Why Successful Companies Do Webinars Regularly

For successful companies, hosting regular webinars is a no brainer. Webinars are one of the best ways to extend your business’s reach, build your sales pipeline, or grow your audience. And most B2B marketers agree. In their 2016 content marketing survey, the Content Marketing Institute found that webinars ranked as the 2nd most effective type of content, behind only in-person events. Yet, webinars ranked 11th for content marketing activities completed, with only 66% of B2B marketers reporting that they had conducted a webinar in 2016.  

If you are one of the 34% of business that did not host a webinar in the last year, you are probably falling behind.  Most businesses find that webinars are one of the most effective ways to engage with their customers and prospects and build their business.

Not convinced? We’ve spoken to business leaders who conduct webinars regularly and here’s what we’ve learned.

You Can’t Get a Better ROI

Compared to other higher-cost marketing methods, webinars are very cheap to produce. Aside from the low monthly cost of an AnyMeeting account, webinars can be nearly free. To get started you don’t need a sophisticated set up. Simply have one of your team member find a quiet room with their laptop and with a couple of prepared slides and a demo or screenshare of your product and they’re ready to go. Of course, you can make your webinars more sophisticated as you gain experience by pre-recording presentations, incorporating videos, and increasing your preparation time.

Despite the minimal costs, webinars have the potential to fill your lead funnel, speed up your sales cycle and help significantly improve the retention of current customers by engaging with them in a personal setting with a customized message.

You will also get a higher return from your time. Some webinars will only last an hour, even with time for questions. Other marketing methods can takes hours to produce and weeks of getting trapped in a feedback loop. Since webinars are live, you only have to prepare and then host, with modest additional time to review results and leverage the AnyMeeting tools for follow ups. Instead of being locked in a delayed feedback loop, you learn from the process and iterate for your next webinar. During live presentations, your audience will be much more forgiving of any mistakes than they would in a highly produced video or similar piece of content.

“If you have sales team of 40 people doing 5 demos a day, you are not getting enough leverage. Webinars let you do a demo for 3000 people at once.”

Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director at MobileCause.

Spending a few hours to engage personally with a large swath of customers and prospects without physical barriers in place can have a huge impact on the growth of your business.

EDUCATE YOUR AUDIENCE; THEN LEARN FROM YOUR AUDIENCE

Sometimes webinars aren’t only about how you can inform your audience, it’s equally important to use the opportunity to get feedback from your customers, as well as prospective customers who may not have purchased your product yet. Successful businesses rely on this engagement and real-time feedback loop to ensure they are always in step with their target audience to make informed decisions around both their product roadmap and future marketing initiatives.

Using polling or a Q&A during your webinar will help you gather feedback to improve your product and messaging. Is there any confusion around what your product offers? What its best features are?   Why haven’t your prospective customers purchased? Are you being asked to add a feature that you already have? Are there common themes surrounding the usability of your product or unsolved weaknesses that need to be addressed?

Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director of MobileCause, conducts webinars at least monthly and debriefs with his team after each webinar to discuss what went well and what might need to be improved. His team also spends time analyzing the questions they were asked and comments they received to further learn from their audience.

For every customer that is giving feedback, there is another customer who thought the same thing and didn’t say anything. Webinars allow you to address both your silent and vocal customers, which will go further to increase your authority and credibility on the topics or products you are discussing.

This engagement may lead to prospective customers giving your product a chance or convince an existing customer to stick around a bit longer all while you are both growing your business and finding opportunities to improve.

FILLS YOUR CONTENT PIPELINE FOR MONTHS

Successful companies know that a well planned content marketing strategy is key to grow their businesses. Webinars are a great way to lay the foundation of your content marketing, as you are able to repurpose your webinar content in blog posts, video clips, infographics, meetups, webpages and more.

“Our webmaster takes webinar content to create evergreen SEO pages. We transcribe all of our content and visuals in pages and create a library to train customers and help potential customers.”

Jeremy Koenig, Creative Director at MobileCause

Now that you have a newly filled lead funnel or have identified existing leads most likely to buy, you can combine the questions and comments you received during your webinar to create specific content to speed up your sales cycle or increase the retention of existing customers. Not only are you filling your content pipeline, you are creating content that will be exponentially more effective.

In future posts,  we’ll spend more time exploring  how to re-purpose your webinar to create the most efficient strategy to grow your business. But if you already have lots of content, we’ll show you how to become thought leaders and market leaders by adapting your content for webinars.

Are you ready to take the plunge and host your first webinar? AnyMeeting is a webinar service designed and priced for small businesses. We offer a full-featured web conferencing platform for all of your webinar, online meeting and video conferencing needs. Test us and let us know what you think–start your 14-day free trial now

New Webinar Scheduling and Recurring Meetings!

Scheduling a webinar is now easier than ever.

We’ve made a fairly large decision about our webinar product and we hope you like it.  In order to make our product as easy to use as possible for our webinar customers, we’ve streamlined the user interface by removing the Start Now button.

Now when you log in to your Webinar Pro account, there’s really only one foolproof way to get started with your webinars — just click the huge Schedule button. After that, pick a title and time for your webinar, and you’re all set.  You can edit your registration form and invite your audience when you’re ready.

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We decided to take away the Start Now button because it was actually starting a meeting and not a webinar and people were getting confused.  Also, we found that most of our webinar customers have a workflow that almost always starts with scheduling, so this was the best option for our webinar customers.  Feel free to let us know if you love or hate this change.

If you want to run quick and simple online meetings from your webinar account, you can schedule them ahead of time, or simply go to your shortcut meeting URL.  Here’s a great article that explains how it works.

We’ve also streamlined your webinar management

Once you’ve scheduled your webinar, our new “details” screen walks you through the process of managing your webinar.  There are simple buttons at the top that help you through each step.  Additionally, all relevant information about your webinar is nicely tucked away in a tab layout.

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You can now schedule recurring meetings!

A very popular feature request is now yours! Now when you schedule a meeting, just click the “This is a recurring event” checkbox and you’re off to the races.  Let us know how you like it!

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Hope you love it!  If you have any questions about any of this new stuff, please don’t hesitate to contact our support department at support@anymeeting.com.

Introducing the easiest way to schedule an online meeting: Meet@AnyMeeting.com

If you know a thing about AnyMeeting, then you know we like to innovate!  We previously brought you “talk@anymeeting.com” that allows you to schedule conference calls straight from any email or calendar program with no plugins or apps required.

Well, I’m very excited to announce that we’re bringing this same innovation to online meetings and video conferences.  Starting today, you only need to remember one thing — just CC: meet@anymeeting.com in your email or calendar invite to start an online meeting.  Within seconds, we create an online meeting for you and invite everyone on your email or calendar invite.  It could not be simpler.  You don’t even require an existing AnyMeeting account — anyone can use this service.

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To recap, setting up an online meeting or video conference with up to 4 people for FREE now only takes three easy steps:

1) Create an email or calendar invitation and add your recipients

2) Add meet@anymeeting.com to your email/calendar invite as well

3) Hit send.  You can even try it now – click here and invite someone!

Within seconds, everyone receives the invite to your online meeting.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this feature — please feel free to email us at info@anymeeting.com with your thoughts.

Introducing Meeting 4.0

We here at AnyMeeting are pretty excited! Why? Because we recently launched Meeting 4.0 — a major upgrade to the AnyMeeting platform you all know and love. So what’s different about Meeting 4.0? For starters, the user interface has a brand new look, and has been rebuilt from the ground up to make it simpler to hold online meetings.

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We also completely democratized the online meeting by allowing everyone in the meeting to have mostly the same rights as the host (except ending the meeting or starting recording).  For example, everyone can mute each other as needed (you’ve been in those meetings where someone walks away and you can hear their dog in the background) or share their webcams.  What we make sure to do though is to notify who muted who, in the chat area, like a log.  That way there’s a record that Sally muted John, and when John un-mutes himself, he can tell Sally that he didn’t really appreciate that.

What we wanted to do was to make the online meeting as natural as possible, like an in-person meeting, where we mostly rely on social cues to drive the direction of the conversation.  We’d really love to hear your feedback on our approach.

Other noteworthy improvements to the meeting platform include the following:

Integrated Social Media Information
Hosts with AnyMeeting Pro Plans can now click on any attendee’s name to view additional social media information, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles.

Automatic Attendee Images
Attendees will have their image automatically populated with the help of Gravatar.com.

Emojis and Chat Images
We’re proud to announce that chat now contains 868 unique emojis to have fun with ;). We also provide an image of each person chatting, and the opportunity for everyone to keep track of actions such as muting or know where to download files that have been shared during the meeting.

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Meeting Notes
Meeting notes can now be edited by multiple people at once and we’ve added formatting options (for bullet lists and so on). As always, meeting participants will conveniently receive notes via email after the meeting ends.

Video Sharing And Storage On The AnyMeeting Platform
In the past, meeting hosts were limited to using YouTube to show video files within the meeting, but thanks to a major upgrade to video sharing, you can now upload videos directly to AnyMeeting. Additionally, audio from the video can now be heard by those using a phone line to attend the meeting. We also increased the content library to 1 GB of storage for presentation files and videos. And as another bonus, you can now record the video playing during your meeting to share at a later time.

Presentation Sharing For All!
Share a PowerPoint presentation with your attendees and allow them to download the content.  In addition, attendees can now easily upload share their own presentations or videos during the meeting.  Their uploaded files are deleted at the end of the meeting.

HD Video Conferencing
We now provide 720p HD video for meeting hosts and up to 5 other video participants, with highly improved picture quality. It’s almost like meeting in person!

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Mobile Apps Upgrades
We’re also happy to announce that mobile apps have been upgraded for iPhone and iPad devices — with Android soon to follow! Upgrades to mobile devices includes HD audio and video, as well as chat capabilities, and anything else a web-based AnyMeeting user can do.

We strive to constantly innovate and provide products to help you grow your business. That’s why it’s important we hear from you, so we can keep building a platform to fit your needs. Let us know how we are doing by leaving us a comment below!

For more information about AnyMeeting’s simple, reliable web conferencing solution, visit www.anymeeting.com.

Feature Spotlight: Webinar Survey

A survey can be a very powerful tool; especially when paired with webinar service, like AnyMeeting, to boost your business or conduct your training sessions. Attendee feedback is essential when it comes to measuring ROI or gauging if your message was received. Moreover, it’s important to gain feedback after each of your webinars, so you can improve and evolve as a presenter, and determine the direction you’d like to go when it comes to future online presentations.

The easy-to-use and integrated AnyMeeting survey tool provides the opportunity to collect attendee demographics, gauge the performance of the webinar presenter, content, and technology, plus any other custom questions you may have for participants. Never used our survey tool? No problem. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. When setting up your meeting or event in the AnyMeeting app, you will be guided through the following 6 steps: Invitation, Registration, Survey, Preview, and Finish. Once you have provided basic information for your webinar invitation, you will have the option to create an attendee registration form, followed by a prompt to create a survey for your webinar audience.

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  1. The AnyMeeting survey form allows presenters to customize the following fields:
  • Survey Header Text – Text to appear at the top of your survey, usually like an intro
  • Standard Fields – Common fields like address, marketing information, and rating scale for the presentation
  • Custom Fields – Allows you to add your own questions to the survey, with an option to score the custom questions as if it was a test.  
  • Footer Text – Text to appear at the bottom of your survey, usually like a thank you
  • Additional Options – Receiving email notifications every time someone fills out this survey, or providing a link for attendees to visit after the survey is completed. 

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  1. Once you have completed survey customization, you will be able to preview the survey, and if it’s good-to-go, simply click “Finish.” Keep in mind, your webinar attendees will be taken to your survey immediately following your webinar, but you also have the option to send the survey link to individuals manually — like in a follow-up email. 
  2.  The results are in! Ready to check out your survey data? Locate the completed webinar in your Account Manager, and click the meeting header text to be taken to a “Meeting Details” page. Click the “Survey” tab to view survey data. From here, you have the option to view or edit the survey, and more importantly, export and download the data as a CSV file to create your own spreadsheet. Apply this information to help shape your next meeting, presentation, or training session. 

Survey - Export Data

 

As a presenter, it’s important to keep your audience engaged, to know what they really thought of your presentation, and measure what they have learned. AnyMeeting’s survey feature empowers you to do just that, and it’s included with your Webinar Pro subscription — so be sure to take advantage of it!

For more information about AnyMeeting’s webinar service and robust features, visit www.anymeeting.com.

 

New Trigger For Your AnyMeeting Zaps: Recording Is Available

A few months ago, AnyMeeting  announced its Zapier integration feature, available to AnyMeeting subscribers on Meeting Pro and Webinar Pro plans. If you are unfamiliar with Zapier, it is a service that interconnects business apps by enabling users to specify triggers and actions between apps using a simple point-and-click interface — for example, allowing AnyMeeting customers to increase lead generation and customer engagement, in a matter of minutes.

In addition to connecting webinar registrants to your email marketing lists and scheduling meetings automatically from any Zapier connected app, you can now create Zaps for whenever your webinar recordings become available for viewing. This is especially valuable when it comes to post-webinar attendee communication. By simply creating Zaps to automate emails about your recorded content, or emails that include surveys for valuable feedback, you will be working more efficiently and saving time.

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You can now trigger Zaps for when your webinar recordings are ready for viewing!

 

Our CEO, Costin is super excited: “It’s really exciting to be able to offer this integration to our customers because it’s given them the freedom to use AnyMeeting in ways we never considered. They are able to integrate our platform into their other business processes, which allows us to deliver value in lots of interesting and new ways.”

Other AnyMeeting triggers currently available include:

  • New Webinar Scheduled – Fires whenever you create a new webinar, so you can maybe automatically post it to your social media
  • New Webinar Registration – Fires when a new attendee registers for your webinar, so you can maybe send them a custom email, put them in a Google Sheet or add them to your CRM
  • New Attendees – Trigger when a meeting ends, and sends you a trigger for each attendee that was in your webinar.  Again, this is great for adding them to your CRM, sending an email or other fun activities.

Actions available include:

  • Schedule a Meeting – Creates a new meeting with information provided
  • Schedule a Webinar – Creates a new webinar
  • New Webinar Registration -Register a person for your webinars, for example like when they sign up for MailChimp

Again, the Zapier integration feature is available to AnyMeeting subscribers on Meeting Pro and Webinar Pro plans. Check out this useful integration feature by logging in to your AnyMeeting Account and choosing the “Integrations” tab. Click here more information about the new AnyMeeting recording updates to Zapier.

Recorded Webinars Make Great Content

Content from your recorded webinars is a valuable tool for marketing, training or customer support. In fact, studies reveal that visually appealing content, such as video, is more effective in marketing and generating leads than traditional written content. So why not make the most of your webinars? AnyMeeting’s recording feature can record almost every aspect of your webinar, including the screen sharing, video conferencing and the audio, so you can reuse your presentation or demonstration again and again.  (But keep in mind that YouTube videos can’t be recorded due to copyright issues!)

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Once your webinar has concluded, AnyMeeting provides you with a link, and download option, so you can upload the video to a desired destination (your website, YouTube channel, etc.) and start directing folks to your content via blog entry or social media post. AnyMeeting also provides settings to enable your recordings to be password protected, if that suits your needs. This video content can be easily repurposed for multiple promotions or training sessions.

Ready to build a whole library of content and create a valuable resource for employees, customers or prospects? Just press “Start Recording” and AnyMeeting does all of the work for you. For more information about AnyMeeting’s free webinar service, visit www.anymeeting.com.

Top 5 Tools For Webinar Attendee Engagement

Does your webinar service provide the right tools for attendee engagement? The folks at AnyMeeting know that webinar attendee engagement is what drives an online presentation. That’s why AnyMeeting offers a variety of tools to facilitate awesome online presentations. Here are the top 5:

  1. Handouts: A lasting impression with a compelling handout will further carry your message and brand. The AnyMeeting platform enables attendees to download your presentation and handouts directly during your webinar.
  2. Polls: Engage attendees while gathering useful information. AnyMeeting’s polling feature allows you to gather information, increase engagement, and generate live insights related to your webinar topic.
  3. Text chat: If attendees have questions or comments during your AnyMeeting webinar, they are able to communicate via text chat. This flow of communication between you and your attendees ensures engagement and encourages attendee participation.
  4. Video: Whether you are video conferencing or presenting a YouTube clip during your AnyMeeting presentation, your attendees are sure to pay attention to dynamic visuals — versus a dry slide presentation.
  5. Interact Feature: Audience members who are truly captivated will react to your presentation in real-time. AnyMeeting makes it easy for attendees to share those reactions — and  for presenters to assess engagement with the smart “Interact” feature. Interact icons include hand raising, thumbs-up for “Yes,” and requests like “Speed up” or “Slow down.”

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When it all comes down to it, YOU hold the key to engaging your online presentation audience. The good news is, AnyMeeting provides an array of robust tools and dedicated support team to help make your webinar a real success. For more information about AnyMeeting, and its turnkey online meeting service, visit www.anymeeting.com.