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.

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

 

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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.

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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?