How Webinars Are Changing The Game During COVID-19 & Why You Don’t Want To Miss Out
2020 brought some curveballs that no one saw coming! If you would have told us in January that almost everyone would be working from home, restaurants would be closed and people would be wearing face masks everywhere, we wouldn’t have believed you, but here we are. Most people have grown and adapted from the many, many changes that have occurred in the past few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For businesses, it has meant innovating quickly or shutting down operations. We have assisted entrepreneurs, business owners and many organizations by sharing our learned digital marketing knowledge such as AI, business strategies and various other topics led by our CEO, Valerie Jennings.
Making use of the possibilities available with remote learning, Valerie has been selected to teach sessions at Johnson County Community College for the G.A.M.E. Strategy Planning Workshop, sponsored by the SBA program. She said she had a great time diving in deep and sharing helpful insights and tips on the topic “Design and Define Your Digital Strategy.” The business professionals in the class were full of questions and were able to leave the session with new knowledge on these 10 important topics:
- Understanding the digital landscape: B2B & B2C MarTech/AI
- How to get started with a digital strategy or update an existing program
- Auditing resources
- Sales processes
- Social media best practices
- SEO best practices
Need to create or update your digital strategy?? Here are tips for B2B and B2C companies to get you started.
Four tips on how to improve your website’s SEO and blogs for 2020:
- Make Google Happy
Google has its own goals and they are frequently updated.
Create content that Google wants to show because it will be helpful to its users.
- Keyword Research
If your goal is to rank for keywords, then you need to know which keywords are being searched for and have a plan for which pages will try to rank for which keywords. What are people searching for related to your product or industry? Are there commonly asked questions that appear as search results? Are people looking for recommendations or tips on related content? Are there a few similarly themed questions that you’re able to answer in a blog post? Many of the keywords you’ll try to rank for depend on the website’s traffic and domain authority. Try UberSuggest by Neil Patel.
- Become A Topic Expert
For instance, you could pay a lawyer to write a blog post about “What is SEO?”, but they are likely to miss some important points, nuances and “isms” that make the content click with an audience that is looking to learn SEO. Further, having some credentials behind your name is likely to give your content even more validity and help you build trust with your audience.
- Take a Multi-Channel Approach
Now, there are only so many hours in a day and not everyone can afford a team that circulates content around the clock. But there are some tips we can pick up from Gary Vee’s content marketing strategy:
- Reduce: Cut dense content out into bite-size chunks to be marketed across multiple channels.
- Repurpose: Effective content marketing doesn’t mean having to create fresh content every single day (or, even, every week). Instead, you can use the same outline for a single piece of content to create content for different platforms.
- Recycle: Breathe life into your old content by giving it a revamp and sharing it with a new audience. Perhaps you have an old blog article that was popular when it first went live, but it got buried deep in your blog. Upcycle it with new information and share it on social media to drive new traffic to your site.
If you are interested in learning more about one or all of these topics, we decided to share the presentation dec, which is full of tools, tips and tricks in the speaker’s notes sections for your use!
At the beginning of June, Valerie and Sophie Shafter, our communications director, will also be working together to present to the G.A.M.E. class about “Reaching Your Target – Social Media for B2B and B2C & Influencers.” Influencers have a unique and authentic bond with their followers who count on them to let them in on the latest trends or products. Working with influencers is a great way to build brand awareness and drive engagement back to your social media platforms — Just a few reasons why influencer marketing is such a useful and impactful marketing strategy to implement!
If you are new to working with influencers, here are some tips from Sophie to help you get started on the right track:
- Find influencers in your niche by searching hashtags or using low-cost platforms, such as influence.co.
- Micro-influencers (below 20K followers) are a great way to reach a target audience on a smaller budget.
- Use an online tool, such as an influencer calculator, to calculate the influencer’s engagement rate. Many influencers will also provide a media kit with rates.
- Review their content to make sure it aligns with your brand values.
- Content should be authentic to the influencer, but messaging should also work toward your brand’s goals.
- Make sure you have KPIs in place to measure the effectiveness of the campaign.
- Use Instagram Insights for impression data, and use tracking links to capture traffic back to your site through swipe-up links in Stories or a discount code in the influencer’s bio.
If you are curious to see some of the work we have done with different influencers and to stay up with us currently, check out our Instagram account.
Engaging With Our Community
One of the silver linings of this time working from home has been the chance for our team to participate in a variety of workshop webinars. We have been able to learn and grow from listening to others and from teaching them ourselves. Valerie recently presented on behalf of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce about “The New Normal: Transforming Your Digital Strategy For Success.”
She covered topics such as:
- Reopening — sales & digital marketing strategies
- Getting more website traffic
- Pitching power — PR & influencer marketing
- Creating better blog content for Google search
Tips for Positive PR During COVID-19
- Relevant Stories – The news media is constantly looking for relevant stories.
- Be A Resource – Reach out to reporters and make yourself available as a resource.
- Stories – Inform the media about what types of stories are unfolding inside your organization or with clients. Do not violate confidentiality.
- Educational Articles – Write educational articles and submit to news sites that accept contributed content.
- Tips and Ideas – Distribute news tips and ideas to the local news media and trade publications regularly.
- Strategy – Issue press releases for hard news, otherwise use a pitch strategy to garner media exposure.
For more insights like these, study the rest of the “The New Normal: Transforming Your Digital Strategy For Success” presentation dec!
While our team has missed seeing everyone in person over the past weeks, we have been using video calls to connect with each other until we are all back in the office. They have been vital for our team updates, for helping us collaborate on projects, for sharing new insights on the ever-changing digital environment and for helping us stay connected. There are many video chat tools to help you communicate with team members, clients or networking opportunities — Some of our favorite ones include:
- Cisco Webex Meetings
- Microsoft Teams
Google Hangouts Meet
As a performance-driven agency, we have always jumped at an opportunity to learn more. This has led us to take artificial intelligence classes, become Google certified and watch webinars during the day to gain new knowledge to have an edge over our competitors.
Ins and Outs
So first off, what exactly is a webinar? Dictionary.com defines it as, “a seminar or other presentation that takes place on the Internet, allowing participants in different locations to see and hear the presenter, ask questions, and sometimes answer polls.” For some people, webinars have allowed them to take this time during quarantine to learn new skills, conduct business meetings or stay connected with friends and family. For us, it has been all of the above!
Overall, the uses of webinars are endless. Before the pandemic, they really helped those in different locales to connect and gain some sort of knowledge or insight about a topic. The main ways we see them today are for classes, workshops and events.
Online classes started back as early as 1995. Today, it is very common for college students to take one to all of their classes virtually. We believe that education is continuous and should not stop after graduation. Without a commitment to knowledge, how could digital disruptions, inventions, new businesses or competitive models be created?
Our CEO, Valerie Jennings, took the MOOC course: AI for Everyone just this year. Taught completely online, her classmates were from all over the world and would meet every Wednesday via webinar to discuss their lectures and dive deeper into the numerous topics taught. The class was moderated by Richard Zachon. It was a wonderful learning experience, and the content by Andrew Ng, an adjunct professor of computer science at Stanford University, was inspirational and enlightening. Mr. Ng also founded and led the Google Brain project, a program developed using mass-scale deep learning algorithms as well as many other substantial global contributions in AI.
Another way webinars are booming is because they are great for workshops, be it with your own team or hosted by a professional on a topic you are eager to learn more about. They allow the presenter to share their screen, have a PowerPoint presentation and also interact with the audience, be it through live chat or instant message.
Many events were moved to a webinar platform instead of canceling them altogether due to COVID-19. Valerie was set to moderate a discussion about the reality of running a successful marketing agency at the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference this spring. After the in-person event was canceled, MDMC created a web series, and from May 20th through the 21st, they will have a free conference online. Recorded sessions will be gradually rolled out over the next few weeks including Valerie’s, “The Realities of Running A Successful Marketing Agency.”
The MDMC also decided to do a Facebook Live series. Valerie had a great time chatting with their Executive Director Brianna Smith! She asked some amazing questions about pivoting messaging during COVID-19, Valerie’s upcoming recorded session and more.
These are just some of the ways webinars are being utilized today, but the possibilities are virtually endless. Stay ahead of the curve and host a webinar to share your knowledge with your clients or customers, have a team call to stay connected and take the opportunity to learn from an expert during an available webinar.