Webinar marketing vs. one off webinars is a strategy that can greatly benefit your business by generating sales qualified leads and adding to your pipeline if done right. The type of webinar I am referring to is not a product focused presentation where one person talks about the company, then uses the rest of the time to talk about features. Those are not very conducive to reaching your goal of generating good leads.
Webinars that share problem solving and expertise
The type of presentation where you share expertise and solve a problem for your audience will get you the best results. Use at least two speakers and include interactive activities throughout the webinar to make it more interactive. And, most important, it’s not a product pitch!
When you share expertise, you build credibility and trust. In a webinar, you get an opportunity to build a more personal relationship with your audience and go deeper into the topics that interest them all the while building your brand and generating quality leads.
When you host a webinar, it positions you as a subject matter expert and helps you stand out from your competitors. Planning and running a webinar requires attention to detail. Today’s attendees have high expectations for the complete process from invitation to follow-up. You will need to plan it carefully to make a positive impression while delivering a strong impact. In order to generate high-quality leads that will convert, every step needs to be carefully planned and executed.
Let’s go through the process and look at all the details to think of when planning a webinar successfully.
Where to start when planning a webinar
1. The topic and content
You need to look at your buyer’s journey and look at the type of audience that will attend your webinar and the type of content that’s most appropriate. This type of audience is more likely in the awareness stage and looking for guidance.They’re likely aware of their business challenges and need help to find solutions on how to address them.
Your presentation content should educate them about issues and introduce them to potential solutions. This will help move them from the awareness stage to the consideration stage. Your topic and webinar description must attract attention while presenting value to your audience.
2. The audience and buyer persona
Determining your audience and the persona you want to attract to your webinar should be done simultaneously. Who is the decisionmaker and buyer of your offer? This is an important step that will help you increase conversions after your event.
Your buyer persona should include pain points, frustrations, and the desired outcomes of your target audience as it relates to the offer you’re promoting in the webinar. To gather this information, there is a bit of preparation work. The following will help you with this.
- Set-up a short survey: Send an email linked to a survey to ask your existing customers, email subscribers, or social media followers what challenges they have. To get better results, get your inside sales or marketing agency to make calls to get this information. Phone conversations will likely provide more business intelligence while online survey will make it easier to reach more people. Keep the survey short and use a free survey platform.
- Customer data: Have a look at your own customer purchase data and look for similar client profiles and solutions as the topic of your webinar. This will help you develop messaging and positioning.
- Webinar registration: Using a landing page along with questions inserted in the registration process will also help you continue defining your buyer persona.
You can refer to our blog for more details about defining the buyer persona to help you with this step.
3. The landing page and targeted message
The goal of your landing page is to attract attention and get potential attendees to sign up for the event.
- You need a compelling title and keep in mind a strong meta description will also boost your SEO ranking.
- Keep it simple and include your ideal customers’ challenges, pain points, needs, and wants.
- Also communicate to the visitors why they should register for your webinar within seconds of seeing it. Keeping it on brand will also reinforce your value proposition.
- Keep the registration call to action high on the page and make it as easy as possible to enter their information. Your email platform may also enable to have certain fields already pre-filled contact information from your database.
- Adding Social proof such as customer testimonials and success stories will contribute to reinforce your value proposition.
- Another creative idea is to offer a short video to explain the event and generate more interest.
- Consider co-hosting with a partner to add substance and interest, especially if the partner has brand recognition and can share experience in dealing with the audiences problem.
- Make sure you send a confirmation email to all registered participants along with instructions for attending the webinar.
4. The Webinar invitation
The invitation needs to have similar but complementary information to your landing page.
- Keep the copy simple and easy-to-read with the key benefits to attending the webinar while including a value-driven call-to-action.
- Adding urgency to sign-up and such as a countdown timer or a note on limited seats can also encourage prospects to take action.
- Include a brief bio of your speakers to add credibility and value.
- Add a permission question to send future emails and get your audience to subscribe to future event invitation (and comply with Canada’s anti-spam legislation CASL).
5. The Webinar email and calendar reminders
It’s not enough to send an invitation once, you need to remind people to register and also once they have registered, remind them to attend. Your registrants are busy, and like most of us, they need reminders to attend your webinar.
Here are a few suggestions for you to generate more interest to attend your event.
- Schedule a series of reminder emails and alter the subject title.
- Highlight the benefits of the webinar and what your audience will learn
- Include all the “logistics” information such as the date, time, and instructions to join the webinar platform.
- Including an “add to calendar” link will encourage registrants to set a reminder to attend and likely increase your participation numbers.
- Add links to high-value content on your website to continue to build trust and credibility.
6. Promoting your webinar
The best way to increase the number of registrations is to use multiple channels to promote your event. Don’t rely on your email list on it’s own. However, you need to make sure you promote to your target audience to reach the right people.
- Start with your customer and prospect list that fit the profile you are looking for and ask them to share it with colleagues and business contacts.
- Get your sales team to personally reach out to their customers and prospects to invite them to the webinar. You can personalize the invitation for them.
- Share your webinar invitation with your followers. This will also help you nurture relationships with people who know you.
- Add a brief paragraph and link with a call to action in your blog posts or newsletters.
- Post social media updates or create an event in Facebook.
- If it’s pertinent, considering a news section on your website’s home page to promote newsworthy information but also expand your event invitations to a larger audience. You can also use pop-ups, slide-ins, or exit-intent pop-up to promote the event to your website visitors.
- If you want to reach an even wider and new audience, consider paid advertising that can be segmented therefore very targeted. You can consider Google AdWords, LinkedIn sponsored updates, ads or lead forms. With LinkedIn, you can segment the target audience based on company size, title/role, skills, groups, or geographic location, etc.
7. Offer on-demand or replay webinars
Having a recording of your webinar gives you the opportunity to continue promoting the event after the live date and keep generating leads. Today’s business people have limited time to attend events and want to consume content when and where they want it. By offering a replay or allowing registered participants to access your webinar on-demand can encourage more people to sign up. As a follow-up to the event, you can send out a replay link that will help you nurture this audience.
8. Follow-up after the event
Once your event has taken place, the lead follow-up starts and should be made using two channels: Email thank you and phone follow-up.
You should craft two emails: one for participants and one for those that registered but did not attend. They will be similar, but you may choose a different angle for your messaging. Take the time to find out how your participants evaluated your performance. Exist surveys are a great way to get feedback and help you better deliver on expectations next time. Measure the level of engagement by simply asking what people thought of the webinar content. Find out what they thought of the content, the speakers, the platform quality (audio and web).
The next step is to make phone calls. This can be outsourced to your agency to qualify your list further. Keep in mind that participants that attended may not be ready to make purchases right away, but they are contacts you need to stay in touch with and nurture to find out more about their needs and timeline to buy and to increase the activity’s return on investment.
Calling participants after the event is the best method to gather their insights and interests and qualify them further and evaluate where they land in your sales pipeline. Get salespeople or your marketing agency to follow up – it’s worth the investment especially if you want to bump up your conversion rate.
9. Webinar platforms – What to look for
There are many platforms to choose from today. While some are free, if you’re going to use webinars as a marketing strategy, it may be a good investment to invest into a reliable service and pay a monthly fee to use a webinar hosting platform that meets your needs and benefit of the features that will make you shine. I would place these platforms in 3 categories:
- Feature Rich
- Full Feature with Automation, Replay and much more
These platforms are your traditional webinar platforms designed for live events without any marketing features. Some of the interesting features can include password protection, file sharing, polls, surveys and chat functions, analytics and tracking. A few examples used in B2B webinars: GoToWebinar, WebEx, Google Hangouts.
The feature rich platforms offer some additional tools to traditional webinar platform such as recording, customized landing pages, pre and post webinar communications with built in autoresponders, streaming to YouTube Live to name a few. A few platforms examples: WebinarJam, ClickMeeting, GetResponse.
Full Feature with Automation, Replay and much more
The full-featured platforms let you schedule and automate your pre-recorded webinars to play at set intervals and the software aims to recreate the live experience for users. The goal is to turn your webinars into a highly effective lead generation strategy. You will increase your attendance and deliver more leads and eventually revenue. Also check out platforms that offer powerful webinar automation tools that help build your email marketing lists and live streaming. They can also integrate with several email platforms such as Mailchimp. And you’ll get dashboards with data insights on the performance of your webinars. A few examples are: EverWebinar, Demio.
10. Key Performance Indicators and Metrics
In order to measure your success, KPIs are a must. These can be based on the number of registrants, registrants vs. attendees, the engagement rate during the webinar, and the response rate to the call to action, leads generated and finally the conversion rate from registrants to leads and eventually to sales generated.
A webinar is a great marketing strategy to build relationships and engage interactively with your target audience no matter the size of your business. Webinars let you build rapport and trust with your audience. You can address questions or concerns in a session while presenting your unique perspective. You will ultimately move prospects into your customer pipeline or turn some of them into customers. And, this is done in a scalable way: One-to-many sales.
There are many moving parts to planning and especially executing an effective and successful seminar strategy. You might find it overwhelming to do it with your limited resources. Consider outsourcing the development of your webinar strategy with all its intricacies such as the persona defining surveys, landing page, email invitations & reminders, email and phone follow-ups to your marketing agency.
Webinars are less expensive to hold than live presentations in a hotel. It may also be easier for your participants to attend because it requires less of their time. It is easier to be a no show, but once your platform is built, you can offer your webinar on demand and continue reaping its benefits. Once the foundation is there, you can run multiple webinars more economically and have a great lead generation program.
Les webinaires sont tout de même moins dispendieux que les séminaires dans un hôtel. Il peut être plus facile pour vos participants de prévoir du temps pour participer à un webinaire parce que ça se limite au temps de la présentation. Il est plus facile de ne pas se présenter, mais une fois votre plateforme de webinaire en fonction, vous pouvez promouvoir votre webinaire à la demande et continuer à en tirer les avantages. Une fois la base créée, vous pouvez organiser plusieurs webinaires de manière plus économique et bénéficier d’un excellent programme de génération d’opportunités.