...technology is simply a means to an end. I want to talk about strategies.
You’d think that a VP at a leading webinar platform would want to talk about – well, webinars – but, as it happens, I don’t. No, really: I don’t and you shouldn’t either.
Yes, our platform gives marketers and business development teams access to technology that enables you to customize, communicate, and engage with clients and prospects at scale and that excites me – but technology is simply a means to an end. I want to talk about the strategies law firm leaders use achieve those ends – in this case: successful practice growth via your marketing and business development programs.
What Are You Measuring?
As we roll into the last quarter of the year, are you evaluating your 2017 metrics? What exactly are you measuring – and why? Answers to these questions should set the stage for 2018 strategic planning. For example:
1. Registrant/attendee ratio?
Look at your webinars this past year. Study your registrant/attendee ratio. Total number of registrants can give you a benchmark of total visibility around your firm’s messaging for the year, but the tally of attendees tells you who in that mix is actually at the beginning of a much more meaningful relationship with the thought leaders (aka: attorneys) in your firm.
In which program was attendance highest? Was that due to the topic, the presenters, the day and time? Learn whether your webinars in general do better at the beginning of the month (no internal reporting due). Does attendance typically fall off at the end of the financial quarter, when public companies are doing backflips internally to make their numbers? Savvy marketers will analyze this single metric a dozen different ways and use their findings to guide future planning.
Figure out how to increase actual attendance and you’ve figured out how to increase your leads.
The goal: begin to measure the impact of your webinars so that you can learn from what you have done and increase your overall number of leads. You ran 10 webinars this year and each saw an average of 100 attendees. That’s a thousand leads. Figure out how to increase actual attendance and you’ve figured out how to increase your leads.
(*Not tracking or discussing the meaning of your registrant/attendee ratio? Well, that’s your team’s first to-do item for 2018 webinars.)
2. Attendee engagement?
Fine, you’re tracking how many people registered for your webinars over the course of the year (and you know which are clients, which are prospects) and you’re also tracking registrants who’ve exhibited enough interest to actually attend. But what do you know about those leads? How qualified are they for follow up?
Your team can turn a lead into a marketing qualified lead by assessing their engagement during the course of a webinar. Sounds simple enough, eh? Guess what: it is.
...use your measure of engagement to qualify leads.
Plenty of self-styled social media gurus these days will repeat the mantra “it’s all about engagement” but strategic marketers know that what we’re really doing here is turning leads into qualified leads. Yes, a former client who retained your firm for an IP matter just recently attended a webinar on employee misclassification, but do you know why? Your team’s ancillary content programming around the main webinar presentation (preliminary questions in the invitation email, polls, Q&A sessions, follow-up, shared content tracking) should help you understand the true nature of an attendee’s interest in the matter at hand.
The goal: not waste your team’s time; not waste your attorneys’ time. And you do this by using the interactive aspects of your webinar platform to help understand why a registrant became an attendee. You’re using your measure of engagement to qualify leads.
(*Not tracking attendee engagement? Well, that’s your team second to-do item for 2018 webinars. Take time to determine MQLs.)
3. Scalable content?
Once you have an archive of incredible webinars, each roughly 60 minutes in length, are you breaking them up into dozens of stand-alone pieces, easily digestible and focused on specific topics?
Take one minute of footage from a webinar and send it out as a teaser for the longer piece. Take three minutes from another and merge it with another digital asset to create a brand new piece of digital media. Take six or seven three-minute segments from a handful of webinars and create a drip marketing campaign on a topic that you've determined matters to your leads.
The goal: you already have a foundation of excellent content; now scale it. Like the results you’re getting from your webinars and the impact they are having on your new leads? Scale for more. Turn those 1000 leads, as above, into 2500 leads. The more to qualify.
Did your team work with the attorney or practice group that hosted the webinar to identify qualified leads and then plan next steps? What were those next steps?
How many follow-up phone calls with well-qualified attendees became in-office meetings – or, as an intermediary step – lunches?
Did you escalate and customize your thought leadership around a hot issue by hosting any in-house events with a smaller group of leads, many of whom were initially well-engaged webinar attendees?
The goal: I think by now you can tell where I am going with this…
These days, a conversation about webinars, at face value, is a little like a conversation about the telephone. Who needs it? Not me. Not you. I think most strategic law firm leaders are ready to move on.
It’s time to begin being smart with your teams around the two things that the best webinar platforms can do today to move the dial on marketing and business development: 1. Increase the number of qualified leads in your business development pipeline (and them move then through that pipeline), and 2. Scale your content to reach even more leads in the first place!
In my next piece I’ll take a deeper dive into the topic of the power of scaled content – in the meantime: what are you measuring? It’s time to get strategic!
[Samantha McKenna is a Regional Vice President, Sales at ON24. Connect with her LinkedIn to learn how webinars can supercharge your firm's content efforts.]