Webinar Attendees’ Reactions Are Now More Expressive Than Ever

Reactions with emojis during webinars have been a great way for webinar hosts to gauge their audience’s level of engagement during their webinar and understand what content is resonating.

Now, when users react to your presentation their emoji of choice will fly across the screen for the presenter and other attendees to see.

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Here are a few FAQs about our Reaction Emoji update:

If I record the webinar will these emoji reactions be visible on the recording?

No. Only live attendees will see the emojis. You may want to keep that in mind while referencing these emojis during your presentation if you plan on posting the recording to your website or blog.

Can I turn this feature off?

Yes. In fact, the feature is off by default (for now). If you wish to use this feature you will need to turn it off using AnyMeeting’s webinar settings. 

Does the usage of emojis affect my webinar metrics?

This update makes no changes to your metrics. However, we believe it will entice attendees to use the feature more often so you may see a bump in engagement.

Is this like Facebook Live?

Sort of. Our goal at AnyMeeting is to deliver features that will drive engagement to help you give great webinars. As norms and features become ubiquitous we want to make sure we are on the forefront of delivering them to our customers and not lagging behind.

 

Want to try out the new feature? Fantastic, log into your account and schedule your next webinar. If you aren’t already an AnyMeeting customer, sign up for a free trial.

50% of New Customers Attended a Webinar First

We often talk about how success companies host webinars regularly and share tips and tricks to help you grow your business and hold great webinars. But sometimes, we are the ones that learn from our customers who have found great success with their webinar programs.

Over the last 18 months, Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director, at MobileCause, a VC-backed mobile software firm for non-profit fundraising, has committed to investing in a webinar program for their mobile and online fundraising solutions to spur a new generation of donors. But it hasn’t always been easy.

“We’ve made every mistake in the book,” Koenig confessed. On top of making several mistakes early on, MobileCause also found that their leads were much more likely to download an infographic or an eBook than sign up for a webinar. On the surface, MobileCause’s webinars were not successful.

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It’s imperative when putting together a webinar program, that you know exactly what your goals are. Are you looking to increase your number of leads, shorten your sales cycle, reduce churn, or become thought leaders in your industry. Depending on your audience and the type of webinars you produce, your goals and KPIs should be specific.

MobileCause decided on a two-fold goal. They wanted to shorten their sales cycle and become thought leaders in the non-profit fundraising space. After committing to a webinar program despite their doubts due to disproportionately fewer leads than with other content initiatives they found that 50% of their customers who signed up in a month had attended a webinar first.

Selling, Without Selling

Webinars are a fantastic way to spread your industry knowledge and become an authority in your space. But few potential customers what to attend a Webinar where they are going to be sold a product. They attend because they want to learn and get better at their craft or find solutions to problems they have encountered.

In their webinars, MobileCause has been sharing expert in demand fundraising advice to nonprofits by being on the forefront of trends. “Answer the questions people are asking,” Koenig stated about how to pick a webinar topic. You can find what is being asked by looking through your website’s Keyword data, see what’s trendy on social media or even what other webinars in your space are talking about.

In MobileCause’s research, they found that Millennials are less likely to respond to traditional fundraising efforts, instead they are more likely to respond to SMS, Social Media or mobile friendly registration forms. They also were quick to see the opportunity that Facebook Live could present in the fundraising space, as it’s an easy way to host a worldwide event at zero cost. Teaching their audience about these methods, while showing examples that used their product helps create a more informed lead that felt they genuinely benefited from the webinar, whether or not they sign up for MobileCause.

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 12.32.09 PMIn one month, Koenig recalled receiving 6000 leads. Only 1000 of those leads were from Webinars, but 50% of those that became customers had attended a webinar. Their sales team reported having shorter conversations as the value of the product was clear to those that attended the webinars. This proved that MobileCause had met both of their goals, shortening their sales cycle and becoming thought leaders. Webinars are now a permanent part of their marketing stack.

Your Own Webinars May Not Be Enough

Putting together your own webinar program is a fantastic way to grow your business. On the AnyMeeting blog we have talked about about the importance and steps to securing guest speakers or improving audience engagement. However, there is one aspect of webinars that we haven’t touched on: Becoming a guest speaker yourself.

Jeremy Koenig shared that it can sometimes be very difficult to secure a guest speaker. This is no reason not to hold a Webinar. Though having expert speakers is an added benefit, you can also round up your internal team or be your own speaker. In the end, it’s the content that matters.

For MobileCause, and also for our team at AnyMeeting, one piece of the guest speaker strategy is seeking our customers with a success story. Koenig tells us that his team will reach out to several customers and maybe a few will agree to participate.

What often goes unspoken is the impact the guest speaking spot has for the speaker’s business. Koenig recalled one speaker who was relatively unknown, but after joining their Webinar with over 1000 attendees had begun to see growth in their own business.

Partnering with other businesses with a pre-existing webinar program could be a great way to launch your own webinar strategy to gain exposure and grow your business. It can also help validate any internal doubt you may have about launching a webinar program of your own.

 

On-Demand Webinar: Best Practice Checklist for Hosting an Effective Webinar

Were you able to attend our last Webinar, Best Practice Checklist for Hosting an Effective Webinar, with Chris Bechtel, Managing Partner at Growth Engine Labs? During the Webinar, we discussed how to make your next webinar great by using our Live Webinar Checklist.

If you couldn’t attend, don’t worry. We’ve posted this Webinar online to view at your convenience.

Click Here to Watch

Or click here to download the slides.

Want a copy of the checklist you can refer to when putting together your next webinar? Check out our previous blog post to prepare for your next Webinar.

4 Steps to Increase Audience Engagement

If you host Webinars regularly you are all too familiar with this scenario: You’ve delivered highly researched information in your area of expertise for about an hour, but when you ask if there are any questions the room is silent. Though there were numerous attendees in the Webinar, were they even paying attention? Were your attendees only using you as background noise?

When you develop a Webinar you want people to get value out of the information you provide. The best way to ensure that is to keep your audience engaged by encouraging active participation. Not only will active participation help your attendees get more out of your webinar, it will help motivate you to give a better performance.

Don’t Get Straight to Business.

To increase participation with your webinar audience you will want to do as little talking at your attendees as possible. Instead try to have a discussion with your audience. While the bulk of your presentation will be going through slides or having various guest speakers share their knowledge, opening the floor in the beginning of a Webinar can help keep your audience invested.

As you are waiting for more people to join the Webinar who may be late or you’re getting set up, open the lines of communication. Whether that is through audio, chat or polling. Ask questions of your audience about what they would like to learn from your Webinar or if any of them have any questions before you begin. This way you can call back to these conversations during the main portion of your Webinar. Even referring to the attendee by name when you answer their question during the relevant section.

Integrate Polling and Questions Throughout

Most Webinars include some type of polling during the event. What’s important with polling is not that you conducted one or will use the information after the Webinar concludes, but what you can do with that information live. Can you show your audience that the polls or questions you asked impacted their experience?

Give the audience a choice of what story or example to hear from a past customer experience you are sharing. Or get a sense of what your audience already knows so you can spend more time in certain areas and speed through others.

You can also increase engagements by following up on your poll questions in the Webinar chat. If a poll asks audience members to express their level of knowledge on the topic at hand, have your host ask what are the sources of information they received or if they haven’t had any experience what spurred their interest.

Have Your Producer Be Active in the Chat

It’s no secret that during office meetings or presentations that co-workers are often speaking with each other through their office chat system, whether its Slack, HipChat or another tool. Maybe they are strategizing how to bring up a topic or they could be sending funny GIFs to each other. In a one-way presentation, such as a Webinar, distractions like this can play an even larger role.

To keep your audience engaged, have your producer or another team member spark conversation in the chat. Your producer can answer questions directly, conduct an informal poll or share reference material. The goal here is to keep your audience engaged with the Webinar so that they don’t start don’t get distracted and have your Webinar become white noise in the background.

Pro tip: having a separate team member in the role of producer will help your Webinar run more smoothly, as your host or speaker may be too busy to keep the conversation going in the chat.

Fake Some Starter Questions

No one wants to be the first one to ask a question or speak up in a room of strangers, even if that room is virtual. But you also don’t want to end your Webinar 15-minutes early because no one asked any questions. To get the ball rolling, have someone on your team chime in with a few starter questions.

You can either do this by having your host say they received a question from the chat or have another team member on the line ready to ask a few questions. Chances are there are people in your audience with those same questions.

You may also turn these questions back to your audience. When you receive a question, ask if anyone in your audience has any experience and wants to share their story. These moments may have an extraordinary impact on your audience as your attendees’ answers will help validate the content of your Webinar.  

Increasing audience engagement is imperative when building relationships and trust with your customers and prospects. When you show your audience that their individual needs matter you are more likely to meet your goals whether that means making a sale or teaching your customers how to use a feature more effectively.

AnyMeeting infuses many features to keep your audience engaged during your Webinar. With powerful features such as polling, audience reactions, chat and live Q&A, you can keep your audience’s attention with ease to meet your goals. Read more about AnyMeeting’s features here or, if you aren’t already a customer, start your free trial to host your first Webinar.

Pick the Right Metrics and KPIs to Measure the Success of Your Webinar Program

In an ideal world, as marketers, after we host a Webinar, we’d be instantly inundated with a spike in conversion rates and new leads. It would be clear that our efforts had paid off and we would immediately begin planning our next Webinar to repeat the results. But in the real world, our databases and attributions are never as clean as we’d like them to be.

How do we know if a Webinar campaign is successful? How do we know if a Webinar strategy is something we should continue to invest in? At AnyMeeting, we believe the key to hosting a successful Webinar and improve your strategy is only as good as your metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

We know there are many blogs and articles out there that discuss Webinar KPIs, so let’s break these KPIs into four categories; Conversion Goals, Engagement, Acceleration and Impact. You may not need to track every statistic or may track a few that aren’t listed below, but choosing the right measures will go a long way into securing the health and growth of your business.

Conversion Goals

Conversion Goals are very straightforward. Ultimately, you will want your Webinar registrants and attendees to perform an action, whether that is signing up for your product (or service), upgrading to a more robust plan or using a specific feature (or service).

Signs Ups / Upgrades

The most common metric measured is the number of sign ups you received for your product, if you are using Webinars as a lead generation tool. It’s important to be able to attribute these conversions to your Webinar. A few options include, providing a promo code through your Webinar, tagging all Webinar registrants in your CRM, or dive into the nitty gritty of first- and last- touch attributions.

Feature Usage

Do you have customers that do not utilize the full capabilities of your product? If so, you may do a Webinar to encourage usages of specific features or services. You may have found that some feature usage leads to a higher Lifetime Value of your customers, so it’s imperative that your customers are aware of everything you have to offer.

When Feature Usage is your goal, isolate attendees of your webinar by tagging them in your CRM or Analytics Tool to analyze their behavior. Then check if there was a spike in usage over 30, 60, and/or 90 days.

Number of Leads

There are numerous ways to categorize your leads. You may be interested in net new names to your database or subscribers to an opt-in list or be more concerned with qualified leads for your marketing or sales teams. Regardless, this is a number you will want to track in both its raw numerical value and in its percent change Webinar-to-Webinar. If you are finding that you are receiving less leads with each new Webinar you may need to improve your Webinars content or adjust your marketing outreach.

Engagement

Registered vs Attended

How many people who registered for your Webinar actually attendee? It may surprise you, but this number is not as critical as you think. However, if your attendance rate is low you will want to make sure you have a strong post-webinar plan. This may include emailing a recording of your Webinar to all of the registrants and making sure that information is available through your blog and other sources. You will also want to make sure that those who registered, but did not attendee, still have an opportunity to interact with you and ask questions.

Without measuring this KPI, you may either be putting too much or too little effort into your Webinar follow-up.

Questions Asked

There is no better indicator that you are providing value to your attendees than lots of questions. This shows that your attendees have learned something new and found your Webinar engaging enough to want to dive deeper and achieve a higher level of clarity.

Pro Tip: If you do not receive questions, have a co-presenter with some prepared questions get the ball rolling. No one likes to be the first person to speak up! You can also use this allotted time to ask additional polling questions of your audience instead of letting the time go to waste and awkwardly ending your Webinar 10 minutes early. Remember, if recording your Webinar to play again at a later date, you will want to make sure you have a smooth ending.

Support/Sales Requests

Though you may not be able to get exact attribution, having an open dialogue with your sales and support teams to see if there is an uptick in tickets or inquiries after you have conducted a webinar. Make sure your internal teams are gathering information from these request to understand what motivated them to reach out.

Acceleration

Length of Sales-Cycle

Forgive the cliche, but time is money. Webinars are a great way to help shorten your sales cycle and to supercharge your customers’ knowledge of your product and it’s value prop. If it generally takes a customer 30 days to decide to purchase or upgrade to a paid service once they become a lead, hosting a webinar within the first 30 days may decrease the time it takes to convert.

Time-to-convert can often be overlooked in favor of new leads, but it can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.

Pro Tip: Research what triggers your customers to convert and build a webinar around this topic. In AnyMeeting, you can pre-record this webinar to add it to an email drip or host in a monthly cadence so you can continually benefit without frequency becoming a major disturbance.

Cost Per Lead / Acquisition Cost

Along the same lines, is the Acquisition Cost of new customers or leads in your database. To know if you Webinar strategy is successful, it will benefit you to look into any connections between your Webinar costs and other marketing/sales tactics in terms of both raw number of leads/customers and time it takes to convert. If you can speed up your sales cycle, you can spend less money marketing towards your prospects.

Impact

Not all results from hosting a Webinar may be obvious or as tangible as a purchase or the number of people who register for your Webinar. There can also be an overall increase in your business being considered an authority in your field, increase of word of mouth recommendations and brand awareness. Choosing the right KPIs to correlate with this phenomenon is imperative when justifying your Webinar Program to a superior that may only been interested in hard data.

Views of Recordings/Associated Articles on your Website or Social Media

Because you can record your Webinar with AnyMeeting, Your Webinar becomes content that you can use over again or post through a variety of channels. Monitor the engagement of this derivative content, if you see an increase in views, likes and shares you may be building your business’s level of trust.

Registration Link Shares

If you are conducting Webinars regularly, you probably will not have a brand new list of people to share with every time. If your past attendees have enjoyed your Webinar and view you as a trusted authority they are more likely to share the link to your Webinar with a colleague or their professional networks.   

Content Planning

From an internal perspective, Webinars can be a great basis for planning content through the month, quarter or year. Webinars may take a bit more effort to produce than a post on Twitter, but they can fill your content pipeline for months. Look into internal metrics like the number of additional content pieces you were able to create, having publications posted on time, etc. While any conversions as a result may be difficult to tie directly back to your Webinar, it will be clear that your Webinar strategy is important to the overall growth of your business.

Those are just a few of the KPIs you can use to measure the success of your Webinar Program. It’s important to figure out which metrics are the most actionable for you and your team. Metrics shouldn’t be numbers that sit in a spreadsheet, but instead become the inspiration you need to iterate on your program to make them a greater success.

But none of these metrics mean anything if you aren’t hosting Webinars. That’s what we are here for.  Start your 14-day free AnyMeeting trial now to grow your business. AnyMeeting has pioneered small business Webinars by offering a completely free, full-featured, and easy-to-use webinar and web conferencing services tailored for small business users.

On-Demand Webinar: Growth Hacking with Interactive Content

Were you able to attend our last Webinar, Growth Hacking with Interactive Content, with Randy Rayess, Cofounder of OutGrow.co? During the Webinar, we discussed how to apply growth hacking initiatives featuring interactive content such as dynamic surveys, calculators and more.

If you couldn’t attend, don’t worry. We’ve posted this Webinar online to view at your convenience.

Click Here to Watch

We also encourage you to sign up for our next webinar,  “The Best Practice Checklist for Hosting an Effective Webinar,” on May 31st at 11:00 am PT; featuring Ken Molay, founder and president of Webinar Success. Click here to register.

Webinar Pro-Tip: Host a Pre-Recorded Webinar

There are lots of moving parts to juggle when you host a live Webinar. While we’ve recently compiled a checklist of all of the important things you must do to host a successful Webinar, anything can happen when you click “Go On Air.” Anything like getting a persistent cough or your guest speaker cancelling at the last minute can cause a minor setback. Even though we can’t protect you from all unforeseen circumstances, pre-recording your Webinar is a great way make sure you Webinar runs smoothly.

Pre-Recording Your Webinar with AnyMeeting

Did you know that AnyMeeting’s webinar software allows you to playback MP4 video in HD? This is a great feature to use to share video clips during your webinar; and you can also use this feature to ensure you have a perfect performance or to re-host a previously held Webinar for a new audience.

To host a pre-recorded Webinar you have two options. You can either create an MP4 file using your own video editing software, or host a Webinar using AnyMeeting at your convenience. Then record the Webinar, download it, and upload when you are ready to host the Webinar for an audience using MP4 playback. Both of these options allow you to go back and fix mistakes or improve sections that may need to be tightened or free up internal resources.

Download-Recording
From your AnyMeeting account go to the Recordings tab and click “recording” to download an MP4 file of your Webinar.

Today, most computers and laptops come pre-installed with with great software for basic video editing, either Windows Movie Maker (PC Users) or iMovie (Mac Users) making it easy to make simple edits to your Webinar before hosting a pre-recorded version. Either way you can splice up your Webinar into shorter, digestible pieces to share on your blog, social channels, and website.

If you haven’t used Windows Movie Maker or iMovie before, they’re very easy to use and there are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube to help make you an expert. (Click Here for iMovie Tutorial or Click Here for Windows Movie Maker)

Hosting a Pre-Recorded Webinar

Hosting a pre-recorded webinar will allow you to relax while ensuring your Webinar runs smoothly, though we still recommend including a live element to your Webinar. At AnyMeeting, we like to keep a live introduction and hosting a Live Q&A at the end of your webinar. This will help provide consistency if those who were recorded on the webinar were not able to attend. (If possible, try to have your speakers available in real-time for the Q&A)

You can also mix and match recorded and live elements. If you have a compelling speaker with limited availability, you can have their parts recorded while the rest of the Webinar is live for your other speakers. This may help keep your content up-to-date if there are any references to data or events that are no longer current.

Hosting pre-recorded Webinars may become a vital part of any successful company’s Webinar strategy. With that in mind, we do encourage transparency with your audience. Let them know when you are playing a recording and remind them that a real person is there to engage with them throughout. This can easily be seen as a benefit as it will let your experts personally engage with your audience throughout the webinar, allowing more one-on-one time to get questions answered.

Are ready to host your next webinar? Start your 14-day free trial now to grow your business. AnyMeeting has pioneered small business Webinars by offering a completely free, full-featured, and easy-to-use webinar and web conferencing service tailored for small business users.

Live Webinar Checklist: Make Your Next Webinar Great

Successful companies hold webinars regularly, but preparing for webinars can be a daunting task if they aren’t part of your regular routine. While setting up a webinar, you may find there are lots of moving parts and it can feel like you are in a circus spinning plates.

You are more likely to forget something important or host a subpar webinar if you don’t commit to dedicating the time and resources to get it right and check off all items on your list. Forgetting a single item on your checklist can cause anxiety, and honestly, we’ve all experience a few snafus.

We’ve recently interviewed Webinar expert, Ken Molay, President of Webinar Success and combined with our own in house expertise; we compiled a Webinar Checklist. We hope this list will aid you in conducting glitch-free and engaging Webinars. To start, at AnyMeeting, we recommend giving yourself at least 30 days to create and prepare for a successful webinar.

“A good webinar requires investment of time and effort. Bad webinars are quicker and easier to do, but is that how you want to present yourself and your company? You wouldn’t throw together a trade show booth at the last minute… why would you spend less on a webinar that hundreds of potential customers will see?”

Ken Molay, President of Webinar Success

One Month Out

  •  Secure speaker & confirm availability
  •  Review your webinar title & description and confirm date & time.
  •  Review your webinar registration/landing page to share with your audience!

Pro Tip: Get this information to your marketing & sales teams ASAP so they can begin talking about your webinar to create buzz and get sign ups. Even if the webinar isn’t completely scripted yet; a few talking points of what to expect will go a long way.

  •  Schedule a time with your webinar team and presenter for a rehearsal.

Pro Tip: Host this rehearsal at least one-week prior to your webinar. It’s imperative to make sure you understand your webinar platform’s controls, discuss introductions and hand-offs, and run through your entire presentation start to finish, especially if there are multiple presenters to adjust time allotments.

  • Create a survey that attendees will receive at the end of the webinar.
  • Send your speaker an outline of your standard webinar format so they know what to expect.

Pro Tip: If hosting a pre-recorded webinar, it’s important to be transparent with your audience. Let them know you are playing a prerecorded Webinar so that you are available to answer questions throughout to offer a better, more engaging experience. Otherwise, your audience will figure it out and will be less likely to engage and may drop..

  • Decide your Goals/KPI. (e.g. are you looking to simply add to your lead funnel and get names for an email list or are you hoping to engage and prove yourself as trusted resource in your industry)
  • Identify all key players and their responsibilities. (Host, Moderators, Presenter, etc)

Pro Tip: For webinars with a large audience, have a dedicated moderator as most technical challenges and questions come during the beginning of a webinar while the Host is doing the introduction. For webinars with a smaller audience these roles can be combined.

  • Complete Slides
  • Ask your speaker to promote your webinar
    • Share registration page through emails and social media posts.
    • Blog post that provides an intro to your topic with a link to your webinar.
    • Have speaker guest blog on other outlets and blogs to get the word out. 

One Week Out

  • Review & finalize slides.
  • Send promotional emails with call-to-action to register for your webinar.
  • Conduct webinar rehearsal, platform walkthrough & technical test.

Pro Tip: This is a good time to reiterate the timing of your transitions and poll questions or any details about the introduction.

Day of Webinar

  • Send final reminders to your audience via social media & email about your webinar.
  • Sign-in 15 minutes early to webinar platform.
  • Once signed in, go over any last minute details while waiting in the “Green Room” before the Webinar begins.
  • Press “Go On Air” to go live to your attendees.
  • Have a great webinar!

After Your Webinar

  • Send a Thank You email to those who had registered and attended your webinar.

Pro Tip: Segment your email list between these two groups. Include both a link to a recording of your webinar as well as a Registration link for your next webinar.

  • Write a summary of your Webinar on your company’s blog including a link to the recorded version.
  • Share the blog summary of your Webinar through your company’s social channels and in your next email newsletter.
  • Repurpose the content of your webinar, poll findings and audience questions to maintain a strong content pipeline.

Hosting a good webinar always comes back to how prepared you were. With this checklist, you should be well on your way to hosting a webinar that’s both engaging and runs smoothly.Ready to host your next webinar? AnyMeeting has pioneered small business offering a completely free, full-featured and easy-to-use webinar and web conferencing service tailored for small business users. Start your 14-day free trial now

On-Demand Webinar: How to Close More Deals Through Webinars

Last week, we hosted an educational, but entertaining talk about how to grow your business by closing deals more effectively using webinars; Andrew Bermudez, CEO & Co-Founder of digsy.ai and Costin Tuculescu, Founder & CEO of AnyMeeting.

If you couldn’t attend, don’t worry. We’ve posted this Webinar online to view at your convenience.

Click Here to Watch

You can also click here to download a transcript of the webinar.

We also encourage you to sign up for our next webinar,  “Creating Compelling Webinars Using Expert Speakers,” on April 6th, 2017 at 11:00 AM (Pacific Time);  featuring Tony Karrer from Aggregage. Learn the tips and tricks to getting top experts to speak on your webinar and attract larger audiences. Click here to register.

On-Demand Webinar: Find Success by Hosting Webinars Regularly

Recently, we hosted a webinar featuring two Webinar experts; Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director of Mobile Cause, and Chris Bechtel, Partner of Growth Engineer Labs based our blog post, “Why Successful Companies Do Webinars Regularly.”

Our experts discussed how you can use webinars to extend your reach, engage customers, improve products, drive lead generation, educate prospects, inspire influencers and boost thought leadership.

If you couldn’t attend, don’t worry. We’ve posted this Webinar online to view at your convenience.

Click Here to Watch

We also encourage you to sign up for our next webinar,  “How to Close More Deals,” on March 22nd at 12:00 pm PT; featuring Andrew Bermudez, CEO & Co-Founder of Digsy.AI and Costin Tuculescu, CEO and Founder of AnyMeeting. Click here to register.