A lot of marketers want to make webinars a part of their content marketing and lead generation strategy, and why not? Webinars are the ultimate tool to extend your reach, engage your target audience and drive more pipeline. However, you can’t just jump into a webinar initiative without proper planning. In this blog, we outline the 5 things every company should know before they start a webinar campaign.
1. Outline Responsibilities
Responsibilities need to be defined before, during and after the webinar. Consider the following questions:
- Who are the folks that will be building the topic and description for the webinar?
- Who is going to build the project plan for the webinar and ensure that your team is staying on schedule?
- What marketing tactics are you going to use and who will be managing/overseeing the promotions of your webinar?
- Who are your speakers and how are you sourcing them? Who will be responsible for making sure your speakers are comfortable with the presentation, as well as the webinar technology, the day of the event?
- Who will be building the slide deck and other supporting content in the webinar? Will it be audio or video-based and who is responsible for recording?
- The day of the event, what members of your team will be there to support the event to ensure its executed flawlessly?
- Post event, how are the leads going to be distributed to your reps for immediate follow-up? Who’s going to ensure that the on-demand version of the webinar is used properly so it continues to generate leads for your business for months to come?
2. Appropriate Bandwidth is a Necessity
Many folks are shocked when they enter into a webinar campaign, only to find out that they don’t have the necessary bandwidth to execute their webinars the right way. In cases like this, it could make sense to work with a vendor that offers a managed-service option. Vendors like this can handle all technical and production details from registration page creation to event archive, allowing you to focus on putting together a top-notch webinar presentation and promoting it the right way to drive the traffic you want. We’ve often found that the #1 reason marketers don’t execute more webinars is because they simply don’t have the bandwidth to do so, regardless of how well their webinars have performed in the past. A managed-service webinar vendor can make this challenge obsolete.
3. Your Audience Doesn’t Want a Company Commercial
Too often, companies use webinars as an opportunity to tell their audience how great their company/product/service is. The truth is, your audience doesn’t care because they didn’t sign up for a 45-minute commercial. They want your webinar to be an educational experience, one that gives them tips/pointers and helps them understand how your company has helped businesses like theirs. This doesn’t only pertain to the webinar itself, but to the registration page and promotions as well. Your registration page should clearly outline who your webinar is meant for, what attendees will learn by taking 45 minutes out of their day to hear what you have to say, and the value they’ll get out of attending. If it doesn’t do that, you’re losing before your webinar even takes place.
4. Different Webinars Serve Different Purposes
If you’re using webinars for marketing purposes, there are different types of webinars to use throughout every stage of the funnel. There are webinars for top-of-funnel lead generation; webinars to turn existing leads into working opportunities; and webinars that actually close business. It’s important to understand different segments of your audience and what webinar fits them best. There are also webinars to improve the customer experience that can help establish a larger footprint in your client accounts; webinars for sales and partner enablement; and webinars for overall training purposes. Whichever way you plan on using webinars, just make sure that that you get the right webinar in front of the right audience.
5. Webinars Have Long-Tail Impact
The biggest mistake marketers make is putting all of their emphasis on the live webinar and completely disregarding the on-demand version. Yes, everybody wants a large live audience so they can immediately turn those attendees into qualified leads. However, its important to properly extend the shelf-life of your webinar content so it acts as a lead generator for your business for a long time to come. Your on-demand webinars can also be re-purposed into other forms of content – highlight reels, short videos, whitepapers, eBooks, blogs, etc. – that can drive significant pipeline for your company as well. When you are planning out your overall webinar strategy, be sure to outline what your on-demand plan is going to be for each webinar. Treating on-demand webinars with as much care as the live event can significantly increase the ROI of your webinar campaigns.
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Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ firstname.lastname@example.org