How to extend the lifespan of your Webinars?

If I ask you what’s your content marketing plan for the upcoming quarter, one of your answers will probably be doing a few Webinars.

The situation

Here is how this goes …  Full of motivation and energy, you want to launch a Webinar. You have found an interesting topic with great content, you have convinced external co-speakers (e.g. partners or customers),  you’ve built up the presentation and worked with your marketing operations team to set up the Webinar registration page, sent over the invitations by leveraging your contact database. You’ve monitored registrations during the one-month lead time you thought would be enough for proper promotion and you feel pretty satisfied because you got 30 registrants, which you feel is not too bad in the over-crowded B2B market.

But when the D-day for recording your Webinar arrives, the disillusion takes shape: only less than 10 people show up, with among them two customers, three partners, one competitor, a couple of university students and a hand of internal employees …

What went wrong?

Let’s try to analyze what happened.

1/ First of all, you didn’t think ROI. I mean that, unless you expected dozens of qualified participants, the cost of producing this Webinar would randomly be compensated by the generated marketing-sourced or influenced revenue.

2/ The poor result shows that your contact database might not be qualified enough, you will need to clean it up and create better segments. In some bad situations, your outgoing emails might even been considered as SPAM and land directly into the Junk folder of the recipients.

3/ The people you invited are busy, they might register for your Webinar with the true intent to participate but life catches them up and there is some high probability that some urgency comes up the D-Day.

4/ People’s mentality has evolved. They know that your content won’t disappear and will then be available on-demand. They create a task in Outlook to remember to check out the recording someday. Unfortunately this day never happens, leading at some stage to the deletion of this reminder task …

So why do I continue doing Webinars?

Personally, I believe Webinars are a good way to go deep with a topic. This is also an interactive format, especially if you are several speakers and have a Q&A at the end of the session.

A Webinar demonstrates thought leadership and creates a more personal relationship with the audience than simple white papers and solution briefs.

Youtube videos are great, I actually prefer Youtube videos to Webinars but unfortunately, there is no way for you to display a registration form on Youtube and capture the lead before watching the video. We’ll see actually below that my strategy consists in combing both approaches.

What’s my strategy to extend the lifespan of my Webinars?

My strategy consists in considering that the Webinar is not an event but an asset. This means that I don’t rely on the live Webinar broadcast to generate leads. I rather set up a traffic acquisition strategy to promote the Webinar as on-demand.

+++ The first strategy is to leverage my product Youtube channel. If you have a few minutes, you can also read a previous article explaining why your Youtube channel is so important.

webinar_chunks
1. I cut my Webinar into 3 video teasers of 2 to 3 minutes each, publish them on Youtube and fill their metadata properly.

 

webinar_call_to_action
2. 20 seconds before the end of each video teaser, I add a “Call to Action” to watch the full Webinar. I use a specific tracked link that indicates that the source is Youtube.

 

webinar_call_to_action2
3. 10 seconds after popping up the Call to Action, I also suggest to watch another video teaser of the Webinar.

 

webinar_landing_page
4. When clicking on the “View the full Webinar” call to action, people land on a page on our website domain. Youtube doesn’t allow to redirect to a Website we don’t own. Since our Webinar, is hosted on the ON24 platform and we don’t own it, we display a strong “Call to Action” on the web page that links to the ON24 Webinar registration page.

 

webinar_registration
5. Here we are. The lead has already watched one or more video teasers of the Webinar and is willing to watch the full recording now. This a highly qualified lead that is directly injected in our marketing automation tool.

 

+++ Once this is in place, my second strategy is to leverage my product blog to publish several blog posts around the topic of the Webinar. I will add a few links to both the Youtube channel and the full recording, which will improve the SEO ranking of both the posts and the videos. When pointing to the full Webinar registration page, I use a second tracked link that indicates that the source is the product blog.

 

+++ Ultimately, I track this campaign activity by using our marketing automation tool. I use following metrics:

  • number of views
  • split by source (direct, youtube, blog)
  • number of registrations

Those leads feed our contact database and flow then directly into specific nurturing campaigns that might be global or local.

This is how I turn a one-time online live event into a lasting marketing asset that will drive me traffic for the next 2 years. With this approach, the ROI naturally increases significantly as I cover the cost of producing this Webinar over 24 months.

 

 

How to turn your ABM Strategy into a success?

Understanding ABM – Account Based Marketing – is one thing, succeeding with it is another one. I wanted to share with you a few guidelines on how to turn your ABM strategy into effective dollars.

Work closely with sales

This is extremely important. You need to develop this initiative together with sales leaders because your success will depend on the good alignment between marketing and sales.

Identify target accounts

Identify with them the list of key accounts and determine specific goals for each of them along with tactics to achieve those goals. Be clear on responsibilities and define who is responsible for what and how you will measure the impact of combined efforts.

Prepare your team

Make sure your team is properly trained on the methodology and knows how to actionate it. ABM is in many ways different than classic marketing and you need to make sure your team understands the goals and challenges and is ready and able to execute efficiently.

Define your ABM activity calendar

ABM is powerful but leading associated activities takes a lot of resources on the marketing side. You need to prepare targeted messaging, supporting assets and build specific Web pages along with dedicated tracking and reporting. Pick up a few strategic key accounts – where you have the largest potential for additional business – and schedule relevant activities in a calendar shared with your sales peer.

Research everyone on the buying committee

Work with sales to understand their key account planning and identify the right people who influence and participate to the buying decision.

Regularly check alignment with sales

Before launching any ABM activity, make sure the goals are still valid and the needs from the sales team haven’t evolved.

Create content to target accounts

Develop compelling, engaging content that speaks to each person on the buying committee and the larger strategic business initiative they share.

Equip your sales team to engage accounts

Hand over to sales all insights, information and guidance about each account, including which content assets to use when. You can also train them on content engagement tools such as Highspot to better track efficiency of those assets in the targeted accounts.

Measure the impact of your account-based marketing

Your reporting dashboards should have been set up upfront, before starting the initiative. A common mistake is to think it won’t take much time to build and can wait until the ABM activity is launched. Discuss the performance with sales and compare the effectiveness across the different target accounts and across the different activities. Success is above all a matter of measuring, correcting and iterating.

Why is your Youtube channel so important?

In 2017, I’m still very surprised to see so many companies with either no or a poor Youtube channel and that’s why I decided to write a few words about the importance of considering your Youtube channel carefully in your marketing mix.

Videos have become the new way to consume Web content. To get convinced of this, you can search for statistics on the Web – there are plenty of them – but you can also introspect yourself and analyze your own behavior: when you search for information, look at when you use Google and when you use Youtube … I would assume that like me, you prefer watching a short 2′ – 3′ video rather than reading a long article.

Moreover, when we look at the level of engagement, the engagement is much higher with a video: according to recent research, while 80% of the web users watch a video, only 20% read a text.

In terms of content type, Forrester predicts that 90% of data worldwide will be video in 2019 and Google and Facebook have anticipated that by ranking up video results in their search engine results.

So, let’s introspect myself and list some of the key topics that I prefer search on Youtube rather than Google:

  • Entertainment: game tutorials for kids, humor, cartoons …
  • Retail: product presentation, review and testing …
  • Culture:  history, geography, economics, media and politics …
  • Home: handy work, fixing things at home …
  • Arts:  learning how to play music, watching amazing musician performance …
  • B2B: company presentation, offering presentation, product demo, expert talks, event coverage.

And you, do you think your activity can still afford not being visible on Youtube?

Revolutionize the way you market your product

You might be like me a regular watcher of the Ted Talks. If you have missed this one, I recommend you to watch the talk given by Simon Sinek in 2009.


The keynote talks about how we are inspired to follow those who lead because we want to, not because we are forced to. This illustrates what makes us feel a product is different than others and why we are fascinated by specific leaders.

Actually, Simon Sinek found out there is a pattern: all the great and inspiring leaders in organizations in the world think, act and communicate the exact same way. And this is the complete opposite of everyone else …

To illustrate this, there is a simple concept called the golden circle made of three cocentric circles: “Why”, “How”, “What”. This explains why some organizations are able to inspire … and some aren’t.

The Golden Circle - Why, How, What

Most companies develop their key marketing messages communicating outside in, that’s what we call “Leading with What”. Here is an example:

  1. What do we do ? We make great computers …
  2. How do we do ? They are beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. Wanna buy one ?
  3. Why do we do it ? we want to make profit; that’s what others do; that’s what the executive board decided; we don’t really know …

Leading companies actually communicate the other way around, they are “Leading with Why”. Let’s take an example:

  1. Why do we it? Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently.
  2. How do we do it? The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly.
  3. What do we do it? We just happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?

The first example (outside in) is how most B2B marketers communicate. We talk about what we have and how we’re different, and then expect from potential customers some sort of behavior change, such as a sales lead.

To shift their content from uninspiring to provocative and engaging, B2B marketers need to focus on what their companies care about, instead of what they have to offer. And the most astonishing part is that there is a biologic (not psychological) reason to that.

The human brain is broken into 3 major components as illustrated below:

brain_structure

 

  • The neocortex is responsible for all our rational, analytics thoughts and language
  • The limbic system is responsible of all of our feelings, trust, loyalty. It is also responsible for all human behavior, all decision making and has no capacity for language.

The way of communicating outside in influences the neocortex zone and doesn’t generate any behavior whereas when we communicate inside out, we first influence the limbinc system that is responsible for behavior.

The conclusion is that “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it”. Take some time to watch the amazing video above, this will radically change the way you communicate on your products.

How to be a strong performer in cold calling ?

I’d like to share with you today an interesting ebook available for download on InsideSales.com:

Cold Calling Tips and Million Dollar Sales Prospecting Secrets

You can also watch the video recording of the webinar:

Slides can be found on Slideshare


We can read 9 top tips for a successful cold call:

  1. Have the right attitude: you must feel you can sell anyone on any deal in any situation
  2. Believe in your product: if you don’t believe in the product you’re selling, each time you pick up the phone, you’ll become increasingly unconvincing and robotic.
  3. Be persistent: a study mentions that on average, reps give up after only 1.3 contact attempts. This is definitely not enough. Advice is to keep trying until you get the person on the phone.
  4. Master the pitch: you need to know the goal of your call. What do you want to get ? Use scripts to help you through the discussion.
  5. The big claim: “Your claim must become a hook that sinks so deep in the client that it literally creates a picture they can’t erase.” It has to be something that your prospect cannot ignore and that your competitors cannot imitate.
  6. Gains and losses: with every call, you have everything to gain, nothing to loose.
  7. The best value: you have to believe and understand why you have the best value, regardless of price.
  8. Respect your prospect: useful tip to remember when you spend your whole day calling people and you got a lot of negative answers.
  9. Diversify: never depend on one call. You need a lot of calls to be successful. If you feel disappointed or rejected, this is because you didn’t do enough calls to feel successful.

The “big claim”: that’s the piece where you can get the most of your Product Marketing team. Invite them to visit existing customers and prospects. They will help you measure benefits provided by the solution and metrics to calculate an ROI and financial gains and summarize them in a script you can leverage for your cold calls.


You can also learn in the ebook 7 contacting rules for Cold Calling Success:

  1. Timeliness: you must get back to hot leads coming to your web site in less than 5 minutes, leading to you 21 times greater odds to reach that person. The average time for a sales person is 39 hours today …
  2. Persistency: you are wrong assuming that a contact is not interested if he doesn’t answer right away. Most people are just busy. Sales reps who make at least 6 call attempts (against an average of 1,3) have 90% chance of reaching their prospect.
  3. Time of the day: 114% greater chance to reach a contact when calling early in the mornings (8-9am) or late afternoons (4-6pm).
  4. Day of the week: Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days for sales prospecting (50% more likely to reach a contact on Wednesdays than Tuesdays).
  5. Optimal times: every industry, market and channel has optimal times to contact the audience, adjust to it.
  6. Direct-dial phone numbers: Avoid the front desk as much as you can. Sales reps who find a way to go around the receptionist have 3 times as many meeting per month.
  7. Caller ID: Avoid calling with toll-free numbers or long-distance numbers, you will look like a telemarketing agency and your contact won’t answer the phone. The study shows that the odds of someone picking up a local phone number are 57.8% higher than a non-local phone number.

How to build great software demo videos ?

We live in a world of communication. More than ever, software vendors need to communicate loud to get spotted by their target customers. And this is the responsibility of the marketing team to identify the most efficient ways to promote the products and know-how of your company.

Whitepapers, datasheets, webinars are good assets to generate interest in top of funnel acquisition campaigns but once people start to show some sign of interest, a demonstration of your product can accelerate the conversion process and make the difference with competition.

Here are a few tips to build great product demo videos:

 

Give me access

Get access to the product. This statement might sound basic but you might be surprised to see how many software vendors don’t offer an easy access to their products internally. Most on-premises solutions require complex installation and there is no central internal place you can connect to access your software easily for demo. Even SaaS solutions might not offer an easy access to their internal teams due to difficulties to get around the complex account provisioning process – as an internal employee, for example, you need special rights and do not have to pay for the service. When such an access exists, the version might be old because this is not a top priority internally. So, the goal here it to get an early access to the latest release to be able to promote the new product features efficiently.

KISS - Keep it Simple and Stupid

Identity a series of short scenarios focusing on the strongest value proposition. Your product does surely a lot of things. But keep in mind that customers expect easy to use software. The new paradigm is now “Do less but do it great“. Goal is not to show plenty of features that are in most cases useless to the majority (the 80/20 rule) but to focus on the core features and make them the simplest and most intuitive, on top of a very performant infrastructure with no downtime and a high speed. So, pick up 3 to 5 basic scenarios that do the job and don’t be frustrated to not show everything your product can do.

Script software demo scenarioTest your scenarios. After defining the scenarios, test them “as a dummy” and identify the points of friction. By “points of friction”, I designate the moments when the experience is less fluid – due to bugs and poor design. Be very careful of simplicity. The navigation must be intuitive, simple and efficient (no more than 3 clicks to perform a simple operation). Duration is also important: a demo video should not last more than 5 minutes too keep people interested. If your scenario is too long, split it into two videos. Last, define a title that mentions the value proposition explained in the video.

Script your scenarios. Once your scenarios are well defined, start to write a script. Writing a script is essential to have a perfect speech. Share it with other people – this is important to get feedbacks from other team members – and improve it. Think of testing your script multiple times to make sure you don’t miss anything. Last, if you are working in software, better have a video in English. So if you are like me not a native speaker, ask a native speaker to make edits to your script.

Screen recording

Find the right voice. Now that you have very solid scenarios with their scripts, you need to find THE voice. This is something to think of carefully as this will have a strong impact on the quality of your video. Take a voice that is clear and not too high nor too deep. Of course, if you record your video in English and you are not a native speaker, I encourage you to ask an American or English colleague to  achieve more professional result.

Record your video. This step might seem faster but is actually very time consuming. You also need to have the right tools for that. There is for example Camstasia that is a very good tool but if you search on Google, you will find other tools that might better fit your needs and budget. An interest feature of such a tool is to be able to cut the video if needed as you might record it in several pieces.

Prepare your video asset.  After recording, you need to spend some time to cut and reassemble it to get the final version. Think also of inserting an introductory slide with a title and if possible a call to action at the end of your video.

Publish it: Here you are ! Publish your video on your Youtube channel. Your video asset is starting a long life. The average life of such a media on the Web up to two years, potentially meaning plenty of upcoming leads! If you haven’t done it in the video, insert a call to action link in the Youtube description. In order to optimize your SEO on Youtube, think of filling the title, the description and the other meta tags properly. Last but not least, don’t only think Youtube, multiply your video presence on other video platforms and use the embed code to have it displayed on many relevant blogs and web sites.

Watch out this interesting video I discovered on Youtube:

How to build a successful marketing campaign?

As the new fiscal year is getting closer, it’s time to finalize the budget and the business plan for next year. Defining the new marketing plan and marketing campaigns is the standard exercise every marketing manager needs to walk through and explain to the executive committee. As your performance objectives are defined based on the product line revenue, including the contribution of your marketing activities to the sales pipeline, and the new year is going to start very hard, better be well prepared with a rock-solid plan you are confident with and will be able to follow with no major surprise during the year. In this plan, defining the right marketing campaigns properly is what will help you succeed in generating a lot of business to your sales teams.

What is a marketing campaign ?

“A specific, defined series of coordinated activities designed to help market a product”

“An overarching platform of themes for promotion that guide us internally to create and implement product and industry market programs, and a set of tactics for each.”

 

The marketing campaign canvas

If you are already used to the lean startup business model canvas, you will recognize the same structure in the following marketing campaign canvas. This helps you put your ideas together and be sure not to forget anything important.

 

Marketing_Campaign_Canvas

 

The prospect personas [1], the pain points [2], the value proposition [3], the channels [4] are in general not very difficult to fill in, that’s something you are used to talk about.

Content materials [5] are built on a regular basis and assuming you are not new to your business, you already have a large asset portfolio you can leverage for your activities: update your assets with the modern message you want to vehicle for the next year and build the few ones you will need to cover the product updates and the matching value.

marketing-materials

The key activities [6] are usually defined using the previous year as the baseline: reinforce activities that performed well and remove others that didn’t. All activities are federated into a local [country specific] and a global [cross-country] marketing calendar.

Marketing-Calendar

marketing_calendar

 

Key metrics [7] will be requiring most of your time when building your marketing campaigns. In large organizations, you will need to work very closely with functional teams for every channel (digital marketing, event marketing, email marketing …) and understand every metric out of  your corporate marketing automation tool precisely. For example:

  • for the email channel, you will focus on the open and click rate,
  • for the PPC channel, you will focus on the ad performance segmentation and your landing pages,
  • for the SEO channel, you will focus on your content and linking strategy and your semantic structure,
  • for the event channel, you will focus on the number of attendees vs logistics costs.

digital_marketing_campaign_metrics

 

The cost structure and the budget [8] will be determined by three main factors:

  • your market
  • the company ambition in terms of growth
  • the propensity of your executive board to spend on marketing
The stronger, more differentiated the product, the less it needs to be propped up by advertising.

marketing_channel_performance

 

The ROI [9] is the holy graal of a good marketer. If you manage to have an accurate ROI calculation with no error (meaning no unjustified assumption), you could potentially get no limit to your growth (even though there will always be internal bottlenecks to sustain this growth in your organization). But mastering your ROI is heavily complex and requires a huge maturity of the organization because most metrics are extremely difficult to get – even though they might exist somewhere. Understanding metrics is not just a single exercise, it applies to every channel. You also have other factors influencing your metrics such as the period of the year, organization changes, employee turnover …  Understanding the conversion ratio at every stage of the lead/sales generation process is a real endeavor but the benefits are definitely worth the pain. Last but not least, you will definitely need your best management skills to federate people around your initiative.

key-marketing-metrics