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20 Best Webinar Software Platforms of 2022

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20 Best Webinar Software Platforms of 2022

If you’re looking to attract highly engaged leads, interact with your audience, get real-time feedback, and capitalize on exciting guest speakers, then you could benefit from webinar software.

In a blind test run by the team at Business2Community, it was discovered that live webinars got 2.3x the number of registrants than an on-demand video, and had 23% more.

In addition, live attendants were also more attentive as participants viewed an average of 80% of the live webinar content. That type of turnout can aid your business in lead generation and more conversions if they’re immersed in what you have to say.

To better engage with your audience and meet your marketing objectives, you have to choose the best software to host your webinars. In this post, we’ve listed our favorite webinar software platforms. If you’re in a pinch, we’ve divided them by category for easy research.

Best Webinar Software for Marketers

1. WebinarNinja

best webinar software for marketers: webinarninja

Optimizing for the customer journey is crucial and WebinarNinja knows it. The team of WebinarNinja focused Its tool development on making it easy to track and customize according to a prospect’s position in the funnel. We love how this platform:

  • Integrates with CRMs like HubSpot so you can easily track your leads.
  • It offers a gated landing page option to charge for events, which is an excellent option for hosting online conferences or other high-value content alongside regular webinar programming.
  • Provides more targeted, customized tracking with a Facebook Ad tracking pixel on webinar attendees.

2. WorkCast

best webinar software for marketers: workcast

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As the webinar platform that brands itself as “created for marketers,” WorkCast is simple to use and has many helpful features. Whether you’re offering live or on-demand webinars, creating evergreen content, or a combination of all three, WorkCast has your back with:

  • Integrations with all of the most popular CRMs, including HubSpot, so you can track your leads and follow up automatically.
  • No downloads or plugins are required to host, attend, or present at webinars.
  • The option for simulative webinars uses pre-recorded video combined with a live Q&A session or presentation.
  • All of the benefits of viewer engagement, without the stress of organizing a live webinar.

3. LiveWebinar

best webinar software for marketers: livewebinar

When you’re looking for a powerful webinar platform, LiveWebinar is one of the most versatile options available on the market today. Whether you’re someone who regularly hosts webinars, a teacher, a recruiter, or anyone else who can make use of an online communication tool, LiveWebinar can be a good option for you.

The platform works right from your browser and is free from plugins or downloads. It works on all major browsers, as well as mobile devices.

LiveWebinar is reliable and has been proven in action time and again. Here are some of the platform’s key features:

  • Customize the logo and background, ads banner, and the colors of windows and fonts to create a room that reflects your brand fully.
  • Use the whiteboard and screen sharing features to illustrate your ideas, or use features like polls & tests, and breakout rooms to start discussions.
  • Integrate the marketing, education, or email tools that you use daily, such as MailChimp, Zapier, Integromat, HeySummit, and plenty more.

4. Demio

best webinar software for marketers: demio

Demio is a great webinar platform for both PC and mobile devices with a sleek design and intuitive user interface. It’s an effective live video tool for marketers looking to host live or automated events that can assist in lead and demand generation goals. Our favorite features are:

  • Material sharing like slides and videos can be done on the platform while streaming.
  • The ability to give attendees permission to use their microphones and webcams for a more interactive experience.
  • Poll presentations, handouts, and call to action on the platform to further engage your audience.

Best Webinar Software for Small Businesses

5. WebinarGeek

best webinar software for marketers: webinargeek

An easy-to-use platform that provides live, on-demand, and hybrid webinar features. With Its smart marketing features, you’ll be able to attract viewers and convert them to customers within the same platform. Priced reasonably for small businesses, WebinarGeek has several great tools, including;

  • No downloads are required for your audience, which makes it easy for non-tech audiences to attend.
  • Create your webinar channel to showcase all your on-demand and future webinars in one place.
  • Highly rated customer support (9.8/10 on G2) that will help you set up and deliver seamless webinars.

6. Accelevents

best webinar software for marketers: accelevents

Accelevents is a virtual event platform that’s easy to use and truly moves the needle. This platform can help you build and manage online events that engage, make an impact, and drive growth for your small business. Outstanding features include:

  • Live streaming that can support over 100,000 attendees.
  • Community building opportunities with the ability to enact breakout sessions.
  • In-depth analytics reporting on engagement insights and lead reports.

7. WebinarJam

best webinar software for marketers: webinarjam

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Marrying a simple interface with comprehensive tools makes WebinarJam an easy favorite for small businesses looking to run live webinars, even on the go. We love Its:

  • Customizable templates, such as waiting room graphics and emails, for an on-brand experience.
  • Ability to add up to six co-presenters, making it easy to produce a collaborative and high-value presentation. You can even inject pre-recorded video for additional presentation options.
  • Automatic recording function, which makes it easy to follow up with registrants who missed the live recording.

Best Webinar Tools for Training and Classroom Sessions

8. ClickMeeting

best webinar tools for training and classroom sessions: clickmeeting

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ClickMeeting offers webinars and video conferencing in one tool. Schedule meetings or webinars easily, and scale your webinar program with ClickMeeting’s 5000 attendance capacity.

ClickMeeting is particularly useful for running training and classroom-style presentations because of its:

  • Customizable waiting rooms with agenda layouts, file delivery, and presenter information.
  • Full suite of webinar tools including additional rooms, whiteboards, and polls.
  • Ability to join and deliver webinars on the go with the ClickMeeting mobile apps.

9. Loom

best webinar tools for training and classroom sessions: loom

Loom is a screen recording software platform that allows users to share webinars, instructional videos, and other presentations to audiences asynchronously. Trusted by over 14 million people, some favorited features include:

  • Speakers can record both their screens and webcams for a more intimate experience.
  • While asynchronous, recipients can use emoji reactions, time-stamped comments, and interactive features to respond to videos and keep your team connected.
  • Easy access to Loom recordings without logins or passwords, recipients can access your recordings with a link.

10. Adobe Connect

best webinar tools for training and classroom sessions: adobe connect

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Adobe Connect is ideal for guided training and seminars where you need to “set the stage” for your audience. Its classroom tools enable students to work together effectively. You can also:

  • Create breakout sessions, whiteboards, and teaching aids to help you deliver your message effectively.
  • Set up multiple “topic chats” to keep discussions on track.
  • Read your audience’s digital body language with advanced analytics to help you improve your delivery.

Best Free Webinar Software

11. Zoom

best free webinar software: Zoom

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While many of us may have used Zoom for meetings, it’s also a great choice for webinars.

Because so many people are familiar with Zoom, hosts, and attendees both find it easy to use. Plus, if you’re on a tight budget, you can use Zoom’s video conferencing platform for small, free webinars (up to 100 participants).

Some of the benefits of Zoom include:

  • Keeping the focus on the presenter’s video, rather than slides, makes for more human interaction.
  • Leveraging virtual backgrounds, studio effects, and background noise suppression.
  • Dedicated live event support, including monitoring and moderation.

12. Freeconferencecall.com

best free webinar software: freeconferencecall.com

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One of the only wholly free webinar platforms, Freeconferencecall.com is still a powerful solution. It’s completely browser-based (which means no downloads for you or your guests), and:

  • Offers one-click recording so you never miss out on saving your webinar.
  • Has screen- and file-sharing capabilities so you can share your presentation materials effectively.
  • Allows you to host up to 1000 guests.

13. Zoho Meeting

best free webinar software: Zoho meeting

Zoho Meeting is a free online meeting platform that allows you to hold online meetings with real-time audio, video, and screen sharing at zero costs. Some features unique to ZoHo include:

  • Secure moderator controls like the ability to lock meetings, seamlessly switch presenters and properly hand control of screen presentation options to different collaborators.
  • Offers online and dial-in attendance for people with different devices or mediums.
  • Co-branding in meeting invites and reminders for attendees to see.

Best Live Webinar Software

14. Zuddl

best live webinar software: zuddl

Zuddl is a live webinar platform like no other. With its software, your audience can feel like they’re walking into a virtual convention with unique widgets, hotspots, buttons, and iFrames to create an experience just like a physical event. Along with these capabilities, other standout features include:

  • Zuddl’s inbuilt ticketing and email tools let you create customized registration pages and disburse paid or unpaid event passes through automated emails.
  • Android and iOS-based mobile apps that help attendees join the event while being on the move.
  • 50+ pre-built 3D themes for more intuitive sessions to better serve the purpose of your webinars.

15. Riverside

best live webinar software: riverside

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For businesses looking to engage wide audiences in real-time, Riverside is a wonderful resource. This remote platform doesn’t skimp on quality, in fact, it offers users clear and uncompressed audio and supports up to 4K video resolution. What we like most about it is:

  • Users can simultaneously stream webinars on other channels like YouTube, LinkedIn, and more.
  • Live audience members can chime in or leave feedback during broadcasts.
  • You can hold dynamic discussions with up to eight participants.

16. On24

best live webinar software: on24

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On24 is the enterprise platform that does it all, as noted in Its positive reviews on G2: “We had a wide variety of needs for a service like this — internal training, external publications, panel forums, expert-led seminars, and more. We felt that ON24 checked every box.”

On24 specializes in live broadcasts and has a host of features designed to increase customer engagement with your video presentations. We love Its:

  • Enterprise-level streaming quality. They’re built for big events that need to stream smoothly.
  • Engagement analytics that integrate with your business intelligence platforms for better audience segmentation.
  • Engagement hub that stores past webinars for an “always-on” experience.

17. BigMarker

best live webinar software: bigmarker

BigMarker is the world’s most customizable platform for webinars and virtual events. This browser-based platform is easy to access for audience members, with no downloading needed and has extensive third-party app integrations.

  • Engage with up to 10,000 audience members in one webinar.
  • No limits to the number of presenters in a discussion.
  • Includes the tools you need to promote your content, monetize your webinars, and measure everything to grow your audience

18. Jumbo

best live webinar software: jumbo

Jumbo is a newer webinar software platform that simplifies the live-streaming process. Made to be compatible for PC and mobile devices, it provides a no-fuss webinar service that customers can enjoy with features such as:

  • White label formatting to let your brand be the main focus of any webinar.
  • Interactive features such as live chat, breakout sessions, polls, trivia, and user profiles help your audience engage deeper with your content.
  • Intuitive user interface that is easy to use, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy.

19. GoToWebinar

best live webinar software: gotowebinar

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A best-in-class option that makes running a live webinar feel positively smooth. Equipped with the greatest hits of live webinar management like engagement tools, automatic recording, and excellent integrations, GoToWebinar goes the final mile by offering:

  • 24/7 customer service, which is essential in times of live webinar panic.
  • Source tracking to help determine the most effective sign-up strategies.
  • Truly excellent analytics that allows you to keep iterating and improving.

20. Webinar.net

best live webinar software: webinar.net

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This is an easy-to-use webinar platform that looks good. Webinar.net might be one of the newest platforms on the market, but they’re starting strong with a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating on G2. Its customers love them because:

  • They’re browser-based, so there are no downloads required for presenters or attendees.
  • You can upload a background template and pick your colors and font so that your webinar matches your company’s branding.
  • Broadcasts can be launched in under 60 seconds with Its five-step wizard.

Host Your Webinars in the Best Platform for You

There are so many different webinar platforms available to help you reach your audience. Choosing the right one for your needs depends on your budget and your goals, so we hope you found the one you were looking for with the help of this post.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in April 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

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How to Buy Ads on Netflix: Specs & Tactics for Marketers

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How to Buy Ads on Netflix: Specs & Tactics for Marketers

Streaming


By Emily Sullivan

Netflix, the streaming giant known for binge-watching and award-winning originals, sent shockwaves through the industry in 2022 by announcing an ad-supported tier. This move was likely fueled by a desire to reach new audiences, combat rising subscription costs, and potentially even fend off competition from other OTT platforms. These ads could lead to strong growth potential with advertisers eager to tap into Netflix’s massive user base. 

If you’re unfamiliar with how Netflix works, it’s important to know that Netflix is an OTT (Over-the-Top) platform, meaning it delivers streaming content directly over the internet, bypassing traditional cable or satellite providers. It’s one of the most popular OTT platforms globally, but in the ad supported video on demand (AVOD) space, Netflix is a relative newcomer. Understanding this new facet of Netflix is crucial for marketers looking to capitalize on this advertising opportunity.

Interested in learning more about Netflix and its advertising offerings? You came to the right place. In this post, we’ll cover the foundational elements of Netflix ads including ad types, specs, advertising best practices, and more. 

Why Did Netflix Start Offering Ads?

In November 2022, Netflix introduced an ad-supported tier. This move marked a significant shift, as Netflix was previously known for its commitment to an ad-free experience. The decision likely stemmed from a desire to tap into new revenue streams. With consumers increasingly cost-conscious, an ad-supported tier provided a way to attract budget-minded viewers while still offering a premium ad-free option, similar to established AVOD providers like Hulu and Peacock.

Initially, the launch was off to a slower start, with few people signing up for the ad supported tier and Netflix failing to meet guarantees, but things are quickly turning around and savvy advertisers are taking notice. Netflix boasts a massive user base, with roughly 270 million paid subscribers – a household name with immense reach. In fact, 40% of new Netflix sign-ups are choosing the ad-supported tier, translating to a total of 40 million users. Netflix’s ad platform presents a unique opportunity for marketers looking to reach a large and engaged audience.

“Our goal isn’t just to offer the same products and tools the industry has come to expect — although we’ve made a lot of progress on that front over the last year. It’s to build something bigger and better than what exists today. We want to shape the future of advertising on Netflix and help marketers tap into the amazing fandom generated by our must-watch shows and movies.”

Amy ReinhardPresident, Advertising at Netflix

How to Start Advertising on Netflix

So, you’re interested in capitalizing on Netflix’s massive audience? Here’s a breakdown of the three main ways to buy ads on their platform:

1. Netflix Ads Manager

This platform, powered by Microsoft, allows you to directly purchase ad space on Netflix. However, be prepared to meet their minimum spending requirements, which can be substantial and offer little room for negotiation.

2. Partnering with an Agency

While the minimum spend might be high for direct buys, streaming agencies like Tinuiti can be a valuable asset. They can not only help you navigate the intricacies of Netflix advertising, but also:

  • Consolidate Streaming Data: The streaming landscape is fragmented, with viewers spread across multiple platforms. Agencies can collect data from these various platforms and turn it into a unified, actionable strategy for your advertising campaign.
  • Expertise and Negotiation: Agencies bring a wealth of experience to the table. They can leverage their knowledge of the advertising landscape and potentially negotiate more favorable terms on your behalf.

3. Ad Tech Partners

Companies like Microsoft offer ad tech solutions that provide technical capabilities to streamline your advertising efforts. These partners typically take a more hands-off approach compared to agencies, focusing on the technical aspects of ad delivery and optimization.

The best option depends on your budget, experience level, and campaign goals. If you’re a large brand with a significant budget and an in-house marketing team, going directly through Netflix Ads Manager might be a good fit. However, for most businesses, partnering with an agency or ad tech provider can offer valuable support and expertise.

Ad Types & Specs for Netflix Ads

Now that you understand the different avenues for buying ads on Netflix, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of ad formats and specifications:

Netflix Ad Types

Example of a Netflix Ad Featuring Smartfood and Love is Blind

Currently, Netflix offers two main ad types, pre-roll ads and mid-roll ads. Netflix notes that users can expect to see a few short ads per hour and that they aim to place ads during natural plot breaks for a more seamless experience.   

Let’s take a look at each option… 

  • Pre-roll Ads: These commercials play before a program or movie begins, similar to traditional linear TV advertising.
  • Mid-roll Ads: These ads appear in the middle of a program, typically inserted during natural breaks in the content.

During paused playback, ad breaks are displayed on the progress bar. As an ad break begins, the upper-right corner reveals the number of ads included in that break.

While Netflix advertising is fairly new, the platform has made a few important announcements to look out for in 2024. Netflix plans to introduce a new binge ad format for global advertisers, offering viewers an ad-free fourth episode after watching three consecutive episodes. Additionally, QR code integration in U.S. advertising will launch early in the year. Sponsorship opportunities, including Title, Moment, and Live Sponsorships, are also now available in the U.S. and will expand globally in 2024.

Netflix also offers live opportunities including WWE Raw (launching January 2025), which will air live on Netflix 52 weeks of the year, and the NFL Christmas games which Netflix just secured the rights to. These live events provide advertisers the opportunity to reach ad and ad-free members of Netflix in a live environment with traditional ad formats.

Last but not least, Netflix recently announced they are adding Pause Ads to their suite of custom ad units. This is currently in beta and is expected to be rolled out to the general marketplace in H2 2024.

Netflix Ad Specs

When it comes to advertising specs, it’s important to follow Netflix’s guidelines which include the following… 

  • Supported Lengths: Netflix accepts ads in 10, 15, 20, 30, and 60-second durations.
  • File Format: Ads must be submitted in MP4 or MOV format.
  • Aspect Ratio & Resolution: Maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of either 1920×1080 HD or 1280×720 HD.
  • QR Codes on the Horizon: Netflix is preparing to support QR code integration within commercials, allowing viewers to seamlessly access additional information or promotions.

Hot Tip: Stay tuned for updates, as Netflix is constantly evolving its ad platform.

Why Advertise on Netflix?

Advertising on Netflix offers several unique advantages for advertisers including… 

  • Massive Reach – Netflix boasts a massive subscriber base worldwide (globally, there were around 270 million Netflix subscribers in Q1 2024), providing advertisers with access to a vast and diverse audience. These viewers are often highly engaged, spending significant time on the platform consuming content. In fact, Over 70% of Netflix’s ad-supported members watch for more than 10 hours a month – which is 15 percentage points higher than the nearest competitor according to Nielsen.
  • Targeting – Netflix collects extensive data on user preferences and behavior, enabling precise targeting of advertisements based on demographics, interests, viewing history, and more. This targeted approach increases the relevance and effectiveness of ads, maximizing ROI for advertisers (more on this below).
  • Global Reach and Localization – With a presence in numerous countries around the world, Netflix offers advertisers the opportunity to reach audiences on a global scale. Additionally, the platform’s localization capabilities enable tailored advertising campaigns to resonate with specific regional or cultural audiences.
  • Unskippable Ads – Unlike some streaming advertising platforms, Netflix ads are unskippable, guaranteeing your message reaches viewers.
  • Positive User Experience – Netflix prioritizes a positive user experience, so it’s unlikely viewers will see the same ad twice in a single episode. However, there’s a chance you might encounter the same ad later during your viewing session. It’s also important to note that children’s profiles maintain their ad-free experience.
  • Ad Delivery & Blocking – Since ads are delivered server-side, ad blockers are ineffective on Netflix. Additionally, playback automatically pauses if you minimize the window while an ad is playing, ensuring your message is seen.

Best Practices When Advertising on Netflix

When advertising on Netflix, it’s essential to understand the platform’s unique capabilities and audience targeting options to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns. Check out a few best practices you need to consider… 

Explore Audience Targeting Capabilities

Netflix offers several audience targeting capabilities for advertisers on their ad-supported tier. These capabilities focus on three main areas: demographics, viewing habits, and content context. Here’s a breakdown:

Demographics:

  • Age: Advertisers can target users by age groups, like 18-34, 35+, etc.
  • Gender: Ads can be shown to specific genders (male or female).
  • Location: Targeting can be set by country or even state (in the U.S.).

Viewing Habits:

  • Genre: This lets advertisers target users based on the genres they watch, like comedy, drama, action, etc.

Content Context:

  • Top 10: Ads can be placed before or after shows and movies on Netflix’s daily Top 10 list, ensuring high visibility.

Advertisers also have the option to choose where they don’t want their ads to appear. For example, they can avoid showing ads on programs with mature themes or content that may not align with their brand values.

By using a combination of these targeting options, advertisers can reach a more precise audience interested in their product or service. This increases the ad’s relevance to viewers and potentially improves the ad campaign’s effectiveness.

It’s also important to note that Netflix now has the ability to target advertiser first party data. The platform currently has two approved DMPs: Liveramp or Adobe. Advertisers who work with either of these DMPs can upload first party data for targeting or suppression.

It’s important to note that Netflix’s ad targeting is still evolving. While it doesn’t offer some of the more advanced options found on other platforms, they are working on expanding their capabilities.

Test Your Ad Creative

Just like any other marketing campaign, testing your ad creative on Netflix is vital for optimizing performance. Here are some key reasons to test your ads:

  • Discover What Works: Testing allows you to compare different ad variations and identify which elements resonate most with your target audience. This could involve testing variations in messaging, visuals, calls to action, or even ad length.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Testing provides valuable data and insights. You can track metrics like click-through rates, completion rates, and brand recall to see which ad versions generate the best results. Don’t rely on guesswork. Testing helps you move beyond assumptions and identify what truly connects with viewers.
  • Meet Audience Expectations: Netflix viewers anticipate premium content, including ads. Testing ad creative ensures that your commercials meet these expectations by delivering high-quality, engaging content that resonates with the audience.
  • Optimize Performance: Testing allows you to refine your ad creative to achieve optimal performance. By experimenting with different elements such as messaging, visuals, and calls to action, you can identify the most effective combinations that drive engagement and conversion.
  • Enhance Relevance: Testing helps ensure that your ad creative remains relevant to your target audience. By continuously testing and refining your approach, you can adapt to changing consumer preferences and market trends, ensuring that your ads stay impactful and resonant.
  • Maximize ROI: Effective testing enables you to make data-driven decisions that maximize ROI. By identifying and scaling the best-performing ad creative, you can allocate your advertising budget more efficiently and achieve greater results.

Measure and Analyze Your Results

Netflix doesn’t offer 1:1 conversion measurement for ad buyers (yet) – but they do have brand awareness and lift studies they offer advertisers so keep this in mind when measuring and analyzing your results. 

The platform did recently announce that this summer, Netflix will expand its buying capabilities to include The Trade Desk, Google’s Display & Video 360, and Magnite who will join Microsoft as the main programmatic partners for advertisers.

Starting in the second half of 2024, Netflix just announced that the following third party measurement partners (partnering to measure and verify the impact of advertiser campaigns) will also be added: Affinity Solutions, iSpotTV, NCSolutions, Videoamp, DCM and TVision.

They also announced Netflix will launch an in-house advertising technology platform, by the end of 2025. This will give advertisers new ways to buy, new insights to leverage, and new ways to measure impact. 

Is Netflix Advertising Right For Your Brand?

Overall, Netflix advertising offers the unparalleled reach of a massive, highly-engaged audience. This can be a strategic choice for brands seeking broad awareness and brand association with premium content.

If you’re interested in exploring advertising opportunities on Netflix for your brand, consider reaching out to the Tinuiti team. Our expertise can provide guidance and assistance in navigating the complexities of advertising on the platform, maximizing your campaign’s effectiveness and ROI. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your brand on one of the world’s largest streaming platforms—connect with Tinuiti today to get started.

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