Webinars have come a long way in the last ten years. Once an afterthought for many marketers, webinar technology has since become a central engine for many companies' marketing stack.
The reason is two-fold. For one, key technologies underpinning webinar platforms have seen massive innovation and improvement. At the same time, the way consumers make purchasing decisions has also evolved. Buyers no longer enter the funnel uninformed -- more often than not, today's buyers self-educate online before making first contact.
For companies of all sizes, the convergence of these two trends has made webinars more important to their marketing efforts than ever before.
Take Microsoft, for instance. Looking to accelerate growth for its enterprise cloud computing platform, Azure, the company was struggling to to close deals due to loosely coupled funnels. Microsoft realized it needed a major overhaul. In adopting a webinar-first strategy, they were able to scale demand generation programs, directly engage their prospects, and gather actionable data to drive pipeline. The company also found that 7% of their webinar attendees became loyal customers, which signaled a breakthrough. Salesforce and IBM followed similar paths.
As more and more companies embrace webinars as the future of engagement-based marketing, there's one question we keep hearing time and time again: "Where are all the conferences and the industry community around this?"
With the millions of conferences today -- from demand gen to marketing automation to content -- it's a small wonder there aren't any webinar marketing conferences on the circuit.
This year, we're doing something about it.
On March 6-8, we're hosting Webinar World - the first-ever user conference dedicated to mastering the art and science of webinar marketing and digital marketing.
Some people will be confused as to why a webinar company would host an in-person event. When diving into the art and science of webinars, one finds there is a lot of content out there today. But let's face it: asking anyone to stay online for three full days to absorb the intricacies of webinars is a lot to ask.
We're debuting this in-person conference to present executives and marketers with real-time tactical information, actionable tools, and opportunities to network and build relationships with other industry leaders.
So many marketing conferences these days are pie in the sky and high-level, primarily latching onto abstractions about "what's next" in the industry. Very seldom does one walk away having received actual technical guidance or learned something new about one's field or expertise.
We are bucking that trend with Webinar World. The conference will include a medley of keynote speakers and classes led by companies including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Forrester and Ernst & Young, for marketers to practice what they preach.
Our goal with Webinar World is not just to inspire, but to actually make attendees better marketers.
With the advent of Facebook Live and Google Hangouts, there's a lot of talk in marketing circles about how to leverage and engage with video more effectively. But what many don't realize is that such platforms are one-way only, which is where webinars come in. They deliver video, but also engagement, in the ultimate multi-pronged marketing experience.
Webinars have gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have engine for many companies to drive their pipeline, which means their marketers need to dust off and re-learn the engagement-based webinar model.
The outcome of this growing trend is that companies and marketers need guidance and hands-on experience dealing with webinars, a tool that was for so long misunderstood and lacking potential in the marketing stack. Webinar World will seek to illustrate just how deep they can run and deliver results if their capabilities and functionalities are properly harnessed.
Engagement-based webinar marketing is the future - and we are creating the community around it.
For more details on Webinar World and information to register, follow this link: https://www.on24.com/webinarworld/