Webinars are a B2B marketer’s best friend due to the reach, audience insight, leads, and pipeline they generate. For those of you that haven’t yet taken the leap and are wondering if you’re ready for a webinar program, here are four questions to ask yourself:
1. Have I clearly defined who my target audience is?
Like any well-planned marketing and lead generation program, it’s vital to define who your target audience is. This will dictate the content you use, your messaging, presenters, and calls to action within your webinars. You can look at your audience through multiple lenses: prospects vs. customers; industries and company types; job functions and roles; where they are in their buying journey, etc. It’s important that your content matches the audience you’re trying to engage. The right content at the right time will improve your conversion rates and generate greater webinar ROI.
2. Do I know the type of content I want to have within my webinars and how I’m going to position it?
This piggy backs off the first question you must ask yourself. Once you’ve defined your target audience, you need to create webinar content that speaks to them. If you’re going after brand-new prospects, you’re attempting to educate them, establish yourself as a credible organization with expertise, and move them into the sales funnel. It’s very important that you offer ways for your prospects to engage within your webinars (polling, surveys, handouts, Q&A, chat, breakout rooms, etc.), so you can uncover insight that will enable you to sell and market to them more effectively. If existing qualified leads are the target of a specific webinar, you’re looking to drive them further down the funnel. In this instance, your webinar may not be as high level, but instead focus on specific challenges that folks like them may be faced with. In these sessions, you can drill down into how you solve a specific challenge, provide a demo of your solution (if applicable) and/or provide case studies on how you’ve helped similar personas and organizations. Of course, existing customers are another story. Your customer-centric webinars should focus on enhancing the customer experience through education and updates, which hopefully leads to improved retention rates and upselling opportunities. Again, the right content at the right time…delivered to the right audience.
3. Am I confident that I have the right presenters to educate and engage my audience?
When it comes to webinars, regardless of the audience, engagement is the name of the game and good/bad presenters can make or break your webinar program. Whether its your own employees, customers, partners, or 3rd parties you’re bringing into the fold, look for presenters that:
- Have webinar presentation experience and/or presentation experience in general.
- Are energetic, conversational, and will get your audience touching their keyboards. If they’re boring and uninspiring, your attendees will think your organization is boring and uninspiring.
- Have technical acumen and the equipment necessary to deliver a technically clean webinar experience for your audience.
- Can get to the point and deliver value for your attendees in an adequate amount of time. If your presenters are long winded, you run the risk of your audience losing interest and logging off. Keep your attendees engaged and make the best use of their time.
4. Do I know how to properly promote, technically manage, and get the most out of my webinar investment?
When it comes to your webinar promotions, it’s all about time, your marketing mix, and who you’re going to promote it to.
- Time – plan on a 6-week project plan for each webinar, giving yourself four weeks’ worth of promotions.
- Marketing mix – a multi-pronged approach is crucial to generate the audience you’re looking for. Use all channels at your disposal – website, email blasts (4 over the course of 4 weeks), social media, newsletters and press releases, 3rd party databases that you have access to, and phone. Yes, the phone still works!
- We talked about your target audience earlier – your promotions need to be geared towards the specific industries, companies, and personas that you want attending your webinar.
Technical and production details must not be overlooked, because technical mishaps can kill your webinar program. If you don’t feel comfortable producing and technically managing your webinars, work with a managed service webinar provider that brings their technology and management of the webinar process to the table.
Finally, to get the most out of your webinar investment, think beyond the live webinar itself. Webinars are so much more than the live date. Think about how you’re going to execute an on-demand plan that will extend the shelf-life and value of your webinars. And think about how you can take your webinar content and repurpose it into other content formats that engage your audience, drive demand, and accelerate revenue.
Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ email@example.com