Webinars have increasingly become the most important piece of any B2B marketer’s lead generation strategy. We all know the benefits: they allow you to more cost effectively reach more of your target audience; educate and engage them with top quality content that’s much more interactive than other forms of content marketing; get invaluable audience engagement metrics that enables you to determine who’s hot and who’s not; and drive more qualified leads into the pipeline, ultimately accelerating revenues. It’s everything you want in a demand/lead-gen tool. Unfortunately, not everybody takes the right approach from registration page creation to event archive, and the result is a campaign with no webcasting ROI and marketers saying “we’ve tried webinars, but they didn’t work for us or our audience.” Here are 5 Common Traits of Bad Webinar Campaigns:

1. Thinking the Registration Page is “Not that big of a deal”

EVERYTHING starts with the registration page. The whole point of a registration page is that when people get there, you want to convert them into registrants. The best way to do that is to align yourself with a webinar provider that allows you to customize your page to meet your brand and your call to action. The right tool should allow you to customize banners, logos and color schemes on the page. You should have freedom to create the registration fields you want and not be forced to use the fields that your provider has hardcoded. In today’s day and age, all registration pages should be optimized with social media integration so it can be shared through various platforms. Outlook and Google calendar integration so folks don’t have an excuse to ‘forget’ about your webinar. Finally, video is huge these days (we talked about that in our recent webinar – 10 Marketing Predictions for 2017). You should be able to add video to your registration page to tell the story of a product you’ll be promoting in the webinar, or to act as a webinar trailer of sorts so your audience will get a better feel for everything the webinar will cover. Video is one of the most engaging tools a marketer has in their toolbox. Add them to your registration pages and watch your traffic numbers soar.

2. Not Promoting Long or Hard Enough

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to a marketer who told me they’ve had zero success with webinars, and then I find out that they promoted it for two weeks and their marketing mix was non-existent. At Elastic, we believe a webinar should get four weeks of promotion time, three weeks minimum. But I’m a big stickler for four. Over this time you should have it front and center on your website and in your social promotions (FB, Twitter, LI). Plug it in blogs and newsletters, do a press release. If you have the budget, promote it through industry publications and associations. And for best results, email still reigns supreme. Over the course of four weeks, you should send three promotional emails – at the beginning, 1-2 weeks out and 2-3 days before. And don’t forget the reminder emails!

3. Not Providing Any Value Before the Webinar

In my opinion, when somebody registers for your webinar they become a prospect. They’re not a lead yet, but they’re somebody that has shown interest in what you’re going to cover. Once they’ve registered, the time leading up to the webinar is a great time to give them additional content that would be relevant to them and their role. The registration confirmation landing page, confirmation email, and reminder emails are great places to do this. For example, when somebody registers for a webinar of yours and goes to a page confirming they’re registered, it’s a good play to provide access to other pieces of content on that page. When they get the confirmation email with details about the event, why not say “Thanks for registering for our upcoming webinar. Based on your interest in this topic, we think you’ll get a lot of value out of our recent whitepaper on XYZ.” You can take this approach with your reminder emails as well. It simply allows you to drive more value for your prospects before the live event. You need a webinar provider with this capability.

4. Not Letting Your Audience Engage

Webinars aren’t a ‘one person talking to many’ environment anymore. They’re multi-touch, interactive, collaborative events that drive attendee engagement. We believe that audience engagement is the true measure of a successful webinar (that and did it ultimately convert to real $?). I see too many webinars today that are vanilla and it’s some guy talking for 60 minutes without getting the audience engaged. Your platform should give you the ability to have live Q&A and group chats. It should allow your attendees to interact with one another and network with each other within the webinar environment. Polls and surveys should be in your toolbox if you wish to use them. If you want to show your product, seamless screen/desktop sharing should be a play. Your attendees should be able to share the webinar through their social networks and get their colleagues involved that they believe would get value out of your webinar. And finally, you should be able to host other forms of content in the webinar environment, enabling your attendees to download literature, read blogs, view videos and register for other webinars that are relevant to the topic you’re covering. These capabilities make your webinars multi-touch, engaging events that provide more measurable results for you and your team on the backend.

5. Thinking the Live Event is all that Matters

Marketers do all of this hard work to have a great webinar. They get great speakers. They promote the hell out of it and have an awesome turnout. The webinar itself is jam packed with fantastic content and the audience is truly engaged. And then…they do absolutely nothing with a great piece of on-demand content and crap the proverbial bed. This drives me crazy. I argue that your on-demand strategy should be just as important as your strategy to drive traffic to the live event. The first thing you should do is immediately archive the event on your site. The right webinar provider will not only host the webinar on their platform for a certain period of time, but you’ll also be able to build an MP4 (complete media capture) of the webinar and host it behind a registration page on your site. Within 24 hours of the event, you should send emails to those who attended and those who registered/didn’t attend letting them know how they can access the on-demand version. After that, you should send an email to everybody on your list that didn’t register letting them know the webinar is now available on-demand for them to watch. Promote the on-demand version through social media and any other channels you see fit. Another great thing about on-demand webinars is they can be used to build other pieces of content as well. Use them to create a blog, eBook or whitepaper. How about this – take the highlights of the webinar and bundle them into a 3-4 minute video and distribute that to your audience letting them know these were the key points of the event. For people who don’t want to sit through a 45 minute on-demand event, this approach is much more consumable and engaging. The point is you’ve got a great piece of content…don’t waste it. Extend its shelf-life and watch your webcasting ROI improve dramatically.

If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon.
Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of ElasticSolutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com 

We did it last year, and here it is again. From our friends at HubSpot, here are 50 quotes that are tailor-made to motivate all of the sales warriors out there:

1) “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” -Thomas Edison

2) “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” -Og Mandino

3) “Become the person who would attract the results you seek.” -Jim Cathcart

4) “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” -Sam Levenson

5) “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” -George Addair

6) “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” -Mark Twain

7) “Quality performance starts with a positive attitude.” -Jeffrey Gitomer

8) “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” -Thomas Jefferson

9) “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” -Tony Robbins

10) “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” -Thomas Paine

11) “We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” -George S. Patton

12) “Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.” -Norman Ralph Augustine

13) “Change before you have to.” -Jack Welch

14) “Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.” -Daniel Pink

15) “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.” -Florence Nightengale

16) “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” -Zig Ziglar

17) “Well done is better than well said.” -Benjamin Franklin

18) “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky

19) “I got lucky because I never gave up the search. Are you quitting too soon? Or are you willing to pursue luck with a vengeance?” -Jill Konrath

20) “There is always room at the top.” -Daniel Webster

21) “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” -Yogi Berra

22) “It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” -Mark Hunter

23) “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” -Napolean Hill

24) “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” -Vince Lombardi

25) “Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting.” -Christopher Morley

26) “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” -Sheryl Sandberg

27) “Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.” -Zig Ziglar

28) “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” -Henry Ford

29) “Trying is winning in the moment.” -Dan Waldschmidt

30) “Fall down seven times and stand up eight.” -Proverb

31) “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” -Joe Namath

32) “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” -William James

33) “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” -Babe Ruth

34) “Lean in, speak out, have a voice in your organization, and never use the word ‘sorry.'” -Trish Bertuzzi

35) “Whatever you are, be a good one.” -Abraham Lincoln

36) “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.” -John Madden

37) “Fortune favors the bold.” -Virgil

38) “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.” -Winston Churchill

39) “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” -John D. Rockefeller

40) “High expectations are the key to everything.” -Sam Walton

41) “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

42) “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” -John R. Wooden

43) “There is little success where there is little laughter.” -Andrew Carnegie

44) “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” -Albert Einstein

45) “What we dwell on is who we become.” -Oprah Winfrey

46) “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.” -Warren Buffett

47) “Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible!'” -Audrey Hepburn

48) “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs

49) “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” -Bruce Lee

50) “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” -Wayne Dyer

If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon.
Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

My message isn’t striking a chord with my audience.

I’m unsure how I should promote this to my audience.

My registration page is boring as hell, and so are my confirmation and reminder emails

Why are my registration numbers so low?

Why do I have seat limits?

This technology is too hard, my presenters are never going to get how to use it

Speaking of my presenters, I can’t track them down to save my life.

Why is my attendance so low?

Wait, only X amount of people can attend?

Why can’t my audience hear me? Why is the audio quality so crappy?

I have to wait to get my reports? Are you kidding me?

I can only post this on-demand for 3 months? I have to pay more for more archiving?

What are best practices to extend the shelf-life of this content so it can keep generating leads for me?

You know what, this is just too hard. I don’t have time to plan, schedule and execute webinars. I simply don’t have the bandwidth

Does this sound familiar? If you’re a B2B marketer and you’ve run webinars or they’re a key part of your marketing strategy, chances are you’ve made some of these statements and/or asked some of these questions. If that’s the case, then you don’t need a webinar vendor…you need a webinar PARTNER. A partner that has a vested interest in making sure that you’re webinars do what they’re supposed to do – they drive traffic, they provide a platform to execute a customized, multi-touch content marketing event, they provide deep insight into audience engagement, they drive qualified leads into the pipeline, and they actually work!!!

At Elastic Solutions, we provide a managed-service webinar offering that has us managing the process from registration page creation to event archive. This includes:

• You’re given a webinar account manager that will be assigned to your account to make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible for every webinar you run on our cloud-based platform, Elastic Meetings. We handle technical, production and scheduling details. You worry about putting together great content (we’ll even consult with you on best practices for driving a value-centric message that drives traffic

• Webinars can be live, simu-live (pre-recorded and then broadcast as a ‘live’ webinar with live features) or on-demand. Elastic supports audio and slides, video and slides, video only, live screen share, etc. You name it, we can do it

• Customized registration pages with your logos, color schemes, call-to-action and overall branding. Unlimited possibilities. A more optimized registration page will convert more registrants

• Customized confirmation and reminder emails with your branding, as well as the option of offering additional pieces of content leading up to the live webinar date. This will help increase registration to attendee ratios

• Dedicated and customized dashboard for each webinar where you’ll have access to real-time reports before, during and after each webinar. These reports will give you a true sense of audience engagement

• Completely customized webinar attendee interface with a number of different engagement widgets that turn your webinars into multi-touch marketing events that increase audience engagement, provide more audience analytics and drive greater lead results. Like the registration page, this includes logos, color schemes, images, overall branding, etc.

• Managing schedules with your presenters, including running dry-runs to make sure they’re comfortable with the technology and the message that they’ll be delivering the day of the event

• Recording the webinars the day of the event so they can be ready for on-demand archiving

• Post event emails promoting the on-demand version, sending separate emails to attendees and those who registered/didn’t attend

• Each webinar is archived on our platform for 12 months

• Providing an MP4 (complete media capture) of your webinar so you can host it on your side for perpetuity

• Consulting with you on best practices to extend the shelf-life of your webinar content so it continues to act as a lead generator for your business for months to come

If you want to make webinars a bigger part of your lead generation and overall marketing plan in 2017, but you just don’t know if you have everything it takes to pull it off, a provider like us could be the solution you’re looking for. Happy Holidays!

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We’re going to keep this short and sweet…

Focus on Qualified Leads

‘Quality over quantity’ – cliché, yes; but it’s solid advice. According to LinkedIn’s Technology Marketing Group, 59% of professionals confirmed that generating high-quality leads was their top priority for 2016 and moving forward. A large number of ‘leads’ don’t even make it to the conversation stage because they aren’t qualified, but your team already put time and effort into getting those leads. Prevent that waste by having a defined target audience and the right content to attract that audience.

Where’s your content ‘bulls-eye’?

You know what’s coming… you say it in your sleep – “Content is King.” However, how much power does a King have outside of his realm? The same applies to content! You can have incredible, earth-shattering content but you won’t see any results if you’re not targeting the right audience. So, who’s in your bulls-eye?

Maximize Content Usage

Okay, I‘ll stop harping on content… after this. Think of how much time, effort, and budget goes into creating all of your content. Some content takes hours or days to perfect, but others can take weeks or months! That’s a tremendous use of resources to wash your hands of once you’ve completed the project. Instead of launching and leaving, repurpose your whitepapers, webinars, blogs… basically everything! If the topic is still relevant to the industry, keep your message going.

(Need ideas on how to repurpose content? Check this out… )

Get in the Automation Game

If you have multiple targets, marketing automation should be your best friend. You can do a bit of predicting and guess work to automate messages and interactions based on the pages that people visit. For example, this blog will most likely be visited by sales reps and managers, while this blog is more likely to attract marketers and event specialists. By implementing marketing automation, you’re able to pin-point the most qualified and active prospects, optimizing your time and efforts.

Let’s get personal…

Well, on a professional level, of course. All of your interactions should be personalized with the first name at the very least – bonus points for company, industry, etc. Personalized interactions build and nurture your relationships without coming off generic. If you do it right, the prospect won’t even know they’re on a list.

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Elastic Solutions, a provider of webinar-based marketing solutions that increase target audience engagement, drive demand and accelerate revenues, is hosting a webinar, My Webinar is Over… Now What? on November 22nd at 10:30 AM CDT.

Join Jason Stegent, Founder & President of Elastic Solutions, as he shows companies how to:

• Build an on-demand plan that actually drives traffic

• Take a multi-pronged approach to webinar syndication

•Use existing webinar content, and audience feedback, to build more content

• Leverage archived webinars as the lifeblood of your lead nurturing campaign

If getting more bang for your webinar buck is a big ticket item for you, click here to register now! We look forward to ‘seeing’ you there.

About Elastic Solutions

Elastic Solutions provides webinar-based marketing solutions and services that increase target audience engagement, drive more qualified leads and improve overall pipeline value.

From cloud-based webcasting and virtual event technology that enhance demand generation and accelerate opportunities through the sales funnel, to marketing services that get businesses in front of the right decision-makers and drive more ‘sales ready’ leads in the process, Elastic Solutions improves the ways business leaders communicate with their target audience.

The company is headquartered in Houston, TX at 3100 South Gessner Road, Suite 135. To learn more, please visit www.elasticroi.com and/or call 832.831.5844. We look forward to working with you.

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As marketers start looking at their 2017 plans (can’t believe it’s right around the corner), the tools and methods they have at their disposal to drive leads and pipeline growth are greater than ever before. Whereas it used to be limited to cold calls, marketing emails, and conferences/trade shows, it’s now expanding to include videos, eBooks, infographics, SEO/SEM/PPC, social, account-based marketing, etc. It’s a good thing in the sense that there are more options available, but it’s a bad thing at the same time because too many marketers think ‘If I can just do a little bit of everything, we’ll hit our goals.’

Today’s buyer has more power to do the homework themselves – and when you combine that with the fact that there are thousands of other marketers vying for their attention, it’s vital to make each interaction that much more impactful. You have to create competitive differentiation and leverage tools that allow you to truly measure ROI.

Too many marketers keep doing the same thing every year and expect a different result – AKA, the definition of insanity. Going into 2017, think about how you’ve interacted with your prospects in the past. You created an incredible eBook or infographic that gave you a ton of downloads; you spent a fortune at an industry trade show, had some conversations and got a good list of names; you created a series of sexy videos and got a number of people to watch them. That’s great, but outside of the downloads, lists of names, and views, what did you really learn about your buyer? Are you able to measure that ROI?

For today’s marketer, the best way to measure ROI is through audience engagement. Webinars (and virtual events in general) provide more measurable data than any tool available. Think about it. You get 45 minutes to an hour to present to your audience in a number of different ways. It’s not just about audio and slides or video and slides anymore. It’s about creating an interactive, truly engaging experience that can provide powerful metrics on the back end. So not just knowing that they attended, but having visibility into what they did over the course of the webinar – how long they attended, questions they asked and group chats they participated in, content they downloaded, polls and surveys they responded to, social platforms they shared it through, etc.

This is the kind of data that allows marketers to trim the fat and separate the pretenders from the contenders, and keep their sales counterparts fat and happy. Can your fancy expensive videos or even more expensive tradeshow sponsorships measure engagement like that? Nope. However, webinars on the Elastic Solutions webcasting platform, Elastic Meetings, can deliver that and more. We specialize in putting together customized webinar strategies that drive awareness, generate more qualified leads and close more business.

So as you plan for 2017, think about all of the expensive marketing tactics you’ve traditionally leveraged and ask yourself if they’re truly worth it. Think about programs that generate the best leads and the most bang for your buck. Think about ramping up your webinar strategy.

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Keep an eye out for Elastic Solutions’ Jason Stegent, Founder and President, at the Houston Interactive Marketing Association’s 2016 Interactive Strategies Conference! Elastic Solutions is proud to sponsor this cutting edge event where marketing leaders and subject matter experts from across the country descend on Houston to discuss the latest trends, newest technologies, and best methods to command a digital audience and grow revenues.

The conference will take place on October 20th from 8am-5pm at the Houston Queensbury Theatre. To learn more about the event, click here. Stop by and say hi!

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Your registration page looks perfect. A multi-pronged promotional strategy is driving registrations left and right and you’re going to have a big audience the day of the event. Your presenters are prepped and ready to go. The slides look beautiful. Your webinar starts is 3, 2, 1 and…total mayhem. Your internet connection is all of a sudden spotty. The audio is in and out or the video isn’t working properly. Your slides aren’t navigating like they should. There’s a guy outside cleaning your office window making all kinds of noise. Your attendees are messaging that they can’t hear you. You see your live attendee number dwindle down to nothing. It’s a total disaster. Do you have options to avoid this happening to you?

Enter the Simu-Live Webinar

I promise, we’re not making this up. Simu-Live webinars are actually ‘a thing.’ It’s where you pre-record the webinar and broadcast it as a live event with live elements such as Q&A, chat, content downloading, social sharing and interaction, polling, surveys, etc.

So, what are the benefits?

1. Flexibility…

If you have presenters in different time zones, Simu-Live can prevent major headaches. It’s already a challenge to align everyone’s schedules to set time aside for the day-of, which is why pre-recording is preferred with a lot of our clients. The misconception, though, is that by recording your webinar ahead of time, you’ll miss out on the live interaction with your attendees. It’s actually the opposite! By pre-recording the meat of your presentation, you actually have more flexibility to focus on attendee involvement with questions, chats, polls, surveys, etc. to make sure the webinar experience is as interactive as possible.

2. Quality Control

As mentioned in our most recent webinar, 11 Steps to Making Webinars GREAT Again! (link to reg page), “it’s quality, not quantity.” Pre-recording allows you to review and edit the webinar before the live date, ensuring that your presentation is a slam dunk. Many times in a live environment, presenters get off script, go on a tangent and lose the audience. Simu-Live ensures you stay on course and deliver a webinar experience that will keep your audience engaged. Remember, one of the key metrics of a successful webinar is audience engagement.

3. Calm your nerves

As awesome as live webinars are, some people don’t do well under pressure… especially first-time speakers. Recording your webinar ahead of the live date will calm everyone’s nerves. Presenters will be more comfortable knowing that a tongue-tied stumble isn’t the end of the world, and you will be at ease with knowing your webinar will be executed exactly how you envisioned.

4. Eliminate What’s Out Of Your Control

As we mentioned above, some things are simply out of your control. A speaker suddenly can’t navigate the slides because he/she has spotty internet connection. The sound quality suddenly becomes poor. Or how about when a presenter has an emergency at the last minute and can’t participate? We’ve seen it happen before. Simu-Live simply throws these things out the window and truly puts you in control when it comes to your audience’s webinar experience

We’re not bashing live webinars…the majority of our clients still prefer them. However, there is another way. If you’ve ever been faced with any of these scenarios and it blew your webinar to pieces and wasted your attendee’s time, you should consider the Simu-Live alternative.