including us. As B2B companies clamor for the attention of decision makers, is there any way to guarantee you’re buying a solid lead gen solution? That’s a tough one. There are tons of options in the digital marketing space and everyone claims to offer the best. So at the risk of promoting our solutions in a similar we-solve-all-your-problems statement, let me explain why webinars are the ultimate form of voluntary marketing.

Time is more valuable than data

Banner ads, pre-roll video, and even PPC are all examples of involuntary marketing. That’s not meant to be read negatively — we use these methods (and so do you). In other words, the images appear on your screen based on your search history and profile, rather than from a formal exchange of data to obtain the content. Downloadable content like eBooks, case studies, and infographics are voluntary marketing channels. Meaning, in order to read or view the content, a lead needs to provide their name, email, phone, etc. They’ve volunteered their info in exchange for your asset.

Webinars go one step further. Unlike the downloads listed above, webinars ask for something much more valuable — time. Registrants have agreed to give you 30–60 minutes of their day! I mean, wow. That’s a lot to hand over to a complete stranger. Their likelihood of conversion hinges on whether or not they believe it was time well spent.

This means it’s up to you to provide value-rich content. The relationship between your brand and the prospect begins with a memorable impression that they carry through the rest of the buyer journey. Use the following tips to keep them focused on your event, and more importantly, deliver on your promise that it’s worth their while.

Don’t be lame, break through the boring

Make your presentation thought provoking, educational, and valuable for your audience. Don’t ever let your webinars become a placeholder on your marketing calendar. If you treat every webinar like an event, chances are you’ll have higher turnout and create more buzz. Remember, webinars are the first chance that your prospects literally hear the voice of your company. Another reason they’re a great form of human-to-human, voluntary marketing.

So, how do you make sure they walk away with something new? Part of it comes down to your choice of presenters. Choose people with a charismatic delivery, conversational yet intelligent, and with a knack for drawing the audience closer. Your audience can spot passion from a mile away, so use the opportunity to turn more heads with an engaging speaker.

Think podcast, not lecture

Have you ever attended a snooze fest webinar? They’re the worst. And usually it’s because the speaker is reading directly off the slides. In this case it’s not a two-way street. The presenter is talking at the audience rather than pulling them into the content.

Remember, people attend a lecture. But they subscribe to a podcast. Want to evangelize your database? Turn them into brand advocates that spread the word on their own.

Pro tip: Podcast style is easier when you co-present with another speaker. Bounce ideas off of each other during the presentation, be fun, challenge each other’s thoughts, ask questions when they come up. Don’t be afraid to deviate slightly from the script. Sometimes the best comments are made when people go rogue. Podcast, not lecture.

Webinars Create Connection

That’s what it’s all about. Given the interactivity of a live webinar (Q&A, chat, polling, and surveys) you get to establish a deeper understanding of individual audience members. Other forms of content marketing and lead generation don’t capture the same insights. In addition to the standard name, phone, and title you collect from a registration form, you get to survey and chat with attendees to qualify leads during the event. Wouldn’t you rather hand off more complete contact records to your sales team? What interests them, what is their buying timeline, what products are they currently using? Webinars are an undeniably different marketing channel — capitalize on voluntary lead generation today!

The Age of Customer Marketing

Marketing to customers isn’t new, but it does have new life these days and new focus in many marketing departments. Why? Marketing to customers — giving options to buy more products or move to different products — is generally easier than trying to convince a stranger to your brand to buy. Customers have a relationship with your company.

How to Establish Rapport and Why It Matters

Building rapport with your customers may seem more like a pleasant side-effect of correspondence than a serious business strategy. Sure, it makes conversations more interesting, produces a real connection, and reminds you that the statistics you’re chasing — whether they be sales conversions or MQLs or anything else – are tied to real people. But building real relationships for your business is more than just a nice guy routine. It can have a noticeable impact on your business.

Want your customers to succeed

Seems simple, is simple. Your customers are the lifeblood — to be cliche — of your business. Their success is your success. Give them information and tools to help them be successful, including thought leadership content, ebooks and more.

Meet face-to-face and know your customers

You have to know your customers and let them know you. Meet face-to-face and build relationships.

Drew Frey, Customer Marketing Manager at ReadyTalk said, “You do business with people, and more importantly, you do business with people that you like — that make it easy for you to do business with them. It might be Mark from sales, or Cheri from account management — putting a face to a name is really powerful.”

Deliver a positive brand experience every time

itAnother aspect is a customer’s relationship to an organization as a whole. Deliver the brand promise in every interaction — from Marketing to Sales to Account Management to Customer Service. The entire process should be about building a good relationship at every single touch point, everywhere along the journey.

With social media, it’s more important than ever for those touch points to be positive, too. People will tell friends and family (potential customers) if they like or dislike their experience.

Turn Mistakes Into Opportunities

Mistakes happen no matter who you are or what your business is, but the way you address them can make a world of difference.

“I’d argue a huge part of ReadyTalk’s success is the rapport part of our business,” said Kim Wachtel, ReadyTalk’s director of customer experience. “If something goes wrong, handling it with integrity and proactive communication can actually build on that rapport and relationship, helping you retain customers in spite of those problems,” said Kim Wachtel, ReadyTalk’s director of customer experience.

Recently, a customer let us know our theories were right with a small unprompted post.

Target true advocates and give them opportunities to shine

Seth Godin talks about bringing advocates into your tribe, because they’re stronger than just brand ambassadors. They’ll talk about your product with friends, share thoughts on social media, and go beyond the typical business relationship to provide benefits you never thought of.

Take a recent experience at ReadyTalk. One of our salespeople cold-called a prospect, and on the other end of the call was someone who’d recently had a bad experience with a competitor and was considering switching. That prospect became a customer, and because ReadyTalk delivered more than the bare minimum, that customer became an advocate.

“Not only does he love ReadyTalk’s core product, but he’s so passionate about the experience he’s had that he’s willing to go above and beyond,” Drew explained. “A customer that started from a cold call has now provided us with a case study, a testimonial, and feedback to our product team, and will be mentioned in a media opportunity. And that’s just the last two weeks.”

You can cultivate advocates like this in a number of ways, and while they receive an experience they never imagined, you’re getting smart, savvy and loyal customers to share what they think about you.

Invite them to tradeshows

Shelby Knops, a ReadyTalk customer from Birst, attended a recent tradeshow with us. Shelby agreed to speak candidly with potential customers about ReadyTalk and our products. He answered questions and endorsed ReadyTalk consistently and honestly.

That never would have happened if Shelby didn’t feel a real connection to ReadyTalk, and real connection only comes with an intentional effort, consistent integrity and goodwill, and a desire for your customers to truly succeed.

Give them a community … and prizes

Another powerful part of ReadyTalk’s customer marketing is the Summit Club. It’s an online community where customers — true advocates — can interact with peers and employees. They’re also rewarded for feedback and “challenges” — like sharing information with peers. They get points for their advocacy and can redeem them for prizes.

In the end, happy customers create more happy customers

“Word of mouth is the oldest marketing channel in the book,” said Drew. “It’s also the most effective. If you provide a good experience, and go above and beyond to help your customers succeed, they’re going to tell people.”

Who? They’re going to tell their families and friends, people at networking events, partners, vendors — and those referrals are more powerful than any other marketing tools.

“It’s easy to discount word of mouth virality because it’s hard to track… But I really think there’s this undercurrent of good will and doing the right thing that goes a long way. It can even smooth over some rough patches,” said Drew. And that brings us full circle.

“How can you attain these prospects that don’t even know about you? I think a lot of it can be done with, yes, marketing efforts in general, but also by providing a great experience for your existing customers so they can’t help but tell their friends,” Drew says.