Webinars are consistently amongst top online marketing tactics. By providing valuable information to carefully targeted audience, you attract prospects and build your email list with high-quality leads. Find out why webinars are so effective, discover the elements of a webinar cycle, and get a number of tried and tested tips to run a successful webinar.
Why you should incorporate webinars into your marketing strategy
The name webinar suggests it’s a web-based seminar, but actually, it might be any kind of online meeting that provides value to your customers. You can give presentations, demonstrate the features of your product, run an instructional session, or initiate a discussion on a certain topic.
Webinars are powerful marketing tools and if done well they could be a source of serious revenue for your business. With webinars you can:
- Increase online visibility
- Drive traffic to your website
- Become an industry authority
- Target specified audience
- Develop a close bond with the participants.
If you need a Webinar 101, read our tips for webinar beginners.
Why webinars are so effective when it comes to generating leads
There are a lot of factors making webinars an impactful marketing tactic. Take the following three as examples:
Webinars attract carefully targeted audience
The ultimate business outcome of a successful webinar is a long list of email addresses from participants who are genuinely interested in the subject - a lot of high-quality leads. Earn their trust and they will look forward to receiving more great content from your brand.
They allow access from anywhere in the world
People all over the world can sign up to your webinar. You can tailor content to specific market segments without worrying about geographical boundaries. A properly promoted webinar might help you reach new markets and grow your business.
They are free
Let’s face it, we all love free stuff - “If it’s free, it must be good” as my colleague says. Make your events entertaining and informative. You'll see, your webinars will become powerful lead magnets and content offers.
You need a landing page and a proper email cycle
If you want to maximize the impact of your webinars, you’ll need to incorporate at least two more elements into your strategy:
Email and webinar are just meant to be together. People sign up for webinars using their email address and from this moment it becomes your strongest marketing asset allowing you to move subscribers down the sales funnel.
The average registrant-to-attendee conversion rate has been at 42%. Such a great result would not be possible unless you run email drip campaigns and incorporate effective social media promotion.
Img. 1 A fragment of a webinar reminder email
A compelling landing page is the pillar of any webinar promotion strategy. Landing pages are carefully designed to reach a single goal. In case of webinars it’s conversion - making people sign up to your event. And nothing does the job better than a clutter-free website with a bold call to action.
A complete webinar cycle
As you well know, setting up a time and date is not enough to make your webinar a success. You need to get a few things done before, during, and after the event in order to make the most of it.
Let’s take a look at the stages of a webinar cycle: Plan -> Create -> Promote -> Run -> Follow-up
Think of business objectives and the needs of your audience. You are going to invest time and resources in your webinar so you want it to serve a purpose. Decide if it's better to organize a single event or maybe you need a series of webinars explaining particular aspects of a broader subject. Is it going to be a single presenter event, interview, or a moderated panel discussion? Choose the best format to achieve your goals.
Focus on your target audience - what do you want them to have understood? What call to action do you want them to follow? Start with designing the overall flow of your presentation. First choose the main points then slowly go to into more details. If possible, include interactive elements in your presentation. A quick question or a short survey can have a massive impact on participants' engagement.
Create a dedicated landing page briefly describing the webinar and clearly explaining the benefits of participation. Create an automated email drip campaign starting with a nice webinar invitation email giving some more details about the event. Include several reminder emails in the cycle in order to help the registered participants remember the big day. Create related content and make proper use of social media marketing to promote the webinar at least 2 weeks before.
Schedule a dry run a few days before to check if your presentation is slick. Also, don't assume that everything will go fine during the live webinar - use the checklist below to test your equipment before you start. You'll also want to know how to structure your webinar content effectively.
First of all, ask the participants to rate the webinar. This is your chance to receive honest feedback on content and performance directly from your target audience. That's a great way to get insight into your business strategy, so think hard and come up with powerful questions that will help you serve customers better.
Give participants something special to show that you appreciate their attendance. It might be a report, an e-book or a discount code … it depends on the goal of your webinar and the target audience.
5 Tips for developing a successful webinar marketing strategy
- Design the webinar for the target audience. If you want to attract high-quality leads, do the research and make proper use of customer personas.
- Develop a clear promotion strategy. Carefully choose the tactics you’re going to use to spread the word about the event. Start the promotion at least a few weeks before using multiple communication channels. Remember to send last-minute reminders to all registrants.
- Get the right tools. Make sure you have everything you need to offer your audience the best possible experience. Fast and stable Internet connection, professional quality microphone, and reliable webinar marketing platform – you need the right tools to succeed.
- Reuse the webinar content. Use it as fuel for your content marketing: write a blog post summarizing the webinar, create an infographic with key takeaways, upload the slide deck to SlideShare, add it to your email cycle, etc.
- Offer the recording. Offer a webinar recording to all the people who sign up. This way you can reach those who could not watch it live. Delighted participants will probably want to watch it again or even share it with friends.
Have you been using webinars as part of your marketing strategy? What other tips would you offer? Share your ideas in the comments below.