Webinars and marketing automation software have seen a dramatic usage increase in the last couple of years. But the important question for Content Marketers using Marketo is “how can you combine running webinars with Marketo workflows?” Let’s think about this:
- What role do webinars play in a content marketing plan?
- How do Marketo advocate planning webinars?
- How do Marketo advise users to produce their webinars?
- How would Marketo users actually produce and run their webinars?
To answer these questions, I embarked on some research from directly from Marketo.
What Role Do Webinars Play in Content Marketing?
Firstly, it is important to understand the role of marketing automation within content marketing. Marketo states that marketing automation helps you; “Find and engage the right customers. Help them learn what they want to know about your products as they begin their journey. Learn about search marketing, landing pages, web personalization, forms, social media, and behavior tracking”
Marketo also allows you to; “Easily build and scale automated marketing campaigns across channels that engage your customers in a personalized way, without support from IT”
To give Marketo some additional industry background, Gartner (amongst many other analysts) positions Marketo as a leader in CRM lead Management and marketing automation. With over 4500 customers and revenues of over $200mn Marketo’s core strengths are:
- Functionality: Marketo continues to expand its marketing automation features. This allows them to enter new vertical markets and provide a competitive combination of feature-richness, ease of use and short time to productivity.
Reference customers gave Marketo above-average scores for its lead management vision and roadmap, multichannel attribution, and digital marketing hub functionality, among others.
- Partners and ecosystem: Marketo has over 500 technology solutions in its LaunchPoint solution portal. These provide functionality to assist with advertising technology, analytics, content marketing and events, among other things. Its technology partners include Acxiom, Box, Dun & Bradstreet, Lattice Engines and SAP Hybris.
Marketo supports its own bidirectional integration with Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft (Dynamics CRM), Salesforce and Twitter. Partner-provided integrations support NetSuite and SugarCRM, among others. Marketo also supports third-party integration platforms, including those of Informatica, MuleSoft and TIBCO Software.
What Is The Role of Webinars in Marketing Automation?
In order to get the answer to this question, I needed to find out a bit more about what Marketo thought about the role of webinars. As well as how they could be personalized and delivered without the support of IT. Luckily, Marketo have produced a program plan for B2B marketers to download - https://www.marketo.com/slides-and-templates/program-plan-template-for-b2b-marketers/ and from within this plan it is clear exactly how much emphasis Marketo place on the role of webinars in marketing campaigns. Especially the importance webinars play in content marketing from a lead generation perspective.
Clearly, Marketo see webinars as a significant contributor to the lead generation and nurturing phase of lead management. When we look at other marketing automation platform vendors we see the same trend, webinars are a de facto part of the content marketing mix. In fact, Marketo run webinars every week on various topics and areas to educate and nurture prospects and to help clients get the most from the Marketo platform.
How Do Marketo Users Plan Their Webinars
Marketing automation technology has developed at a rapid pace over the last 3-5 years allowing B2B marketers to develop and deliver complex workflows of triggered emails, landing pages, automated social media posts and lead notifications for salespeople based on visitor’s activity. It is clear that webinars are one the key types of content that B2B marketers are using in these workflows to guide, educate and nurture prospects in this journey to becoming a customer.
As part of their best practice, they clearly advocate a structured approach to webinar planning from a timing perspective. Most best practice advice shows that webinars are effective when delivered as part of program of webinars as opposed to individual webinars in an ad hoc way.
The second diagram shows the emphasis that Marketo place on analyzing the data associated with webinars and a webinar program. Using webinar data as part of your overall content plan can help you to understand when to push people to watch and attend webinars but also when to move prospects who have interacted with webinars to other forms of contact including passing the details to Sales.
How Do Marketo Users Currently Produce Their Webinars?
Recognizing the significance of webinars, Marketo have produced an eBook on how best to produce successful webinars
What is clear is that each element webinar needs to produced carefully.
What is interesting is that Marketo users can build the landing page and registration flow within Marketo. However, you are still required to manage the live webinar experience in 3rd party webinar and video hosting tools.. This can, understandably, cause some issues with the effectiveness of webinar programs:
- They are more difficult to produce as the webinar producer has to use at least 3 different tools to produce the webinar
- The productivity of webinar creation is made hampered by the fact the end to end automation of the event is conducted in different places
- It becomes complicated to match branding and style in different pieces of software. As a result, your webinar experience can lack continuity which may be confusing for attendees
Is there a simpler way? AKA Why You Should Embed Webinars in Marketo:
Currently, as we can see above, only part of the webinar workflow is handled directly in Marketo. This is probably for two reasons:
- Live broadcast/webinar technology is difficult to build and scale for thousands of users
- Most webinar technology is built as stand alone product that cannot be integrated within Marketo pages and is not html based
Wouldn’t it be great if some of these integrations and tools worked more seamlessly with each other? Imagine the following workflow:
In this scenario, A Marketo user can set up workflows, campaigns, landing pages, emails and archives within Marketo and using unique embed code the presenters can simply present from WorkCast’s Studio console to deliver end to end webinars directly into Marketo. The benefits of this approach are numerous including:
- Reduce the number of tools required to deliver end to end webinar workflow to 2.
- Create multi event webinar campaigns using the unique Marketo and WorkCast clone capabilities
- Have attendees receive a complete branding experience that is both on brand and consistent.
- A/B test all aspects of your webinar directly in Marketo – great for optimizing your webinar
- Manage the data entirely in Marketo – no integration required.
- Have both Live and On Demand automatically created with no uploading and downloading required
Thanks to WorkCast embedded webinar technology Marketo users can already do this. The benefits are immediately apparent: it makes webinars as easy to curate, produce, run and promote as any other type of content being managed. A simple solution that brings real improvement.