We are delighted to share the latest interview from Napier’s Marketing B2B Technology Podcast.

In our latest episode, Mike, Managing Director of Napier, interviews Remy Gardien, who is the CTO at Webinar Geek. His knowledge of webinars, and experience helping the many customers at Webinar Geek, meant he was able to pass on a wealth of knowledge.

To listen to the interview and to stay up to date when a new episode is live, please click here to subscribe. 

Transcript: Interview with Remy Gardien Webinar Geek

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Remy Gardien

Mike: Thanks for listening to marketing b2b tech, the podcast from Napier, where you can find out what really works in b2b marketing today. Welcome to another episode of marketing b2b technology, the podcast from Napier. Today I’ve got Remy Gardien, Remy is the CTO of a relatively new company for us outside of the Netherlands company that offers a webinar platform. Welcome to the podcast Remy.

Remy: Thanks for having me. It’s an honor.

Mike: Great to have you. I mean, we’ve seen a huge interest in terms of webinars across all of our clients, particularly due to people being locked down from COVID, do you think that what I can only call the webinar phenomenon is something that’s going to be long term, or other is the use of webinars going to decay as people get more freedom?

Remy: I think it’s going to be long term. And we’ve seen a slow but organic, the increase in demand in webinars is a concept of last five years or so. And last few months have been received a huge increase compared to the years before and the reason why is going to probably go into stays. For me to fold. It’s one that organizations in this time where we’re sort of forced to do more of our communication remotely, they see that it has added value, you see that it works, it’s probably works best for many organizations as a complimentary to the, to the face to face, to face to face communication. But the other part of it is also like our audience, like our people nowadays follow way more online content and consume on online content they did before. So if I would have like a training or something in a couple of months, I would probably as an attendee, or as asked myself, why can’t this be done online, so it’s also something that, that your audience probably demands you or our expects you to do so. And I don’t think that’s gonna, that’s gonna go away, it will probably be a bit more of a compromise, if you will, between the two, but I don’t see it going away.

Mike: That’s very reassuring. And we actually recently launched some webinars that have been, from our point of view, very, very successful. And we actually chose webinar geek. But I’m really intrigued to know what on earth possessed you guys to enter the webinar space when there’s some huge players who are very, very successful in the market, such as WebEx and Citrix?

Remy: Yeah, well, we, we lost it, I think five years ago, and you always have to look for something I mean, if you start an company, and you do something that that other companies around are also doing, you have to find your own niche, but also look at what can I contribute to this space? What can I do better or different? Because there’s all I mean, this whole concept of a webinar is very, very, very big, and many people are looking for different things there. And we found that we could have like, added value in user friendliness. So to make it really accessible, back when we entered the market, many of the other players were requiring for you, for instance, to for you to install extra software and streaming was Netflix not that accessible. And we thought we could make a difference there. And also in terms of support, because I mean, webinars challenging in two ways, two ways. One is and that’s for many companies still the case it’s new as a concept. So you have to find your way into how do I do a webinar? How can I make it successful? How can I get my message across, but there’s also a technological aspect of it. And so the challenge is bigger than with something that you already are familiar with. So the way we do support is something that really makes a difference because we, we help people we are very direct, very approachable. And because we realised that a lot comes to you if you want to enter webinars as a as a user.

Mike: Okay, and I mean, in terms of that, what are the main questions you get? Are they around the technology or around actually doing the webinar?

Remy: It’s actually about doing the webinar, probably we get a lot of questions around. What would your recommendation be as in how do I set up my email flow or how do I invite my attendees. How do I connect? And then the other part is how do I position my webinar tool, if you will, in my as mixed with my other tools, because many I mean webinar tool is just part of, of your of your marketing mix, often you haven’t given an email to your CRM tool, maybe for webinar to when you want to position that as part of that flow, because you might want to send your own email. So you might want to grab Elisa districts and put her into your CRM system. So we get a lot of questions about that as well. And some of the questions are purely technical, how do I how do I get my webcam to work? What would your recommendation is for a weapon would be or a microphone, if you will?

Mike: Okay. Um, and I’m interested in I mean, who’s using webinars, you can obviously use them for internal training, you can use them for communicating with your existing customers or trying to win new customers? Where do you see people using webinars? Is it for all three?

Remy: Yeah, you see it for all three, are, the biggest part of our customer base is using webinars for a lead generation. So we have many coaches use the platform and Netherlands, for instance, there are a lot of coaches around people that help you with being successful in in life in business or with anything basically, and they do a webinar to interest a larger group of people into a specific subjects, and try to convert them into paying customers, we have customers that take a core for take, take a more individual sessions with, with the one that’s you doing webinars, so they use it very much as a as a sales tool and try to convert leads into customers, but and the other group is an E, like you say it’s it’s elearning and education, people that that do life with most but many of them also recorded webinars to to inform your audience about a specific case. And then our analytics help you to, for instance, see, okay, who watched actually my content and who asked all the questions correctly, stuff like that. And the third one is indeed internal, or external communication, especially now with, for instance, the bigger companies, they need a way to communicate with all their personnel, for instance, and webinars are a great tool to do such a thing. So those are the three main ones. And we’ve seen slowly changed me to those a lot of lead generation. And now we see it used for a lot of different things. And especially of course, due to the whole COVID period, we saw people using it to do education, like teach their students. A lot of a lot of, I would say gyms, sport lessons online, yoga, lessons online, all that sort of stuff. So it has become very, very diverse. And that’s a great thing to see actually the way that that you really make a make a difference two to two people to two organisations. Yeah.

Mike: That’s, that’s great. I mean, it sounds like it’s everything from a single person business up to the largest companies are using it.  I’m intrigued to know, I mean, we’ve started with with a webinar programme, how should we measure how successful our webinars are?

Remy: Okay. It depends a bit on which of those use cases you have, I mean, the first case that he did, I talked about the coaches, the one of the lead generation, they measured very much on the on the scale of how much do I sell, and how much people do I reach? So you have like, maybe 100 registrations and the measurement is okay, how many of those 100 do I get to be able to do watch my webinar, either life or my recorded replay off the words. And we also have group of customers that that evaluate their webinars based on for instance, you have elevation so they send their they give a valuation form right after the webinar to all our viewers. And one of the questions is, how valuable was this webinar content for you? And and they evaluate their webinars based on how well it’s rated way based on the viewers. And some yen measured by the number of contacts that they that have a longer related they get a relationship with after the after the webinar, so that’s very diverse.

Mike: Okay, and in terms of number of attendees, I mean, I’m really interested to know, typically, how many people would you see attending a webinar? I mean, I’m sure it’s a it’s a big range, but is there kind of a sweet spot in terms of number of people to make it work? Well?

Remy: Hmm. Yeah, it’s a big range. I mean, we see webinars with with as few as five to 10 people, but there’s also webinars with up to 2000 people. In a way The more you have, the more people you reach, but on the other hand, the more you have to Fewer people, you can maybe reach more personal like answering questions and that sort of stuff. So, and I know the sweet spot between 50 and 100 is sort of the average average we see across the board, that seems to be sort of the sweet spot into Yeah, reaching a large audience while still being able to interact with you with with with the viewers in some way.

Mike: Great. You’ve mentioned this interaction, at the end answering questions or, you know, engaging after the presentation. I mean, are there is there any advice on how to approach this to, you know, for example, provide questions, but without being too demanding on your audience?

Remy: What do you mean, exactly?

Mike: So, I mean, I’d love to ask my, my audience for my webinars about 20 questions after each webinar, and I try and keep it down to just a couple. So, you know, is there an ideal number of questions or you better engaging more in a live q&a than asking questions in the feedback section afterwards?

Remy: I see, um, I would say, I mean, it depends a bit on on your, in the in the b2b people generally have more time to actually stay along for your webinar and hold on and stick with you after the webinar even to to ask their questions. And the q&a part is often something that works very well, although, and if you spend a lot of time answering questions that for a part of your viewers might not be relevant, they might drop out. So we always try to keep that part a bit short and stick it to and stick to the subject of the webinar as a whole to keep that into the scope. Because you tend sometimes to have a lot of questions that go very much in detail to Maybe someone’s personal situation. And then the rest, we asked like, can the application form and in terms of questions between five and 10, that’s should be sort of the max, depending on except if you want to do something like in the education market, where that’s, that’s maybe mandatory, but yeah, so my say would be in a Q&A. That’s, that’s, that’s always a valuable part of the webinar. But the challenge there is to keep it within, you know, within a certain range that it’s still relevant for every one of your viewers.

Mike: So it seems to be a real need to focus when you’re doing webinars to make sure you know, people are getting what they expect. Is that fair?

Remy: Yep, that’s fair. We also do q&a webinars regularly for for for our users who want to know a bit more in detail, specific questions. But the challenge there as well is sometimes you have questions that are very detailed to someone’s personal situation, like, Hey, I have this to do and I have these five cameras and two microphones, what kind of devices would you recommend me to use? And it’s, if you go too much into those kind of questions, and the rest of the audience will be like, it’s not really relevant for me, I can’t learn anything from this. So we try to we try to route them back to like, okay, we’re going to get back to you after the webinar. And then we, we use the wish we follow it up with those individuals later and get into more details, a tailored conversation to someone’s specific needs and questions.

Mike: Perfect. So we all need to make sure that we don’t get too hung up on a particular question or particular topic. Are there any other mistakes you see people making when they create webinars that, you know, either cause people not to register or to lose interest during the webinar?

Remy: Yeah, I would say still focus is one of it’s one of the key things. And it requires something different as well. I mean, we see many people doing it for the first time and having not have enough practice is something that usually you can see or hear. And the reason is that is and this is what we hear a lot from, especially people that start with webinars is, hey, it’s so weird for me to be talking to a camera, rather than talking like I was used to or like it, it’s in like in groups and physical groups of people. And it’s really takes something different. I mean, you have to be, yeah, you have to almost imagine your audience there. And that takes some practice. So like with anything and the more, the more preparation you do more carefully, you prepare things like a webinar, the more effective it will probably be like in terms of you talking about your content, but also the technological aspect of it, the more comfortable you are, the better. A webinar often goes because it’s your it’s it’s very personal, right? Because you’re broadcasting yourself you’re in you’re in view, you’re you’re audible and so the more comfortable you appear, and the more engaged probably your audience will be And that is less a lot to do with both preparation and a bit of experience, because the more often you do it, of course, the more comfortable you get with it.

Mike: Now I can certainly relate to that we, we did a few practice runs of our first webinar. And in the end, we recorded it, but it certainly wasn’t the first run through. So I’m intrigued to know, I mean, you, you’ve pointed out the difference between, you know, giving a presentation where you can see the audience and a webinar there. Is there any advice on how to overcome that awkwardness where you get absolutely no feedback? Because there’s no audience in front of you?

Remy: Yep. Well, what is it? One is practice. But there’s also another aspect, it’s, and that may be also within the preparation. I mean, there is still room for feedback and interaction, but you have to prepare some of that. So prepare questions, but bear interactions I use, I personally use a lot of polls. Okay, what is your first time here? Are you already familiar with webinars as a whole? And those kind of questions get the audience sort of engaged and make it more interactive sort of becomes a little less awkward, rather than you spending 30 or 60 minutes non stop just talking into a camera without any feedback at all? You want to? Yeah, answer some questions, you want to pull a bit about your audience, you also want to know your audience, right? Because it’s breaking into the relatively smaller groups. It’s not that everyone is the same, it’s the same in terms of need or where they’re from or what kind of company they work for, what kind of role they have. So you want to get to know your audience a bit. So these poll like questions about what is your role? or How long have you been with this? Are you familiar with this subject? Those both give you some sense of interaction, which makes it less awkward, but also gives you more information to make your webinar more personal, more relevant for those that are watching.

Mike: Perfect, now that’s really good advice. I mean, I’ve tried posing in webinars, and obviously one of the issues is not everybody responds, how worried should you be that not everyone’s responding? Is it just that they don’t want to respond? Or are they actually not listening?

Remy: You shouldn’t have to worry at all, except when no one responds, that problem is probably not a good thing, although that depends on your, your, the size of your viewer group. But I sometimes always prepare for that case, as well, because I’ve had some q&a webinars that were rather small, skinny, early days. And what I learned from it is that I really have to prepare what I’m asking. So if people don’t answer on a poll, I sort of have something to say about it. And if no one else questions, I make sure that I have pre sort of made up questions or questions that we’re sending and fonts ready, so I can answer those. So I still get to have because yeah, your audience might not even be aware of how many people are watching. So you can make it appear as if it’s a bit larger. And it also makes it less awkward than that silence for you waiting for questions, because it also takes some seconds, right for people to actually type in their questions. And for you to wait. So it’s good to prepare a bit of that and make sure that you start already answering questions and get into that. Yeah, get into it, too. But overall, if unless it’s no one responding, I wouldn’t be too worried of people not responding. I mean, we see a lot of this is also how people consume content nowadays. I mean, someone might be on their work computer or in front of their laptop, and they’re very engaged with someone might be just listening a bit and doing something else in the background. Someone might be on their phone, where it’s not, might not be that handy to start a chat message or to answer a poll or something like that. So you have to be aware of that your audience can be anywhere on any in any environment.

Mike: Perfect. That relieves a lot of stress for me now. So thank you. I’m just looking at the presentation itself. Is there any advice you can give people when they’re creating the slides for the webinars? I mean, how does two slides for webinars differ from a normal face to face presentation would you think?

Remy: Not that much, actually, I’ve looked at a lot of slide decks over the last few years and they don’t differ that much. The most of them follow a very straight out path as in like the typical your typical sales presentation, like a build up, tell something about yourself like a personal story of or how you who you are, and then what you’ve done. And then you go into explaining something to tell about your subject matter. And then at the end, it’s sort of more the interactive part. So we, of course, we sweep things on both sides of the edge. Man, some people have large slides like I’ve seen people having 600 slides and basically if every sentence that they say to bring it on a slide, which is hilarious. kind of funny. But if that’s worked for some, then who am I to say something about it? Yeah, it’s just with any presentation and you want to keep it, you want to keep it brief, you don’t want to put too much information in your slide, you want to don’t want to bomb people within over overwhelm people with information, right, you want to you want to focus there, as well as something that is important. And this helps a lot with practice as well. I mean, I’ve seen many first timers do their presentation in front of friends or family. And that really helps them to, to improve their story. And this is the nice thing about webinars as well. I mean, we have users who do the same sort of webinar, like weekly, for instance, and then you really see this story evolve, because they learn a lot, they learn a lot from feedback from questions. Some decide at some point, okay, this is my, my perfect presentation, I’m going to use that recording and, and converted into an automated webinar, for instance, which is a webinar that will be broadcasted as if it’s live, but actually, it’s recording, so sort of distress free version of offer webinar. And some just make it up as they go. I mean, it’s that’s a very personal thing.

Mike: I mean, it’s interesting, you bring up recordings, a lot of our clients will record webinars that offer them on demand afterwards. I mean, do you see that those on demand webinars can be as successful or more successful than the live event?

Remy: Probably more successful, and probably the combination is the strongest of all, where you spend a lot of time into your life events. I mean, you spend a lot of energy at it, and you have some, a lot of viewers and interest. And this is also where the earlier thing that talks about subscribers versus viewers, it’s not that if only 50 of the hundred are watching, it’s bad. I mean, you still have your recording, and we see the value of the recording being becoming much more stronger in over recent years. Also, because your recording last forever. So you can, you can still engage with your audience for a longer period of time. Plus, if you Yeah, if you spent so much time on those preparing your talk, you might want to offer those recordings as a whole or maybe replace your live webinars with automated webinars. But your recording is always there. So you can always when you put it on your website or put it in make it part of your email flow your newsletters, and this is also how people are more and more used to consume content, right? We don’t always want to watch something at a specific date and time we want to consume video whenever it suits us best. And webinars are just another part of it. And this is also how I do it. I sometimes provided webinars I’m like, it’s not the right time for me, I’m just gonna subscribe anyways, I can watch the recording later when it’s when it’s convenient for me. And I might be even more focused at that point, because I really made time for it. And I yeah, I really want to watch it.

Mike: Perfect. One of the things that you mentioned right at the start that I’d like to go back to is a lot of people are doing webinars to generate new leads. Is there a trick to getting people who aren’t familiar with you or your brand to come along to a webinar? What’s the best way to market that webinar to people who perhaps don’t know you very well?

Remy: That depends a bit. There are many ways of course, I mean, the most common ways is your addition, kudos, email, and newsletters that are still a valuable way of inviting someone to tag along for your webinar. We see a lot of customers who use advertisements like Facebook advertising or LinkedIn advertising or Google advertising to get people to register for your webinar. But one side note I want to make there is that what we sometimes see is that the more accessible you make it for someone to register, for instance, I’m going to do a Facebook ad and I can’t make it in such a way that people only have to click in in their registers, what you might get is that a lot, a lot of people register, but very few will actually watch your webinar. So sometimes it’s more about quality leads and quantity of leads. And and I think that’s very important as well to to take into account and also who is your audience I mean, we see a very generic, very generic way of inviting people and you get a lot of people to register for your webinar, but half of them is not even within your intended audience. So it’s very good to think about to ask yourself those two questions in advance. Okay, who do we want to target and you have some, the more detail the better. And how do I target where are my potential viewers? Are they earning LinkedIn or Facebook or are they in are they reading magazines.

Mike: And I guess that’s back to the focus message as well, isn’t it? It’s focused on the people you want to attend.

Remy: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, for me personally, focus is very important in everything. I mean, it’s also as, as a company, I mean, we, we are a webinar tool, we are part we are we are active in the market of online communication. But marketing online communication is also very big. So we, so we might also become a meeting tool or do something else with the video. But focus is very important to stay somewhere and to choose for something and then be very good at the thing you’re focused on. Because like we like we all know, the more things shoe you want to be good at, and the emptier, you can be good in anything. Right?

Mike: yeah, absolutely. Perfect. Good. Good advice. Again, back to that, that, that focusing and making sure you get the valuable people rather than just going for, I guess, the vanity metric of the, you know, the biggest number of registrations or attendees. And so if somebody has been listening to this, and that, and they are keen to start a webinar, but they’ve not done it before. I mean, think about it, how difficult is it to launch your first webinar?

Remy: It’s very, very, very easy. It is, I mean, it is easy. I mean, you have to prepare for it just like with anything. And there’s like I said, there’s two things, there’s the content side of things, you want to make a good presentation, you want to have a good story to tell. But you also want to take care of the technical part, right, you want to, you want to present the best version of yourself. So it might make sense to invest in that microphone or webcam that is a bit better than my built in webcam. And the same goes for your internet connection, you want to make sure that it works well. And video streaming is a bit of a different thing than didn’t just internet browsing. Is it? Is it wise to be on a Wi Fi network where the receiver is two floors down those things you have to think about, but also they should be part of your preparation. So in general, we see that it might take up to one two weeks before someone if someone runs through the whole thing of preparation of content, technology preparation, practising with with family, friends, colleagues, fine tuning the presentation, Bernie the interaction part, I mean, in theory, you could start a webinar in 10 minutes or five minutes. But if you’re very new to the whole concept, you probably want to take a bit more time and do it well. Yeah, that would be my advice to actually use those One, two weeks. I mean, and the software like ourselves, we offer a trial period of two weeks. So you want to use that period to actually not only test the tool, but also tests your story test how you how you are you are in front of a camera. I mean, it’s not for everyone as well. I mean, yeah, that that’s something as well that you have to if you’re in a company, okay, think about who is best suited to talk in front of the camera without an audience. Yeah, ask yourself questions.

Mike: And I mean, a lot of webinars, particularly in our industries, that is just shows the slides and not the presenter, you’ve mentioned a couple of times about being in front of the camera there, is it important to show your face as well as showing the slides,

Remy: I would say so it makes it more personal, rather than hearing into an audio conversation. But this also, we see, I see this being very flexible. A lot of those lead generation sales kind of webinars, they start with the camera and the slides. And then the presenter often makes the decision I’m going to hide myself from the view and I’m just going to show my content because that’s where I’m in here again, focus, that’s where I want to focus with my, my viewers to be so I don’t want them to look at me but look at my content and hear my story immerse in my story. And then at the end, they’re gonna pop up again and then do the more personal q&a part. So but overall, I think it’s good for every anyone if they if you’re if your audience can identify with yourself know who they’re talking with. I mean, business is very personal to me and right. So trust, and it’s something that it helps if, at least at some point in the owner, you’re in front of the camera, but don’t worry if you don’t want to be in front of the camera for like the whole hour or two hours. That’s, I think that’s totally fine. But yeah, I think as in I know what you’re talking about, because I followed a lot of webinars in earlier days, and it was always traditionally very much audio and slides, but I for me, my experience is much better if I can see someone at least at some point in the story as well.

Mike: Perfect. Okay. In terms of how you’re doing a webinar geek, I’m really interested to know, you know, presumably, you’ve been incredibly busy recently with people working from home. How are you going to follow what I guess is a big increase in use in terms of driving growth over the next year?

Remy: Yeah, the last few months, It’s been quite hectic for us, but in a good way, I’m not complaining at all it was, it’s very, it’s a very healthy period to be in from a business perspective. And we learn a lot. And this is also the example I gave earlier about, let’s put, let’s take one of those examples, the gym sort of sport or the yoga type of webinars, we see, we see, we saw a big increase. And it’s really, it helps us to also identify who we are, and what kind of tool we are and how people use you. I mean, you might know you might think of yourself, okay, we’re a disk company, and we’re doing this but if you’re, if your audience is doing, it’s using it in an entirely different way, you have to anticipate so we took that last few months, as, and still take this time to, to as a learning period for us to learn more about our customers, our users, to learn more about how online communication is shaping up to be and how it’s evolving, and that helps us a lot and helps us to also focus on the right things in terms of taking it to the taking it to the next level help people to, to make the most of their webinars and help people to make the most out of their their content and recordings. That’s an area where we have a lot of focus on currently, because so much content is produced, so many webinars are going on. So this means a lot of recordings and we want to give our users the tools to actually use those recordings and bet them on your website or put them on a dedicated recording page. Use those recordings for automated webinars so you can generate leads or have viewers like all the time 24 hours a day almost so we run working very hard on making dos building dose tools that can make you use your content for yeah, for a longer period.

Mike: So fantastic. I mean, if people are listening to this, and they’d like to get started and try running a webinar, and how would they you know, get a subscription to webinar geek and what would they need to do?

Remy: Yeah, so it is webinargeek.com and like I said, we offer a two week free trial so you can use it without any obligations and we are we are available on the live chat which means you can talk to us at almost any time and we’re happy to help not only in the in the technical part of it, but also the yeah, the how best practices and tips or references we have a lot of blogs on how you can actually do webinars how to present in front of your camera, what clothes to wear, even or how to talk or what’s how to build up your presentation, how to invite your audience and, and how to and again, how webinar or your webinar tool as part of your marketing mix. How can we connect your webinars to your email to your CRM to other tools that you use? And there’s a lot of possibilities and like saying yes to almost anything and almost anything is possible. And but my general tip would be to start small start just with a webinar. Don’t go all out fancy, like I want to integrate with every platform and I want to do a whole studio approach. Keep it simple. Get some experience, learn from your webinars, learn from the response that you get from your audience and build upon from there and also see for yourself and determine Okay, what’s How do I this relating to your question? How do I what for me is a metric that can tell me something about how successful I am? When is this successful for me?

Mike: Perfect. No, that’s great. And I’m not sure if you’re going to want to do this, because you’ve said almost anything as possible. So you may get some requests. But if people wanted to contact you, where’s the best place to reach you?

Remy: I personally can be reached at Remy@webinargeek.com. But you can also talk with us at any time on the website. There’s this this bubble icon in the chat. I can drop your question anytime and if you’re if you mentioned my name I might be answering myself even.

Mike: Perfect. No, that’s brilliant. Thank you so much your time Remy. I know you’re really busy at the moment and really appreciate it and it’s been a fascinating overview of of how to run webinars successfully. Thank you.

Remy: Thank you for having me. Have a good day

Mike: Thanks so much for listening to marketing b2b tech. We hope you enjoyed the episode. And if you did, please make sure you subscribe on iTunes or on your favourite podcast application. If you’d like to know more, please visit our website at Napierb2b.com or contact me directly on LinkedIn.