On24 is one of the leaders in the high-end webinar space. This brief article discusses the pros & cons of using On24 as a B2B marketer.
We at Parmonic are webinar-platform agnostic. It doesn’t matter whether you use On24, WebEx, Zoom, etc.. Aligning with that philosophy this article does not evaluate the webinar hosting features of On24 but rather the pros & cons of using it as a marketer.
Is it better to host registration pages in your own MA tool (like Marketo, Pardot) or is it better to use the On24 registration pages?
Benefits of using your own Registration pages:
Full ownership of the customer journey – if you’re using an MA tool, it makes sense to keep as much of the customer journey and associated data in a single tool. While it is possible to feed registration data from On24 to your MA tool, be prepared for a long and arduous journey.
Full control over the design and brand – MA tools offer landing pages that are much more closer to your brand identity that what On24 offers.
Bring traffic to your domain – this might be a big one if you care. Hosting registration pages on your own domain brings all the hard-earned traffic to your domain instead of sending it to somewhere else. Remember that part of the very useful customer journey data that MA tools collect is how often has a person interacted with you. If someone clicked on a webinar banner ad, visited the On24 page and never registered but came back to your website three months later, that’s data that will be lost forever.
A majority of successful marketers have learned over the years that they should use the most-robust tool for hosting a webinar but offer the on-demand recordings on their own website and on-demand pages instead of sending that traffic to some other 3rd-party.
In addition to the benefits outlined above that also apply to on-demand pages, here are some additional benefits.
Ability to use your own content library – whether you use a custom-built content/resource library on your website or a 3-rd party tool (Uberflip, PathFactory, or Gridlove for WordPress), it’s worth exploring the flexibility and superior user experience of using your own on-demand pages versus sending your audience to view a recording on an On24 page.
Custom CTAs – do you have custom CTAs, cross-promotion pop-ups or chat widgets on your website? If yes, then you have powers to drive additional actions and behaviors. While On24 does offer ‘Engagement tools’ (and yes, Parmonic’s Engager Widget is available as an Engagement Tool in On24), it’s likely that you can offer a much better experience to your audience by hosting your own on-demand pages.
Ability to become a more sophisticated marketing org – so many great and interesting tools out there all depend on analyzing web traffic to your website (think Intent marketing tools, Domain analysis tools that reveal which companies are frequenting your website, etc.). Owning this data can be tremendously helpful to you and your sales team.
While On24 forces a form-fill (which might be needed for your lead-gen goals), it’s worth evaluating how many people are filling out the form using a temporary email address vs corporate email address. While someone visiting your website can also use a fake email address, your tech can capture and report which company the traffic came from. That’s gold.
For a marketing team that does not have the ability to create landing pages, On24 is a savior as it gives you the ability to create a registration page while setting up the webinar and automatically creates an on-demand page for the recording.
On24 is robust in its scheduling capabilities as well as the actual hosting of the webinar. So if you are not able to create landing pages due to internal constraints, then On24 is the way to go. All major webinar hosting tools allow you to use their landing pages, and that’s a savior for teams that can’t create their own pages.
On24 offers custom services and connectors to feed data back into MA tools. From what we’ve heard from most mid-market and Fortune 1,000 companies these custom services are very expensive, complex and take a very long time to implement.
As one marketer put it “it’s almost like implementing an ERP system”.
The result is that most companies using On24 only use it for hosting webinars and lose the benefits of all the granular data because that data can’t be fed back into the MA system.
The best way to evaluate if data integration with On24 will work for you is to get a proposal from them and do a quick trial to find it out for yourself.
Our recommendation to B2B marketers is – own the customer journey and use the appropriate tools for what they are good while maintaining an MA tool (with our without a Customer Data Platform or CDP) as the sun in your marketing solar system.
We hope this article on pros & cons of using On24 as a B2B marketer helps you become a better marketer. We are not a webinar-hosting company but our tool can help you get 10 times more value out of your webinar recordings.