Well, like the title says, this webinar is about…webinars!
Webinars have been a staple of our content strategy for five years now, and we’ve learned many lessons that we’d like to share with you about how to create the most effective live webinars, and how to get the most out of your archived webinars.
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Mark O’Brien: All right, hey everybody, nice to have you here, trying something new for the first time which is actually doing a little video as an intro. Welcome to Newfangled Webinar on webinars and we have a lot to share today. This is also our first paid webinar, it’s something we’ve been debating doing for a long time and we decided to finally take that step with this one. Thanks to all of you who have decided to pay and join us today. We’ve put a lot of work into this to make sure it’s absolutely worth both your while and your time. I believe this will take the full hour if not maybe a little tiny bit more.
We’re going to dig in and see what we can cover here. Again, the agenda, the basic idea is just to share with you everything I’ve learned over the past five years of doing webinars. We’ll see how that goes and I’m going to do all I can to share that knowledge as effectively as possible. This is also the first webinar broadcast from our new office of which you see a tiny, little corner of here. This is where I spend my days everyday and we’re all in this space that is a little bit beyond what you can see inside the camera view.
Let’s go on and get going with the presentation, I’m going to turn the camera off and turn the presentation on and we will just get going. The agenda, got a lot to cover. First, we’re going to look at the value of webinars, should these things be part of what you’re doing or not? That really depends on who you are and what your situation is. We’ll look in depth at that topic whether webinars might make sense for you. Then we’ll look at the tools of the trade, the hardware and software you’ll need to pull off an effective webinar. Then we’ll take a look at how you can get the most from your webinars through some key stages including prepping, delivering, follow up and then measurement of the webinar itself.
Then I will have hopefully given you every single thing I know about webinars and we can get in a Q&A to cover all the things I forgot to talk about. If you have a question that you’d like us to address during Q&A don’t wait just go ahead and ask it whenever you’re ready. Put it in the Q&A panel there on the side and we’ll be moderating those questions as they come in. I’ll get right into them as soon as we’re done. If you have a question just ask it right away, don’t be shy or polite or anything like that and feel like you have to wait till the end to do so.
First point of business, webinars are a bad idea. I always find that it’s helpful to give the bad news before the good news because it’s no fun getting you all excited and then telling you everything that’s a drag about it. Let’s deal with the tough parts first and take a look at the elements of webinars that represent the greatest difficulties. There are really four categories for this that I’ve broken out, the fact that they’re quite technically complicated, they’re intimidating, they take a lot of time and they cost some money. First of all, the technical side, with a webinar there’s a lot to manage, there’s a lot to deal with with webinars.
We’ve got the webinar platform itself, we prefer GoToWebinar, we’ve got the other recording tools we use in the background because the GoToWebinar recording platform is fine but not great. Then we’ve got all the things you have to deal with after the webinar goes live. Getting the video up on our site somehow, transcribing it, getting into audio format, into document format, dealing with registrations, not to mention creating the webinar itself. Technically there’s just a lot. Of all the typical content strategy platforms, webinars are without a doubt far and away the most technically complicated. The fact that there’s a live aspect to this makes all the technical issues more pronounced because if something goes wrong and you screw up well then you’re screwing up in front of people live.
Speaking of that they’re intimidating. I’m standing here speaking to you from my office, that is exactly what I’m looking at, that view and I’m not speaking to anybody. I’m in office by myself, the rest of Newfangled is in one of our conference rooms all around the table and I can’t see them. I know that I’m currently broadcasting live to tons of people but I can’t see them but I know they’re all there, that dynamic is very strange when you’re doing a public talk, you’re out there, you’re on a stage and you’re in front of people, you can see their expressions. You know that they can hear you, you know there are no technical issues going on, if there are they’re quite apparent to everybody.
For all I know at the moment maybe you didn’t hear the past four minutes of content because I forgot to turn my mic on or something like that happened and that has happened. I’ll never forget it I think it was two years ago. I was doing a webinar and I was about 13 minutes in and somebody slid a note under the door saying, “We can’t hear you.” That was not fun. Webinars can be intimidating that way and a little bit scary from that perspective because it’s both removed and intimate at the same time so it’s funny. One point I want to address now is this whole idea of attendees, there are a few topics to bring up with this.
One is what if nobody even shows up? The good thing about a webinar as opposed to public speaking is that if only two people are on the webinar nobody knows. You’re going to talk about how great it is to have this crowd here today and how happy you are that they all joined and there are two people and one of them is your mum. That’s okay because nobody knows. The value of the webinar and one of the great things about webinars is that the value is not just the live event, the value is very much wrapped up in the promotion, the live event, the follow-up, the archive, there are all different value elements. Even if the live event is sparsely attended that doesn’t mean that the webinar was a failure at all. If nobody shows up it’s okay you can still go ahead and give your webinar and pretend as if you’re giving it to 200 people.
Of those who do register, only half will show up. This is one of the most consistent stats we’ve seen in the marketing area. Half the people who register for a webinar attend a webinar. We’ve been doing webinars for five years now on the button, exactly five years. We started January of 2009 and we’ve done them quarterly, every quarter for five years straight. That’s a pretty good number of webinars, I and a few other people inside the firm have also done webinars for other organizations as well. All in it adds up to be quite a bit, we can see for Newfangled webinars that over the past five years we’ve had four thousand people register which is quite a bit and two thousand attend. It’s a little off of four thousand, a little off of two thousand but almost exactly 50% of everyone who’s ever registered for any of our webinars have attended.
From what I’ve found and heard from others, that’s a pretty typical stat. I’m curious to see today, I’m not looking at the numbers right now, but I’m curious to see today if the fact that this was a paid webinar encourages more people to show up or not, we’ll see. The paid part of this is a bit of a new adventure for us. The other thing that we’ve noticed is that those who do attend will pay attention about half the time. We tend to do this around noon Eastern which is lunch time for many of the people who are joining. I think they tend to watch over lunch either at their desk or in a group. With GoToMeeting and most of the webinar tools available now they measure the participants’ attention rating.
Basically the only way they can do that is to see if your broadcast screen is the screen they have focused on the desktop or not. It’s a rather limited metric but still if your broadcast screen is not in focus on the desktop we can be pretty well assured that they’re not paying full attention. What we see is that average 50% of the people are paying attention all the time or all the people are paying attention half the time is probably more accurate way of looking at it. Those are two issues about webinars that make it difficult, something that you might want to think twice about.
Two others include: one, time. This one’s a big one and even though you’re not getting on a stage in front of a bunch of people and getting on a plane and traveling or whatever else you might be doing for any of your public talks. A webinar is every single bit as much work, aside from the travel involved, there’s a ton of work in putting together a webinar. I put some rough numbers in place here, your individual results may vary. I estimate roughly about five to ten hours for slide creation and we’re going to talk a little bit more about slide creation later on but roughly five to ten hours. Again, if you’re just doing a bunch of bullet points it might take you 20 minutes, if you’re doing custom, really nice graphics for every single one of your slides as Chris Butler has done for a number of our webinars in the past, it might take more than ten hours.
Five to ten is a pretty good average for your typical 45 minute long webinar. The content creation actually putting together the presentation itself again typically another five to ten hours. The prep time and rehearsal, three to five hours, the actual delivery on the webinar day three to five hours between getting yourself prepped and everything, running through your notes and actually giving the webinar and doing the follow-up work that day. There’s a lot going on on that day so you figure about half your day is going to be spent on that webinar.
The marketing of it before and after I’d say to budget for roughly two to four hours and that brings us to a total of 18 to 34 hours. It’s not that hard to fill up an effective work week with a webinar, with one webinar. That’s a lot, that’s a ton of time and it’s a lot of different types of activities, you’re creating slides, you’re doing marketing, you’re doing prep work, you’re doing technical set up work. You’re actually giving a talk, you’re preparing the content for that talk. There’s quite a bit there and so it’s roughly a week of time and it’s a hard working week of time as well of course spread out over quite a bit of time. We will be going through and looking at how you should manage your time in prepping for the webinar a little later on.
Finally, and this is probably the lowest objection in terms of priority because I don’t think it’s as much of an issue as the others. It’s more expensive than many other typical content strategy platforms are. For webinars most platforms cost around 100 dollars a month for up to 100 attendees and we’ll take a look at a few different services in a second here. 100 dollars a month that’s not too bad for up to 100 attendees. If you’re just getting started on a webinar it’s going to take you a while to have more than 100 attendees. Keep in mind that that number is based on the registered number and so that means that you have 100 people who can actually register for it that would more likely be 50 attendees.
These webinar services they don’t know how many … They don’t care the outset how many register numbers attend, that registration number is the one that you’ve got to watch out for. Up to 100 attendees 100 dollars a month. The thing is that few companies host monthly webinars and in most plans you’re creating an account and you’re paying for that account every single month. You’re often times just doing them quarterly because they are so much work and so you end up paying about 300 dollars per webinar and when you look at the cost of a single webinar compared to the cost of a single email blast, it’s quite a bit more expensive. Still 300 dollars of actual cash outlay for something that could be as impactful as a webinar might not be that big of a deal when all is said and done.
In terms of pricing I mentioned I was going to show you what some of the basic pricing looks like just to have a sense here is a site that there’s a pretty decent job of letting out all the different costs for some of the more popular tools. You can see here around 100 dollars a month or so is pretty typical, some are less some are more. They’re the two big ones that you see again and again are GoToWebinar and WebEx. GoToWebinar as you could tell is obviously our preferred option, we’ve been clients of theirs for again the complete five years that we’ve been doing webinars and they’ve done a good job. They’re not perfect, I don’t know of any platform that is but they’ve done really good work.
Since we did start five years ago we’re actually grandfathered in at this 1000 attendees mark for I think the 99 dollars a month. That’s a hard bargain to beat and we do very regularly have far more than a 100 registrants for our webinar. For us it makes sense but beyond that the actual platform itself is great and because it is such a widely used platform that means that it’s got some really nice APIs, one API in particular that we’re going to talk a little bit about in regard to marketing automation that makes it really useful.
We’re a big fan of GoToWebinar, you can see here 100 bucks a month for 100 attendees. WebEx is another big player in the market and they say 89 dollars per host per month for up to 100 people but you have to pay for the audio separately. You can see here that if you have the 89 dollar a month plan but then you’ve got 500 minutes of phone time, it’s actually 134. I don’t want to get into paying for phone time and dealing with, “How many minutes will I need?” “What’s my overage rate based on how many minutes I pre-book.” All that stuff. That just seems way too complicated to me and I don’t want to feel like I want to make sure only 50 people show up to my webinar so I don’t pay phone overages or be at all confused about what that looks like.
That’s not something we really would recommend getting into. In terms of platforms there are many out there and there are far more web meeting platforms than webinar platforms. Webinars basically are more geared towards hosting many users at once as opposed to web meeting platforms which are geared towards hosting 10 to 20 users at once. For me I’d pay the 100 bucks a month and play it safe and use GoToWebinar and I’m going to be talking a lot about GoToWebinar. The basic components of it are very similar to all the other platforms, if there’s a different platform you prefer no problem at all, you can probably do everything I’m going to be talking about today with whatever platform you have.
That’s the cost part of it and that’s it for all the reasons I want to tell you that you might not want to do webinars. They’re technically challenging, they’re a little intimidating, they’re a lot of work, they cost some money and those are all things to consider but the other thing to consider is that webinars are the greatest thing ever, of course. I got to say I really do love webinars, they’ve served us very well and preparing for this particular webinar was nice to reflect on how these things have served us and if they have been worth it for Newfangled and to really break it down, to think about why webinars are such a good platform and why we do recommend that so many firms implement webinars as part of their own content strategy.
Let’s take a look at some of those things. With webinars compared to other content strategy platforms, you tend to get more media and asset diversity, more touch points, more data collection and in some ways more influence. Let’s take a look at those four things and see what I mean by that. Media diversity, this one’s really powerful and I had mentioned in the email I sent out yesterday to everybody that there was a bit of a reveal today about something we’ve just recently discovered that is going to have a quite profound impact on our content strategy and maybe yours as well. It has a lot to do with webinars actually and we’re going to get to that in a few minutes.
With the media in terms of webinar once you actually create your webinar, you do the webinar once right? You do what I’m doing right now, you spend the hour delivering the webinar, of course you spent the 40 hours prepping for it but then you spend the hour delivering it. Once that webinar is done you have four different assets, you’ve got indexable text at your disposal through this breakthrough service we just discovered. You’ve got of course the video at your disposal because you have the indexable text you can make that into a pdf and have that be a downloadable asset which could be great tracking folder and conversion folder. Then of course you’ve got the audio file as well, you could very easily make it into a podcast stream or whatever you want.
You could break it up into multiple streams, those are four different platforms that you can instantly access without spending much money or time. We’re going to look at how to do all of those things during this webinar after you deliver that one webinar. That’s pretty awesome and it’s much easier to take a webinar and convert it down into all these other aspects than it would be to take a blog post and convert it up. That’d be a lot more work after you do the initial work of the thing which is writing the blog post to make it into video and audio for example. That would be pretty difficult and it would be at least as much work as the initial writing would be.
Both the webinar you’re doing the work at the outset, you’re prepping for the work at the outset and then you can export and convert into different formats right from there which we plan doing a lot more of in the very near future. The media diversity I think is a pretty significant plus in the webinar column. The other is the amount of touch points you have with your prospects when you’re running these webinars. Let’s look at all the different touch points that you’ll have for somebody when they attend a webinar. There are six I’m listing here: we’ve got the initial blast, when you send an email out and you let them know about the webinar, that could also be them hearing about unsocial channels which we could also count as a seventh touch point if we wanted to.
Then they go to the page, then they register for the webinar and this is for people who actually attend then that’s a second blast. Then they get a reminder the day before saying, “Hey, this is going to happen.” That’s another touch point, another reminder of you and your brand and this event. Then they attend it and they spend 60 minutes with you right? That’s a long time for a prospect to spend listening to you and watching you and just absorbing your expertise and your perspective and your mood, that’s a huge immersion. Then after the event they get a follow-up email thanking them for attending and linking them to different assets from the webinar.
Then if they attended typically you put them on the list for future reminders so that when the next webinar comes up you let them know about it. Those are six at least pretty significant touch points that all positively reflect on you and serve as a reminder that you’re around. What about if they don’t attend? To me this is even more compelling, it’s everything, to get all those things but the actual exposure to the event. Who know maybe they’ll go and download the webinar, watch it later. Even in a failure scenario which is one of these 50% of people who register but don’t attend we consider that to be a total loss but it’s really not a loss at all because they’re there, they’re in your system.
We know they meant to attend it, they didn’t attend it, they’re going to be on the list for future announcements, for upcoming webinars. That’s a ton of exposure in a failure scenario which is hard to pull off with other content strategy platforms. Then we’ve got the data collection, the thing about webinars as compared … Not opposed or compared … Sorry, as compared to newsletters or blogs or case studies, things like that is that they happen regularly, when you sign up for a blog you can do that once right? You’re going to sign up for the blog, you’ll give them your first name, last name and email and then you’re receiving that blog, you’re not going to sign up for it again because you’re just going to get it from that point forward.
That’s a single interaction point for that content platform and you might as a firm write hundreds of thousands of blogs and they’ll get it in their email every single time. You only get that one initial conversion, only one moment for true demographic data collection from your prospects. You’ll see behavioral information, which blogs they click through and read and that kind of thing but in and of the blog itself you’re not going to learn any more about that person demographically through the conversion channel. With webinars it’s very different, we can look at the initial registration, here we’ve got five fields and these are all example fields it’s not as if you have to do it in this order. For every firm it would be different but we do find that because webinars again are an event.
We can ask a little more, we ask for a little more, asking for five to seven fields for a webinar doesn’t seem to be much of an issue. If we ask for seven fields for a blog sign up that might be a little bit of a barrier but because this is an event there seems to be a different value associated with the single artifact itself. We can ask for a little more at the outset. Then we’ve got the archive downloads, if they register for one webinar that’s great, they may or may not attend that but when you’re doing webinars if you’re doing them quarterly you’re going to build up this little army of webinars on your site. You can go through and see all these archives of previous webinars and every single time they view an archived webinar you can ask them for some more information.
Maybe these three fields, maybe another five fields, whatever you think might make sense. The point is you have another opportunity to get information from them and it’s fully warranted because they’re downloading a new asset. If you ask them to give more information every single time they wanted to read a blog no one would do it but for a webinar people will do it. Finally future registration, when they sign up for new webinars that come out you can ask for more things and of course this is all predicated upon you having a progressive profiling tool in your system and marketing automation is just huge when it comes to webinars.
When you are doing webinars, when you do have marketing automation in place there are all sorts of nice synergies there that happen like this: like the ability to progressively profile and with each interaction ask more things so that you can build a pretty significant demographic resource on each person so that you can properly score them based on their demographic information and their behavior. That’s all the marketing automation stuff and there’s a webinar in that if you want to check that out in addition to tons of newsletters and blog posts on our site. Anyway pretty massive data collection possibilities for webinars as compared to other typical content strategy platforms. Finally, the influence, I hinted at this before but this is as close as you can get to public speaking.
You can see the attention rating, you could get a full report, see who showed up and how much attention people paid, who asked what questions. You can do polls if you want to. You get a chance for open live Q&A. Of course on blogs and newsletters for example you have comments but in this case you can actually engage in a bit of a live dialogue with people as they’re asking questions. Other people can ask questions right there in real time in response to your answers and it’s a little more personal and they can hear the tenor of your voice and the way you’re handling things. It’s just having a little bit more influence there because of the live nature of things.
We do see that there’s a very high attendee to question ratio, compared to the many thousands of people that might read a newsletter or blog post and then comment on it, we see a richer ratio of engagement for attendees to questions on webinars than we do on the commenting on the site. Of course the live human connection, they’re spending an hour with you as I mentioned earlier, listening to how you say things and getting a sense for who you are. The more points of access people have to you, the more trustworthy you seem as long as you actually in fact are trustworthy or at least good at seeming so. The human connection and the portrayal of that through video, through audio, through the slides and through the live very human setting is important and can build a lot of trust.
Finally, the exposure of the fact that it is 60 minutes of content that even if they’re paying attention half the time, that’s 30 minutes of time that they’re spending listening to you, watching things and hopefully engaging with you. I’ll give you four points of why webinars are really difficult and here are four among probably many others, points of why it’s quite a good idea to have webinars. We look at webinars as one key element of an overall content strategy platform. I don’t think we’ve ever recommended to anybody to just do webinars. Usually, you start with a more traditional and written content strategy platform like newsletters or blogs and then get into webinars as a stage two or if you’re ambitious and you know you’re going to have time and you’re going to treat your overall content strategy as a high priority then you might get into a written format and a webinar format all at once.
Webinars are incredibly beneficial and quite unique and that’s what I really wanted to point out with these past few minutes here is that the unique aspects of webinars as compared to other content strategy platforms. Again not better or worse but just different. These things give you more access to your prospects, they can experience you and learn about you in different ways as they navigate through your site and experience your content strategy. Now, let’s take a look at the basic format which will take about a minute and some of the tools and the tools are really important. Let’s spend a little bit of time here looking at that, with the format we recommend starting at noon Eastern. Noon Eastern basically makes your webinar within reach during normal business hours for most of the western world if we want to put it that way.
It’s dinner time in Italy right now, it’s I think 6 p.m. and then it’s 9 a.m. in California. We’re doing pretty well at noon Eastern. That’s not one of those things that I feel particularly strongly about, it seemed to work well for us, we tend to get a really nice level of international involvement. The time frame seems to be as good as any. In terms of the overall format, typically you’re looking at roughly 45 minutes of content and 15 minutes of Q&A, roughly speaking for the average webinar. For ours it’s varied, sometimes it’s more content, sometimes less, sometimes Q&A lasts five minutes, sometimes it lasts 25 minutes depending on how many questions are on the topic. Planning roughly for an hour and having 45 minutes of that hour be devoted to content roughly speaking is usually about right.
That’s pretty straightforward, now let’s look at the software and the hardware, first the software. Again as I mentioned we’re big fans of GoToWebinar and when you think about webinars you think, “Okay, well we just get the webinar software and we’re good to go.” That’s actually not true at all. This is one of the reasons why these things are somewhat difficult technically because there are lots of other moving parts. For one we like to use Vimeo, you could also use YouTube or both. There are some good arguments for using both but we like Vimeo a lot because Vimeo basically allows us to upload the video after we record it, upload it there and format how we’d like and style it the way we want and embed it in a really nice way in our site.
Let’s take a little look at how that looks here on the Vimeo side. Vimeo is just a great tool for designers, you can have control over all these different aspects and get really careful as to how you choose what shows up on the screen, what colors are used, what video show up later. You can save them all as pre-sets you can upload customer logos as you can see here. Vimeo is just really nice and it’s a great embed tool. For 300 dollars a year you get the pro account which means you can use it for business otherwise you’re not supposed to. That also gives you HD streaming and faster upload times which for big webinar files really matters. I’d very much recommend spending 300 dollars a year to get the pro Vimeo account.
Of course if you want to upload it to YouTube as well to get some of the search benefit there’s nothing wrong with that and you can just leave it up on YouTube. I’d use the Vimeo account to actually create the embed file that you’ll put on your site. There’s one software that we’ll need is Vimeo. As I mentioned marketing automation, we prefer Act-On they’ve got a custom integration that’s direct with both GoToWebinar and WebEx and it’s just beautiful. When we were first evaluating marketing automation as a practice a number of years ago, when I saw what Act-On could do with GoToWebinar integration I was ecstatic. Without marketing automation there’s no really nice way of allowing people to register on your site. Basically they have to go over to the webinar service to do that.
Prior to us having Act-On in place we would have a description of the webinar on our site and then to capture the conversion we’d have them fill out their email then click register. Then once they click register then they went to GoToWebinar and have the actually register. We’re making them go through two steps but if we didn’t do that first step we wouldn’t capture the conversion on our site and that is just a ridiculous idea. There’s no way we’re not going to capture the conversion and that was a big problem. Now with the Act-On and GoToWebinar integration, everything is on the site, everything is seamless, our prospects and clients who sign up for the webinars never leave our site, never go do GoToWebinar’s all on the background.
Another great thing about Act-On is after the webinar is done what you typically get from GoToWebinar is an email and from there you can download a spreadsheet or a pdf of the attendee report. Then you have to import it in a Salesforce and line everything up and it’s very manual, takes a lot of time and it’s a pain to do after you’d already done all the work of delivering the webinar and everything. With Act-On the minute that report is available it just goes there, it just fills right into Act-On and of course because we believe in this ecosystem, we have Act-On integrated with Salesforce. As soon as it’s in Act-On it’s in Salesforce.
The next time I go to a certain contact in Salesforce of looking at a leader contact, I can see on that person, that person attended this webinar, they had an attention rating of this. They asked these questions and they’ve signed up for this next one. It’s just automatically there and that is really powerful stuff. There are also some really nice reporting tools that marketing automation allows for when you do have a system that natively integrates which is one of the many reasons we like tools like Act-On with webinar platforms. We’ll look at some of those reporting screens towards the end here. Another tool, this is basic, is just Keynote, I like Keynote a lot. It’s a pretty cool tool, I prefer it to Powerpoint, I love it for creating slides and for editing and for presenting.
It’s just a tool I’m really comfortable with. There are a lot of die hard Powerpoint people out there as well, that’s fine. You need obviously one of those tools to actually create the slides, GoToWebinar won’t do that for you. I mentioned Salesforce, you definitely want to have this in place, you want to create a campaign in Salesforce and we’ll talk about that as we go through the specific steps of creating a webinar. You want to create a campaign in Salesforce again so we can tie that activity and the participation in the webinar event back to specific opportunities and leads in contacts in the system so that when people do engage with us we’ve got a historical record of that. Again, when I go into something someone gets in touch, I can see, “Oh yeah they did this thing three years ago and that might very well affect the conversation I have with them.”
Here is the big reveal and honestly I was not even sure if I’d even want to talk about this. We’re not talking about it all on our site, only people who are on this webinar are going to hear us mention this for a long time and that’s rev.com. We just discovered it last week and since discovering it something pretty significant has happened. Basically what rev.com is it’s an online transcription service, you can upload any video or audio file to it and within 24 hours. In my experience typically within 6 or 7 hours they’ll send you back a word document with a near perfect transcript of that file for a dollar a minute. If it’s a 60 minute webinar you pay 60 bucks and you get that content.
I’ve uploaded three files, actually now four but with just the three files I uploaded last week from Legacy Audio I had around some webinars and interviews and things like that I immersed in spending 150 dollars more higher word count just from those three files than I did in an entire book I wrote, Website That Works. Just from those assets I already had lying around. When you’re done with your webinar, you take that recorded file you have and you upload it to Rev, you pay your 60 bucks and within 24 hours … They say 48 but I’ve experienced in fewer than 24 every single time, you’ll have a complete transcript that you can then put on your site, make into a pdf and that’s how you get those different media assets.
This thing is huge, I think it’s going to have a pretty significant impact on both Newfangled’s content strategy and also the services we offer our clients. Last but certainly not least is this logo that probably nobody knows because it’s really not a very good one, it’s the Camtasia logo, Camtasia is C-A-M-T-A-S-I-A, like fantasia but Camtasia like a camera. Anyway, it’s a recording tool so right now what I’m doing with this webinar is I’m recording it using GoToWebinar’s interface but I’m also recording it using Camtasia. Basically Camtasia is going to give me a far higher quality file and I’m going to be able to go in and do fades and edit it and just polish it up a little bit in a much more granular way than I could have from the raw GoToWebinar recording. Then export it at whatever file I want and then upload it to the various channels.
Camtasia also allows me to export just the raw audio file as well which I can use for podcasts. This is sort of the suite of software that I find to be incredibly useful. Again this webinar we’re giving it all away, we’re telling you every single thing that we really know. Again if there are things I’m not touching on in the Q&A we can just get into it and I’m happy to answer any of the questions you might have. This screen here I think is an important one because this is the suite of tools we use to pull this off. That’s a software. We also have hardware, I’d like to invite you back to my desk, here we are again this is what my desk looked like about 8 o’clock yesterday morning or so, sometime around there, maybe it was 8:30.
That’s our nice, little view out there of Chapel Hill sunrise in early spring. What we need hardware wise is pretty straightforward. You need a desk, you need a room with a door that closes so it’s relatively quiet. You need a computer right? That’s really helpful, I also think it’s pretty much essential to have an external monitor. We’re looking at here is the exact set up I’ve got running right now which is we’ve got the broadcast screen, which is the big screen and then we’ve got the other screen that has my presenter notes. That’s one of the things I love so much about Keynote is that you can customize presenter display to show the current screen, the next screen, the any notes you have for yourself will just show up underneath those screens. That one doesn’t happen to have any and the lapse time.
I’ve always got both screens going at once and that’s really helpful, you also want a USB headset which you see over there on the corner. The USB headset is so important for the recording quality, of course with these tools you can just call in on a phone but the audio quality that you’ll have broadcasting is much higher with a decent quality USB headset. One that costs at least probably about 40 dollars or so you can get a good quality USB headset. You don’t need to spend 300 dollars on your headset as far as I can tell. A good Plantronics USB headset, most of them do come with orchids which you also see on the table there. Some even come with orchids that are blooming which is preferable. Whatever headset you want as long as you make sure it has the blooming orchid option, that’s what you go for.
Aside from that that’s it, that’s all the hardware, it’s pretty basic stuff. Most of you already have just bought all of those things anyway aside from maybe the headset and the blooming orchid. That’s the software, that’s the hardware. Now, we’re going to go through and look at successful webinars and 100 easy steps or so, it’s around 100. This is a little dry because it’s sort of a step by step thing of what you need to do for the month leading up to the webinar and the day of the webinar. I wanted to include this just because part of this artifact that you’ll have access to are the slides and you’ll just see a listing of, “Okay this time I do this, then I do this, then I do this.” Just make sure everything is going on here.
Again because webinars are so technical it’s hard to remember everything you’re supposed to do especially during the day of. Actually just even today I just wrote down a few notes before, I said, “Okay, turn my mic on, get Camtasia going, get Keynote running, get the camera on.” I had that written down right next to me, just as a little reminder especially as it comes time to turn the webinar on and get going at high noon, it can be a little to make sure you’ve got everything running and again the idea that you might not know if you screwed something up until you’ve been talking to nobody for a few minutes that’s the stress a little bit.
Successful webinars and 100 easy steps let’s get going. Stage one is the prep and this has to do with what you do for the four weeks leading up to the webinar. We’re going to count down from four to three to two to one week and go through that. About a month out, these are things you want to do: of course settle on a topic, figure out what you’re going to do. We try to settle on our topics far ahead as far out as three months but usually by a month out we’ve got the topic worked out because if nothing else you need time for prep and for marketing. At least a month out you want to settle on a topic, once you’ve done that, create the webinar GTW is GoToWebinar, CRM, Customer Relationship Management system, MAT, Marketing Automation Technology.
Those I think are pretty much the only acronyms I’m using that won’t be familiar to you or might not be. After you settle on a topic you want to go and create the webinar in GoToWebinar, then after you do that you create a campaign for it in the CRM like Salesforce. Then you add it to your marketing automation tool and then finally you add it to your site for registration just to give you a quick look into how those things do look. Here you just go into here and you can very easily add a webinar if you want right through this interface through GoToWebinar and what you could do is you can actually add a webinar by copying an existing one which can be useful.
In Salesforce this is what the campaigns look like and again you do this manually so you have to manually add the webinar in GoToMeeting, then manually add the webinar in Salesforce and set up all the different points that you need to have in there. Of course once that is added it’s integrated with the site and with the marketing automation tools so all these great things about opportunities one and attendees and that kind of thing will automatically flow in once you manually add it and associate the campaign ID inside of the marketing automaton tool. This is one of the coolest things because Act-On does natively integrate with GoToWebinar, you can go right in here and you can actually just pick it from a list because Act-On sees who is in there.
They can actually just go ahead and find all the different webinars and you can go in and you can run all of your different event reminders and set all of that up inside of the marketing automation tool once that’s set up for everything. Once you have the base webinar in the system inside of GoToWebinar when you go into Act-On it will just see it right there. You can look at upcoming webinars or past webinars and they’re all right there for you to look at. That’s pretty cool and then of course you add it to your site. The site part of it is relatively straightforward as long as your site’s built to house these things of course and that basic intro and then get into the registration information. That’s how you go through that on the site side.
After you’ve done that then you actually need to create the webinar, you can do all these things before the webinar itself exists right? You just need to know what you’re going to talk about. It’s not as if you have to do all the slides and the content and then add these things to the system because you want to get them into the system so people can start registering as early as possible. After those things are done then you create a rough outline and then you brainstorm on slides. I prefer to do it in that order to create the outline first then brainstorm on slides and sometimes what we’ll do if I have my act together and I’m able to do it early enough, I’ll create an outline and Chris Butler and I will sit down and just brainstorm ideas and figure out what might work the slides and here typically create the slides.
If I’m behind the eight ball and I don’t get that together in time, Chris might just give me some basic templates I can work with and create the slides on my own. The slide issue let’s just get into the next screen here because we talk right about that here. The slide issue is a big one, now most everybody on this webinar is either part of an agency or working with an agency. For you all the design work of the slides are a little bit easier than they are for most because creating slides can be really stressful and obviously a lot of really horrible slides out there. We’re lucky in that we do have between Chris and Justin, people in house who can create some really wonderful things. Although, I don’t think Justin has ever done any slides for us, for the webinars. Chris has done all those or I’ve done them based on raw assets he’s given me.
Inside of your agencies you can create the slides I mentioned five to ten hours of time creating slides if you’re particularly creative agency you could easily throw in a zero on both of those numbers and spend tons of time creating the slides. Maybe that makes sense for what you’re doing, I really can’t say. Yeah, you might want to be careful there, in terms of number of slides, it’s roughly one slide for every 90 seconds at most. You don’t want any slide hanging up there for more than 90 seconds. That’s a decent benchmark. You want to create those about three weeks out and then also at the three week period you’re writing your different email marketing messages for the invitations, the registration confirmation, the event reminders that go out the day before and the follow-ups that go out in the few days after the webinar.
Just write all of those and then if you’re using marketing automation you can load those up inside of your marketing automation tool. Of course many of you might not have marketing automation and you can’t do that so you’d use a tool like Emma or Campaign Monitor, a standard email marketing tool to do these communications and that’s fine. The native integration and the pulling of reports and that kind of thing wouldn’t happen automatically but the webinar will go on right? That’s what happens here at the three week period in addition to promoting through social. Two weeks out at this point there’s really not much left to do but rehearse, just start working on it, start getting it going. The less comfortable you are with this format, the more you’ll need to rehearse.
It feels weird again standing in a room with a headset on talking to nobody but you do get used to it. I’m quite used to it now, you still get excited for the webinar but I wouldn’t say you get nervous after you’ve done it enough times. Still rehearsal is important in making sure that you understand the flow of material particularly if you’re presenting on a topic that you’ve not presented on before. You know webinars can be great for that before you do give a public talk, giving a webinar on it because again many people do have a lot of anxiety around you know actually getting up in front of people, at least in a webinar you’re in your office and people can’t throw things at you.
If you do have a big talk coming up, maybe doing a webinar on it first and recording it might not be a bad idea to prep. That’s two weeks out and then one week out, you see most of these things are front loaded towards the beginning of the month, you want to send out your invite slips … Sorry, let me go back to that previous screen, I went a little too fast for you there, sorry. One week out you send out your invites to your email list, your clients and previous attendees. These are the people you want to include in your blast and this is what we do, we’ve got our list of subscribers, people who’ve subscribed to anything: newsletters, blogs, whatever it might be. We send all of them the webinar announcement our logic for that is we’re only doing it four times a year, send out four emails you’re going to get.
It doesn’t seem to be abusive and so we do send out our webinar announcement to our whole list. Also all of our current clients and also anyone who’s attended a previous webinar. Of course if anyone’s unsubscribed to any of these lists they won’t get it but anyone who’s an active member of any of those lists gets our webinar blast. Webinar ends up going out to quite a few people, a quick note on that, we’ve had a lot of debate over the years about when to send these blasts out, we’ve experimented with different approaches. For some reason this defies logic a little bit, we always get the best conversions and the best traffic, the best stats in general on the announcement that goes out the day or two before the event. I don’t know why, it doesn’t make sense, you’d think people need to plan for this.
Maybe the fact that we do it over lunch and people are generally flexible at the time helps but we tend to get the best action on the emails that go out closest to the event. For whatever that’s worth, one of those strange stats that seem to be quite consistent nonetheless. Second step of creating these webinars is what you do on webinar day and most of that has to do with the hour before the webinar. The first thing is you want to get your presentation room in order, we looked at that, the computer, the external monitor and headset, make sure everything is set up the right way and you have everything the way you want it. An hour a head of time you want to load up the presentation Keynote, do a quick run through it, both just for the slides and also live and actually go through and see what the transitions look like and that kind of thing.
Then you want to get Camtasia running so you can record it. Again, you might use Powerpoint, you might use something other than Camtasia to record your screen, that’s fine but have all these things prepped and running on your machine an hour ahead of time. I also never restart my machine but I did last night and prepped for this just because it’s nice to have a fresh restart. You don’t want any weird things going on, sometimes machines get slow after they’ve been running for too long. I just do a restart usually the morning of or the night before a webinar broadcast. Then 30 minutes before, if you’re doing it at noon, at 11:30, you want to get the webinar going in GoToWebinar, join the audio using your USB headset, choose the mic and speakers option and you want to load the presentation on screen one. Now, which is which? Which screen is screen one and which screen is screen two? It’s up to you, you can play with it.
Actually, I lied to you when I showed you that picture on my desk and I showed the main broadcast on my big screen and the presenter notes on the small screen that’s actually inverse of what I do. I put my presentation screen with my presentation notes and everything and current slide and next slide and lapse time on my big screen because there’s more to look at there and actually put the presentation on the small screen. One of the reasons I like doing that is because you’re recording the small screen, you’re obviously recording the presentation screen not the speaker screen. You don’t want to record it at such a high res because the presentations mostly are built to span especially if you have one of these cinema displays it’s just too big. The standard laptop screen is a better size for the export and the processing, all that sort of thing.
You load the presentation on screen one which again might be the small screen, the presenter display on screen two. Set up Camtasia to record on screen one and also confirm the audio input for Camtasia. You want to make sure that the USB audio is going into both Camtasia and into GoToWebinar and test the levels and that sort of thing. I was just doing that a little while ago, Chris [Critch 00:51:03] is out there hearing me saying, “Testing.” Again and again and I probably sound a little crazy but yeah you got to be humble when you’re doing these webinars. Then 10 minutes before it’s about time to get going, you want to set everything and to record, you start recording on Camtasia, put the recording button on GoToWebinar. You’ll get 10 minutes of dead air at the start but it’s a lot better than forgetting to hit that record button.
Just go ahead and record, get yourself a glass of water which is always nice to have hand by and then do a quick sound check to make sure everybody can hear you. Usually I do that here, I’ll ask somebody, I just asked Chris Critch this morning, “Can you hear me? Does it look good?” Just do a quick sanity check there so you can not be worrying about it in the back of your mind. Then it’s time to do it, to actually get on with the webinar and just a few basic pointers here, do treat it like a public speech, this is just like you getting up in front of a lot of people and can be just as valuable, treat it accordingly. I like to stand when I do this, I tend to stand at my desk anyway but I don’t know I find that standing allows me to be more engaged when I’m doing this and allows me to feel like it is more like a public talk.
Use hand gestures just as you would in a talk, just be there and pretend these people are right there with you and that they can see you even though that’s a little creepy. I like to as you saw today start with a camera on, do like a little video intro. Now, not everybody will be able to see that video based on the technology on their side and sometime it doesn’t always work perfectly, if they don’t see the video, it’s no difference to them they hear you talking, they see your starting slide but if they do see the video, I don’t know just seeing people I think is a good thing. That’s something at Newfangled we’re trying to do a lot more of is just seeing people on screens because our clients are spread all over North America.
It’s just nice to see faces, I think doing a quick little, “Hey, how is it going?” Intro like I did today is a smart thing to do. Then as I mentioned 30 to 45 minutes of content, 15 minutes of Q&A and one thing I do like a lot is giving a sense of place. Right at the beginning after I switched the video off and after we got past the starting slide, the very first slide was talking about the agenda. About what we’re going to cover and I think it’s important to say, “This is roughly what we’re going to do and roughly how much time we’re going to spend.” That kind of thing. I think that’s important to do even though I’m fully aware that I am going well over the time I told you I was going to but I warned you that might be the case, there’s just so much stuff here.
For people who do have to leave at the top of the hour, we are recording this and you will get a follow-up link to view the recorded asset if you miss something. Just don’t worry about it, it’s not like you’re going to miss anything you can catch it later. For people who are able to go a little past let’s keep on going. For the follow-up we’ve got again these four media types, the video, the audio, the texts and the pdf. Video again you want to upload through Vimeo, you edit the video in Camtasia, keep the Q&A, that last 15 minutes or so you want to hold on to that and actually utilize that and make that part of the video that you present, that’s great content.
The GoToWebinar video you record is only a back up, you only do that in case for whatever reason the Camtasia capture didn’t work and you’ll most likely just throw that away. Of course once in Camtasia export it to .MOV, using the advanced export feature you might want to play with the settings a little bit there to get the video just right. Upload it to Vimeo and embed it in your site. Really straightforward stuff with the audio again right from Camtasia you can export to QuickTime and then do whatever you want with it but you’ve got an audio file that is an MOV file. For an hour of content it’s usually around 10 meg, it’s kind of big but still it’s a great audio file to have. Then of course as I mentioned you can transcribe using a service like rev.com and add it to your site or add as a pdf. If you do add as a pdf you want to make sure that asset, the actual downloadable asset is in your Marketing Automation Technology, your MAT.
Make sure that the pdf is uploaded there so you can track everyone who accesses it. Of curse I’d recommend gating it so if someone wants to download that asset, they have to fill out a short form to access it. We only have about a few more minutes of content here before we get to Q&A. I just want to talk about dome basic measuring systems. Here’s an example of what the attendee report looks like in marketing automation, pretty basic. See who attended and who registered, again if you’re looking closely you’ll see in the top right hand corner almost exactly half of those who registered attended this particular webinar that we’re looking at here.
One really awesome tool is the Revenue Attribution Report, you can take a look at who attended the webinar and then of those people who actually became clients and how much money did they spend with you. You can actually attribute different revenue amounts to specific webinars which is just huge and wonderful. Again only possible if you have the ecosystem in place, the website, the CRM and the marketing automation all integrated. The CRM, we looked at this, the Webinar Campaign Report which again gives you a sense of the leads created, the responses, the contacts, the opportunities, total value one, all those great data points are in there.
Then finally the Promo Email Report which is pretty typical to what you see in any sort of email delivery tool. In this case we’re looking at it from a marketing automation perspective. In summary before we get to Q&A, webinars are tough but they’re also incredibly rewarding, you can get the most out of them by using this particular suite of tools or things like it, these types of things. A good webinar platform, a marketing automation tool, a CRM, a good video recorder and video streaming service and a transcription service. Again, nothing like just doing it, running these webinars and there’s nothing that said you can’t start doing webinars tomorrow and not even advertising them. You could just record webinars [inaudible 00:57:10] that aren’t even available for anyone to attend and post them on your site and you can do these things as often as you like.
Once you have this technology in place, it doesn’t really cost anything to run a webinar on your own if you don’t want attendees. It’s pretty straightforward stuff. That’s all the information I can cram into just about an hour exactly. I am really happy to speak with you about any questions you might have, let’s take a look now at what those look like. Recording, Scott you asked a question, “Even if they pay for it … ” I’m not sure what that was in regard to if you could elaborate that would be great. Jamie backs me up in saying, “It’s absurdly ambitious to try anything more than quarterly webinars.” Oh no, she asks, “Is it absurdly ambitious to try doing more than quarterly webinars?”
I don’t know, maybe not it really depends on you. I’d say try one and see how much work it was and measure it and keep track of your time and that kind of thing. See if you want to do them more than quarterly. I wouldn’t commit to doing them more than quarterly until after you’ve done one or two but go ahead and try it. We decided to do them quarterly just because of the workload really. We have blog posts that come out on a weekly basis usually multiple per week, we’ve got newsletters that come up monthly and webinars quarterly just made sense. That’s why we did that. Whitney asks if 12 Eastern is too early for Pacific people.
Again, we have a decent amount of people joining from Europe so 12 is the happy medium. I don’t think it’s too early but again we do tend to get more people on the East Coast than the West Coast. Whitney also asks if we use the audio attached to GoToWebinar or our dial in number. We found that audio provided with GoToWebinar is not the greatest quality and I agree an that’s why for this I just used my USB headset and I’m recording that live into Camtasia. I’m not using any of the media assets from GoToWebinar at all. William who I sometimes call Bill asked about the cost to market the webinar. We don’t spend really much money on marketing our webinars. We are already paying for the marketing automation tool and so those emails don’t cost us anything more.
We don’t do any paid ads or anything like that. We’ve had lots of attendees over the years so we’ve been able to get quite a significant audience without paying for that. That being said we’ve got lots of content on our site, we have around a thousand unique visitors per day on our site. Our site is a pretty decent advertising platform in and of itself we don’t spend anything aside from the money we spend and the investment we spend which is considerable over the years creating content on the site but no raw webinar marketing costs. Ashley asks if I have any tips or suggestions on transitioning to paid webinars. You know, ask me tomorrow, this is our first paid webinar and we’ve been talking about it for years.
With paid we did see obviously a pretty radical decrease in the amount of registrations which is clear going from free to 100 dollars is a pretty steep jump. We have enough content on our site that I felt quick warranted in doing that. We give away lots of great education on the site and charging for an event like this I think made sense. I would call this a successful experience, quite successful and we’re going to continue to do it. I’d say if you’re not doing webinars yet start with them free then transition to paid so you can build up that audience first. Let’s see, William asks, “How do webinar results compare to other lead gen tools like weight papers et cetera?” I think that’s case by case, what we see is the impact our site has and we see people going through all different assets on our site.
Hitting the newsletters, hitting the blogs, the case studies, the pricing pages, the general about pages, the webinars. We do find that we tend to have something for everyone because we have short form content, long form content, written content and viewed/listened content. That net is a good one for us, which single platform is the best? I can’t say it I don’t think it can be said, it depends on your audience, it depends on how you execute on those platforms and who shows up at the right time to what thing. For what I can tell even though we do keep really close stats on all these things. What I can tell the best approach is that cocktail of short form, long form, written and listened or viewed content is the way to go. That’s the best approach I can say and I wouldn’t say one is more prominent or important than the other.
Mark asks, “Is there any value in posting a transcript if the content is gated?” Great question and very much a current topic here. You do a webinar for 60 minutes and you transcribe it for someone like me who talks relatively quickly even though I really try not to on these things, that’s ten thousand words of content I found after doing these transcriptions last week. That’s a lot of content, just this morning what we decided on, we’re going to have two thousand words of that content open so that there’s plenty for Google to sink its teeth into and then gate the other eight thousand. You’re still gating a significant portion of it but you’re also putting a lot out there to be indexed and read by prospects.
I think that’s the best way to go there. Let’s see, Jennifer asks if we’ve ever used live tweeting during the webinar events or seen it used successfully. We used to do more Twitter than we do with our webinars. Personally, I never saw a ton of value come from it, also while I’m hosting the webinar, I’m not going to be doing much with it. I did not post a hashtag for this one intentionally just because I don’t know I just didn’t see the value in it for this to be honest with you because we haven’t seen a lot from it not to say that’s not a good thing to do. It can be but I don’t know I used to be really into hashtags for every single event be it webinars or talks I was giving and I’m just doing less of that these days. I don’t know it was sort of an off the cuff decision I made and I feel pretty good about it so far but I’m not against it in any way at all.
Cindy asked, “Did the fee affect the attendance?” Oh yeah big time. “Will site visitors have to pay if they want to watch it later?” Yes, moving on for this webinar and shortly in the future any other archived webinars on our site they’ll all be paid. This will be paid content moving forward. Let’s see, Mark just asked the same question, I’ve got one more question from Lauren. This will be the last question that we deal with today. “In terms of content are there types of topics you feel worth better than others or formats for webinars and is it better for one person leading a webinar or a team leading a webinar?”
Those are all really good questions, in terms of one person or a team, I’m not sure and by a few metrics the group webinars we’ve done have been more successful than the individual webinars I’ve done. When you have a group webinar you have more people promoting it, more personalities to be attracted to, more perspectives offered, it’s more of an event. I’m a big fan of group webinars but also organizing those can be difficult and also you might have a very specific thing you want to communicate, a specific topic you want to delve into and it just might be easier for you to do that on your own or with the help of one other person or something as opposed to having a panel every time.
That being said, our next webinar which is not yet available for registration but will be probably in two to four weeks is going to be a group webinar, it’s all about the practice of web design and Chris Butler and Justin Kerr from Newfangled will be on that along with me. In addition to one or two of our agency partners just talking about the what’s going on, a state of the art of web design and how they become an open conversation between everybody, which I’m really looking forward to and I bet will be a very popular webinar. In terms of content, types of topics that work better than others, no I think if it’s something you care about and are interested in and either know a lot about or are really eager to learn a lot about prior to the webinar, that’s good.
If you’ve got love for it, you’re going to be able to convey that through a webinar platform. Again because you’ve got the audio and the video if you’re into it it’s going to come through and that’s the most important thing. Any topic that you feel is important that of course does represent the overlap between your expertise and your prospects’ needs, if you’ve got that going on then it’s a great topic for a webinar. Well, that’s it, I hope that this was valuable to you all. If you have any follow-up questions you can just email me at email@example.com.
I really enjoyed this as always learned a lot prepping for it and I hope to see you all on our next webinar and you’ll all hear about it when we do open up registration again in a month or so. Till then I hope you have a great day and thanks again for joining. Bye.