About a week ago I witnessed the perfect webinar. It was HubSpot’s “Why Social Media is BS,” presented by Mike Volpe, the company’s VP of Marketing.
For a few days I thought about why it was so successful, and couldn’t come up with anything other than I liked this and I liked that. That's when I decided to deconstruct it, so that I and other marketing consultants could apply what worked to future webinars.
1. The Title. It’s cheeky and somewhat controversial, especially when you consider that HubSpot is a big proponent of the appropriate use of social media within a marketing program. The title created an emotional as well as intellectual reaction (you should read some of the comments that came out prior to the webinar). And thousands of people signed up for it.
2. The Shameless Plug. At the beginning Mike introduces HubSpot and gives a very brief introduction to the company and its core belief. You need this to establish credibility, context and intention. In some webinars there’s too much company introduction and in others hardly any. This was about 2 minutes worth.
3. The Slides. They were a nice mix of humorous and serious, minimal text juxtaposed with clever images. This allowed the viewer to focus on something interesting (but not be distracted by the imagery) while Mike talked. In some instances it was just text, when a point or a list of tips was mentioned. There were a lot of slides (66 in total), so he kept up a nice pace – not too fast and definitely not too slow. (Below are the slides from SlideShare)
Marketing Webinar: Why Social Media Is BS
View more presentations from HubSpot Internet Marketing.
4. Passion. There was no question Mike was passionate about his subject. He was not over the top, but his words and energy created a sense of urgency and knowledge. Too often in a webinar I lose track or get distracted because the voice of the presenter becomes drone-like.
5. Rhythm. A webinar is a performance piece. You’re trying to keep people’s rapt attention for an hour. You’re also making an argument or presenting a case, and if you loose their attention mid-way, they may not see the conclusion the same way you do. Mike set up a rhythm of introducing a strategy and then offering practical how-tos for each section. Each section was bite size, maybe 5-10 minutes in length – enough to make a logical argument for the strategy and then while its still fresh in your mind, a list of how-tos so you can actually implement those strategies if you choose to.
6. Weaving in Your Solution. Too often a webinar will present an “objective” concept for the first half and then the product solution in the second half. Mike had a point to make, which was that social media is just a piece of the marketing puzzle and should be fully integrated into a comprehensive inbound marketing program.
It just so happens that HubSpot offers a great inbound marketing software platform. What Mike did was make a compelling case for a real business/marketing solution, showing the viewer why social media has to be integrated and why it works well with inbound marketing. So how do you implement that? Well, you have many options, and one option is with HubSpot. So whenever it was appropriate he showed how HubSpot could help. It was very natural, and it did not detract in any way from the objective value of the webinar. This is really hard to do, but Mike showed us all how it can be done.
7. The Final Offer. During the Q&A session, there was a slide for a free website assessment and a 30-day free trial offer. Everyone does this, and everyone should.
If you have an hour and want to learn about inbound marketing and why just posting on Facebook or Twitter without an integrated approach is really not that valuable, I recommend you see this webinar. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.