What word springs to mind when you think of a webinar? Boring? Daunting? Insightful? Effective? Whether you love them or hate them, the numbers show that webinars are an impressive tool to increase qualified leads engaging with your content. 73% of sales and marketing leaders cite webinars as one of the best ways to generate top quality leads. (InsideSales, 2017).
However, not all webinars are created equal. From experience, I have found that there are a number of things that take a webinar from a droning lecture to a thought-provoking experience.
So, to help you on your journey to effective webinars, we’ve compiled a quick outline of what you need to be successful.
Your target market is will somewhat dictate what your content should be, but so will what’s going on in your industry and to a certain degree the world. The main goal of any webinar should be to deliver value and to be viewed as a thought leader in your space. A couple of examples of content could be new technology, an upcoming event, or educational sessions.
Your webinar audience will be dictated by the content and vice versa. One potential place to start is choosing an audience and then developing relevant content based off your target. But there are potential pitfalls to approaching your webinar this way. One risk is that if you start with a very specific audience, you may miss out on potential attendees who would still have benefitted from the webinar topic.
If you start with a more general idea of the target, create content and then choose who to invite based on who is likely to benefit; you’ll be able to send out to much larget list of leads. Even if you finish the webinar content and realize it’s very targeted, you can still limit invites to a hyper-focused list. No harm, no foul!
When selecting who to invite to your webinar keep in mind the value you’re hoping to bring to the table: Is this really high level and great for execs? Did you include technical details that only specialists will understand? Can this be a generic theme that can be funneled into more specific webinars for different groups following the initial webinar?
Now that you’ve figured out the what and the who, it’s time to generate interest and get attendees. There are a couple of ways that I’ve found to be the most effective for gaining traction here.
Build a landing page – This is a page where its sole purpose is for people to register for your webinar. You’ll want to have details on when the event is happening, what content will be covered, and of course a form they can fill out to be registered.
Send an email blast – Typically you’ll want to send a blast to all of your prospects that you’ve identified as your target audience and include a link to the landing page so there’s an easy way for them to join you. It doesn’t hurt to send more than one email to encourage attendance.
Social Media – This is a great way to get more reach and add a personal touch to it. You can post on whatever platforms you’re using most heavily such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Getting your whole team to share that post is a good idea too as it expands your reach to a wider network.
Personal Invites – Reserving personal invites for your top prospects and current customers is a great way to build deeper relationships and possibly open up easier sales conversations.
Now that the hard part is done, you’re ready to present!
There’s a number of different tools to help facilitate your event. Depending on the size, format, and any special requirements you may want to look at various free and paid versions. Some of the most popular webinar platforms are GoToWebinar, Zoom, and Google Meetings (although Google Meetings technically isn’t designed for webinars).
Having a casual and conversational approach is the best way to keep your audience engaged no matter what content you have in there. Getting participants to interact is also highly effective, whether it be asking the audience a question or taking breaks to let people ask you questions.
Use your content and slide as the outline but try to avoid sounding like you’re reading from a script. Keeping it fun and friendly will go a long way for making your webinar stand out and make the next step that much easier.
This step is probably the most important in terms of driving ROI from the webinar. You’ve put in all this work, created content, secured attendees, and hosted an awesome webinar. If you skip this step you’re likely to lose the vast majority of interest really quickly. Immediately send out a post-webinar survey or thank you email. Reach out to anyone that had signed up but didn’t make it and let them know they were missed but you’d be happy to fill them in on what they missed. Send another blast to anyone that didn’t register to inform them again why they should have been there. Record the webinar if possible to use in your messaging and drive more interest after it’s all said in done.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but more a good set of guidelines to take away some of the unknowns and provide an easy way to get everything moving.
If you need help with putting on your own webinar reach out to us and we’ll help you become an expert!
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About Trevor Thomas
Trevor has worked in B2B business development for eight years with the last four and a half devoted to software. A large part of his success has come from embracing digital transformation to adapt to the changes in the B2B marketplace and how his buyers are sourcing new vendors.