Creating a Hybrid Content Experience: B2B on Demand Engagement with Melissa Kwan #070

Show Notes:

Melissa Kwan is the Cofounder and CEO of eWebinar, the leading webinar automation platform that helps companies run hundreds of sales demos, training, and onboarding sessions without being there.

And she’s on a mission to save us all from Webinar hell!

Topics explored:

  • The repetition & burnout of having to repeat the same webinar or demo
  • Yet it doesn’t matter how many you do, it’s never enough
  • Not just a video recording, but more
  • The option to respond live to questions
  • Forms of interactivity: polls, questions, quizzes, conversion alerts
  • A video on YouTube doesn’t have the same engagement
  • Because they’re able to automate one thing people discover they can deliver much wider array of value in marketing or training
  • We’re used to so much on demand, so what makes b2b any different?
  • It’s all about setting the right expectation, don’t lie to your customers
  • There’s no demo I can do that’s better than our product


Al McBride 0:00
And welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge in negotiation, ethical influencing and high impact conversations for business leaders who want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value and build greater connection all. While increasing profitability. With expert guests across the business spectrum. We deliver Gems of Wisdom delving into their methods, their thinking and approach to business life and problem solving.

This is the short form espresso shot of insight podcast interview to boost business performance, using our five questions in about 15 minutes format. My guest today is Melissa Kwan. Melissa is the co founder and CEO of E webinar, the leading webinar automation platform that helps companies run hundreds of sales demos, trainings, and onboarding sessions without being there. And she’s on a mission to save us all from webinar Hell. I love that piece. Melissa, it says absolutely. I certainly welcome to the show.

Melissa Kwan 1:08
Thanks for having me. That’s quite the intro. But

Al McBride 1:12
it was quite an impressive setup. As you said, our mutual friend Tom Poland introduced us he’s a huge fan of yours and your service. So he was most impressed. He’s very into his webinars. And so he must have done something. So talk us through who is your ideal client? And what’s the biggest challenge that they face?

Melissa Kwan 1:31
Yeah, I mean, Tom also wrote the book on marketing with webinars. Not only is he into his webinars, he’s like the webinar guru who author his books on it. Yeah, so I mean, our typical customer, I would say, small business owners, or at least small businesses, that you know, want to do a lot more content, deliver a lot more sales, demos, onboarding, training, but simply don’t have the human capital, or even the mindshare to do it themselves. So that’s the biggest bulk of our customers.

Al McBride 2:03
That’s excellent. You know, you mentioned I love that I read it somewhere in some of you, because you you’re an avid blogger, you produce some great content, and I was looking through some of it, but I came across, you know, you’re saving the world from webinar help. What exactly do you mean by that?

Melissa Kwan 2:19
Well, it’s, it’s actually a problem that I live with in my previous startup for five years, it’s literally just doing the exact same webinar over and over again. So whether it be sales demos for people that come through, want a demo of your product, but you know, not all buyers are at the same point of their buying journey, or even as a good customer. But you still have to do the demo for them.

So I did that a lot of that in my previous life. But then once someone signs up, you want to make sure that they’re using your product, and they know you know how to use it and all your new features, and how are you going to teach them? So you run webinars, either, you know, once a week, or once a quarter, or whatever your cadence is, but it doesn’t really matter how many you do, it’s never enough, especially if you’re selling a tech product with new people coming in every day. So I was that person that was just doing the same thing over and over again, and wishing I had a solution for it. So that’s what I have now coined as webinar hell, because that was my webinar. Well,

Al McBride 3:22
I can believe it, I can understand that. Just to just to be clear, so our audience understand. It’s not this isn’t just a video because someone said, Well, it’s not just a video, Melissa course is not a video because you’ve added this extra element. So what have you added? How does it increase that interaction, that functionality for you not having to do the webinar? You’re fresh or each time? And yes.

Melissa Kwan 3:46
Yeah, so I think it starts with the psychology of not just going to a video, right, everyone gets to any webinar by going to a registration page. Just like any online event, you put in your information, you choose a time slot. And that’s not like going to YouTube and hitting play. Like you don’t go to a webinar expecting to bounce, you know, right away, like you have blocked out your time, and you’re committed to this time slot.

So it starts with the psychology. And then once you’re inside the webinar experience, what what makes a webinar different than a video. It’s the ability to engage and ask questions with the host. Right? I don’t go to a YouTube video and write a comment and expect an answer. That’s just a comment. But I expect to go to a zoom for example, and be able to ask a question. So that’s the chat piece is what we’ve built in.

So as a host, you have the option to respond live, if you happen to be there, or respond later through email if you’re not there right away and that’s okay. But the other added element is we allow hosts to program in things like you know, what we call interactivity, right? So polls, questions, quizzes, conversion alerts, you know, things that I guess spruce up the video that enhance Cisco video and delivers an engaging experience that’s even better, right than a than a live video experience, for example,

Al McBride 5:09
Outstanding, outstanding. So just just, you know, again, you’re mentioning its business owners, they don’t want to be doing these webinars weekend week at a waiver example, which I can completely understand and agree with. So, you know, what are some of the common mistakes out there that the that your audience are making, when they’ve been trying to solve this problem? What are their other alternatives there?

Melissa Kwan 5:33
Yeah, I think the biggest mistake is they don’t think there’s an alternative, right? They don’t think there’s a way out. So they just keep doing it. Or they’re tired of doing it, and they try to hire someone else. But not everyone has that budget. And when you’re hiring someone, they have many different roles. It’s very, very rare that a company is big enough that they hire someone just to run webinars, like in my history, I’ve probably only seen a handful of companies that can actually do that.

Typically, it’s a support person that does many things across the board. And then you know, the other mistake is they try to find makeshift solutions, right, they might record themselves and put it on, you know, in intercom knowledge base, you know, that people can search, or they put it on a YouTube or Wistia, but it just doesn’t have the same engagement. And you’re not allowing your new customer to build a new relationship with you.

You’re not allowing them to go through this experience, and ask you a question, when they’re trying to get to know your software, or when they’re trying to get to know your product at the time when they need the most hand holding. You’re not present. Right. So I think the biggest mistake is they don’t think there’s a way out. So they just keep doing more of these or they’re burnt out, and they try to replace it with a video. But ultimately, it’s not just a video, right? You’re the medium by which you deliver content is just as important as the content itself.

Al McBride 6:57
Absolutely. And sculpts, that experience as you say they have with either your prospect or as you said, if someone that you’re onboarding, or training up, and I love that people are in the zero or one, I either don’t do it, or I have to be there. And this is a beautiful synthesis, as you said, That’s keeps that efficiency adding to that efficiency, which is wonderful. But it allows as you say that that human element that interaction? And how about some of the feedback from your, from your clients so far? Was it as you expected? Were there some intro insights, some surprises that you found along the way?

Melissa Kwan 7:33
Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest surprise that we keep hearing is, people aren’t just they come to us because they have a problem they want to solve, right. So maybe they don’t want to do this initial onboarding over and over again. And they come to us because they want to solve that one problem. But the surprise that we keep hearing is, because they’re able to automate the one thing, and realizing they don’t have to be there, they’re able to create a much wider breadth of content, and much deeper set of content, because no one has to be there.

So we really created this to solve one problem, but then we realized people are able to do many more. So a perfect example of that is, instead of one onboarding webinar that they do once a month, they’re able to create many different training, many different training webinars for different people that are intermediate, beginner or advanced. Whereas before, they had to only do that one, because someone had to be there.

So they’re able to another example is like, we have a company that used to do one Spanish training once a year, because they only had one Spanish trainer that they had to bring in. But because of us, they are now able to do it every single day. And they’re also doing that with different product lines. Whereas before, they have to be very cautious about where they spend their time.

Right. And the other thing we keep hearing that we are also surprised by is how quickly their customers get accustomed to this kind of hybrid content. Because you know, before you make a change, like but isn’t live better, so I have to keep doing this live thing. But if you think about how we, as consumers consume all content, right? all news, all tax all video content. It’s all on demand. We want it at our own time. So what makes b2b content any different? Why is it that I want to watch Netflix, I want to watch it now. But when I want to get business content, you’re making me wait a week or two weeks there. So that never really made sense. So I think the surprise is also how quickly people get accustomed to this new way of consuming content, because they’re actually already doing it. And because you’re giving them content when they’re available, right. You’re not forcing them Meant to one time slot, they stay much longer. And they’re more likely to engage. Because now they’re actually committed to a time that is on their schedule, not your schedule,

Al McBride 10:12
that is fantastically interesting. So that you’re actually often increasing engagement because of the convenience element of that. And it’s such a good analogy, when you put it like that, as you said, nobody expects to wait, you know, to watch Netflix unless there’s, you know, a new series dropping at some particular date. But other than that, generally we don’t we want to when we want to when it suits us, why would it be different for b2b? You’re absolutely right.

And look, I just anyone who’s listening out there, I just challenge you, if you’re not thinking already, all the possible applications for this, you really shouldn’t be because I love that example that people played with it. They tried it for one thing, and then there’s Hold on. We can also use it over here and over here. Absolutely. I mean, that that’s the beauty of actually recording a lot of training, isn’t it? Is that you don’t have to repeat yourself time. And again, I love this live element. How does that can you tell us a little bit more about that live element that goes with it. That’s fascinating. Yeah. So

Melissa Kwan 11:10
we didn’t invent a new thing. Right? Now you go to any website right now, there’s a little bubble that says, Hey, can I help you today? That’s we just copied that. Like we communicate asynchronously every second of every day, at every and any moment in time, we’re texting our family or friends, we’re on Instagram, we might send a message, we know that if we don’t get a message back right away, we’re not going to get angry, we know that someone’s going to respond in a reasonable hour.

So we literally just copied that and we attached it to a video that is on a recurring schedule. So I think there is definitely a mind like a blockage in your mind that things will it’s a webinar. So if it happens all the time, and my webinars are always live, I have to staff this 24/7 Well, no, what you’re doing is you’re putting an asynchronous chat bot onto a video that plays so that, you know, if someone sends you a message and you’re not there, we actually have an autoresponder.

So people don’t get pissed off. It’s all about setting the right expectation. And that’s why I always say, Do not lie to your customers. Like I know that we there’s a lot of people that leverage technology like this, we actively discourage it, to trick people into thinking it’s live, when it’s not the whole idea of automating your content. automating your webinar is not to trick someone that it’s live, when it’s not, it’s to give them valuable educational content that will help them make an informed decision to buy your product at their own time.

The moment you lie to someone is when they get pissed off. So while we do have, you know, a chat component, we also have auto responders that tell them, hey, I’m not here right now. But I will respond to you within the next day. And then they can just keep typing in the chat box. And so every morning I wake up, and then I answer all the demo questions that I had while I was sleeping. And then you know, I’m always at my computer. So if a message pops up, and I’m available, I get to hop in to respond live. And people are always delighted. And think I’m a chatbot when I’m actually live, like they’ll ask me. And I always say like, if we are that good at building chat, we would be a chat company. We wouldn’t not be. We would not be a webinar company.

Al McBride 13:29
We’re real Melissa Kwan. You’re speaking we’re interviewing the real Melissa, Kwan not a bot. Okay, excellent. Thanks. Look, where can people actually try this out? Where can they explore more and, and take a demo and look into your service?

Melissa Kwan 13:45
Yeah, so of course, our demo is delivered through the product. There’s no demo that I can do, that can do a better job than our own product. So if you just come to e That’s like, it’s spelled exactly as it sounds e There’s join a demo everywhere on the site. Once you go into the demo, either myself or my team is managing the chat. So you can get a full experience of what your prospects and your customers will be seeing. And hopefully, you’ll like the experience. And if you have any questions, just type in the chat box, and maybe I’ll pop in and respond. Maybe not.

Al McBride 14:21
So and I love that, you know, as you said, go to E Because you actually get the experience your customer prospects or new hires will actually experience themselves. So you get to it’s one to one, it’s quite brilliant.

Melissa Kwan 14:36
You would be surprised how many webinar companies do not use their own product to sell their own product. Like that doesn’t make any sense to me.

Al McBride 14:47
As you said it does raise a few questions. So as you said, it’s a fabulous point that you can put forward like we use it to sell our own thing. Yeah matter fabulous Mala It’s been a pleasure thank you so much

Melissa Kwan 15:02
thanks so much for having me cheers

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