Webinars are one of the most important items in the marketing toolkit. They are used to educate a captured audience of customers on an easy and convenient platform. Not only do they provide rich content, but webinars can be leveraged throughout the entire customer journey.
Webinars are a great way to generate new leads while simultaneously providing in-depth information for 30 minutes or more. On top of that, attendees have the opportunity to ask questions, start a dialogue, and truly engage with you on the spot.
In order to leverage this powerful tool, it is important that marketers do everything they can to maximize the success of the webinar and increase their leads.
1. Know Your Target Audience
The first thing you need to do when creating a webinar is to determine who your target audience is. To do this first, figure out what your goals for this webinar are. What do you want out of it? Then you take that goal and apply it to a specific stage of the customer lifecycle:
You should have personas attributed to every stage of this customer lifecycle. Once you have identified which persona the webinar is for, target all of your efforts toward them.
2. Establish a Webinar Format
There are several different types of webinars available. To determine which one to choose, you must know your goals and your target audience.
Here are the different webinar formats you can choose from:
In an educational webinar, you can position yourself as an industry leader and an expert in your field. These are the most flexible webinars and therefore the most common. You can have one or multiple speakers/presenters. Also, there is usually a slideshow, video, or other visual to engage attendees and illustrate the presenter’s points.
The Q&A webinar is used for maximum engagement. It is audience focused and allows attendees to ask whatever questions they choose to the presenter or panel. This webinar is relatively easy since it does not require prepared content, but the presenter must be an expert who can field all of the questions asked of them. It is also a good idea to have a moderator to implement some order to the Q&A.
A panelist webinar is a controlled Q&A where a moderator asks prepared questions and the panelists give prepared answers. The attendees mainly listen but sometimes there is a small Q&A portion at the end where a few attendees can ask their own questions. Not only is this an informative webinar format but you are afforded great promotion opportunities with this one as well. You can leverage each panelist’s audience through social media and other platforms to increase the reach of your webinar’s promotion.
A workshop webinar usually is some kind of demonstration where attendees are walked through a process step by step. They get to see how the product or service they are interested in works firsthand.
Even more important than the webinar itself in the planning and organization that goes into it. It is important that you give yourself enough time to properly establish the logistics of your webinar. There are many moving parts when it comes to a webinar and you don’t want your attendees to see a haphazard presentation. So, make sure you are well organized.
The first thing you need to do is to book your speakers well in advance. They have busy schedules and they need to have enough time to familiarize themselves with your topic and to prepare compelling content. You also need to give yourself enough time to launch a robust promotional campaign. Also, take special care when choosing a webinar platform. Is the platform within your budget? Can it support the format of the webinar that you want to do?
4. Promote, promote, promote!
Since you know your target audience based on your personas it is time to create a campaign that will target them. Make sure that your promotional strategies are well thought out and compelling. Use multi-channel marketing to find your audience where they are. Also, make use of automation tools to make sure that everything gets out on time to those who need it.
5. Repurpose and Reach Out
Lastly, it is important to not only follow up with the attendees of the webinar but to provide them with related content. Webinars are content-rich, so once you have one you can use the info to create several other supporting pieces of content i.e. an ebook, an infographic, a blog post, etc. Your attendees have already shown interest in the information provided in the webinar, so when you follow up, give them some options for other content they may also be interested in to continue to move them through the sales funnel.
With these five steps, you will be able to build stronger relationships and collect qualified leads. It will guide you to have a great webinar and maximize its potential.