Whether it is a user conference, trade show or job fair, gathering people means that time, money and logistics are involved. Scheduling travel, catering and A/V are just the tip of the iceberg for overtaxed event folks, and budget is always an issue. By carefully examining the costs/benefits of each event in a marketing plan, and evaluating the time and cost savings that can be achieved with a virtual alternative, training marketers can leverage significant audience engagement via online training.

Here are four key reasons why:

  1. Convenience: Presenters and audiences can attend from their laptops, tablets or phones, and on-demand access allows registrants to revisit content at their convenience.
  2. Low Participation Cost: No travel time or expense; forget about paying for airfares, meeting rooms, etc.
  3. Easy Interaction with other Participants: Instant chat and networking opportunities allow interactions, and social sharing allows sharing of “bright ideas,” extending the training event’s reach and the value of its content.
  4. Powerful content management/distribution: Virtual environments, with live and on-demand webcasts and resource downloads, extend content’s reach and accessibility by re-purposing it and making it continually available.

For example, using Slideshare as a training content delivery tool,  visitors peruse around 1,140 slides in total;  that’s a lot of potential for creating engagement! As a consequence, content marketers everywhere are extending the benefits of online training into new and unexpected areas. Marketers can use online training to turn any channel into a lead generation tool. Content marketers can add pop-up lead-forms at any point in a presentation for a variety of purposes, such as building an email list, collecting demo requests, or soliciting other actions the company considers to be a next step in the path to conversion. In addition, embedding training content in websites and blogs can provide a huge lead-capture advantage. For instance, if marketers want their  blog to look clean and uncluttered, a presentation enables them to include multiple calls-to-action (such as an email sign-up box and links to related content directly within the content) without adding bulk to the blog-page.


There are four steps that help bring in leads:

  1. Segment the Training Content: Strong segmentation is crucial for lead generation success, and content/training marketers should be looking to segment their lead forms by audience type or customer’s sales funnel stage.
  2. Add and Customize a Form within the Content: Assigning specific categories to training content ensures it will appear in front of people who have declared an interest in those topics. In addition, global organizations can choose to target their audience by country of residence. And for content that appeals to more than one segment, marketers can add custom questions to their lead forms to ensure leads go into the right bucket. For example, a drop-down menu for a lead to indicate the specific role he/she plays in their organization. Advanced segmentation may split content into buckets based on where leads are in the sales funnel. (Lead form timing is important here.)
  3. Position the Form Appropriately: Where the lead form will appear in presentations is an important lead-gen consideration. Generally, marketers have the option to place it at the front, part-way through, or at the end. For brand exposure, thought leadership, reach, and lead generation, visibility is crucial, particularly when it comes to B2B marketing. Because most site views come through organic search traffic, a training audience will typically enter presentations from a position at the top of the sales funnel. For a newly engaged audience to get through a piece of content, keep the form at the end of the presentation. (In general, follow the 80/20 rule: Leave 80 percent of your content un-gated and include an incentivized call-to-action at the end e.g. ‘Fill out this lead form and get a free trial of our product’ or ‘Fill out this form and we’ll send you that eBook.’ ) The other 20 percent of the content can be gated or require a lead form part-way through.
  4. Qualify more Leads with a Marketing Automation System: Utilize Marketo, Eloqua, or some other automated content delivery platform, and ensure that training leaders can integrate their presentations with marketing automation, CRM, and data-focused tools such as these. Remember, an informed customer is a customer for life, and the best form of information is education!

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