Friday, January 27, 2017

Don't Have A Webinar if You Have Nothing to Say

I sat through a 17-minute webinar last week. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of presentations that are brief-and-to-the-point. 

This was more like a fluffmercial. Please, don't be that guy. 

I'm going out on a limb here to say that webinars are gonna be huge (HUGE) in 2017. There are oodles of video tools to make webinars fast, cheap, and fairly good-looking. We're accustomed to watching videos to learn how to do almost anything. 

If you're reading about marketing trends (especially while drinking KoolAid) then you know hosting a webinar is on the top of the list of cool, must-do marketing tasks for 2017. They're also practical, and not complicated. You create helpful content - or reuse what you already have - wrap it up in a nice audio/visual package, and smile as you collect information on all the prospects who sign up to see your presentation. 

It's practically perfect - assuming your presentation is worth the audience's time. 

Make Your Webinar Better Than That

The mercifully brief webinar I watched last week wasn't worth my time, and I suspect most of the audience could say the same.

Here are the top 3 things that were wrong with it: 

1. The headline promised a whole lot more than the webinar delivered. In fact, the headline was almost as informative as the rest of the webinar! Grrrr. (This is how people get jaded, btw.) 
2. The last minute of the webinar focused on signing up listeners for the next webinar. I did the math: that's nearly 6% of the content worthwhile only to the company that produced it. And, I'm betting, it wasn't effective. #LoseLose
3. The way-too-general, way-too-brief presentation gave me the impression the company is absolutely NOT an expert in its industry, ergo, I am much less likely to do business with the company now than I was before I attended the webinar. I think we can safely call that an "unintended consequence." #oops

So the Point Is: Say Something Useful

Content Marketing is a great idea if you actually have content, that is, something to say that is useful to your audience (prospects). Whether it's a white paper, webinar, email campaign, brochure (remember those?) or website, your content needs a purpose. 

'Nuff said. 
Looking for a jaded marketing consultant to help you hone your message, look like an expert, and get your useful content to the right audience? Here I am

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Excellent Example: Content You Can Use from MailChimp

Kudos to MailChimp for sharing a LOT of helpful data that allows companies to realistically evaluate their email marketing results - whether they are MailChimp customers or not.

Is It About Time You Tried Email Marketing? 

The piece I'm referring to includes bounce and open rates for several dozen industries (most of which, I'm guessing, are of the B2C variety). What's more, MailChimp sorts the stats by company size and industry AND offers tips to improve your email marketing program, from message creation to timing. 

Honestly, most white papers aren't this informative, and this piece is not gated in any way - it's available to view without coughing up so much as your email address. Nice. 

By the way, it's current - the company's benchmarks were compiled in 2016 and updated in January 2017.

What Makes This an Excellent Example of Marketing Content? 

This is an excellent example because good content educates prospects -- as this does -- without a hard sales pitch. At least in the middle of the sales cycle. 

Of course a sales pitch - even a strong one - can qualify as great content, but it's all about timing. The pitch usually comes at the end of the sales cycle, or up front for a different type of product. More on that in another post. Right now it's time for us to both make good on those plans to make better use of email marketing in 2017. 

New to email marketing and still learning the lingo? More help from those content-marketing monkeys: Soft vs. Hard Bounces and what it all means. 

Not doing email marketing yet, but think it's time to start? I can help.