Season 1, Episode 9
How to Improve Your Webinar Game
Want to take your webinars from 0 to 1000+ registrants heroes? This week we did a webinar with our long-time client VanillaSoft and talked about that topic. VanillaSoft has taken its webinar game to the NEXT LEVEL.
On this episode, we’re sharing some “after the show” tips, but we aren’t spilling all the tea from the webinar. You need to go check out that session yourself. You can view it right here: http://jmi.fyi/vanillasoft-webinar. Here are eight points we are sharing, plus a few links to some of our favorite webinar software and equipment.
Eight Tips for Improving Your Webinars Covered in this Episode:
- Embrace authenticity and natural, conversational flow.
- Think beyond your email list when it comes to driving registrations.
- Don’t focus on the number of attendees for the live event.
- Use the right equipment.
- Pick the best software options.
- Get social (or tap the social network of your team) to find terrific guests.
- Select topics that resonate and use social to find the right angles and fresh perspectives.
- Don’t forget the post-event to-do list.
Equipment mentioned in this episode:
Webinar software mentioned in this episode:
Finally, if you aren’t familiar with VanillaSoft and you have a sales team, why not check out their sales engagement software? (Disclosure: just a reminder, VanillaSoft is a Jackson Marketing client.)
Big thanks to Darryl Praill and the team for having us on the webinar. Don’t forget to check it out! http://jmi.fyi/vanillasoft-webinar
Read the Transcript for Season 1, Episode 9
Welcome to The Marketing Mix podcast with Alanna and Stacy Each week, we’ll bring you ideas that you can Implement in your own marketing strategy. We’ll share what we know, as well as advice from industry experts, some of whom will join us from time to time here on the show. Are you ready to mix it up?
Let’s get started.
Stacy Jackson: Hey there, this is Stacy Jackson.
Alanna Jackson: And I’m Alanna Jackson.
Stacy Jackson: We’re cofounders of Jackson Marketing. We’re also sisters, and we’re bringing you Episode 9 of The Marketing Mix.
Alanna. What is today’s episode about today?
Stacy Jackson: We are bringing you a recap of the conversation that we just had with VanillaSoft on a webinar about webinars.
We talked about how VanillaSoft has gone from 0 to 1,000 registrants within about a year’s time on their webinars
Alanna Jackson: Great. I love working with the team at VanillaSoft. They’ve been on client for a long time, and we both enjoy working with the team. And we’ve all done some fun stuff together, and I can’t wait to share what this brand has done with our webinar game.
Alanna Jackson: Absolutely. Like Stacy said, it’s been a pleasure working with them, and we’re so excited to bring you some of the stuff that we talked about with them today.
But before we dig into all that “after the show talk,” let’s take a break and hear from our sponsor.
— BREAK —
Stacy Jackson: And we’re back. Hey, I never get to say that. I got to say that this week!
All right, so this week we postponed our regular Monday episode so that we could release on Wednesday to bring you some highlights from our webinar with VanillaSoft. We talked about webinars and how VanillaSoft has really up their webinar game.
Alanna Jackson: We’ve worked with VanillaSoft for several years now, and we’ve been lucky enough to get to stick around when the new CMO Darryl Praill came on board around late 2017, and he has really pushed the brand to take on new forms of media in its content marketing practices. And while webinars aren’t new, VanillaSoft’s approach is — at least compared to how the team did it in the past.
Stacy Jackson: Yeah, it’s gone from that standard “PowerPoint, guest speaker, pitch” formula to more of almost like a talk show where Darryl is the host, and he presents five to seven topics points and discusses that with the guest, and it’s totally unscripted. Everything is authentic and has a great flow to it.
Alanna Jackson: Now, we don’t want to give away everything that we talked about in the webinar. Instead, we’re going to provide a link to the recording in the show notes of this podcast.
However, we are going to hit on eight takeaways that marketers can start doing today to improve their webinar game. So, what’s first Lane?
Alanna Jackson: So, I think first we need to consider having an authentic and natural flow to the whole conversation process.
So, no more “death by bullet points” and reading through the PowerPoint.
Stacy Jackson: That’s the worst.
Alanna Jackson: Yes. It’s like you can so tell that someone is reading when they talk like this throughout the whole PowerPoint, and nobody wants to hear that. Nobody’s going to stick around for that. So
Stacy Jackson: Especially if the bullets are on the screen.
Alanna Jackson: Exactly. What’s the point? Just send me the presentation then. Yeah, I think that’s . . . that’s the first thing is key to be authentic and don’t script it.
Just have a . . . have a conversation.
Stacy Jackson: And maybe you do want a practice run through, but don’t over-rehearse. I think we’ve made that mistake even in podcasting where we’ve over-rehearsed it. And then it wasn’t as fun and authentic the second time around. So, you know, talk through it, but don’t overdo it when you’re getting ready.
The next point, point number two, is “think beyond email.” Yes, your email list, if you have one, can be a great source of webinar registrations, but you know, that’s not the only place to turn to.
Alanna Jackson: No. And that’s where you really need to consider social. I know that a lot of companies don’t see the benefit of social but if you do it, right you can really make an impact on your reach and the number of registrants you drive to your webinar.
And don’t just rely on your company’s social. Get your whole social army involved. You know, get your employees, get your connections on different sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter — get your connections to retweet and share it for you. You know, just think outside of the box of just your company’s brand.
Yes, your company brand can reach a certain amount of people, but you can get 561 percent more reach if you get your employees to start engaging and sharing that content and promoting it for you.
Stacy Jackson: And I think that’s where your point about companies not embracing social media comes into play.
I think a lot of companies today to embrace using that corporate profile, but they’re not empowering their employees to go out there and participate in the conversation and that can be insanely powerful.
Alanna Jackson: I think another thing that is important to remember is not to get wrapped up in the numbers of attendees. GotoWebinar reports that while registrations can be high, on average attendance for a live webinar is 50 or fewer. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still make your webinar something that is engaging, and that people will want to continue to come back next time.
Stacy Jackson: Yeah, I think that can be a little discouraging when you think about, “Oh, man — 500 people registered, but only 50 attended.” Just think about it — that they register because they see the value in it, and they will probably view it at some point in the month. Like, Smart Insights reports that only 36 percent of registrants actually attended the live webinar. But within a month, by using email reminders to the registrants, the majority of people who registered ended up viewing the webinar recording.
Alanna Jackson: Yeah, so I think that it’s good to understand that, yes, you’re generating leads, but you also want to deliver an experience for those that are watching live and might watch later that it’s an experience they’ll remember, and they’ll be able to take something from.
Stacy Jackson: And they’ll remember you later when they have a need for a product like yours.
Alanna Jackson: Exactly.
Stacy Jackson: We talked about recording, but make sure you are them. Don’t make it a, “Oh you missed it, so tough!” [situation]. You can use that recording later, too, as a lead magnet. And you can use it to even help the people who weren’t able to attend catch up on the topic.
Alanna Jackson: Right. So, it’s an ongoing process where you’re continually capturing leads, and I think that’s a great marketing strategy.
Stacy Jackson: Point number four is all about the equipment.
Now, if you’re a little bit older, maybe, and in business for a while, the only equipment you needed when webinars were first cranking out with a speaker phone and a computer. But these days you got to be a little fancier, and Darryl definitely shamed us when it comes to the microphone front.
We did not have good mics. We had omnidirectional mics. So, if was someone sneeze and dropped a pin in the corner, it would be heard on our mics. So, Darryl showed us the error of our ways. We now have unidirectional, cardioid mics. So that means it’s generally just picking up the sound of the person’s voice who’s speaking into the mic.
Alanna Jackson: And don’t tell him I said this, but he was right.
Stacy Jackson: Yeah. It does make a difference.
Alanna Jackson: Another thing that you want to consider is a great webcam. If you’re going to do video on your webinars, you can get a webcam that’s not super expensive like a Logitech C922 Pro. That’s what we use for our webcams, and it’s not going to break your budget. And that’s one of the better ones available, but there are higher quality options. If you have the budget for it go for it.
You can try to use a webcam on your laptop, but it probably won’t deliver as nice of a picture as a separate webcam, but you can definitely do that as well. You don’t have to spend a lot of money for a nice picture.
Stacy Jackson: And one more thing want going back to the audio front. I kind of made a little joke about people who started out in webinars when they first began, using speaker phones. If you don’t have the budget, for whatever reason, for a mic — even though our mics were really inexpensive; we’ll put a link to the Amazon page for them — don’t just go with an open speakerphone. Put on a headset or something so that you can reduce as much background noise as possible.
All right, Alanna, what’s tip number five?
Alanna Jackson: Now, we’re going to talk about some of the software. Not everyone is going to have as complex a setup as VanillaSoft because they have an awesome producer of all of their systems that can work with those complex systems, but you can use things like GotoWebinar or Zoom. Both integrate with our favorite marketing automation, which is HubSpot, and both allow video. So, you’ve got a nice human touch to the whole process of your webinar and it’s more authentic.
But Zoom also has an option for livestream over social. So, you’ve got an even bigger chance to get your reach out more during the process to do the live stream over social.
Stacy Jackson: Yeah, but with Zoom, just make sure you’ve chosen the webinar package with video if you do want to do that live stream part.
Alanna Jackson: Right. Right.
Stacy Jackson: Some other software you need to consider as part of your webinar program is marketing automation so that you can manage those email contacts. Yeah, you can do it through GotoWebinar and Zoom, but you can have more control over the branding if you do it directly through a tool like HubSpot to create both your emails and your landing pages. Plus, you’ll have all your contacts in that marketing automation tool, so you can nurture the people that registered. And you can set up a landing page to capture people later when new people want to come watch the recording.
Another thing that we recommend is using some planning software so that you can have your steps in place, and everybody knows what they’re supposed to do when it comes time to execute the webinar.
Alanna Jackson: Right. Because there can be a lot of different pieces depending on how involved you make your webinar, so having a tool definitely helps.
Alanna Jackson: Stacy. . .
Stacy Jackson: Yes?
Alanna Jackson: How do people pick the topics?
Stacy Jackson: I’m glad you asked because that’s point number six. There are several different ways that you can pick your topics.
Yeah, you can go with the tried-and-true topic that everybody in your industry seems to talk about. That’s fine but look for a unique angle on that popular topic. Don’t just do the same old stuff that your competitors do. Make it fresh and original and something that will really get people’s attention.
Another great way to find topics is you have to be active on social media yourself, or at least have a great team of people who are willing to go do the research and listen on social media.
You’ve got to listen for what are people in your industry discussing? And don’t just look at your network. Look at people beyond your network who are in your industry or niche. What are the things that are really generating the most comments on LinkedIn or Twitter –maybe even Facebook — and getting people excited? Don’t forget to look at that.
Alanna Jackson: And to your point about having other people help with those finding those topics, you know, one of the things that we talked about and that we do with VanillaSoft is when people are engaging with the content on the company page . . . If it’s something they make a comment and it’s something that seems like that’d be a good podcast or that’d be a good webinar topic, I immediately just shoot Darryl a Slack message or I tagged him in a comment saying, “Hey, Darryl, good podcast topic”, but it’s just a way to get more engagement and find those topics. And so, look at what you’ve got going on in your comments. You may find something that someone’s sharing a topic right there, and maybe you’re just overlooking it.
Stacy Jackson: Alanna, by a company page, you mean the company’s social media page, right?
Alanna Jackson: Right. Sorry. I didn’t explain that. But yeah, so the company social media page as well as individual people that you work with.
Stacy Jackson: And then final point on picking a topic, don’t pick a sales pitch as your topic. Resist the urge.
Alanna Jackson: Please. For the love.
Stacy Jackson: Yes, everything that marketing does should eventually lead to something productive for sales, but
Alanna Jackson: They can go to your website and get all that info.
Stacy Jackson: Yes, but also if you’ve targeted the right topic with the right speaker that appeals to your buyer persona, then these people will be marketing qualified leads that you can nurture and then turn into sales qualified leads.
So, you’re not just talking about how to blow bubbles with Hubba Bubba bubble gum or something crazy. You’re talking about things that are important to the people who buy your product or service. So, stay informational, educational.
Don’t go in for the hard sell on a webinar because people don’t stick around, and you don’t get to 1,000 registrations just based on a sales pitch unless it’s amazing like My Pillow or something. I’d go watch that webinar. I love that guy.
Alanna Jackson: I’m gonna call you out there. Do you have a My Pillow?
Stacy Jackson: No, I don’t but I just I love Michael Lindell of My Pillow.
Alanna Jackson: I have My Pillow and it rocks.
Okay. So, the next thing that we’re going to talk about is choosing your guest, and as Darryl pointed out, maybe you don’t have people in your circle right now, but that should not be stopping you from reaching out to them.
Just have a terrific kind of offer or experience when it comes to doing webinars that you can pass on to them and get them excited about it. Talk to other people on your team and in your company about who they view as influencers and authorities in your industry and get their ideas. Get information from them and suggestions.
And then get on social like Stacy said a minute ago. Get on social and listen and look for people who have a unique viewpoint and that are active and commenting. And not just commenting with, “Hey, great post,” but they’re actually adding value to the conversation.
Look for those kind of people, and they’re going to be the ones that will be good guests.
Stacy Jackson: And one point about that — getting active on social. The reason . . . one of the reasons, at least, why VanillaSoft’s webinar registrations have grown so much is Darryl is very involved in social and very interested in talking about things on social media with other people and just very charismatic and enjoys being the face of the brand.
If you don’t have someone like that in your company, find that person. Maybe they’re in your company now, or maybe there’s someone that you need to have on your team.
Alanna Jackson: It makes a huge difference to have that kind of cheerleader. What’s the word? I’m looking for, Stacy? That champion?
Stacy Jackson: Yes, champion.
Alanna Jackson: A champion for your company that people can start to recognize. Hey, that’s Darryl Praill. He’s with VanillaSoft. And it makes a difference, and it puts that human aspect back into it.
People want to connect with a person more than they want to connect with a brand.
Stacy Jackson: And I think that kind of goes back to that Edelman Trust Barometer, Alanna, that I know we’ve mentioned a few times. But people connect with people. People don’t necessarily connect with or trust brands. And sure, there’s varying levels of people that people trust, but, you know, Darryl is very charismatic.
He brings some personality and a face to the brand, and think it’s made a big difference in the webinar program.
Alanna Jackson: I completely agree with you there, Stace.
And now on to point number eight which is post-event. So, there’s some activities that you need to be focusing on after the webinar.
You need to be nurturing those leads. And if you have a solution marketing automation, like HubSpot, you can set those up and it automatically happens.
Use video to get new leads. Where you’ve got the video of your webinar and you gate it, and so someone has to fill out a form and you capture their information. And then they get access to it.
Stacy Jackson: So that means you need to keep promoting that webinar on social right.
Alanna Jackson: Right, not every day, but every so often make sure that you’re promoting it throughout time.
And then repurpose if possible. Maybe write a blog post from it or do a little teaser video or just something to . . .
Stacy Jackson: Or a podcast.
Alanna Jackson: Yeah. There you go. That’s a good one. Just something to continue momentum.
Stacy Jackson: Those are eight points that we, kind of, wanted to bring as a takeaway from our webinar today with VanillaSoft. If you haven’t seen it yet, we will definitely provide the link for you in the show notes.
It’s really great information. VanillaSoft takes webinars to a whole new level, and it’s not something that we can just talk about here because it’s definitely a team effort, and we want you to hear directly from the people that do each part.
Alanna Jackson: We hope that you got some good information here, and we also hope that you will go and watch the webinar because it’s so much more information than what we shared here. These are just some high-level takeaways that we wanted to bring to you.
If you have any questions for us, you can reach us on Twitter. You can catch Stacy at stacy_jax. You can catch me on Twitter at alanna_jax, or you can catch both of us on LinkedIn. And another thing you can do is go to the Anchor app and leave us a voicemail.
I hope that you will prepare for your next webinar and take some of these action items and apply them
Until next time, bye.
Stacy Jackson: Bye.
The Marketing Mix is hosted by Stacy Jackson and Alanna Jackson of you guessed it Jackson Marketing. If you need help with your B2B inbound marketing efforts, visit us at jacksonmarketingservices.com.
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