Not Another Webinar! Five Critical Things to Consider for Your Virtual Event

December 9, 2010

So how many invitations do you receive a day to attend yet ANOTHER free webinar? Recently I conducted an “audit” of my inbox and during the week of November 15-19 I was invited to 12 different webinars.  My “greater than 2 a day” average is at best … average …and my guess is that many of you are bombarded with far more invitations.

Ironically, despite all the choices out there, webinars continue to be one of the most effective marketing tactics for our clients.   There are many ways to skin a cat and certainly the same holds true for planning, producing and executing a webinar.  At a very high level …here are 5 Critical Things to Consider as you jump into the webinar fray.

1. content is king …. .. pick a hot topic and people will come.

2. feature the primary market
“Who do you want to attend your webinar?” Invite one or more thought leaders who fit the same profile of your desired attendees to participate as speakers or panelists.

3. panels work!
I often identify 3-4 questions around a hot topic and then recruit a panel of thought leaders from the primary market (see #2) to sit on the panel. This enables me to

a) promote a multi-perspective event
b) more easily recruit panelists as there is now no real prep work for them (i.e. no slides)
c) help our brand by sitting “up on stage” with clients or prospective clients
d) showcase our expertise without forcing our audience to sit through a capabilities presentation.

4.  convenience.
Typically, half our attendance results from our “day of event” promotion.” In other words, we generate lots of registrations 3-4 weeks out, but the folks that show up are largely driven by the ”day of” promotion. Why? Webinars are a “convenience” event for most. People are busy and there are a ton of webinars out there so even if your topic is terrific, your attendees will only attend if their calendar remains open on the day/time of the event.

5.  five minutes after.
What is your plan for the first 5 minutes AFTER the webinar ends? This is often the most critical question to answer in you planning as it ties in all the objectives you attached to the event. Three must haves:

i) have a plan on how to identify the attendees you want to follow-up with
ii) have content already prepared to follow-up
iii) have a plan on how to leverage the energy /success resulting from your webinar in the weeks that follow

There are many tactics that can be discussed to embellish or expand upon the above. In addition, as I mentioned at the onset, there is more than one approach to make this all work.   I would be happy to answer any additional questions.  Good luck!


Panel to discuss: Utilizing Facebook for Small Business Lead Generation

April 22, 2009

I am very excited to be hosting and moderating a terrific panel of experts (via webinar) who will be sharing their experiences around “Utilizing Facebook for Small Business Lead Generation.”  The free webinar takes place Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 12 PM ET and will last 75 minutes.   During the session our expert panel will provide the following, in a case study format:

* An overview of Facebook and it’s elements
* How Facebook fits in with other social media platforms
* Why and how B2C and B2B companies are using Facebook
* The benefits being derived from marketing on Facebook
* The drawbacks of Facebook
* Best practices for small businesses on Facebook
* Summary and Q&A.

Review our panel and register here.

Our objectives for the call are as follows:
* Provide an overview of Facebook for the beginners
* Explain how businesses are leveraging the various elements of Facebook
* Outline some challenges and/or drawbacks you may encounter
* Provide examples of “wins” from businesses who have “been there, done that”
* Answer your questions

The All Star Panel is as follows:

Rachel Levy, Social Media and Marketing Consultant; Blog: Rachel Levy Blog


Susan Liddy, Life Coach and Founder, AspireLifeCoach.org; Blog: AspireLifeCoach.org Blog


Hasan Luongo, Co-Founder, Hoodiepeople.com; Blog: Hooodiepeople’s Blog

Mike Volpe, Vice President, Marketing, Hubspot; Blog: Hubspot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

Register here.

Who should attend?  Owners and/or practitioners that are responsible for marketing their small business.  (For the purpose of this webinar, small businesses are loosely defined as businesses that generate less than $8M annually).  These may be lawyers, consultants, software vendors, accountants, insurance brokers, store owners, service providers, publishers, etc.


Polling Data & Slides – Leveraging Twitter to Grow Your Small Business

March 19, 2009

We had a tremendous panel discussion last week covering how various small businesses are using Twitter to help their business.

During the Marketing Studio webinar session, we asked our 100+ attendees various questions about their use and perceptions of Twitter.  You may access the PDF to the blinded results data, and the slides used by me and the panelists, via this link.  The questions were as follows:

Do your currently use Twitter?
What do you do on Twitter?
What was your first perception of Twitter when you initially joined?
What is your biggest fear of Twitter?
Who executes your lead generation programs?
In order to execute more Social Media oriented lead generation programs, I need more:
Which most closely describes why you chose to attend today’s webinar?
How do you distribute online content and capture leads?
What is currently your most effective “push marketing” tactic to drive people to your web site or blog?
What is the most realistic short term (next six months) benefit your business may realize from leveraging Twitter?
What is the most realistic long term (beyond September ’09) benefit your business may realize from leveraging Twitter?

View the blinded polling results.

A special thank you to our terrific panelists (links to their latest blog posts):

Kyle Flaherty, Director of Marketing, BreakingPoint
Becky McCray, Small Town Entrepreneur
Aaron Strout, VP, Marketing, Powered
Monica Valentinelli, Social Media Expert, Musicnotes.com

marketing-studio-logo Mark your calendar for April 23 @ 12 PM EDT:
Utilizing Facebook for Small Business Lead Generation, register for free now.


Small Business Case Studies – Leveraging Twitter!

March 8, 2009

Over the past year, more and more businesses of all shapes and sizes, are investing time to explore what all the hype is behind “Twitter.”  What many have discovered is that this microblogging phenomenon presents a great opportunity for their companies.  I list below links to four great posts/case studies on how different types of business are successfully using Twitter as a tool to ultimately …make ….money!

Leveraging Twitter as a lead generation, customer service, or overall branding tool takes time; a precious and scarce resource when you are running your own small business.  Time and lack of expertise are barriers preventing most small businesses from successfully utilizing Twitter for lead generation and networking.  According to a recent Marketing Studio poll,  79% of small business owners avoid Twitter because of: lack of expertise, not enough time or insufficent understanding of how it can make an impact on their business (i.e. no proven ROI model). 

Well here is a quick public service message to small business owners: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance” (Derek Bok, former Harvard University president).  Bottom line is this: if you are not making an effort to learn more about Twitter, you may be costing your small business an incredible opportunity.  

eventbrite   I have the privilege of hosting a live webinar Wednesday, March 11 at 12 PM EST where four experts in social media will not only answer the question “what the heck is Twitter?” but also outline three real life examples on how companies are actually leveraging Twitter to grow their business.  Join us (it’s free).  Meanwhile as a prelude to our discussion on March 11, I list below four interesting case studies/stories.

case-studies4 Four Case Studies

Zoomdweebie’s Tea Bar How Twitter saved a small business in Wichita, KS.  Now they may relocate because they need bigger space!

CoffeeGroundz Cafe Blog post by @ericaogrady discussing how Twitter has changed the way they CoffeeGroundz Cafe in Houston, Texas conducts business.

The Big Guys A Business Week article outlining how some of the biggest companies in the world are using Twitter to communicate with their customers.

BBGeeks A great, must read on the trials, tribulations and “results” of a self proclaimed “Non-Big Brand.” 

 

usa_dream_team  During Marketing Studio’s March 11 webinar we will feature three additional real life examples of how people are leveraging Twitter to Grow Their Small Business.  Below is our “dream team” of panelists with links to their latest blog posts:

Aaron Strout, VP, Marketing, Powered

Becky McCray, Small Town Entrepreneur

Kyle Flaherty, Director of Marketing, BreakingPoint

Monica Valentinelli, Social Media Expert, Musicnotes.com

 

*** Register for the March 11 webinar here (registration is free) ***


Who Are You More Likely to Follow on Twitter?

March 2, 2009


(vote via Poll above — don’t be shy, just click on an open square)

arrowOn topic, view the full interview of Evan Willimas, Founder and CEO, Twitter on Charlie Rose via this VentureBeat blog post.

arrowMake sure you register for the upcoming webinar How to Leverage Twitter to Grow Your Small Business, March 12 @ 12 EST (60 minutes in duration).   The session is free!  Our expert panel includes:

 Aaron Strout, Chief Marketing Officer, Powered, Inc.
Blog: Citizen Marketer 2.1
Follow @AaronStrout  

Elliott Kosmicki, User Experience Manager, Musicnotes.com
Blog: Goodplum
Follow 
@iElliott on |

Becky McCray, Small Town Entrepreneur
Blog: Small Biz Survival
Follow @BeckyMcCray

 Kyle Flarhety, Director of Marketing, BreakingPoint
Blog: Engage in PR
Follow @kyleflaherty  on

 
What We Will Cover
* What is Twitter and how does it fit in with other social media platforms?
* Four steps to leveraging Twitter for your B2C small business
* Four steps to leveraging Twitter for partnerships that will grow your small business 
* Four steps to leveraging Twitter for partnerships that will grow your B2B small business 
* Good peeps to follow to get started or to grow!
* Summary and Q&A
 

Register for free.

Who should attend?  Owners and/or practitioners that are responsible for market their small business.  (For the purpose of this webinar, small businesses are loosely defined as businesses that generate less than $5M annually).  These may be lawyers, consultants, software vendors, accountants, insurance brokers, store owners, service providers, publishers, etc.


Case Study – The Potential Impact of Lead Generation Tactics on a Small Business

February 23, 2009

hour-glassRecently I conducted a survey amongt small business owners, asking them, “what are the biggest barriers to conducting various lead generation tactics?”  (Lead Generation Tactics for Resource Limited Small Businesses, Feb 11, 2009).  A quick overview of the results showed:

 

- 76% of our poll respondents said “they” are in charge of executing lead generation programs.

- 34% of our total respondents said “Time” is the biggest barrier to conducting more lead generation tactics.

- 60% of the respondents stated webinars, case studies/article and blogs are the most difficult lead generation tactics to execute.   

- 60% of the respondents cited “Time” and “Lack of Expertise” as the reasons small business owners did not leverage these tactics.

 

I provide the full set of the blinded survey and poll data here (you will be asked to provide some basic info to access and download the results).  

 

roi  Is making the time (or buying the time) worth it?  Before answering that question, business owners must take a long term ROI view when ascertaining the risk and reward of a lead generation investment.  The following is a quick example (call it a mini-case study) on the potential ROI webinars can make on a small business’s sales and lead generation effort over 4 years:

 

Mini-Case Study: The Impact of Webinars on Lead Generation

 

I. Webinar Frequency and Reach

Frequency:  2 webinars over 60 days

Resulting Attendance: 176 registrants, 80 attendees (estimates)

New Clients (Sales) = 3 (1.7% of total registrants) *

 

* The number of New Clients will vary based on various factors including the average revenue per new client (see III. Revenue New Sales).

 

II.  Risk/Costs

Direct Costs: $400 total (telephone and web charges)

Indirect Costs: $8,000 (time spent by you, your marketer and/or a contractor)

Total Costs = $8,400

 

III.  Revenues/New Sales

Revenue per New Client = $10,000

Annual Retention Rate of Clients = 70%

Growth Rate Per Client (% Increase/Yr) = 15%

(try replacing my hypothetical #s with your own numbers for Revenue/New Client, Retention Rate and Growth Rate per Client to asses your business’s potential ROI)

 

IV.  Results/ROI

New Revenue in Year 1 = $30,000 (3 new clients x $10K)

One Year ROI =  257%

 

Retained Revenue (Years 2,3,4) = $45,990 

Growth Revenue (Years 2,3,4) = $6,898.50

 

Total Revenue (Years 1,2,3,4) = $82,888.50

Four Year ROI = 887%

 

Special props to Wellesley Hills Group who outline this concept very well in their report entitled Making Lead Generation Work for Professional Services.

                                               

V.  Intangible

Revenue does not take into account the estimated 20% of webinar registrants who are new “leads” for business and may eventually become clients in future, further adding to the positive ROI (approximately 34 of 176 registrants in this case).

 

VISummary
The answer to the question “Is it Worth the Time?” is a resounding YES!   The impact of well thought marketing programs will vary depending on your business, your database, etc.  However, invariably the short term and long term ROI of a well planned and executed lead generation program will make a positive impact on sales, and serve as a foundation for additional revenues for years to come.

 

Other good posts that resulted from our webinar and poll entitled Lead Generation Tactics for Resource Limited Small Businesses are:

9 Tools Marketers Need in their Toolbox

20 Ways to Trigger a Groundswell for Your Viral Marketing Content

 

And Mark Your Calendar for March 11 at 12 PM EST for the next Marketing Studio Webinar: Leveraging Twitter to Grow Your Small Business.  Check out the All-Star panel we have by clicking here.

 

Contact me if you would like to learn more on how I can help save you time by helping with the planning and execution of your small business’s lead generation program.


Lead Generation is Old and Boring!!

February 10, 2009

sexy  New Marketing, Social Media and Web 2.0 are the new “sexy” terms marketers love to use today. But what do those terms really refer to anyway?

chris-brogan  Chris Brogan writes on his blog today about the “The Rise of Microfame.” His point is that social media platforms have provided all of us the opportunity to become mircofamous. He is spot on!   Becoming “microfamous” should be at the core of any business’s marketing strategy.  

godin-image     hubspot-with-heartlogo    However, at the end of the day, whether you are building your own “Tribe,” (thank you Seth Godin), creating an Inbound marketing machine (thank you Hubspot) or becoming Microfamous you are doing that same thing the very best marketers have always excelled at: “generating leads to build brand and grow the business.”

 There is no more effective avenue to showcase your insights and expertise than social media platforms (blogs, communities, twitter, facebook, etc).   Brogan further explains “fame isn’t trust, and the real goal, in my estimation, would be to develop trust, build relationships, and earn the attention of people in our circles of interest.   That’s what matters.”  

As a small business, freelancer or sole practitioner you can leverage these new platforms to quickly build relationships with your target market.   Every single resource spent on marketing (time exhausted and dollars invested) should be focused on building credibility and trust within your market.  Once more, lead generation programs must be designed to identify who out there may have reason to purchase your product or service one day (aka Lead Generation).

stage-with-audience Social media platforms, even in today’s economy, present a great opportunity for the little guy to grow their business doing the same ole, same ole…..generating business by building trust and credibility within your marketplace ….this is at the core of good old fashion Lead Generation.  So jump on the social media stage and become Microfamous!

webinar-globe   Join us Wednesday at 8PM to discuss these topics further. I am moderating a great panel of experts (via webinar) who will discuss the most important of these tactics ….it’s free so register now! Details at: http://marketingstudio.eventbrite.com


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.