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7 Posts authored by: Anita Covelli-Oracle

Last week, Eloqua hosted an awesome Virtual Road to Revenue event for hundreds of modern marketers. Check out all of the fantastic content from speakers like Eloqua’s Alex Shootman and tobymurdock from Kapost. I had the opportunity to share some tips for marketers looking to make the most of webinars throughout the buying process. Here’s a synopsis of my advice (for more, grab the slides or listening to the recording).

virtual road to revenue.jpg

 

Don’t Try to Be All Things to All People

This is a recipe for disaster! As with any other content, you need to hone in on the audience you want to target before you do anything else.  What’s interesting to one persona is not going to appeal to another. Another thing to consider when planning for your webinar is where your target audience is at in the buying cycle. While webinars can play a role at all stages of the sales process – top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel – the experience needs to be tailored for the appropriate stage to get the best results. Let’s take a look.

 

Successful Early Stage Webinars

Is the goal for your webinar to fill the top of the funnel with new prospects? Here are a few tips:

 

  • Focus the topic of your event on an emerging market trend or business problem that is top-of-mind for your target audience.
  • Take the time to develop meaty content that includes advice that your audience can take away and apply immediately in their daily job.
  • If you have the budget for it (or friends in the right places), consider bringing in a recognized expert to speak. This will add credibility and cachet to your event, and potentially help draw a larger crowd to hear your message.

 

And speaking of crowds, don’t skimp on promoting the event. Your goal is to attract as many people as possible who fit your target profile. Here are a few things that we’ve found effective at ReadyTalk:

  • Start a steady drumbeat on social. Begin 3-4 weeks out and increase the cadence of posts as the event date approaches.
  • Make it easy for your audience to spread the word with their peers by including social sharing links in event emails and on the registration page.
  • Leverage relevant partners to help get the word out to their audiences – make it easy for them to do so by providing pre-written tweets.

 

During the live event, use tools like polling and chat as more than a way to make sure your audience is awake. Take this opportunity to learn more about your audience and gather data that will help you pinpoint sales-ready leads and drive fast, tailored follow-up. And, once your event is over, strike while the iron is hot. Following up quickly after the webinar is crucial to success!

 

One “don’t” at this stage? Remember that this isn’t the time to pitch your product – you’ll lose credibility and alienate your audience. Save the product demos for later stage prospects.

 

Effective Late Stage Webinars

When you are talking to an audience that is further along in the buying process, remember that they are actively exploring solutions and looking for validation that yours is the right choice. Now is the time to communicate specifics on how your product can help them take advantage of an opportunity or solve a pressing business problem.

 

Expect a significantly smaller audience for webinars targeted at buyers in this stage. You’re going for quality over quantity here. While you may only have a few dozen attendees, they are further down the funnel and more likely to turn into closed won opportunities.

 

How can your webinar help make that happen?:

  • Consider having a happy customer share their story on the difference your product made to their business.
  • Build in time for a brief demo that clearly illustrates how your product solves their top of mind issues.
  • You can even get really crazy and have your happy customer demo how they have applied your solution in their own environment!

 

So, what’s a big no-no for webinars at this stage (or any stage for that matter)? Definitely don’t pull the old “bait and switch.” Make sure your title and abstract clearly sets expectations and then deliver on those promises.

 

Using Webinars to Onboard & Ramp New Users

Even after you close the deal, webinars can play a role in driving revenue. Use live and recorded webinars as a technique to onboard customers, train them on how to use your product, introduce them to key contacts, explore advanced features, and ramp usage. Over time, this is a great way to upsell and cross-sell existing customers, creating loyalty, customer retention, and revenue growth.

 

One piece of advice at this stage? Take the time to create sessions tailored to the needs of different users, even if it means a larger number of very small sessions. Otherwise, you risk losing your audience’s attention while you cover content that isn’t relevant to them.

 

While conducting these sessions as live trainings gives you a great opportunity to build rapport with new users and respond to their questions in real-time, it’s also nice to offer the option of on-demand recordings that allow users to consume the content at their own pace.

 

I’m always curious to learn from other marketers and to hear what’s techniques are working for them. What’s your best advice on the webinar front?

I recently posted a poll on Topliners asking “What new features would you like to see in Eloqua webinar apps?” What was the response? A whopping 64% of respondents said that an "Add to Calendar" (ICS) file with unique join meeting link for confirmation & reminder emails was their top priority. Why is this feature important? Simply put, this seemingly small change can deliver higher webinar attendance rates.

 

I have some good news for those who responded to the poll (and others who are looking to advance their Eloqua webinar programs): the ReadyTalk integration with Eloqua now provides ICS files with unique join meeting URLs and this functionality is delivering measurable results. In fact, one ReadyTalk customer (Compendium) saw their webinar attendance rate double with the addition of this feature.

 

Here are some brief instructions to help you get started …

 

Step 1: Install the ReadyTalk App from AppCloud

To get started, install the ReadyTalk Cloud Connectors from the AppCloud. You can learn more about getting started with the ReadyTalk App in this post or get the ReadyTalk App here.


Step 2: Add the ReadyTalk Cloud Connector to Your Campaign

In your Eloqua Webinar Campaign, add the ReadyTalk Register Attendee Cloud Connector as a step between the Registration Form and the Confirmation Email steps in your campaign:

ICS_1.png

Step 3: Create New Fields

On the Data Card you use for your webinar programs (or on the Contact Record), add two new fields to store the unique ICS files returned from ReadyTalk for each registrant:

  1. Outlook Calendar Link
  2. Google Calendar Link


In our instance of Eloqua, we have named these fields “Event ICS File (Outlook)” and “Gmail Add to Calendar Link” but you can use your own naming convention.

ICS_2.png

 

Step 4: Map ICS File Links to the New Fields

In the Optional Output tab of the ReadyTalk Register Attendee Cloud Connector, click on “New Output Mapping” to map the appropriate ReadyTalk Output Fields to the new fields you created on the Data Card or Contact Record:

  • Map “Event ICS File URL” to the “Outlook Calendar Link” field on the Data Card or Contact Record
  • Map “Event Google Calendar URL” to the “Google Calendar Link” field on the Data Card or Contact Record


This will ensure that the unique Add to Calendar links created for each registrant are captured in Eloqua.

ICS_3.png

 

Step 5: Add the Unique Calendar Links to Your Eloqua Emails

Create an “Add to Calendar” section on your Eloqua confirmation and reminder emails and include two new links/buttons:

  1. One to allow registrants to add the webinar to their Outlook calendar
  2. One to allow registrants to add the webinar to their Google calendar


Then, use Eloqua Field Merge functionality to automatically populate the emails with the unique Outlook and Google calendar links stored on the Data Card or Contact Record. Each registrant will then be able to add the webinar to their Outlook or Google calendar and have all of the information they need to join the meeting (including their unique “join meeting” URL) at their fingertips.


ICS_4.png


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Hope this feature helps you drive higher attendance rates for your next webinar! If it does, please share your success story

After February's Content Marketing Bootcamp event, I wrote a brief Topliners post on the topic of Content Marketing and Webinars. It was so well-received that ReadyTalk decided to partner with content marketing experts from Vidyard and Kapost for a 1-hour webinar taking a deeper dive on this timely topic. Join me, ianhutchinson and tobymurdock on Tuesday April 30th at 2pm Eastern for:

 

Where Do Webinars Fit in a Content Marketing Strategy?


REGISTER NOW!


As marketers, we can’t read a blog, attend an event or open a white paper without the mention of content marketing. Why is the topic of content marketing so timely? By now you’ve probably heard the Corporate Executive Board statistic that today’s buyer doesn’t engage with sales until they are 57% of the way into the buying process. Instead, buyers turn to Google and to their peers to investigate potential solutions.


It’s our job as marketers to provide content that speaks to their pain points, teaches them something new, builds trust, and eventually leads them down the path to our solution. As you map out the content marketing strategy for your organization, where do webinars fit into the mix? Join experts from Kapost, Vidyard, and ReadyTalk to learn:

 

  • Why content marketing is important to modern marketers
  • What types of content work best at each stage of the funnel
  • How to tailor your webinar content to persona and stage in the buying process
  • Tips on designing your webinar content with reuse in mind
  • Creative ideas for repurposing your webinar for ongoing content marketing
  • How to drive ROI from your webinar recording long after the follow-up email
  • Ways to leverage webinar and recording data in Eloqua

 

Speakers:

Toby Murdock, Co-Founder and CEO, Kapost

Ian Hutchinson, Video Marketing Specialist, Vidyard

Anita Wehnert, Director of Product Strategy, ReadyTalk


Date: Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Time: 11:00am Pacific/2:00pm Eastern


Register: http://meet.readytalk.com/LP=312?elqCampaignId=467&RTOffer=topliners

Polling questions are a great way to keep your audience engaged during a live webinar. However, if you ask the right questions, polls also provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about prospects in a non-intrusive way. And, when you capture this valuable data in Eloqua, it can be used for lead scoring, nurturing, and tailored follow-up.

 

I’ll use ReadyTalk as an example to show you the power of using polling data in your next Eloqua webinar program …

 

Ask the Right Questions

At ReadyTalk, we provide audio and web conferencing services. We conduct frequent webinars to generate and nurture leads. Two polling questions that we commonly ask during online events are:

 

  1. What are the biggest challenges you are facing with your webinar programs?
  2. How do you use audio and web conferencing in your business?

 

The first question helps us understand the prospect’s top of mind issues and pain points. We provide this data to our sales team so they can tailor their approach and have a relevant conversation with the prospect during follow-up after the live event.

 

The second question allows us to pinpoint the use case(s) of the prospect’s organization. Are they using conferencing for lead generation webinars only? Or do they also use it for sales demos, online training, or collaborative meetings? We use this data to inform the sales team as well, but we also use it to drop prospects into different nurture tracks based on use case. Here’s how …

 

Get the Data into Eloqua

The ReadyTalk app on AppCloud allows you to instantly capture webinar attendance and interactivity data in Eloqua, including each individual’s specific responses to polling questions asked during the event.

 

To automatically record polling responses in Eloqua:

 

1. Add the ReadyTalk Post-Event Connector to the post-event portion of your Eloqua webinar program:

poll post-event.jpg

 

2. Create fields on your webinar data card to house each polling question and answer:

poll 2.JPG

3. Set up the ReadyTalk Post-Event Connector to point to the appropriate webinar and then map each polling question and response to the appropriate field on the data card:

poll mapping.jpg

 

Make the Most of Polling Data

Once you have your polling data in Eloqua, the possibilities are endless. You can do things like:

 

  1. Increment a prospect’s lead score based on how they answered a question
  2. Route prospects who indicated they were interested in a demo to sales for immediate follow-up
  3. Tailor messaging in the follow-up email based on the prospect’s pain point
  4. Drop prospects into different Eloqua nurture tracks depending on their response

 

At ReadyTalk, we segment prospects into different nurture tracks based on their response to the polling question about how they use conferencing in their business. For example, those who indicated they use conferencing for online training are placed in the “Training” program, those who selected lead generation webinars are placed in the “Marketing” program, etc.

poll nurturing.JPG

 

Hopefully, this article has sparked some ideas about how you can get more out of your next webinar by leveraging polling data in Eloqua!

We had a great webinar today where jomoon from Eloqua, 1121730 from Compendium, and Mike McKinnon from ReadyTalk shared 10 tips for taking your Eloqua webinar programs to the next level in 2013. In case you missed it, here is a recap of some of the top tips from the event. Want all of the details? You can view a playback of the full webinar here. I have also attached a snapshot of a sample Eloqua webinar program.

 

Tip #3: Leverage Social at Every Stage

Adding social to the mix throughout your webinar can make a real difference in results. Extend your reach by encouraging your audience to share the event with their network. One of our customers increased registration numbers by 111%, blew away their registration record by a whopping 246 people, and nearly doubled their attendance numbers simply by adding social sharing buttons to their webinar landing page and emails.

 

eloqua_social.png

Here are a few other ideas for weaving social into your next online event:

  • Increase landing page conversions by offering a social sign-on option for registrants
  • Encourage audience engagement by creating a hashtag for the event, including it on every slide, and asking people to join the conversation on Twitter
  • Make it easy for your audience to share your message by including easily tweet-able statements that concisely communicate key points on each slide
  • Reach a broader audience with your recording by posting it to your blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter after the live event

 

Tip #4: Make “Add to Calendar” Easy

To increase attendance rates as your webinars, be sure to include an ICS file with all of the information people need to join the meeting (including their unique “join meeting” link)  in the confirmation and reminder emails you send from Eloqua. This makes it easy for registrants to add the webinar to their calendar so they don’t forget to attend and very simple for them to join the event with the click of a link in the calendar item. When Compendium started doing this for their webinars using the ReadyTalk Cloud Connectors, they saw a 15% uptick in attendance rates. Pretty impressive results!

 

eloqua_ics.JPG

 

Tip #7: Use Polls to Capture Qualifying Data

Polls are definitely a great technique for keeping your audience’s attention during a webinar, but they also provide an opportunity to learn more about them to help in the selling process. Ask the right polling questions during your webinar and then pull each prospect’s responses into Eloqua to drive lead scoring, segmentation into different nurture tracks, follow-up workflows, etc. For example, at ReadyTalk, we may ask people how they are using web conferencing in their business and then segment people into sales demo, online training, and marketing webinar nurturing programs based on their response.

eloqua_poll.png

 

Tip #8: Make the Most of the Recording

Creating compelling content for a live webinar takes a lot of time and energy. Extend the life of this content by making the most of your webinar recording. Just last week, ReadyTalk released a major upgrade to our integration with Eloqua. This new version makes it easy to create a unique playback URL for each Eloqua Contact, include it in webinar follow-up emails sent from Eloqua, and capture data on how long that person watched your recording. You can also use the integration to run standalone Eloqua programs to promote your on-demand webinar content.

 

Tip #9: Go Beyond “Thanks” and “Sorry” for Follow-Up

Using Eloqua for post-webinar follow-up opens up a world of possibilities beyond the standard “thanks for attending” and “sorry we missed you” emails that most marketers send today.r

 

Here are a few ideas for more sophisticated follow-up options:

• Use attendance duration data to trigger more tailored follow-up emails based on how long each prospect attended the event.

• Segment prospects into different nurturing tracks based on their response to a specific polling question about their top of mind issues.

• Increment each prospect’s lead score based on how long they viewed the webinar recording.

 

eloqua_followup.JPG

 

Now that you’ve seen some of the tips from Jody, Kaila, and Mike, what would you add to the list?

While hosting a live webinar is valuable in and of itself, the recording of that webinar provides an awesome opportunity to continue to drive value after the live event. Including a link to the webinar recording in follow-up emails to attendees and no-shows is standard practice and many marketers are starting to use webinar recordings as assets in their content marketing efforts.

 

Whether you use the recording in the post-event portion of your Eloqua webinar program or market an on-demand webinar as part of a standalone program, how long a prospect viewed your recording is a key indicator of engagement. And, capturing this data in Eloqua opens up a wealth of opportunities for lead scoring, audience segmentation, sales hand-off, and more.

 

With that in mind, ReadyTalk is excited to announce version 3 of ReadyTalk for Eloqua – our free AppCloud app. In addition to instantly updating Eloqua with webinar registration, attendance, and polling data, this new version allows you to automatically capture how long a prospect watched your webinar recording.

 

Now that this important data is in Eloqua, the possibilities are endless. You can increment a Contact’s lead score based on viewing time. For instance, add 1 point if they watched a recording for less than 5 minutes, 5 points for 5 to 30 minutes, or and 15 points for longer than 30 minutes. And, if they watched the entire recording, you may consider them sales-ready and route them to a rep for immediate outreach.

 

Here's a brief introduction to help you get started with the latest ReadyTalk Connectors.

 

Follow-Up after the Live Event

For a live webinar, building this functionality into your Eloqua program is easy:

 

  1. Add the new ReadyTalk Recording Registration Connector into the post-event workflow before the steps containing your follow-up emails.
  2. The Connector will create a unique playback link for each Contact in your Eloqua program and capture it on the webinar data card.
  3. Then, simply pull this field into your “thank you” and “sorry we missed you” emails sent from Eloqua.

post-event.JPG

The new ReadyTalk Post-Recording Connector runs in the background to check for views and updates the webinar data card with playback date and time plus the number of minutes viewed.

recording_data_card.JPG

On-Demand Recording Promotion

You can also create an Eloqua program specifically designed to promote a webinar recording that prospects can view at any time:

 

  1. Create a new Eloqua program and an on-demand webinar data card.
  2. Include the new ReadyTalk Recording Registration Connector at the top of your program.
  3. The Connector will create a unique playback link for each Contact in your Eloqua program and capture it on the on-demand webinar data card.
  4. Then, simply pull this field into an email inviting each prospect to view your on-demand webinar.

 

As with the live webinar scenario, the new ReadyTalk Post-Recording Connector runs in the background to check for views and updates the on-demand webinar data card with playback date and time plus the number of minutes viewed. In addition to the Recording Registration and Post-Recording Connectors, the new ReadyTalk Recording Feeder can be enabled to constantly check recordings on a specific ReadyTalk access code for new playback information to import. The Recording Feeder creates new Eloqua Data Cards for viewers with an email address that match an existing Eloqua Contact record.

 

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about our webinar platform and our integration with Eloqua, we would be happy to schedule a demo tailored to meet your needs. You can also view a brief recorded demo, access an in-depth Getting Started Guide, install the app, and more from our AppCloud listing. Finally, we are hosting a webinar featuring experts from Eloqua, ReadyTalk, and Compendium sharing 10 tips for taking your Eloqua webinar programs to the next level. Register to join us on 12/5.

This article covers how to install and configure the ReadyTalk Connectors so you can automatically capture webinar registration, attendance, and interactivity data in Eloqua. Because ReadyTalk is continually working with Couch & Associates to enhance our integration with Eloqua, this post covers the basics you need to get started. You can find the latest version of our comprehensive Getting Started Guide on our AppCloud listing.

 

Overview of the ReadyTalk Connectors

ReadyTalk currently provides three Connectors:

  1. ReadyTalk Registration Connector - Use this Connector when you want to collect webinar registrations through Eloqua and get a unique “Join Meeting” link for each registrant.
  2. ReadyTalk Post-Event Connector - Use this Connector to automatically capture webinar attendance and interactivity data in Eloqua for existing Eloqua Contacts.
  3. ReadyTalk Contact Feeder – Use this Feeder to create new Eloqua Contacts for attendees with an email address that does not match an existing Eloqua Contact record.

 

The first two are Cloud Connectors, which are used within Eloqua Campaigns, and the last is a standalone Cloud Feeder, which automatically creates new Contact records in Eloqua.

 

Step 1: Sign-Up for Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk

To get started with the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk, go to the ReadyTalk AppCloud listing  and click the green “Get App” button:

topliners_post_1.png

 

This will take you to the Couch & Associates sign-up page for the ReadyTalk Connectors:

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Fill in the required information to request access to the ReadyTalk Connectors. You will need your Eloqua Instance Name, Eloqua User Name, and Eloqua User Password. An account creation email with a temporary password will be sent. Follow the instructions to log-in to the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk administration site:

topliners_post_3.png

 

This is the full web portal for administration of all of your Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk, which provides access to full reporting capabilities for each connector as well as the ability to test and set notifications for the connectors.

 

Step 2: Configure the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk

In order to use the ReadyTalk Connectors, you must make some configuration changes in your Eloqua instance. Note: you will need to have appropriate administration permissions in Eloqua for this step.

 

At the top of the Eloqua screen, click on Setup, then click Cloud Connector under the Database section. Add the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk using the following values:

 

ReadyTalk Registration Connector

 

ReadyTalk Post-Event Connector

 

Note:You do not need to add the ReadyTalk Contact Feeder into your Eloqua instance. This Connector can be created and configured using the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk administration portal. It will automatically run in the background to pull in new Eloqua Contacts.

 

Step 3: Use the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for Eloqua

In this section, we will detail how to set-up the ReadyTalk Registration Cloud Connector. Instructions for setting up the other ReadyTalk Connectors can be found in the full Getting Started Guide, which is available from our AppCloud listing.

 

ReadyTalk Registration Cloud Connector

When a prospect completes the Eloqua registration form, this Connector passes their First Name, Last Name, Email Address, and additional optional fields to ReadyTalk to register them for the event. ReadyTalk passes back meeting details and a unique “Join Meeting” link for that registrant.

 

Within the Eloqua Campaign, drag the “Send to Cloud Connector” action onto the Campaign. Double click on the step and from the drop down select the ReadyTalk Registration Connector and click the Configure button. You will be prompted for your username and passcode that you set up for the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk administration portal.

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First, you must connect Eloqua to ReadyTalk using the log-in credentials for the ReadyTalk account under which the webinar is scheduled:

  • Enter your ReadyTalk on-demand toll-free number (for most, this is 8667401260)
  • Enter your ReadyTalk Access Code
  • Enter your ReadyTalk Password

 

Once you enter these credentials and clicked Save Credentials, then select Advanced Setup from the drop down field in the upper left-hand corner.

 

In the Required Input tab, map the Eloqua fields that will be used for Email Address, First Name, and Last Name.

 

The ReadyTalk Meeting drop-down list will be populated with upcoming events scheduled on this ReadyTalk account. Select the webinar you wish to map for this campaign from the drop-down list.

 

You must specify which system you wish to use to send confirmation emails in the Confirmation Email Sent By field:

  • If you would like to send confirmation emails from Eloqua, select “Eloqua”
  • If you would like to send confirmation emails from ReadyTalk, select “ReadyTalk”

 

Click Save Inputs and then select the Optional Input tab. Configure any of the optional input fields to use Eloqua data.

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When complete select the Required Output tab.

 

Configure which Eloqua fields will be used to store the returned Meeting ID and Registration ID. The selections must either both be Contact fields or fields from the same Data Card.

 

Click Save Outputs and then select the Optional Output tab.

 

Configure which Eloqua fields will be used to store the meeting details that are returned from the registration, including the unique “Join Meeting” link and ICS file for each registrant. If you selected Data Card fields to store the Meeting ID and Registration ID, that Data Card’s fields will be available in this screen. You can always select Contact fields.

topliners_post_6.png

 

These fields can be used to populate Eloqua email templates with meeting information passed in from ReadyTalk.

 

When complete click on the stoplight image in the upper right-hand corner and select Enable Connector to activate the connector. The connector will begin processing registrations when the Eloqua Campaign is activated.

 

More Information

For detailed instructions on how to set-up the other ReadyTalk Connectors as well as best practices and tips for making the most of your webinar program, download the complete Getting Started Guide from the ReadyTalk AppCloud listing.


To learn more about ReadyTalk and our integration with Eloqua, contact sales@readytalk.com.

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