Five Webinar Trends to Boost Customer Centricity in 2018


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I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing holiday season and are getting back into the swing of things at work (I know it’s taking me some time).

Since it’s the beginning of the new year, and since we just produced a webinar on the subject, I figured it’s a worthwhile endeavor to take a quick look at what I think 2018 will have in store for webinars (hint: a lot of great developments).

But, before we get into it, I wanted to let you know our annual conference, Webinar World, is right around the corner! We’re hosting our second conference from March 5-7 at the Westin Saint Francis in downtown San Francisco. It’ll be here sooner than you realize, so head on over to our landing page to learn about who’ll be speaking (including yours truly) and to book your tickets. Can’t wait to see you there!

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what’s in store for webinars in 2018:

Webinar success will be judged on lead quality
The original lead process for webinars was simple: collect as many names as possible and reach out for more. Effective, but this method is burdensome on SDRs. Marketers are going to have to use the engagement metrics to identify better leads for sales and conversions in 2018. This shouldn’t be too difficult, especially when paired with evaluation models, personas and easily accessible conversion forms. Identifying and targeting the low-hanging fruits should be simple.

Emerging marketing technologies will enhance webinar success
There are a lot of MarTech solutions out there and few ways to get them to talk to one-another. In fact, a lot of marketers think of MarTech as independent spheres; They’re kinda related, but don’t always work with each other in mind. Webinars in 2018 will change that equation. Webinars can unite a great deal of MarTech capabilities around the webinar. For example, marketers can use predictive analytics to drive additional attendees or inform you of which nurture stream an attendee should be guided towards while they’re actively participating in a webinar. Expect to see a boost in trying different technologies and methods to the content around webinars.

Webinars will go Netflix
The best thing about Netflix is how easy it is to binge on. Webinars should be no different with on-demand libraries. This great customer-centric approach to share content with an audience on the audience’s terms. Better yet, just like Netflix, webinars and related content can easily be sorted by topic and skill level, letting viewers sit back, relax and enjoy the webinars they want to consume in one sitting without the need to constantly search for relevant broadcasts. Think “webinars and binge” in 2018.

Demo webinars will replace static demos
The experience marketers deliver at the bottom of the funnel must change. Canned, static demos aren’t going to be enough to get people over the finish line — it’s too passive! Instead, marketers will need to deploy a dynamic, interactive medium to capture attention and showcase their product. Webinars in 2018 can do just this. In fact, they can not only demonstrate how customers use a product, but respond to questions in on the fly. It’s time for demos that show, don’t tell.

Webinars will drive ABM success
ABM goes off the rails towards the end of the process, where campaigns need to deliver actual engagement. Landing pages don’t deliver like they used to, but webinars — oh boy. They may not look like it, but webinars are great tools for account-based marketing. They’re easy-to-scale, easy-to-adapt and can be used in highly-interactive and highly-targeted presentations. Done well, they’ll can drive prospects to specific locations. It’s a great way to bring together the prospects and the content they’re interested in one place.

Now, of course, these are only predictions. We’re going to have to wait a whole year to see what’s right and what’s a little off-base. If you have any predictions, sound-out in the comments below or tweet at us at @ON24 on Twitter. Or , even better, join us at Webinar World 2018, where we’ll discuss how to develop and deliver world-class webinars.

Mark Bornstein
As Vice President of Content Marketing for ON24, Mark manages content strategy and marketing communications in support of webcasting and virtual event solutions. Mark brings over 20 years of content marketing, account management and communications experience with leading technology firms, including: Cisco, GE Access and Compatible Systems.


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