Marketers (and anybody else involved with producing webinars) have a number of challenges and questions they’re faced with when executing webinars:
Great Webinar Content Is Staring Back At You
Posted on Aug 8, 2017 by Jason Stegent.
3 Online Marketing Events That Drive Measurable ROI
Posted on Jun 7, 2017 by Jason Stegent.
Marketers are constantly looking for the right mix of events to build brand awareness, educate their customers and prospects, and, of course, help them close more business. Unfortunately, most marketers think that a certain type of event always needs to be executed a certain type of way, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. With the technologies available today, and the different ways customers and prospects want to engage, companies need to be taking more of their events online to extend their reach and touch more of their audience, drive more measurable response and save a good chunk of change in the process. Here are three events that have traditionally been in-person, but are tailor-made for an online/virtual approach: Continue reading
The Perfect Webinar Registration Page
Posted on Mar 2, 2017 by Jason Stegent.
It’s where everything begins. It’s where you make your first impression. It’s where you’re audience decides whether or not they’re going to give you 45 minutes to an hour of their time. The registration page. Seems simple enough, but a boring, vanilla, unoptimized registration page can be the difference between a webinar with huge registration numbers or one with little to no audience at all. Let’s look at the key components to the perfect webinar registration page
It Needs to Look Good!
People consume with their eyes, and your registration page needs to look good to convert them from a visitor to an actual registrant. If your plate of food didn’t look appealing, you’d be less likely to dig in, right? Take the same approach with your registration page. Too many webinar/online event platforms out there offer little to no customization, and what you’re left with is a plain Jane registration page with no appeal. You should be able to customize the page with your banners, logos, color schemes, branding, call-to-action, presenter pics and bios, etc. Anything to make it look like the registration page is YOURS. Another thing that more and more marketers are starting to leverage on their webinar registration pages are videos. Either a short video talking about the product/solution/service that the webinar is going to focus on, or a webinar ‘trailer’ of sorts giving the audience a quick glimpse into what the presentation is going to cover. Remember, people love consuming short videos and they’re an extremely engaging content marketing tool. If your platform has the capability, it’s something you should look into.
Date & Time, Social Integration:
I like to list the date and time in a few places. If you have a banner at the top of the page, list the date and time within the banner. Another good place to put it is above the abstract. Your platform should provide the ability to save the webinar to an Outlook or Google Calendar. Remember, people’s attention spans are shorter than ever. They don’t remember what they did yesterday, let alone 1-2 weeks ago. Giving them the ability to save it to their calendar is critical. Also, your platform should provide social media integration and give your visitors the ability to share your webinar through various social media channels. This is an effective way to extend your reach and get your message in front of people you otherwise wouldn’t have reached.
The Title and Abstract Must Speak to your Audience:
Your title should be 6-8 words and speak to the target audience you’re going after. Too many webinar titles are entirely too long and lose the audience right off the bat. As for the abstract, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. If you were them and read the abstract, would it be compelling enough to get you to register? I believe every abstract should have a quick intro setting the tone; the body should introduce the speakers and what they’ll be talking about; the conclusion should mention who should attend and the value/educational benefits they’ll get out of attending, and how they’ll be able to interact with the presenters during the webinar (live Q&A, for instance). This format works, plain and simple. Not too long, not too short.
Only Collect the Info you HAVE to Have:
Today’s buyer has thousands of people and hundreds of vendors vying for his/her time. Be cognizant of that and only collect the info you absolutely have to have. I cringe when I see a registration page with 10 plus registration fields. If that’s you, you’re losing registrants because of that…I guarantee it. 5-7 fields should suffice. For us, a common list includes: first name, last name, company, email, title and one qualification question (For example – Are you struggling with converting qualified leads into actual revenue?. That’s 6 and does the trick for us every single time. Try your best to stay in the 5-7 range. Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to register. Don’t make it a hassle.
If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon.
Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of ElasticSolutions. Email him @ email@example.com
5 Common Traits of Bad Webinar Campaigns
Posted on Feb 9, 2017 by Jason Stegent.
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 @ firstname.lastname@example.org
50 Motivational Quotes to Ignite Your Sales Drive in 2017
Posted on Jan 5, 2017 by Jason Stegent.
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 @ email@example.com
When a True Webinar PARTNER Makes Sense
Posted on Dec 21, 2016 by Jason Stegent.
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!
5 Lead Generation Initiatives for 2017
Posted on Nov 23, 2016 by Jason Stegent.
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.
You want more measurable ROI, don’t you?
Posted on Oct 7, 2016 by Jason Stegent.
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.
Your Webinar Doesn’t HAVE to be Live
Posted on Sep 22, 2016 by Jason Stegent.
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?
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.
A Research-Driven Approach to Lead Generation
Posted on Aug 25, 2016 by Jason Stegent.
A lot of today’s sales and marketers reach out and tell their audience how great they are. “We help companies do XYZ via a cloud-based solution that does XYZ and the end result is XYZ. Let me know when we can schedule 20 minutes to chat about how we can do the same for you.” Guess what? Your prospects are getting thousands upon thousands of those emails from sales and marketers all over the world. So how do you create competitive differentiation?
One of the things that has been very successful for us, and our clients, is a letting the market dictate how they want to be sold to. And we get to that point by taking a research-driven approach to lead generation. Too many B2B organizations are too busy telling their prospects how awesome they are, and not taking enough time to understand what’s keeping the market up at night. Selling to a prospect’s challenges is Sales 101, I know, but companies have gotten away from that. Here at Elastic, there are two ways we go about it:
Industry Studies/Surveys – you’d be amazed how much your prospects will divulge to you in a 15 question survey. It’s mind-boggling. They’ll tell you where they’re good, where they’re great and where they’re doing crappy and need help. Your sales and marketing teams can use this info in their follow-ups, in their lead nurturing and drip marketing campaigns, and in your messaging for that specific market. You can then use all of this data to build a piece of content that simply regurgitates what your prospects told you. And when you promote a piece of content and let your prospects know that this is the result of responses from hundreds of their peers, your download rate will be much higher compared to literature that isn’t based on research. Your prospects love to hear what they’re peers in the space are doing and how they measure up. It’s a powerful way to drive leads
Webinars – webinars are a great way to summarize the findings of a market research campaign. As opposed to your audience just reading the results on paper, actually hearing/seeing the people that executed the research brings more credibility to the overall campaign. Webinars offer an interactive environment to take your research to the next level. And guess what? Webinars can also serve as the foundation for your next piece of content. If you’re working with the right webcasting provider, your platform should be able to measure attendee engagement a number of different ways. How long did they attend? What questions were asked and what occurred in group chat? How did they respond to poll questions and surveys? What content did they download and how many times was the webinar shared through social mediums? What parts of the webinar received the most engagement? Like I’ve always said, webinars are so much more than just the presentation itself All of this data will help you:
1. Determine what your audience is most interested in. So when you follow-up post event, you can trim the fat and get down to what really matters to them.
2. Dictate what your next piece of content will be. Perhaps the audience feedback gives you an idea for what your next webinar topic should be. Or perhaps you have enough data to build a top-notch piece of content – highlight reels from the webinar, eBooks, whitepapers, etc.
Stop telling your prospects what you THINK they need. Put the tools in place that enable them to tell you what they’re interested in and what they actually DO need. Then use this feedback to tighten your lead generation approach, drive more opportunities and close more sales.