Welcome back folks.
It's been a while here, but we're back on backstage with Z with a brand new episode for you.
And today's episode is going to be all about B to B webinars.
Now, webinars have evolved over the recent few years.
I mean, initially there used to be just another brand building exercise, but as even marketers saw more potential in webinars, it evolved into a demand generation powerhouse.
And it's something that even marketers should leverage now to find out how even marketers can do that.
We recently spoke to RC, who is the event marketer for Sprinto and has been getting their webinar game.
And we thought it would be just great for us to get some exclusive scoop on how they're doing it.
So without further ado, let me take you to the conversation that artist she had with Kate and pundit, our head of marketing in our recent webinar.
So my question is that you guys do a lot of webinars and you do them really, really well.
So as, as a as a channel, right?
What, what do you think and what have you seen in the last year and a half that you've been running them.
So see, like the, the fact of the matter is that webinars are a source of conveniently reaching out to people, like, right, like it's everyone knows that the best way to connect with someone is in person and that's valid.
But if you're not able to, the next best option, which is to focus on the convenience aspect of it just to focus on the fact that you don't have to move or make those table plans in order to learn or in order to be in, in, in, in presence of your, in the presence of your target audience is the best option that you can go for, especially if you're looking to be scrappy and you don't have monumental budgets, webinars would be are an extremely efficient way of being in front of your target audience.
And you know, it's, it's always like a AAA great way for us to, for us to also get in touch and not just that scale it.
Like we can do, we can do five webinars a month, we can do three or we can just stick to one great webinar a month.
It's, it's, it's literally like we get to control it.
And I think that's something that's also that also helps us to fast make some fast decisions, it affecting without it involving too many stakeholders, I would say.
All right, So do you still think and, and, you know, things are moving so fast in our space.
Do you think webinars continue to be a very effective channel to reach out to the IC P or the ideal custom profile that you, I mean, it's, it's a, it's an important channel that's for sure.
Like it, it, it can't be ignored, you know, there, there was a boom during the pandemic but it's not like, yeah, post pandemic, we can just forget about it because it's itself time and again, to be an extremely effective way to, to be in front of a target audience and to speak what you want to speak in front of the target audience, right?
Like it's like it's like saying, would you watch a live play or watch a TV show?
Yeah, is a good experience.
But if the TV show is convenient, it's in front of you, it's easy to watch it, right?
So, so just doubling down on what you said there, it's an effective way, right?
So how, how do you define that effectiveness?
So there are multiple ways to do it like, OK, like for example, if I, if I look at a particular webinar topic, I first think of the objectives that I want to get out of this webinar and that can be many things that can be that I want to teach my target audience about my product or I want to talk to my target audience about a recent industry changing thing that's come up.
Now, how well is this webinar helping me communicate that message?
And what to, what level of depth am I able to effectively do in this, in this duration of that webinar?
So I I as my target audience going from zero to at least two if not 10 after after listening to my webinar, like, do they know a little bit more than what they used to know before?
That's how I look at it because my objective, so webinars have for knowledge sharing, either about spirit or knowledge sharing about what's happening in the industry.
So like do they know more than what they were doing before?
And it, that's, that's yes, then that's an effective one for me.
Of course, the law is a format and what happens and what that 40 30 40 minutes is there.
That's, that's we can talk about it.
That's my, that's my goal.
Of course, I mean, that's the intention with which we started event heroes, right?
The whole idea is to not take too much time, but at the same time, be a channel that can be easily accessed, be convenient to attend from anywhere and make you a better person or a better professional by the end of it, right?
So different different industries I would say tend to look at webinars different they have different goals from their webinars, right?
So for us is education and reaching out to the IC P is getting people like you to come and talk about what works, what doesn't work.
And we've seen this channel grow over the past six months.
We've been seeing a tremendous growth, tremendous traction and people do refer to it in conversations, hey, I listened to that episode, that expert was bang on.
You know, he didn't agree with your point of view.
You, you see all kinds, but we have seen that it is a much more real experience of an individual's experience with your brand, right?
So you get immediate feedback or, you know, it's, it's, it's just like an email you, if somebody responds to your email, you know, immediately if they're interested or not.
Have you seen something similar with the, the, the program for the past year and a half at sprinter?
So we, we, we started off like, so in the, in the beginning when we were trying to see if webinars was like a scalable channel for us, we kept like very bad structure.
We were like, we want to judge it by the registration was attended ratio.
Then it slowly evolved into a set was a 10 plus.
how many questions are we getting?
How many polls are we generating?
And what's the, what's the response for the polls and these were like very good sound boards for us to understand how much a person resonates with the topic because I might say that, hey, this is super important.
I do want to talk about it like this is all we have to talk about.
But if the, if my IC P doesn't agree, then this, there's no better feedback loop for me than to have this kind of a webinar where they hear someone, see someone speak about it and then they're like, yeah, this for me and I know it and I know it immediately if I send a, if I send an email where I can, I can write a beautifully drafted email with like rolling like a, like an informative ebook or I can talk about like this is our report, read the report.
I don't even know if they read it, but I know if they're watching, I know if they're seeing it and I'll know that they're responding and if they're leaving, I'm like, OK, this is why we lost this.
This is where it no longer made.
Like they didn't, they didn't feel I know it.
So I think this, this is like hands down the best way to actually realize or understand what your target audience is.
And, and just looking at the difference between webinars in 2022 and webinars in 2023 and whatever you've had, do you see a difference in that period.
Do you think people are, now that in person events are back with the bank, do you think people are less inclined to attend webinars?
Actually, for us, it's been the opposite.
Like our 20 rate has increased in 23 compared to 2020.
And I mean that, that it can be both, right?
Like we are in the of hybrid events which I know that even us, but like, you know, in person event is back but like how, how ready are people to constantly be out there at work after two years of just working from home?
That's like it's again debatable, but they're not like, oh yeah, I've been socializing for five days.
I'm not gonna go do another event and like socialize there as well.
That is not.
but this is still convenient.
This is still like, I just have to watch this webinar.
I will learn, I will know what's there.
I have to like change get into the mindset.
Isn't there like we said one hour but it's like three hours, right?
One hour before you think.
Oh God, there's an event like, oh, I talked to so many people like extra baggage but like events, virtual events, you just go, you attend you out.
II I absolutely agree with you.
I mean, we have seen that happen too.
and, and going into H two, you know, we're just at the end of the first half of the year.
What are you seeing?
What is your plans of ramping up?
Are you ramping them up?
Are you scaling them down?
Are you keeping them same at sprin ramping and ramping them up?
But consciously, like, you know, we are still there is, there is a, there's a certain level of, I would say, like screen time fatigue that's there.
Like I would even just call it webinar fatigue.
People are working from home having zoom calls for like 10, 12 hours a day.
And like I we have to remain of it and also we have also remain cognizant of the fact that your target audience can't constantly keep receiving emails from you saying now you watch one event, great.
Now come to the next event.
So there needs to be the delicate balances, how much activity is too much activity.
So we are, we are finding that balance.
I would say we are scaling it up but like a little bit just to test out the waters.
So this is a sorry, sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt.
It's mostly business as usual but like scaling a little bit to see like running accelerated experience to see like does that work if that works?
Then you we, we get it.
So, so do you see a lot of other organizations also scaling up on webinars?
What are you seeing peers and friends and colleagues.
Yeah, I mean, I, I'm seeing a little more virtual activity, like people are trying to retain like like build, build, build brands, like across virtual programs.
Like they're trying to do that.
Like they are trying to build up properties or like virtual properties, which is great, which is, which is wonderful because when you're SRO on linkedin, that's the, that's the thing you see, you would see that someone hosted in person, which is awesome.
But like you would see this in a more constant manner and you can, you can tone up to down how much you want.
So I do, I do see a lot, especially in the security space because knowledge is a, is a big currency like the security leaders want to know more about what's happening and they find it through these webinars.
And, and like medicine, the space is also evolving so fast.
There are different types of threats every hour, right?
So there is no choice but to kind of stay on top of the game at every, every day, every hour or whatever, however you put it, right?
But that brings me to this question that, you know, at printer, how are you thinking about your webinar program?
A lot of people start with a lot of fanfare, but eventually it kind of dwindles because probably they don't have in place.
How are you, how did you start with your program?
And you know, how did you progress?
How do you think about it now?
So this was, this was from my head of marketing.
So he would be he props to him for saying it because it just start small, get easy when once you get easy, when you will know, you will get the confidence to try out other stuff, right?
Like we looked at the in the beginning as like very straightforward stuff.
Like we have something to say, let's say, let's do like a small pitch in the end and then we'll do the, we'll do a and stuff.
But I was quite you know, the adamant on the fact that the majority aspect of the webinar cannot be a sales, at least in the beginning, it cannot just be like, here's 45 reasons why you should choose crypto that would work there.
There'll be very of us.
You have to give them information that they didn't have or you have to show them something that they haven't seen.
And then maybe like, if you feel like exploring Expo, so that was my initial blueprint that I had for our webinars.
And it's largely, I mean, it's, it's surprisingly largely remain the same because the psychology of it is that people don't want to be sold to the first time they see you.
But other, the aspects of like, how do I format the webinars, all of that has changed.
Like I got was that, you know, if you have a webinar for 45 minutes, you're gonna get a calendar invite, which looks like it's for an hour.
Now, think of like if you have a meeting where there's an R block, you're like, oh God, that's a whole r you have to sit.
So we, we started experimenting with like 30 minute short form content.
30 minutes, you come, you learn, you go and you, you get questions answered.
Everything is like, so the, the four questions that we talk also are like in depth questions.
So we are like we take one tactical problem, we like attack it properly or four questions.
You will learn something out of that.
Like you'll get something out of it, ask your questions and you're gone.
So you, your meeting block is also only for half an hour.
This is something that works really well for us, especially in terms of a 10 day because people are like 30 minutes a day.
So that's an understanding that came to us after we continuously every, we used to do three webinars a month, four webinars a month to get.
What's the frequency?
What's actually working?
What's the, what's the title that works?
What's speaking their attention?
And now we, we, we like kind of have a decent understanding of OK, if we do this, this will work.
So, but that comes from constantly experimenting of course, of course.
And that's why we also run event heroes for 30 minutes because in the age of Instagram stories and youtube shots, the attention span and the willingness of people to sit through something has kind of dwindled.
So we're, we're playing to the audience.
And you're not competing with other webinars, you're competing with Netflix Crime and all of this stuff.
So it's, you have to keep that in mind.
It needs to be like a TV show.
That's, that's one very, very strong takeaway already for me from this conversation.
How, how do you go about planning this?
So you started with four hours a week.
That has to be too much.
I mean, how do you manage?
And what are you doing now?
So it's for that a month, a week.
I would Yeah, sorry, my bad, I would have been like, I can't go.
Yeah, it was.
So we had a month where it was four webinars, but we usually were like a month.
We tried that to see.
Well, the management of that was difficult because like we, I I was more like it was more from an execution.
We were trying to get execution, best practices.
So in that way, we were like, OK, if we do these three, how, how far in advance should we plan?
And currently to answer a question, we plan a quarter in advance.
So we do it quarterly just so that our, our planning isn't so dated that we are not able to adapt to any feedback.
But just enough that we can get the right speakers plan out the email campaign and everything in like a decent But actually doing that many webinars a month, has us the confidence that, you know, if you give me two weeks notice, I can run the show or you give me like 10 days notice.
I know I can get this many people because I know these are the levels I have to touch.
These are the channels I have to go after.
So I think I know how to do it.
I mean, I can't guarantee that you will be a hit for short because everything works out.
But like I have an understanding of what it takes to like that happens because you keep learning from doing so many, so many of these events.
But yeah, in advance looks like a good idea and have a bird's eye view of everything that's happening at least for the next 6 to 9 months to give you that.
So like with, with, with security, right?
Like I know that in the next 6 to 9 months, there are some checkpoints where some big events are happening.
So during that time, maybe I'll, I'll like say that maybe I'll do something around like attending this event here here are like some other things that you have to, yeah, all of these topical stuff that I can just squeeze in between my usual schedule programming.
So I just keep those ad hoc things, things in mind so that I'm not just stuck to.
This is what?
And I mean, a lot of people kind of don't look at that and they schedule a webinar and I've been guilty of doing that when it's a holiday and I'm like, oops, it's too late for me to back out.
I didn't know that.
And yeah, obviously it crashed.
But you know, it's a less that I have learned.
And yeah, I, I keep at least a supporters perspective and view and, you know, I make sure that a couple of people see it because I'm so blinded with my project that I might just miss it.
So it just doesn't hurt to get a couple of colleagues and devils advocate on board and, and what channels work for you.
So far, what have, what channels have worked.
So we, we are doing it this way.
We're taking three channels that are really good and then we are taking one experimental channel that will two quarters.
So three channels that I worked have been organic social or paid social is not working linked and then like emails and then communities.
So sharing, engaging in communities are linked in groups, slag groups, all of that has been a surprisingly good experiment for us because I was a little reticent about it because engagement in these communities of like 2030 K people is very low.
But like how do you work around the messaging to catch their attention at what time to do?
So that was like a like a experiment that we tried.
So these three are like bankable channels.
And now like one more that we take up would probably like this.
Like from next quarter, we are planning to take one more experiment of channel, which is we're trying to, we're trying to probably I have to check because we're still thinking of what to do, but like one experiment will cover.
So these three channels now our next step is our current share is like, you know, it's like 50% email, 30% organic 20% community.
We are now trying to reduce the dependency on email.
So how do we tweet the ratio?
That's the next step?
And once a month is your sweet spot.
for events, I think twice, twice a month is good, like do one top of the final event and then do one double, right?
Yeah, that makes sense.
So going back to a lot of the something that we were discussing earlier, right?
That a lot of people get started with a lot of fanfare, but they don't see the results in your experience because you've been doing this for such a long time.
What are the, some of the most common mistakes that people make when they're either building a webinar program, a strategy or executing it?
I think, like, basically thinking too much about the production aspect of it, which is like, you know, we will, we will bring in a live musician.
I have done this too.
So I thought of doing an initial, like a master class last year where I was like, you know, we'll have these breaks during those breaks.
We'll bring these people, we'll do like a stand up, we'll make sure that the is there and all.
But like, I just realized when, when you're like executing it, it's like an unnecessary headache you're having on yourself.
Of course, that's too much.
You already have so much to do, buy that extra stuff.
So thinking like, you know, I will make the best happen.
It is difficult because the only thing you can bank on is bringing good speakers, having a great and like keeping the format being, being aware that, you know, people's fineness is precious.
So you have to wrap it up quickly.
That's the only three things that I learned.
But like before I was like, no, I'll do this and then I will like, give everyone coffee.
I will like send them these things during this particular time.
I have too much over thinking like what an event should be.
I think that's something that I learned not to do.
But in context of webinars, right.
So, because you only have 30 minutes and you want everything to be perfect.
I think a lot of, a lot of us and I have been guilty of this, want to make sure that everything runs perfectly.
Which is, but natural, but that operational overhead of getting things to work properly, kind of eats into the time that you would have spent maybe connecting with the speaker or getting, you know, getting in touch with the audience.
Have you seen this happen very frequently?
I mean, I've done that too.
I'll be like, I'll be like thinking, you know, oh God.
Oh, like are people there?
Is my speaker there?
Is the speaker you know, interested in talking?
Are they like a good, like you, you think of so much of the nitty gritties that you forget to actually humanize the event where you're like people talking and it's like, it's people sharing information, you have to remember that.
So I, I even think that like if there's some, some that happens in, there was like one webinar I attended where the dog came in, like someone's dog came in as well.
It was like, it was so cute.
I'm like, yeah, I like it.
Like it shows that people are human on the other side.
There's something that's not all produced.
So that was nice.
Like I quite like that.
I quite like some imperfection in.
So, yeah, that's very interesting.
You say that, right.
Because we are so busy making things perfect that we, we, we forget that.
Oh, this is, you know, it's a conversation that you're having and kids will walk in, somebody will go in the background.
I will go off.
The dogs might just come and sit on your lap and, you know, there's nothing you can do about it.
So there's no point fretting much as I, I mean, they would love to, as marketers have like control over everything.
You can't just have to just get into it and be like, just, just show us good time that you're having people will, will get to it even with outreach and stuff.
That's how you do it when you personalize it to make it look like a human.
Why can't we do that for events?
Yeah, I mean, eventually people buy from people.
So, how, how do you go about thinking about, say a topic?
So you've got a quarter in advance or maybe now we're at the end of quarter two, you probably have your calendar for quarter, three, sorted, right?
how do you go about thinking about topics?
Where are these topics coming from?
, it's a lot of research.
basically one I look at like all of these industry, credible sources, communities, like recognized communities which security leaders look at.
Number two existing customers analyze the calls that they have with the CXT, see what exact problem that they are having.
Like we always go you know, we have like a bird's eye view of what are, what problem are our solution is solving.
But when we, when we see the other seven customers are using a product, they'll know an even better, we'll have like an even better understanding of this is what we are doing.
Got you like that customer.
And number three is you know, like analyzing pure, analyzing content.
What are they doing?
Read their blogs and like, I just like, look at what they're doing.
Some of them is really good.
So I'm like, yeah, that's, that's a nice thing I think.