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When one of our best customers told me “we want to run webinars *in* HubSpot not on your webinar platform”, I felt pretty deflated. Webinar platforms are what we do after all! 

She went on to explain: “Webinars are brilliant for us. We get amazing engagement and we use them in all stages of the funnel, but creating a seamless, consistent experience for our attendees can be a lot of work. Then there’s even more work getting all the data integrations working properly - and even then it’s pretty basic data we get back into HubSpot. We were chatting and just thought that the webinar should be ‘in HubSpot’ - then we treat it like any other campaign: form conversion, some emails, and onto a landing page at the right time - all the data and activity right in HubSpot immediately.” 

Initially, she tried out this concept using a pre-recorded, on-demand webinar embedded in a landing page. While this created a good experience and was less work, the webinar attendance  and, most noticeably, engagement were terrible compared to all the live webinars they had done. 

As a HubSpot Professional user and passionate advocate, I did a bit of soul searching, navel gazing and denial, and I eventually concluded… our customer was right. After some whiteboarding and testing I eventually came up with a really simple webinar structure that could really be *in* HubSpot. 

Stewart blog whiteboard

During this work, I also realised there were a whole lot of reasons this was an outstanding solution for HubSpot users.  Here are my top 10:

1. GDPR

If you use HubSpot to help your business conform to GDPR, then using HubSpot natively to collect and manage registration and attendee data ensures GDPR compliance.

Stewart blog GDPR

2. Personalise experience

HubSpot landing pages have great personalisation features. By keeping the webinar on a landing page, the full experience can be tailored to the individual. Attendees can be greeted by name, and localised information like time zone can be personalized.

 Stewart blog screenshot

3. Data and progressive profiling

Webinar registration is a great opportunity to extend and expand the dataset you have for contacts. The ‘contract’ for webinar attendance (data for attendance) is well understood, so there is a willingness to provide data that is not generally there for other types of conversion forms.

4. Keep them on your site

Sending valuable website traffic off to a 3rd party webinar platform is unnecessary. Webinar platform vendors have somehow convinced us that this is necessary in order to run a webinar. That was true 10 years ago but it is not now, so why send your attendees on a one-way trip to a 3rd party tool! 

5. Data Integrations tend to be flaky!

Data integrations can be valuable but they are often slow to update data and don’t have full datasets. They also stop working occasionally, causing a raft of issues. By pushing the data away from HubSpot, you make it necessary to use a data integration to bring the data back… crazy! 

6. Timeliness

We all know that acting on data quickly is really important. If you want to trigger tasks to your Sales teams you don’t want any delay in that process. Only by having the data natively in HubSpot can you ensure you get the it immediately and with the level of detail you need to share with Sales. 

7.  Website/brand consistency

Most webinar platforms allow very limited control of the attendee experience. Keeping attendees on a traditional HubSpot landing page ensures the experience can be as good as any other landing page or website page.

 Stewart blog screenshot 2

8. Too many tools in marketing

By keeping your attendee experience, workflows and data in HubSpot, you ensure that your Marketing team don’t spend time learning new tools to configure webinars. Using your in-house experience of HubSpot to setup and run webinars minimises the features used of the 3rd party webinar platform, you therefore keep skills and time focused on your core webinar goals. 

9. Track your webinars like any other type of campaign activity    

When you run your webinars in this way, all the registrations, attendance and activity can be tracked as an integrated part of your campaign. One simple view of the campaign helps you understand your ROI and general webinar program health. 

10. Create dashboards

Finally, not seeing webinars as an integrated part of your dashboards is really frustrating. For any organization taking webinars seriously, you just miss a huge chunk of the data visualisation and therefore understanding of your contacts.

Stewart blog dashboardStewart blog dashboard 2

So what?

Webinars have a double edged reputation - boring on one side and stress inducing on the other. There’s a bit of truth in this with traditional webinar approaches, but the webinar revolution for Marketers changes this! 

Think of webinars as the chance for your business to ‘Go Live’ through HubSpot. Not many of us can inform, entertain and engage an audience without some help. Webinars provide a simple way to bring people and content together into a live ‘performance’ for your business.

Your business gets the chance to engage a mass audience in a way that is not otherwise possible without huge budgets. Your audience may be anywhere on earth, using pretty much any device, but they have chosen to spend a few minutes listening to you, your subject matter experts, your marketing team and message.

They can engage, be passive or get involved with polls, questions, social and many other ways. Your business can express itself with video, slides, animations (in slides), webcams, presentation, group discussions, expert panels and in countless other ways. 

Doing this ‘through’ HubSpot, really completes the circle. You can focus on taking your attendees on a live journey through the experience you create around the event, your content and the engagement you and your presenters achieve during the event. Webinars with these goals can release the most interesting and knowledgeable people in your company live to your customers and prospects throughout the funnel. This is a level of engagement you can’t really achieve without inviting them right into your office!

Why not take a minute to find out what it's like to run webinars through HubSpot with a free trial? We'll also be at INBOUND 2018, 4-7 September in Boston. You'll find us at Stand 24, so drop by, say hello and find out all about how WorkCast for HubSpot is driving the webinar revolution.  

 

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