If you’re familiar with webinars, you’ll know that they best ones usually contain a wealth of valuable information that’s relevant to the issues people face. That’s why companies develop webinar marketing strategies to enhance the experience for their target audiences. Simply put, they’re great tools for upping your lead generation game!
But here’s the thing: not every webinar is created equal and you’re not going to see success if you’re hosting webinars just for the sake of it.
One of the first things that can happen to a company is to have a webinar’s performance fall short of their expectations. This can damage a firm’s reputation, so businesses are on a constant search for innovative ways to engage the participants and provide them value for the money and/or time they spend on a webinar.
Don’t jump in blindly! The following 6 steps will help you organize a killer webinar!
Determine the purpose of your webinar
Start by determining the purpose of the webinar and delineating the value customers and business partners are after. Getting people interested in the webinar is a priority, especially if you’ve struggled with poor attendance in the past. These activities should take place both online and offline in the form of distributing pamphlets, for example.
The promotional strategy should be aimed at the desired target audience, whether these are existing customers, potential customers, or business partners. Like any other marketing strategy, the webinar must be able to generate conversions. Common goals and objectives include:
- Generating new leads
- Nurturing and converting existing leads
- Upselling to existing customers
In fact, the buyer’s journey can commence right there at the webinar if you play your cards right. The idea is that interested parties learn about the webinar and apply if they find the topic interesting and relevant. After that, it is up to the speakers, materials, and the general format of the webinar to provide value for prospective customers.
Focus on value, not a sales pitch
A webinar your company organizes is going to speak volumes about it but in an inconspicuous way. The last thing you’d wish is for a person to join in and find out after 15 minutes that the webinar is not engaging enough and that it’s an advertisement in disguise.
If the person is polite enough, they will sit through the webinar but will probably never want to contact you again. On the other side, if you focus on value and knowledge, you will generate a lot of happy faces.
Customers and businesspeople who have attended your seminar will start associating your brand excellence and will spread the word. Plan the webinar in such a way that sharing knowledge, giving useful advice, and helping attendees solve real-life problems. This will help build trust with your customers and position your brand as an industry authority.
Content quality is crucial
A typical webinar lasts for at least an hour, which might not seem long, but it can be hard to keep the attendees glued to the screen for that period. In order for them to listen carefully and interact until the very end, they must be offered engaging content that is relevant to their interests.
The reason why you probably hated, let’s say, Math classes at the elementary school is because you didn’t find the topic interesting, since Arts, P.E. or History interested you more. The same principle should apply to the content of the webinar that needs to relate to participants in more than one way. Droning on about climate change probably won’t entice an IT crowd, for instance, as they would be more interested to find out more about link reclamation and the real reason backlinks disappear.
Use visual aids abundantly
Even when the topic is relevant and engaging, attendees should constantly be motivated to stay alert. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, your webinar should take full advantage of the fact that it’s held online. This means that you could use vivid imagery, illustration, flowcharts, interactive whiteboards, videos, and even quizzes to engage participants.
A word of advice, avoid using generic materials like stock images and aim for custom-designed content. Ideally, the visuals will be created especially for the purpose of the webinar. The amount of text these visual aids contain should be kept to a minimum, as most communication should be oral and written (chat boxes) communication already exists.
The webinar must be interactive
Soliciting the help of professional digital event services can help boost your visuals. Whichever agency you decide to hire, you will notice that a single word is repeated over and over: “interactive.” Professionals know that a webinar has little chance of succeeding unless it’s interactive in nature.
By engaging the audience and giving then a voice of their own you will get more viewers. Allowing for participants to have a voice will raise your retention rate. Interactive content should be mixed with traditional ones to attain the best results.
We’ve mentioned earlier that quizzes are an excellent way if finding out more about the people virtually present at the webinar. This allows you to customize the lectures and the content to their individual needs. And plus, quizzes are fun and people like taking them.
Besides the mandatory Q&A section where attendees will get a chance to ask questions, you should hold open discussion midway through the seminar. After the webinar is over, run a survey to get feedback on what the overall opinion about the seminar is.
What the audience will take from the webinar
We’ve discussed earlier creating a core value for your seminar and how to engage the crowd, both in terms of good-quality content and visual aids. The final step you need to take is asking yourself what the audience should take home from the webinar.
The question is more complex than measuring the value of the educational activity in terms of knowledge. Think about the profile of people who might turn up for the webinar and ask yourself how the experience will change them as professionals.
Now, it is essential that you keep an open mind on the topic. It might seem banal but even an eBook you give out for at the webinar counts as “something they get.” You might want to enhance the marketing aspect of the webinar by offering premium membership or discounts for the attendees. Try to prolong the interaction and stay in touch with all participants through follow-up activities.
This way, you will create a great base for new webinars in the future. If you become an expert in organizing webinars, you’ll soon have a base of regular attendees that will improve your firm’s and your personal reputation in the business world.
Embracing the power of webinars
The 6 steps we have listed above should be done in sequence if you want to enhance your webinar marketing strategy. After a while, you’ll realize that organizing webinars is not that hard and you’ll start enjoying the process more than you did before.
Need help with your webinar marketing strategy? Talk to the experts at Spiralytics to learn more!