When we speak to Marketers on the street about their webinar program (or lack thereof) a lot of similar challenges arise.
And before you stop reading, this is not another list of the 7 top challenges facing marketers today! I will leave that to someone else.
“We need to get our content marketing strategy going before we can look into our webinar program!”
When we hear this we are generally given a timeline to follow up and inevitably when we do, we hear,
“We haven’t gotten as far as we liked with our content marketing strategy -you know other things took priority”
And the cycle usually repeats itself for a great deal longer than many of our eventual customers would like to admit.
This problem is most systemic smaller organizations or companies in more “traditional” markets that have been driven by the sales side of the organization. They have achieved success without a proper marketing engine so getting buy in for a proper content strategy becomes a challenge in itself.
The Streaming Network is a perfect example. We were fourth on the Profit Hot 50 in our second year in business also one of the fastest growing companies in Canada. We have been the market share leader in Canada for at least 3 years, heck we produced over 2000 webinars in 2015 alone. But as much as we relied on sales we have always known that we were only tapping into a small portion of our potential market and that a massive deficiency in our organization was a proper marketing strategy.
Funny right? We help some of the country’s largest organizations drive more sales ready leads through effective webinar programs but could not do it ourselves. Why?
“We needed to get our content marketing strategy going before we could look into our webinar program!”
Yup. We know how to produce killer webinars. We have access to the greatest platform in the world. We also have our own studio and have even fully integrated the tool into our marketing automation and CRM systems but we too are still trying to get our content strategy together!
And then the Webinar became the catalyst of our content strategy!
The “eureka” moment was when Mark Bornstein at our partner On24 asked us to present at the Webinar Academy on the topic of producing a Webinar in a studio.
A few weeks after the webinar airing I was approached by a content marketer at On24 asking me if it was okay if they published a blog in my name based on the webinar. And over the next two weeks they published two blogs taking my words from the webinar and turning them into a pretty compelling piece on “how to take the complexity out of studio video”
Following this event we were asked to collaborate on a number of projects including the Digital Marketing Summits with Demand Metric where we delivered the State of the Union Webinar Series. If you read this blog and have not watched these webinars you might be surprised how many posts here are derived by the content in those webinars.
And with that our content strategy was off to the races! So if you are one of these marketers who need to get your content marketing strategy going before we can look into your webinar program why not consider using a Webinar Program to drive your content strategy!
Start with the smartest guy/girl in the room
People in your organization have presentations, answers to problems and metaphors that resonate with your customers. Taking what they do every day in sales calls, implementation meetings or behind closed doors creating solutions together for customers can be the basis for your first webinars. As a marketer you can help shape the message but the content is generally there.
Asking them to present on a webinar or simply interviewing them on the topic in the webinar format as we outlined a few posts ago.
Now let the webinar content work for you
Once recorded (and ensure you ALWAYS record your webinar) you can take segments of those presentations, answers to those problems and of course those great metaphors to bolster your short format content strategy:
- Clips form the webinar can populate your YouTube and Instagram account and can be shared easily on any social media channel
- Quotes and insights can fuel your content calendar
- The content of the webinar can fuel a 1,2 or more blog posts
So basically you asked the thought leader to give one presentation, a presentation they have given 100 times before and now you have tapped into their mind palace to fuel your content strategy.
Always drive them back to the webinar!
The posts, video clips and blogs should all reference the webinar and drive audience members who want more to register to view. This will allow you to measure the effectiveness of each channel and also gain insights into what content drives the most engagement from your audience
The Webinar is the ultimate feedback mechanism for your content strategy. Next week we will discuss the Netflix effect and what you can do once you have taken the plunge and started your webinar program to ensure you are giving your audience what they want and more importantly the content that drives more demand for your products and services.