The report’s purpose is not only to inform, educate and inspire our community but to really delve deep into their experiences especially when it comes to how they register, attend and participate in online events. We survey thousands of online audiences each year and ask those questions that we constantly ask ourselves when organising online meetings and events.
Some of our key findings this year include:
- Preferred Presentation Style – 51% preferred a presenter speaking to a PPT with small webcams
- Passionate and Engaging Presenters trump as always with 81% loving this presenter skill
- Salesy Presenters are still hugely out of fashion with 28% saying this is why they leave an event early
To get your copy of the report, please submit your details below!
Until next time,
The Redback Team
We’ve all heard of it, most of us use it but very few know how to make the most of it. Social Media is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to Digital Marketing as it gives your organisation access to a targeted audience, with all your content becoming easily accessible and shareable.
So how can you use it to promote your webinars and webcasts?
This guide will take an in depth look at the top three social media platforms and how they are used. It will also provide you with a checklist and timeline for marketing your digital events.
- Creating Sticky Topics
- Creating Social Media Images
- Social Media Marketing Timeline
Facebook is more than just a collection of funny cat pictures and memes. It is in fact one of the best places to advertise your webinars and webcasts. All of your Facebook content is easily visible and shareable, and if used correctly can reach an extremely large audience. Depending on the type of event you are running and your budget, you can choose to post to Facebook for free or take advantage of Facebook sponsored ads and boosted posts.
If your business has a limited budget, Facebook is the perfect avenue to advertise your event. It’s a great way to share information with people who have already demonstrated an interest in your organisation and are likely to want to attend your event. A good idea is to encourage your presenters or other members of your organisation to share/like and comment on your posts as this will make them more visible to their own database thus increasing their reach.
Research has shown that on average, free advertising reaches only 16% of your Facebook community. This is where sponsored ads come in. Depending on how much you would like to spend, you can choose your budget and daily/monthly limit which will determine how many people your post will reach. You can also choose a target demographic for your audience based on their location/age/gender/interests or any other indicator you choose.
A great feature of sponsored ads is that you can choose to include a call to action button e.g. register/sign up now which makes it easier for your audience to engage.
So where do you begin?
Step 1: Go to www.facebook.com/ads/create or click Create Campaign in the top right of Ads Manager
Step 2: Choose your campaign objective
Step 3: Name your campaign
Step 4: Choose your audience
Step 5: Choose where you would like your ad to appear. You also have the option to connect with Instagram
Step 6: Choose your budget and schedule
Step 7: You can choose to advertise an existing post or create a new one
Step 8: Once you have reviewed your post, click ‘place order’ and you’re done!
Boosted posts are very similar to sponsored ads, as they allow you to promote your post to a select demographic. This feature is available for all existing posts by simply clicking on the ‘boost post’ button. You can then choose your target audience and budget, which will determine how long your post will be advertised.
Step 1: Click ‘Boost Post’
Step 2: Select your audience + budget
The Perfect Facebook Post
Believe it or not there is actually a science to posting on Facebook. For example, posts which are shared at 3pm receive more likes than posts at any other time of the day, and Thursdays and Fridays have been shown to be the best days to post for the greatest amount of reach.
The perfect Facebook post is short, snappy and visual. Instead of just giving a brief overview of your event, you should ask questions or provide interesting statistics to grab your audiences’ attention.
Research has shown that posts below 250 characters gain 60% more engagement than longer posts and those with pictures are 39% more successful than text based ones. You should also provide a Facebook generated thumbnail link to your event (make sure you remove the long URL from the post once the thumbnail has been created) and add a picture to accompany it.
TIP! To keep your posts short, include additional information in your picture
i.e. time/date/cost and include only the question/statistic and short summary in the text post.
You also need to make sure that your posts are the right size so they don’t come up skewed and blurry. The optimal size for shared photos is 1200 x 900 px (must be at least 399 x 150 px). File sizes under 100 KB are optimal and PNG is the best format for images with text.
How does your Facebook match up to competitors?
You can check how well your Facebook page is doing and compare it to others using www.likealyzer.com. This tool will give you a score based on your engagement/likes/growth and other factors, identifying where you are doing well and what can be improved. Simply go to Likealyzer and type in your Facebook URL.
2 BufferSocial, 2016 ‘7 Powerful Facebook Statistics You Should Know for a More Engaging Facebook Page’, via https://blog.bufferapp.com/7-facebook-stats-you-should-know-for-a-more-engaging-page
LinkedIn is one of the oldest social media networks and has been rated among the top sites as a source of trusted information. It is viewed as a more professional platform than Facebook and Twitter, so you should consider a business oriented tone. You can choose to post to LinkedIn organically or utilise the sponsored updates feature.
Here is a breakdown:
Like Facebook, LinkedIn free advertising is a great way to reach your personal and professional database. You need to provide a short and interesting event overview, link to the registration page and a photo.
While Facebook posts can be very light-hearted, your LinkedIn posts should be a little more professional as LinkedIn is generally seen as a more serious social networking site. The post can also be targeted towards a specific audience in your database based on their interests. You should also encourage your presenters and colleagues to share your LinkedIn content to increase your post reach.
Groups are also a great way to start a discussion and get your audience involved. Consider creating a group for your webinars, inviting your community and then facilitating discussions around your events. For example, if you are hosting a webinar or webcast on leadership, pose a question to your group that asks them about their leadership experiences.
*By the Numbers: 125+ Amazing LinkedIn Statistics via http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-fewimportant-linkedin-stats
LinkedIn sponsored updates allow you to choose a budget and audience for your post. You can choose your audience based on their job title/function, industry, company size and position level. You can set your budget based on clicks and impressions, and LinkedIn will stop promoting your event once the budget has run out.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Go to https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/ads, click on ‘Manage Ads’ and select your company account.
Step 2: In the top right hand side, click on ‘Create Campaign’.
Step 3: Name your campaign
Step 4: Choose the post you would like to sponsor and click on ‘Sponsor Selected’ in the top right of the box
Step 5: Select your target audience based on their location, industry and job title. To save time, you should also click on ‘Save audience as template’ so you can re-use it in the future.
Step 6: Select your budget – Make sure to set a daily budget and an end date to your campaign. It is also a good idea to match the bid to the highest recommended as this will mean that your content will always appear at the top for your audience.
The Perfect LinkedIn Post
In order to create the perfect LinkedIn post, you have to follow a few key steps. Firstly, the title of your post needs to be less than 70 characters long as anything longer than this will be cut off when posted on your page. You should try asking questions and using numbers and statistics to get your audiences’ attention (more on good titles below!).
The post also needs to be short, as posts over 250 characters will be cut off with ellipsis and you are likely to lose your audiences’ interest. Make sure you provide a link to your event which should be displayed as a LinkedIn generated thumbnail or a short link if you are using a picture advertisement with the link in the description.
On LinkedIn, you also have the ability to change the text of the title and overview, and upload a customised picture in the link thumbnail. The link appears larger than the post text so you should focus on making the contents of the link stand out. Make sure to always use a picture as this will help to grab the audiences attention.
It took three years, two months and one day from the first tweet sent to get to the billionth tweet sent. It now only takes one week to send a billion tweets. Twitter is constantly buzzing and getting on top of this social media platform can make all the difference.
However, Twitter can be a little tricky to navigate due to the 140 character post limits and the hashtag feature. Let’s take a look at how to become #professionaltweeters.
140 characters may seem a little short, but it becomes even shorter when you have to include a URL and/or picture which takes up a portion of the character count. Luckily, there are a few little tricks you can use to make the most of the shorter posts.
Use this website to condense long and messy URLs into simple and shorter ones.
Instead of trying to fit all of your information into a short post, why not create an image with the main event details included?
By the Numbers: 170+ Amazing Twitter Statistics via http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-importantlinkedin-stats
Hubspot, 2014 ‘How to Craft Perfect Posts for Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter’, via http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/create-perfect-socialmedia-posts
Creating Sticky Headlines
Once you start promoting your event, you will be faced with the difficult task of making your post stand out. Among the thousands of posts on people’s feeds, why should they click on yours?
We have mentioned previously that you need to include questions, statistics or interesting facts in your headline, so lets take a look at some examples below:
- Ask the Question
We all love to ponder now and then. Using the words how, why and when resonates with people and will get them thinking about their own learning objectives.Creating employee training programs that work vs How effective are your employee training programs?
- Use Numbers
Be upfront and let people know what they’re going to walk away with. People love numbers and lists – they spark curiosity and will definitely increase click through rates.Creating employee training programs that work vs 7 ways to increase employee engagement
- Be Negative
We know, we know, positivity is preferred – but trust us, this actually works! Reversing your topics will grab the attention of your audience.Creating employee training programs that work vs How not to create employee training programs
As well as trying out the tips above always remember that each audience is different and your post content will vary depending on the type of event you are hosting.
The hashtag feature has become a Twitter and social media icon. It is used to categorise your Tweet depending on the key words you choose to hashtag, helping them become more visible in the Twitter Search. Once someone clicks on the hashtag, they are taken to a database of all the Tweets marked with that keyword.
Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle or end and there isn’t a limit to how many words you can hashtag.
TIP! Only hashtag one or two words per Tweet as an overly ‘hashtagged’ tweet can become annoying. This way, only the most important words e.g. event or webinar, will stand out and your tweet will be added to the most relevant Twitter database.
If you are mentioning someone in your post, make sure you tag them using the @ feature. This will make their name appear in your post and create a link to their profile. It will also make your Tweet visible on their profile.
A picture tells a thousand words – or in the case of social media it saves you your valuable character space. Condensing a large amount of information into a short and snappy social media post can be tricky. Instead of thinking of creative ways to re-invent grammar so your post doesn’t go over your Twitter character count, why not include an image with the information instead?
Budget = Free
Canva is your best friend when it comes to creating images for social media. There are thousands of free templates and images for you to play around with which will help you create what you need for your post.
Flickr & Pinterest
Budget = Free
These websites are your gateway to a large database of free and sharable images. You can use the images both for your events and day-to-day social media to help engage your followers and increase your audience. However, always be sure to double check the privacy settings.
|2-3 weeks before||Search for relevant blogs/articles and any other content related to your topic.
Choose 1-2 pieces of content which seem the most interesting and share them on your social media pages
|10 days before||Open registrations for your event and create launch posts – include links to register|
|7 days before||Create a ‘Did you know’ post relating to the topic to capture interest|
|4 days before||Post a reminder for the event and try to capture a quote from your presenter|
|1 day before||Post a Last to Chance to Register image|
|Post Event||Post a link to the archive and include key take-aways as a teaser|
In order to get the best results for your event you should always combine your social media with a strategic email marketing campaign. You can view a step-by-step guide here.
As webinars become more commonplace in communication strategies, there is an increasing need for deeper and more sophisticated analytics.
Basic attendance reports do not provide the insights needed for making critical decisions around the content, style, schedule and budgets involved. More data and insight are needed to make impactful decisions surrounding your webinar program. Although participant engagement is widely accepted to be an important factor in the success of a digital event program, the challenge to date has been devising a meaningful method of measuring participant engagement.
This guide will examine the qualitative and quantitative aspects of engagement analytics and suggest a specific weighting system that prioritises different participant behaviours to generate a final engagement score. This score can be used to effectively compare the performance of digital events in terms of successfully engaging the audience.
What is it?
Knowing when participants join and leave your webinar is important, but this is merely a fraction of the story. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of participant engagement, analysing how participants interact throughout the event is required.
It is important to note that interactivity and engagement are not synonymous. However, interactivity is a crucial measure of engagement. Some webinars may provide no polls or surveys, and therefore no interactivity, while still being engaging. Participant engagement scoring focuses on both interactivity, and engagement more broadly to provide a meaningful assessment of participant engagements.
Why would I use this?
It also allows you to:
- Take a look back and discover which content works best
- Uncover your most engaging presenters and create future topics
- Better qualify leads for your sales teams
- Refine your CPD Programs
- Provide a measure of ROI
Measuring your participant engagement scores across your webinar program is a great way to fine tune what you’re currently doing.
Here’s some ways that you can achieve this:
Low Attendance Duration
How long your participants remain online during your webinar is an important indication of engagement. There’s nothing more disheartening than presenting a webinar and watching your participants drop off one by one. The 2017 Redback Report indicated four main reasons as to why people drop off webinars early.
Here’s a quick snapshot:
Here’s some tips for increasing engagement based on certain levels of Attendance Duration:
How many conversations have you had with your presenter in the lead up to your webinar? Often, we promote our webinars without cross checking what our presenters will be talking about – this can then result in our participants not experiencing what they signed up for.
In your registration phase, ask people their main reasons for joining. Then, send the info to your presenter.
Long Bio’s and Introduction
YAWN! Your participants are giving up their time, so get straight into the good stuff! Introductions and Bios that take up more than 2 minutes will just alienate your online audience.
If you need to establish credibility, use the platform and your opening slide to provide further information on your presenter. Always ensure this information is provided on your invitation emails and/or registration pages.
Redback Recommends – Housekeeping Videos
Your webinar platform has a video player – check! You need to provide participants with instructions on how to interact – check! Why not create a short video outlining all of this? It can then be replayed before every webinar you hold?
- Visual Stimulation
- Consistency – replay every time
- Ability to brand video
- Less burden on your facilitators – they can focus on the brief presenter intro only
Between 50% – 80%
We all learn differently. Sure, you have a visual presentation and audio, but what about those who prefer to interact and play their part? Consider the many tools available within the platform to engage your online audience at different intervals.
What to do
Polling, Surveys, Webcams, Virtual White Boards – take a look at all the features you have access to here.
Level of Learning
How advanced is your presenter? Are your participants listening to something they already know? Many drop off early because they don’t see the value in learning anything new.
What to do
Consider using a scale within your marketing to let people know what to expect. This might include Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced.
The 2017 Redback Report indicated that 45 minutes was the preferred duration of a webinar across all sectors. This begs the question – how long do you have your audience’s attention for?
What to do
Look into the average drop off rate across your entire audience and consider tweaking the length of your events. Think about asking them what they prefer and remember to respect their time.
Are you finding that many drop off during your Q&A Sessions? Many just want the content without the questions – the good news is, you can control the entire situation.
What to do
When you get to the end of your webinar content, announce to the audience that you will now be having a Q&A Session. Then, give them a choice – they can choose to stay on or complete your survey and leave. Either way, ensure your Call To Action slide is visible so can control the ‘next steps’.
Redback automatically allocates a score out of 100 to each participant in your webinar based on both quantitative and qualitative metrics. Qualitative measures are weighted at 40% while quantitative are weighted at 60%.
The Quantitative score looks at the behaviour of your participants – this includes their duration in your event, whether they participated in Polls or completed an In-room survey. If you launch a Poll or In-room Survey and an attendee participates, they will receive a score of 15 against their name. It’s important to remember that a participant will be scored the full 15 points no matter how many polls you launch.
The Qualitative Data is based on one simple question that you can ask either in a poll or in-room survey. If you would like to capture this information, ensure you create either a Poll or In-Room Survey which has the following question and multiple-choice responses in the exact format.
Participants are scored based on the interactive features they use. It’s a simple formula: Interaction + behaviour + feedback = engagement
Points are allocated as follows:
|Engagement Metric||Detail||Metric Weighting|
|Attendance Duration||Calculated from scheduled start time||Under 50% = 10 Points
Between 50%-80% = 20 Points
Over 80% = 30 Points
|In-Room Survey||Participant in the In-Room Survey||15 Points|
|Poll Participation||Any participation polls||15 Points|
How do I use it?
How you choose to collect this data is up to you – use both methods and your scores will be out of 100 – or if you don’t wish to ask the recommended question and launch both a poll and survey, your scores will be out of 60. In the situation below, you will see that the total engagement score is out of 100. This means a Poll and In-room survey were both launched and the qualitative question was also asked.
How do I generate my report?
Advanced Analytics gives your company the ability to expand the frontiers of your webinar analytics. With the data that Redback’s generates after every webinar, your company will be able to isolate areas for improvement to make sure that each digital event is better than the last. If you’re spending money on digital events, you want a quantifiable measure to justify your investment. Live Participant Engagement Scoring is the answer.
You have a low poll completion rate?
How relevant are your polls?
Picture this – you’re participating in a webinar and the topic is ‘How to Build a Website.’ Suddenly, you’re asked to complete a poll asking your age – wait a minute, how is that relevant? While polls are a great way to gather data from your audience, always ensure they’re relevant to your topic. Otherwise, you risk alienating your audience.
How are you using the feedback you’re receiving from your polls?
There’s nothing worse than asking your audience for feedback, and then doing nothing with it. Once you receive the responses from your poll, make sure you talk to the answers, why they’re important and how they’re relevant to your presentation.
You have a low survey completion rate?
When are you launching your surveys?
With so much going on, it can be easy to simply launch your in-room survey at the end of your webinar and then close off. Consider asking for feedback during your Q&A Sessions or when you have around 5 minutes left – it will give your participants something to do while listening to the Q&A Session and in-turn increase interaction.
What’s the incentive?
Reciprocity. Give to Get. Whichever way you put it, it’s always a good idea to answer the ‘What’s In It For Me.’ A little extra value goes a long way – can you incorporate any of the following incentives into your next event?
- Complete the exit survey and we’ll be sure to send you a copy of the recording
- Provide us with your feedback and we’ll send you a complimentary white paper
- Let us know how your thoughts on today and go into the draw to win a free consulting session
Digital Event Consulting
How successful is your webinar program? Are you getting maximum ROI? Digital Event Consulting is a Success Program that aligns your events with your organisational strategy. Participate in our half-day programs “Starter Sessions”, “Presenting Perfectly” and the popular “Masterclass” to ramp up your digital events program!
Presenting on camera: Top 10 Tips
Presenting on camera can be a nerve-wracking experience. We’ve come together with our webcasting team and experienced presenters to bring you the Top 10 Tips for Presenting on Camera!
Platform Features Guide
Looking to get to know your platform a little more? In this guide we walk you through the main features within the Redback Platform and provide you with advice on how to best use them within your Digital Events.
The online platform can be daunting – what does everything mean and how do you use it? We’ve put together our Top 50 tips!
- Tips for planning
- Tips for interacting
- Tips for presenting