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Design Principles: How We Built Our Webinar Tool With Market Research

March 6th, 2019

Webinars are powerful additions to every marketing mix. They offer a simple way to tell the story of a brand and are one of the best ways to generate quality leads. But you probably already knew that marketers have recognized this value and joined the trend over the last two decades. According to the Content Marketing Institute, two-thirds of marketers are already producing and hosting webinars on a regular basis.

Yet, when we asked marketers in our State of Webinars 2018 study, how satisfied they are with the tool they are using, 70% of marketers stated that they would not recommend their tool to others.

This was a shocking finding to us: How is it possible to have such an important strategy in mind but then no tool that makes the preparation, execution and follow up of webinars possible, let alone a flawless experience?

Based on these findings, we made it our vision to build a tool that can be recommended and that marketers love to use. In order to get there, we established four equally important design principles, which would help us to build an all-in-one tool, that produced real results.

1. No Downloads Required

When interviewing webinar experts and opinion leaders, it became apparent that most of the legacy webinar tools out there come from the field of web/ video conferencing. When really,  a webinar is a one-to-many medium that should be also engaging at the same time, video conferencing tools are typically used for conducting meetings with participants located all over the world, sometimes even calling in. Here, the user is usually required to download plugins. As video conferencing tools moved more and more into the field of webinars, the requirements of downloading add-ons often still exist.

This normally causes a lot of problems for larger companies and corporations, where strict firewall regulations are common. Even if you have no trouble downloading a plug-in, it still means that some of your attendees might not be able to join the webinar because they are simply not allowed to. Because of these access issues, it’s easy to lose potential leads and engagement.

Having experienced these limitations ourselves, we decided to build a tool that requires no downloads. It runs completely from your browser and as an attendee, you can watch the webinar from every browser and every device, including your phone and tablet.

2. Just One Tool to Run Webinars

Another issue that arose is how marketers are integrating a webinar tool. 68% of marketers have to use, on average two to five different tools, in order to run a webinar - from setup to hosting to follow up.

Beforehand, you need to send out invitation emails to your contacts, stored in your marketing automation system. This email will include a link to your customized landing page, where they can register for the webinar. The core of the workflow is hosting and streaming the webinar, but afterward, you might want to cut out bits and pieces here and there. Last but not least, it requires a video marketing platform to understand how your webinar was performing and how you can make the recording accessible on demand.

Using different tools for these different steps creates a lot of bottlenecks. Imagine that you have all your contacts in place but then cannot import this list to send out webinar reminder emails. Imagine you have hosted the webinar but then need to download and convert it to a different file to be able to edit it, before uploading it again to a different platform. These manual processes take time and effort but also imply that some data can fall in between the cracks.

That’s why our second design principle was to create a single tool, which covers the holistic end-to-end user journey. This means that it includes transactional emails but also the building of customized landing pages. The recordings are ready to use right after you end the webinar and can be edited directly in the same platform. And leads are synced with your CRM as soon as they register.

3. Control Every Aspect of Your Webinars

Have I mentioned that you can build landing pages that are fully customizable? This leads us to the next point: design and user experience. The charm of legacy webinar tools normally gets lost in their outdated 90’s design. The webinar room is often confusingly complex, with different apps that you can access, both for the producer and the webinar attendee.

On top of that, the webinar emails and registration pages can only be adjusted to a certain degree. In many cases, they are sent from the company domain that has built the webinar tool, rather than the company that is actually hosting the webinar. (Makes you think, who is trying to sell here?)

According to our design principles, this is a waste of time. We want you to be able to control every aspect of your webinar - whether that’s registration pages, reminder emails or recording emails. All of these are fully customizable and can be readjusted to your liking. We also feature out of the box templates that can help you get ready for your webinar in a few minutes - while being totally on brand.

4. Full Understanding of Your Webinar Performance

Our State of Webinars 2018 study also validated that 68% of marketers do not measure webinar KPIs - and if so, only manually. This might have to do with the fact that legacy tools usually do not support live stats - although this is the most important step.

Only when you keep track of your data and stats, are you able to find out if it was worth it and you can celebrate a huge ROI. Or on the flip side, if you have to keep iterating your strategy. In order to assess your webinar, you need a full understanding of your webinar performance. Imagine a webinar tool that is built not for web conferencing but for marketing- that is built for you. Imagine a tool that produces actionable outcomes and results you can learn from.

This is the tool that we had in mind when building TwentyThree webinars. All data and engagement is collected in your webinar dashboard view and immediately synced two-way with your MA/ CRM tool. You can get real-time updates on your live webinar but also on your on-demand performance to create long tail value.  

Embracing a heavy phase of market research before building our product, talking to many webinar experts and opinion leaders in the field and getting to know the pain points of current legacy tools was time well spent for our Product team. Only when listening to marketers who use webinar tools on an everyday basis can we understand the concept and workflows behind it. Seeing the weaknesses of products that developed out of a different field helped us to frame our product vision with four design principles that are essential to a top webinar tool. Considering that TwentyThree Webinars is built by marketers for marketers, our last hope is that it can also be loved.

Sign up for a free trial of TwentyThree Webinars here!

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