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Gradual 2022 Q4 Product Update

Posted Dec 14, 2022 | Views 216
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# Product Update
Team @ Gradual
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This is our recording from our Q4 2022 Product Update featuring new features, tips from other customers, and 2023 roadmap updates.

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Welcome to our Q4 Product update. We're going to talk through a handful of things. We'll start with some updates on the product as as aptly name names. We're going to cover three kind of major categories related to new features. So that'll be improvements to our dashboard that have been made, new content features and the new event features specifically for our meeting rooms.

I have a section I'm Affectionally referring to as Top Tips, and that'll be the best practices that we've seen. Others apply to use gradual to spur engagement and build community. And then we'll talk 2023 roadmap of what's what the focus is for 2023 are going to be. And then some of the features to expect early in the new year.

As I go, Please don't hesitate to interrupt. Drop your questions in the chat and I'm happy to answer them in in depth as we go. And then we'll stick around at the end. I don't think we'll take the full hour. Can answer any questions then as well. So without further ado, I'm going to share my screen and you all should be looking at the gradual dashboard works perfectly awesome.

You can hit those little emojis in the bottom, right? If you want to react to, well, thumbs up some love. I love it. I love it. Awesome. So let's cover some some dashboard improvements. Some of these are also relatively small, but not insignificant because they're they're adding quite a bit of quality of life to you, to what you're able to do inside the gradual dashboard.

One of the most significant ones that folks have asked for is the ability to export. So very simply, I've always been able to export event attendees, but now I can export my whole member list. So this is everyone in the community that that I want to be able to see. So if I want to be able to upload this to a CRM or elsewhere and I'm not using an integration to do that, I can do that here myself.

I can export this or I can change the view to maybe I want to export my pending members and I can export them there as well. As a refresher, I can also do this within the events. If I go to our our Q4 update event here. If I go to the attendees, I can export the registered attendees. People who actually logged in, attended the event and any participation stats.

This relates to one of our our updates for for the events. But now I can see inside an event how long inside a meeting, events or roundtable like this, how long someone participated. This is going to give me insight into who not only who came, but how do they engage and they stay for one minute? Or do they stay for 20?

When did they join? Allowing me to really understand engagement and follow up with with them more in a more relevant way. The other new dashboard features are the ability to very simply delete things before you were unable to delete you could unpublished, but now I can find an event and or a piece of content and I'm able to delete that piece of content.

If I delete it, everything disappears related to it, all the histories and everything. So definitely be careful if you're doing that, but it allows you to clean up. So things like test events or demo pieces of content, I can go into the dashboard and I can delete these to just clean things up, make it a little bit, little bit cleaner and not have clutter in here.

It also hopefully empowers you to play around a little bit more. You can test things without fear of it having to sit in there forever. You can always, always get rid of it. Another update related to events is going to be the ability to self-service configure a virtual ticket. So the virtual ticket component has been live for a little while, but we just out of the ability for you to configure this ticket within the dashboard itself.

And what that will do is create any time a user registers the ability for them to have not only this virtual ticket, but a virtual ticket page. And it's more than just this ticket. There's a lot of, I think, powerful insight underneath this component. So you'll see this generates a unique page for me. And when I go to share this, it's going to pull in my ticket as the social sharing image, which means that that's what's going to show up when I share it on LinkedIn or on Twitter or share this page anywhere else.

The other thing that's going to happen is let's say Laura wants to register for this event and she follows my link in order to register. Well, you're going to be able to see that in the dashboard from the export of attendees. It'll actually track who referred this person if they use the virtual ticket link. We had customers recently use this to do a giveaway of product if they got X number of people to register.

Right now the data on that referral is only available in the export or in any of our integrations. That's HubSpot or the outbound webhook. But you should have all the components you need to to activate and utilize that data to build a leaderboard or something else. And then in the new year, we'll be able to continue to expand this functionality, to be able to to put that visibly for the end user here and in the dashboard to say, hey, I've I've referred three out of the five people I need to in order to claim my claim, my reward.

I can configure that inside the dashboard within an event underneath the ticket setup. This is also where I can configure different ticket types for the event as well as that virtual ticket and just need to upload an image, a background and pick that gradient and then I can put a call to action there, which will appear in that checkout flow to say, Hey, what do you want me to do?

What do we want our community to do with this virtual ticket? So that's a really effective way to to create social signal and social share impact from from your events, some other just quality of life housekeeping things in the dashboard that I wanted to call attention to relate to our our integrations and our settings. So integrations I'll do I'll do first.

We've always supported Google Tag manager as well as segment and these natively and gradually you can see transactional events. So what users registered or attended event, but we don't show yet what users viewed a piece of content or interact with a page in a particular way. You have the ability though, to get that from these integrations, whether it's Google Tag Manager or segment.

So I could see, Hey, Kyle visited a page or he went to the people page and searched for something that allows you to get more insight into the behavior of the community on the platform to really start to to build a good understanding of how people are leveraging the platform will continue to add natively in the dashboard that visibility into those metrics.

But wanted everyone to know that that's available today via those integrations. Another quality of life component is under the settings I have this new URL redirect. This is a really handy tool to be able to take a let's say I need to change the name in event of an event or the date. I can not lose people navigating to that old URL if they already have it.

If I maybe send it out a new in email, I can put that old URL in here and put the new place I want to send them and graduate automatically forward them onto that new destination. Those are a couple examples of features that aren't necessarily new in the dashboard, but wanted to make sure we highlight it because they're there when when they're needed.

They're very needed and often not not known about. And definitely encourage you to explore the settings section because a lot of stuff has been added in here around customizing the community, changing the slogan, being able to, to change the graphics on some of the pages, as well as configuring specifically some sign up in system settings as well. Those are the dashboard improvements.

The one thing I'll say is we have a lot more to come when we get into the 2023 roadmap. I'll talk about some of the focuses that we're going to have to make the dashboard a more user friendly experience and help provide some guidance and training within the context of the dashboard. So if I want to do something, it'll tell me, Hey, what is this action I'm about to take and what's it going to do?

And link to the HELP articles that will help you understand how to how to make the most of it. Next, I want to talk about some content updates to as a quick recap. We've already released the new Featured Content section on the content page. If you have a community with at least ten pieces of content, this featured section can be enabled and you can customize it.

So I can have it just sort whatever's most recent, or I can have it be something specific that I want to pick, and I can configure that in the dashboard. If I go to content and I go to customization, I'll do that on this tab. I go to customization, I can come in and I can edit this. So we actually just released a new piece of content yesterday from an event we did with Brie Lever, a community consultant, and I'm going to pick her video to be the one that shows up here.

I can simply search for it. I do. There we go. I'll add that in and I'm going to publish that. So now Bree's event is the one that's going to show up front and center for our community members. The other component of content has to do with blogs. So we have incrementally added methods to embed new items into blogs like videos, or we have a Twitter embed feature and we made a change that's allowing us to really expand that functionality pretty drastically.

We're using a service that would allow you to embed via an iframe, a simple quick insert link UI pretty much almost any piece of content. It's doesn't support every single thing, but we've got a list of what's supported here and if you have any questions, you can always, always try it. One of the common use cases for this would be maybe I want to embed some slides.

So I have an example slide deck here that I'm going to grab. I'll go back to that blog post and I'll paste that and embed it. And now it's going to show up as a slide deck here. And when I publish it, people will be able to interact or maybe I have a form that I want people to fill out to be a community contributor or sign up for something.

I can do the same thing. I'll grab this Typeform copy that link. I'll go back to the content here, click on that embed button, the two carat brackets embed, and it's going to embed my Typeform. This is really going to unlock a lot of potential for what can be included inside of this content. And we're going to continue to add components to this feature, which would allow you to control alignment and layout and how big or little that frame is here, here shortly.

But we wanted to put this in in your hands to be able to to be able to leverage it sooner rather than later. We're also wanted to provide an update on collections. So that's one of the last remaining overall features for the content page, and it's essentially a playlist. It'll behave very similar to the tags, where they'll have a dedicated page that I can navigate to with all of the content that's tagged as such, but it'll show up on the content page right here in between my featured content section before my scrolling list as a collection.

So maybe I want to do this for the case of I've got an event and I have all my event replays in one collection. I could surface that there, and that's going to be coming in the next couple weeks. So keep an eye out for that new feature in the dashboard. Last update or last category of updates is going to be our events.

So one of the big things that we did for our live streams is we added closed captions support to our live streams. So if you have a streaming service that supports closed captioning that's embedded in that stream, if you send those gradual automatically pick those up and display those for your users. It's currently only single language, but I've been in a couple of events where people have asked, Wait, why no closed captioning but we have it.

Just need to make sure that your stream is sending that. And then the other big feature additions relate to the meeting rooms. So I'm going to spare us not sharing my screen because we're in the meeting room right now, but I could enable pinning. I can now enable or disable chat within the meeting rooms and here shortly we're going to, before the end of the year, have quite a few new features, including virtual backgrounds, the ability to mute all on entry and force users to raise their hand, moderated Q&A as well as recording within live stream event meeting rooms.

So those are meeting rooms that take place within other events. Whether that's a roundtable or a meeting room, all that's going to be supported before the end of this year. And the last event related feature is our mobile app. So our mobile app is currently in beta. We used it for one of our own community events and what it allows us to do is help really foster connection between the members of our community.

It's also will accompany with it a check in app as I try and pull it up here and it gives me the ability to see the speakers. I can have an agenda where I can select and save certain sessions and they'll show up in my agenda and I can also search and connect with attendees. So if I want to try and connect with someone and suggest a new meeting, I could find Jerry and I could suggest a meeting.

And these are all in the past, but it would give me the option to to suggest a meeting time and then assign us to a table. So this the use case for something like this, for in-person could be be really advanced. It could be something like a conference, it could be a hiring day where you want to kind of do some round robin connections for people to be able to meet maybe an expo or something like that.

We're very excited about this. And the first part of Q is going to be focused on being able to make this available for for more of our our customers. My, my next segment on our show here is called Top Tips. And these are some things that between Laura and myself as we're interacting with folks, the threshold was when we tell them about this feature, when everybody reacts with, Oh my goodness, that's amazing.

I didn't know that. That's how it that's how it makes it. On our Top Tips tips or best practices from from other folks and what they're doing. The first one of those top tips is going to be notifications and we'll get that screen share going again. Notifications are a great way to drive action within an event. So if I jump into an event here so we can all see what it looks like, this can be in a livestream event or it can be in a meeting room event like we're in now.

A notification will show up here at the top and it's going to allow me to invite people to do something. So let's say I kicked off a roundtable or roundtable was about to kick off and I want people to to go join them. I can go into the dashboard. I'll go into that event. And on the left hand side, I'm going to see this notification button and I can pre build this ahead of my event.

So they're ready to go. But I'll say, all right, I'm going to say we're going to do a during the Q&A. I want everybody to go join the Q&A that we're about to do. I've prebuilt that I'm including the link for the specific call or session within the agenda. I could also include the link to the roundtable section over here on the left hand side.

And when I launch this, it's going to pop up for everybody inside the event with a button for them to join. And now I can click on Join. Now it's going to take me into that call. Other really good use cases for this is when another stage goes live. Let's say you're doing a multi stage event. I can say, Hey, stage two is now live.

Go check this out or go invite people to join our sponsor booths. Or if there's an update like, Hey, we're starting a few minutes late and people aren't seeing that in the chat, I could do that as well. That's the difference between the notification or an announcement and an alert. An announcement shows up as this kind of softer call to action, whereas an alert is going to show up as a read like, Hey, something's wrong, it really needs your attention.

So that's our first top tip use notifications. The second one is going to be banners and ads. You'll see on our own graduate community home page. If I can get to the home page here, too many tabs open on this gradual home page. We've got this banner up at the top promoting registration for an upcoming event. Or maybe, hey, watch and check out this piece of content.

And then if I go into an individual content page, it's also going to show up on the right hand side here. And that's the ad. So what we can do is in the dashboard, if I go to community, I'll see hero banners and I'll see ads. The hero banners are what show up here on the home page and then the ads are over there on the right hand side.

When I want to add a new one, I just click add. It's going to give me all the specs I need to create these graphics. As you can see, I can load a bunch of them and toggle them on and off and then I can just direct them to link somewhere else, even if it's not a link with.

And gradually you can send people outside of the community say, Hey, go check this out somewhere else. Maybe we're doing some some other. We released a report that's hosted on our website. Go check this out here. That's just a really helpful tool to to drive specific traffic, whether it's natively and gradual or somewhere else. And then the last top tip is the Google calendar integration.

If you don't have this set up already and you're able to really recommend this, what this does is any time someone's going to register for an event, it's going to automatically add a calendar invite to their calendar by default. There's always that add to calendar button, but that this calendar integrations means that the user doesn't need to do that.

Your community member is just going to have it on their calendar. And then if you ever change that event, let's say I have to shift it by an hour or I change it to another week, that calendar invite is automatically going to be updated. So if you don't have that turned on and are able, then that that is definitely something that you you want to use.

Awesome. Well, we're going to stop the screen share again and we'll talk 2023 roadmap. We have three major, major themes going into 2023 and all talk through some specific features that are coming related to those. The first theme, like I mentioned at the beginning, is going to be the dashboard. We want the dashboard. We've invested a lot of time and energy into the front end features to make them really slick, easy to use for our users, and we want to give that same attention and care into the dashboard.

So setting up an event or posting content and interacting with the dashboard is just as smooth an experience. What that's going to look like is we're actually going to have dedicated engineering resources just for the dashboard on a regular basis. So most that one engineer dedicated full time to to the dashboard in the first quarter of next year to really help add two to the feature set there.

And that's really to get us to a place where we can start to support automation. That's the second big theme of of 2023 right now. We've got all the building blocks. We know what users are doing on the platform, we know what they care about and what they're interested in from that profile information. And we know what activities we're doing, events and what content we have.

We want to be able to connect those dots. So based on all that information, I can start to automate things of, Hey, you attended this event, you might like this one or this content is relevant or something as simple as you attended this event and the recordings now live. So you don't have to manually interact that way and send that information.

The platform is going to do that for you automatically. The hope is that we can spend much of next year really focusing on that as the next next frontier for for community engagement and interaction, because we know a lot of the folks here and that are using graduated don't have giant machine teams to do all of this manually.

So we want to make sure that the platform can do that work for you. And then when we look at Q1 of next year, it's really going to be focused on that asynchronous interaction. How are we providing ways for people to engage that isn't in an event and isn't just consuming content that middle ground is really a big area that we want to expand into.

So one of the big feature, two of the big features related to that are going to be our forum and the channel and threaded messaging enhancements. We'll jump back on the screen share real quick, the forum. I've got some sneak peek screenshots here where it's going to be able to have user surface content or you as a community organizer can post a topic.

I can understand what those topics are as the user and maybe have some tags related to them and can really foster deep discussion on a topic. So I can author something and then I could maybe even have a poll and have comments. Not only will this be great for members within the community, but it also supports the ability to deep link to these things, to draw members into the community.

If that's the model of your community. And then the other related to this is going to be improving the channel experience. So being able to app people in the chat, being able to give something a thumbs up in the chat or reply to something specifically some small quality of life, things that really will make that experience more full featured and able to drive people to interact outside of the context of those events.

Those are the big features coming in in 2023, specifically around that asynchronous interaction. And then as I mentioned before, a lot of the in-person event check in and things like that in Q1. And then the theme for next year being how do we how do we automate? How do we make things easier for you as community organizers? Well, that's all we have.

Thank you so much for joining. We talked about our updates from this quarter, New and noteworthy features, some top tips for how to get the most out of the platform and what's coming up both in Q1 and beyond for next year and some of those themes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or Laura or Jerry or anyone on the team.

Happy to answer those and connect with you. And if we don't see you before, have a wonderful holiday season and I'm sure we'll be chatting soon. Stay tuned for more updates and thanks again for being here. We'll see you at the next one.

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