Tag Archives: 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!

Coming Soon for ReadyTalk Illuminate: Record Video

What’s new?

Behind-the-scenes work continues with our self-serve media playback solution! We’re close to releasing a brand new feature that allows you to record video straight from the ReadyTalk Illuminate events library. This do-it-yourself, all-in-one simulive webinar experience will soon give your best storytellers an on-camera option that’s proven to drive more engagement!

How does it work?

Simply hit record in Illuminate, present your content, download, and drop into your next simulive event. Why add a visual speaker? In a one-to-one comparison, video versus non-video web presentations have been proven to increase audience attention by 20 times the average length. Plus, content that’s enriched with a personalized touch turns more attendees into sales opportunities.

In addition to recording video, use Illuminate to schedule and replay events in a self-serve simulive environment. Six clicks and a title idea — that’s all it takes to create and promote your next worry-free webinar. Choose your media from the ReadyTalk recordings folder, or import MP4s from any other source.     

 

How can you use Illuminate?

Let’s say I have a big product launch coming up and I need to give prospects a top-shelf experience from A to Z. Illuminate kills two birds with one stone — maximizing content mileage while removing the pressure of a live event. Once I’ve captured my webinar content, I record the on-camera video portion and use an editing software to join both MP4s together. A high-energy introduction should get my audience’s attention, and gives me a chance to explain the live chat feature to encourage participation. Then, it’s time to schedule and promote the product launch. Click create event, come up with a catchy title, choose media, then pick a date and time. Just like that, I’m ready to start promoting across all marketing channels. And when it’s broadcast time, I use Illuminate to chat live and generate qualified leads on the spot. With a quick check at the engagement timeline, spikes in audience activity tells me exactly where my webinar made an impact on the crowd.

 

But that’s just an example event, what about yours? Sharing best practices or thought leadership? Have a great new case study? Excited about consumer research that supports your brand? Want more people to see your eBook? Maybe you didn’t hit your attendance goal during the live webinar — promote it again and use Illuminate Replay!

New year, new skills: Methods to improve learning at your company

It'd be great if running a business was like riding a bike. You learn how to ride a bike once, and you acquire all the skills you need to know to ride a bike for the rest of your life. 

Unfortunately, running a company isn't quite like riding a bike. Learning new skills and honing old ones – or continuous learning, as it's called – is essential for a productive workforce and a competitive business. 

Amp up the education in your workplace in 2018 with the methods and strategies below:

Hold trainings and educational workshops often 

There are always things that you and your employees should be trained in, whether it's a new coding language, a new content management system or a new workflow. Holding workshops and other training events to teach these skills is far more effective than sharing how-to steps via email. Include free breakfast and coffee or free lunch at these events to make participation more enticing. 

Create a culture of learning

For continuous learning to truly flourish at your organization, you need to create a work culture that openly embraces the sharing of ideas and the development of new skills. You could incorporate learning and development into your company's mission statement or set of core values. Ensure that executive leadership, hiring managers and HR are all onboard with communicating with employees in ways that promote learning, not hinder it. 

Poll employees 

You're far more likely to have greater attendance at training events and workshops if you target these events toward subjects employees actually want to learn about. Polls and surveys can help you identify hot topics and skills that workers most want to learn about and develop. 

Use webinars for training 

To make sure your remote workforce doesn't miss out on the benefits of in-office learning events, conduct training via webinars. With their ease of incorporating multimedia materials, webinars make learning dynamic and fun. As an added bonus, they can be saved and archived in your company's learning library for future reference. 

Tweak your benefits

Demonstrate that your company truly values continuous learning by adjusting your benefits. Perhaps your company can offer to reimburse employees for tuition if they choose to go back to school, or can spend more funds to send them to industry conferences and events. You could also consider giving employees a personal day to work on their hobbies or interests. 

Continuous learning is the seed of innovation. Discovering different ways of doing things and honing new skills leads to success and productivity, and with the tips above, you can improve learning at your company. 

How to come up with a stellar webinar topic

You've heard hosting webinars is good for your business, but how do you come up with a topic that will engage audiences and help generate leads? Just follow our four tips below:

1. Target a specific audience 

Instead of picking a broad and generic topic that attempts to appeal to the largest group of people possible, design your webinar to appeal to a specific audience. This way, you can develop curated content for your webinar that responds to viewers' needs. As Frost & Sullivan notes in its "Best Practices for Making Your Webinar a Success" guide, identify the specific group of people that make the most sense for your webinar to target, and then create a topic and content that will resonate with them. 

2. Zero in on what people want

In our content-saturated world, you need to compete for people's attention by providing useful information that addresses a pain point. When brainstorming a topic, consider the specific issues and problems that your target audience faces. A topic that provides tips, tricks and techniques on how to solve these challenges can not only help boost attendance to the event but also inspire viewers to continue to interact with your company long after the webinar is over. 

3. Share something unique 

You want your webinar to solve people's problems, but you don't want to simply regurgitate information they've already heard on LinkedIn Pulse or Forbes. Develop a unique value proposition, and then use this focus as the basis of your topic. See what one-of-a-kind perspectives, expertise and insights your company and its talent possess, as people are always searching for new solutions to persistently difficult issues. 

4. Avoid blatant sales talk 

People will be turned off from attending your webinar if it sounds like it will be one long sales pitch. Though the ultimate goal of hosting the event may be to generate leads for your company, you want to provide real value for viewers, giving them new insights or enabling them to overcome challenges. By providing this targeted information, you simultaneously promote your company as a thought leader and business ally. Your topic should not be "Why you should buy our product" but instead how the technology or service can make people's lives easier. 

With these tips, you can develop a top-notch webinar topic that can help boost lead generation and engagement with your company. 

CloudTalk: Meet Your Web Event Concierge

Time for a little Q&A with one of our ReadyTalkers! Meet Jeff Sheldon, Event Production Manager with four years under his belt in our lovely LoDo Denver office! For a little background, the events management team is responsible for any webcast or webinar customer that wants a little extra treatment before, during, or after their live presentation. The amount of involvement varies from customer to customer — from help with scheduling, to a dry run, to full event moderation.

 

Q: What types of businesses do you work with most often?

A: We spend a lot of time with marketing and sales teams. Often folks that are performing either a product launch or some type of sales webinar. Sometimes they prefer the “white gloves” if they aren’t in a position to conduct the event on their own. Planning and scheduling are big for us. Say the customer doesn’t have time to plan or schedule every detail of an upcoming event. That’s where we come in. We send out links, provision speakers, work with them up until the dry run, and stick around for post-event reporting.

 

Q: Not all days are perfect. Can you think of a time where you had major challenges walking a customer through an event?

A: It’s more about helping them establish a higher level of comfort. That applies to the software itself or just getting over the pre-event jitters so they’re ready to address the crowd. We try and put ourselves in their shoes and it’s surprising how much can change through the course of a call. Part of our job is to walk them through the components of our user interface, but it’s also about calming their nerves in case it’s their first time. Everyone is different, but they often sign up for managed events if webinars are brand new to them.  

 

Q: What’s a great day for you?

A: Being able to work with a new customer that doesn’t know a ton about the controls or using our services. It’s rewarding to watch them go from totally blind and unfamiliar to ready to rock and host a great event. Just today we had someone that was like, “OK I have an event next week and I’m not sure what I’m doing.” Then by the end of our session they were super comfortable. That’s a good feeling because we try and be the “warm blanket.” Haha. I do enjoy getting to know their style of learning, and having them get to know my style of teaching. If the takeaway is a good experience overall — regarding the customer support AND their webinar presentation — it’s a win for everyone. Word of mouth goes a long way.

Want assistance with your next event? Say ‘hi’ to Jeff and our crew with concierge services!