Webinars : A Marketers Map

When Kevin Spacey and David Fincher started to pitch the now wildly successful House of Cards Netflix wasn’t the first place they went. It seems odd now with Orange is the New Black, Daredevil and How to Make a Murderer but back then Netflix had very little original content and as such Spacey and Fincher looked to cable giants HBO and Showtime first.

Almost everyone who heard the pitch was ready to give it a shot I mean who wouldn’t? This had big name stars alongside a story that worked well on the BBC in a genre that was getting hot again. The problem was that all they were willing to give it was a shot or rather a pilot.

Spacey and Fincher were adamant that they had two seasons ready to go and didn’t feel a pilot would do the show justice. So the story goes Netflix asked for two days to “run some numbers” and came back and ordered two seasons

What numbers did they crunch?

Netflix was and continues to track every action we take on the site from what shows we watch what content we binge on and what content we abandon. They have algorithms that allow them to accurately predict what shows we will like and that is how they started selecting their content. It is also what has informed their decisions on what content they produce and essentially why after HBO and the other prominent cable television executives refused to give Spacey and Fincher what they were looking for while Netflix took only two days to do so.

So what does this have to do with you and your Webinar program?

Like Netflix the webinar can provide you with invaluable data on your content. Unlike white papers, e-books, blogs or even videos the webinar is a long format mechanism that allows you dig in and identify what is resonating with your audience. Additional data includes insight on what your audience wants to consume, what they come back to view again and most importantly what and when they abandon the content.

Marketers with an established content strategy use the webinar to measure the engagement on aspects of their content strategy and use the metrics to inform future content decisions, again similar to Netflix.

How does this look in practice?

Let’s say you are planning your “rock” content piece or pieces for the coming quarter or years. For this example let’s say it is an e-book on how to go “0-60 with a webinar program” and let’s say the author is me!

I know what my customers say is the struggle getting programs going and I know what others have done that has worked but how do I know what elements are of the most value to my target market?

I can plan a series of webinars where I essentially test drive my ideas, my data or my case study info. Then let the data drive my focus!

Topics with the highest registration are clearly of the greatest interests.

Webinars with highest engagement (we measure engagement by how long they watch, if they come back and how many actions they take I.e. Ask a question, answer a poll or download a resource) is the content that has resonated the best.

And clearly webinars that have a high abandonment rate would be content that I thought was important but my audience did not find useful.

Then there are the questions. Only 7% of audience members will generally ask a question on a webinar but those questions tell us so much. What didn’t we cover that our audience has interest in, what ideas need to be simplified or explained better and sometimes what stuff we should abandon all together

This process can work just as well if not better if you are trying to vet your existing content to determine what is still relevant and what needs tweaking.

And if you’re still trying to get your content strategy check out last week’s post on how a webinar program can kick start your content strategy.

With the content constantly coming in from our content marketing strategies here at The Streaming Network, who knows, there may be new webinar series coming soon – title Takin’ Your Webinar from 0-60!

Matthew Ley

Matthew Ley

Matt Ley is the current President and co-founder of The Streaming Network. Starting his career in virtual events in 2007, Matt is an industry veteran that is passionate about helping customers stand out in their industry with compelling virtual events that people want to attend. The driving ambition for Matt is that virtual events are not a utility for information distribution but an opportunity for firms to create a competitive advantage. Matt is an accomplished speaker, moderator and a sought-after thought leader.

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