Tag Archives: readytalk illuminate

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!

2016: a Year of Innovation and Customer Experience

“It’s been a busy year for ReadyTalk.”

Everyone beamed in response to the analyst’s comment. ReadyTalk has had a year of unprecedented product and service expansion. After a decade of offering a single web conferencing platform, in 2016 alone ReadyTalk brought to market a standalone video conferencing product, an accompanying in-room hardware offering and a replay webinar solution. We also announced our entry into the cloud communications market. There’s actually more news, but that’s just for starters.

It’s not that we haven’t been busy other years. But the work released this year is notable as it is a departure from technical innovation and improvements. Instead of aiming to make our products better, we at ReadyTalk spend 2016 firmly aiming to make your experience (as our customer) better.

Formalizing Innovation and CX

Although we were well into 2016 when we formalized our Innovation and Customer Experience departments, the ethos of customer-focused innovation was heartily adopted. ReadyTalk has always been customer-centric, with our devotion to “delivering WOW” via our customer care and account management services. But this year, more than ever, our product and marketing efforts also focused more on better understanding and helping to solve our customers’ problems.

Talk to the customer … and listen

This year we made a concerted effort to embrace design thinking and jobs theory in our innovation and R&D efforts. We spoke to prospective customers to truly understand their activities. And we listened. We found out how things are done now, using which tools. We learned what was most important, what was working and what wasn’t. As an innovation group in particular, we weren’t representing ReadyTalk the cloud communications provider. We didn’t enter the room with a specific product in mind and hope to hear validation for it. Instead, we were focused on a target customer, to understand where they were underserved. This sort of direct insights-gathering is critical: if you wait to buy a market research report from an analyst, you know all your competitors are getting it too. Where’s the opportunity in that?

Most importantly, this type of customer-driven innovation let us take a step back from incremental product improvement and focus more on satisfying the customer. Too often we get focused on a specific task a user is performing with our product, and we don’t consider the overall progress he is seeking to make under those circumstances. What does he do before or after, and how we can aim to provide a single platform or product that satisfies him throughout the job? Tony Ulwick, founder of Strategyn and author of “What Customers Want” and “Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice” introduces the concept of the 8 stages of a job. A company can succeed by innovating across each of these stages, rather than over-engineering one aspect of it.

Introducing FoxDen, FoxDen Connect, ReadyTalk Illuminate and ReadyTalk Hosted Voice

A key example is our FoxDen Connect product. This elegant product lets you walk in a room, start your video conference on the in-room equipment and connect with remote participants, all from a single click on your smartphone. This device and its interaction dramatically simplifies and speeds up the “meeting start” experience. Instead of spend minutes dialing in and entering codes, you can begin a meeting in the proverbial click of a button. It knocks significant time off the nonsense and enables people to get down to business. This was ReadyTalk’s first foray into selling hardware, and it makes sense to extend the solution we offer our customers to what they need to start using our software.

ReadyTalk Hosted Voice is another interesting example: ReadyTalk offers audio, video and web conferencing. So why would we offer what could be considered a competing product? Well, conferencing meets enables individuals to connect with a group of people at once: one-to-many. But people also need to communicate with people one-to-one, so rather than drawing a line and saying “we only provide certain types of communications to our customers,” ReadyTalk is expanding to better provide for our customers. By being a provider of both 1:1 and 1:many communications, we can improve the experience so people don’t need to swap out systems to perform what is essentially the same task.

A final example is ReadyTalk Illuminate – Replay. We’ve offered a webinar platform for marketers for years, and in 2016 we took a step back to really understand what challenges they were facing for lead generation activities. We heard loud and clear they needed a solution that gave them confidence as well as control in their outreach to prospects. That’s why we prioritized our exciting Replay feature in our Illuminate webinar platform. It’s also why we’ll continue to add exciting new features to support marketers in all their most critical activities in the upcoming year.

As we wind down the year, I revel in the progress we have made as an organization. Through design sprints and customer interviews, we were able to design and bring to market products that met our customers ever evolving needs.

My First Webinar – From Panic to Calm

Have you ever been asked to recommend someone to do something, that isn’t in your comfort zone, and you panic, because the recommendation is you? That happened to me. A member of our Marketing team asked for a recommendation for a speaker to talk about and demo our new product, ReadyTalk Illuminate – Replay. The correct answer was me. Afterall, I’m the Product Manager. Panic washed over me. I had never been a speaker on a webinar. To add to my anxiety, the webinar was slated to be done live. I gave a noncommittal answer, said I needed time to think about it, and, as a well-trained Product Manager, asked for the deadline.

Drew, Robyn and Sam talking about the webinarAfter getting over my panic and getting a, “You know the right answer” nudge from my manager, I committed. As we planned the event, and my anxiety didn’t subside, it dawned on me. “Why not use Illuminate – Replay?” A Replay about Replay! My anxiety turned into sheer giddiness. Without much selling, my co-worker agreed. Then, the team changed. Our webinar pro was no longer available. The new team responsible for this webinar included two webinar newbies, and one person who hadn’t conducted webinars in a while. Using Replay sounded like an even better idea now.

Replay enabled us to laugh, joke and enjoy the experience

We decided to do an interview style discussion, a demo, and then the big Replay reveal. The preparation ended up being a planning session, a recording session for the interview portion, a recording of the product demo, and a review of the edited recordings. We all had some angst going into the planning session, which was supposed to be our recording session. By the end, we were laughing and joking. I looked forward to the recording session. During the recording session , it was awesome to be able to redo the bloopers (and to laugh at them). Not having the stress and pressure of being live was even better.

I recorded the product demo portion of the event on my own time. I loved being able to fix mistakes and produce the demo about which I felt good. Again, I appreciated not having the added pressure of being live.

Instead of stress, the day-of was fun

On the day of the event, all three of us went about our normal morning work in the morning. We met 15 minutes before the start of the event. I had butterflies, which was silly. I only needed to monitor and respond to chats. The rest of the work was done. My webinar-experienced coworker shared that normally the morning would be filled with nothing but preparation for the event along with a lot of stress and anxiety. Instead, the three of us had childlike excitement with an overall sense of calm. We discussed what a strange set of feelings those were.

We continued to be productive in that 15 minute pre-event window. When the event started, we began whispering to each other. We burst out laughing. We didn’t need to whisper. No one could hear us. We monitored chats and even did some brainstorming. Another realization came to us, we could be interacting with our attendees right then. We started posing questions in chat to spark a conversation. We didn’t get a lot of chats during the interview segment. Once the demo started, a few attendees started asking questions. We responded in the moment.

Great feedback about the webinar

After the big reveal, that our event was a Replay, we asked if the attendees noticed. We received some great feedback – all positive. There were no concerns with the fact that it was pre-recorded. We also received some very humorous chats.

Webinars can be stress-free

The whole experience was pleasant and positive. I loved that experience and the feelings I had leading up to, during, and after the event.

My main takeaway: webinars can be fun and stress-free. I will never shy away from doing another webinar again … as long as I can pre-record it.

For more about Replay

For more about Replay or webinar referenced here, watch below.

Learn From Your Community

After engaging your community, the great thing is you can learn from it.

Connect with content

We all want content where we already are. If we’re in Facebook, for example, we don’t want to leave that experience. We want to stay there. Making content transcend platform is the future of content — where people can engage where they are.

In the meantime, don’t forget to include content here:

  • Put highlights of your webinar on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Add webinars to your YouTube channel. You can even create Playlists of related content.
  • Send tweets with stats from your webinar.
  • Create a blog post with your content, if your audience engages you there.

When you engage, you can measure and improve content

Go beyond with your content, too. Learning includes making smarter content. By smarter content, it’s content where you can measure engagement in all it’s various ways. What are those ways? They include:

  1. Questions participants are asking.
  2. Answers to polls and surveys, even when they’re research for your company.
  3. Feedback you receive, in general, about your content.
  4. Where your audience engaged in the webinar, for example.

 

 

Illuminate Your Content

Engage Your Community

It’s the Holy Grail for every marketer — interaction that’s engagement. Engaging your audience is the thing we all strive for in various ways — on our websites, on our social media sites, on our blogs … everywhere. We want to engage our current audiences like customers. We want to engage our new audiences, otherwise known as prospects.


Duration: 1:24

Engagement has inherent risk

But when it comes to engagement, we need to be brave. Engagement has inherent risk. People may say things we don’t like. I don’t mean the sometimes crazy comments in your local online newspaper or television station, although for some industries that’s entirely possible. I mean the feedback about our products and services, our content, and our social posts. It can be negative. But that doesn’t mean we should stop asking questions and asking or soliciting feedback.

It’s why I think it’s a mistake to shut down comments from the blog, social media (like YouTube), and more.

Engagement has responsibility

It also means we’re responsible for doing something with that feedback. Our Customer Care team gets feedback from customers and share that information with our product management team. In fact, they often have ideas on how to improve our products and their feedback is a step in the process. In Marketing, when we’re conducting case studies and testimonials, we sometimes hear ideas for products; we carry that information forward, too.

Building engagement with negative feedback

Even really negative feedback can be positive, beyond ideas on how to improve. In the office, we like hearing feedback, even when it’s negative. Not long ago, someone called out a mistake we made on LinkedIn. We loved hearing it. When people care enough to point out mistakes, they care. Caring is a step along the way to engagement. If they’re disengaged, they won’t comment or correct you.

And if you’re lucky, those ideas for improvement can turn them into raving fans. When I worked at a nonprofit, there was a gentleman who made comments in social media that indicated he was disappointed in the nonprofit from services provided to general mission. I was lucky enough to be able to meet him for coffee and discuss his concerns — address some right away and take back ideas for improvement. After that, he became a raving fan. Sure, we can’t take everyone out for coffee to discuss ideas, but being open to negative feedback is important.

Negative feedback helps us improve and deepens our relationship with those giving those improvement ideas.

Peer-to-peer sharing

Peer-to-peer sharing is engagement at its finest. Your prospects and customers are learning and sharing with each other without you. They’re increasing your knowledge about subjects. And it’s without your resources, saving you money and time. By them sharing information in your space — on your website, in your forum, on your social media — you’re increasing engagement and loyalty in your brand. Loyalty’s increased by them and others.

How do you build engagement?

You have ideas. Let’s hear them.