Even as we near the post-pandemic era, webinars continue to be an invaluable content marketing tool for companies to attract and engage with leads and retain customers. now become your supporters. They allow you to tell a story beyond the sound with real business results.
Last 12 over the years, we’ve produced, distributed, and moderated hundreds of webinars across multiple B2B industry sectors. In many cases, we have seen how A well-produced and delivered webinar can take potential customers off the fence to become new customers. as well as help measure their intent to purchase as a result of attending the webinar.
In this post, we will share the most important lessons learned to increase webinar subscribers and attendees.
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First, to effectively engage your webinar’s audience, you must understand that most registrants and attendees are not “sales ready” at this point. Instead, they are on a journey to become more knowledgeable and better educated. They don’t want to feel like they’re in a sales pitch or you’re asking them to do one. They want to know how you can solve their problems.
To engage your audience, your challenge is to:
- Identify their challenges and pain points.
- Identify how you can help them tackle the challenge.
- Communicate this effectively before and during the webinar — in email invitations, on your registration landing page, and through your speakers and slides.
This way, attendees can end up becoming your customers and future advocates. Now let’s get into the more specifics of how you can plan and ensure you capture your desired audience.
1. Choose a relevant topic
Is your topic a “must have” topic that will guide your audience through a pain point or demonstrate how they will achieve better results? People won’t sign up if it’s not specific, or if it doesn’t provide content that helps them overcome an annoying ordeal. Remember, People buy when they are in pain and have money to deal with it.
A great example of a relevant topic came from a recent case study webinar on a major auto dealership. Dealers, using an innovative software solution, increased their total profit and new car sales by discussing their challenges, options for addressing these challenges, the methodology used. applications, business results, lessons learned and how to get started.
Webinar, titled Conquest Case Study: How Toyota Performance Boosted Gross Profits and New Car Sales , solving a real pain point for auto dealers; it attracts around 600 influencers and decision makers! This resulted in over 180 leads, of which 30 were closed, resulting in over $400,000 in incremental sales year on year.
Examples of some other must-have themes that have proven to be very successful in engaging audiences are described below. (By the way, two of these have resulted in millions of dollars in sales—can you guess which ones?)
- “Case Study: How Merck Uses Virtual Team Building to Boost Performance”
- “How Recovery Protocols Work Reduce Post-Surgical Recovery Time”
- “Smarter Streets: A Case Study for Cities and Utilities – Learn How to Make the City of Baltimore and Washington Gas Cost Down”
- “Separating claimants from impostors in the Separation of Oil and Water World”
- “Culture Shock: Shake up your company, your store, your people, and sales go up”
2. Use Industry Disruption to Your Advantage
Industries in turmoil, or those facing confusion and change, are ripe to attend a webinar to learn how to overcome these challenges. Webinars that address these issues are very effective in engaging their audience. All of the examples above are, in one way or another, dealing with disruption from changes in the industry’s market, standards, or regulatory compliance.
Eg, we continue to see very strong audience acquisition results in the areas of dealing with disruption , such as Aerospace, Automotive, Healthcare, and Life Sciences. These industries consistently attract between 250 and 950 registrants, with attendance rates above 50%, with the remaining 80% of the top audience starting a live Q&A.
3. Develop an audience profile that aligns with your theme and value proposition
Start by asking yourself, “If I receive an invitation to my webinar, will the value proposition be clear enough? I want to attend? “Create a prioritized list of which industries, markets, or types of buyers would benefit most from this theme that also aligns with your desired business outcomes. For example, in addition to identifying these five key demographics (industry, job title, job level, revenue threshold, and geographic region), Continue to refine the job title and functionality your webinar will appeal to the most.
We hosted a webinar for a company specializing in the supply of light curable materials (LCM) and wanted to educate the audience on the business benefits of using LCM to reduce costs, improve safety and increase energy savings. By refining the demographics, we not only identified the top 10 industries, but we were also able to identify the job titles that are most ripe for learning about why LCM is beneficial. compared with traditional methods. It would be easy to just target titles with production or engineering in them, but we won’t align themes and value propositions with personality.
4 . Treat Outside Thought Leaders as Speakers
Webinar credibility increases dramatically when at least one of the speakers is not affiliated with the company sponsoring the webinar. A thought leader or third-party expert is crucial in engaging an audience. During the webinar, they can call on real-life examples to educate their audience, as well as share trends and opportunities to overcome key challenges. Done right, true thought leaders will inspire attendees interested in learning more to contact webinar sponsors after webinar.
We hosted a webinar for a very popular brand that chose VP of Sales as one of the presenters along with an in-house engineer, and it’s gone. While they were knowledgeable, the lack of a trusted third-party speaker made the event look like a corporate pitch. When an analyst, editor, or thought leader not affiliated with a webinar sponsor participates, it appears less like a pitch and drives people to sign up and participate. attend.
5. Lifecycle Information Collection and Exploitation is possible
Any project, initiative or event has three critical success factors that must be managed and monitored throughout its lifecycle to meet or exceed commercial results:
- A proven deadline-driven methodology.
- An ever-evolving set of best practices.
- Metrics or KPIs (key performance indicators) are suitable for measuring and predicting results before, during and after the event.
What is measured. Email and webinar key performance metrics can tell you if you’re on track to achieve your goals. If not, they will help you diagnose what Mid-lock changes need to be made long before you encounter your virtual object.
Knowing your email delivery rate provides insights into how effective your list is, revealing any discrepancies between sent and delivered counts. Open rates provide insight into the effectiveness of your topic and subject line. Unsubscribe rate tells you if you’re addressing the right audience demographics.
The best initial indicator of webinar success is to compare the number of people who are signing up to the people who actually clicked on the signup page (your click-through rate). It will predict with amazing accuracy the type of registration and attendance you can expect. A CTR above 25% is a strong indicator that your message is resonating. A low performing CTR, at a young age, can indicate problems with your landing page appeal, as well as your overall message and value proposition.
Other lifecycle information to collect includes demographic information — industry, job title/function, and geographic area you’re applying for — as well as what sources, such as marketing emails or media social media, is driving subscriptions.
Probably the most important information you can gather is simply ask people when they sign up, “What would you like to learn from this webinar? ” Better find this out before they show up for the day of the webinar, as it helps validate the message and delivery that you promised to cover in the invitation. More importantly, you can share this information with your speakers to ensure they tailor their presentations to the interests of their audience.
(And these are just webinar performance metrics to look at prior to webinar! There are many other indicators used during and after webinar that I plan to cover in my next post.)
While these lessons are superficial, following them will ensure you hit and exceed your commercial goals and add value to your audience. Good content marketing is about making your attendees smarter, so they can make more informed decisions and choose you as their vendor or partner.
Finally, there are two important confessions to remember: first, your attendees are on a journey — resist the temptation to sell in the webinar. The time to sell is after the webinar is over, as you can use all of the lifecycle metrics and information gathered before, during, and after the webinar to determine who made the sale. willing to sell, who needs more is nurturing and who is not suitable.
The second confession is webinar production There’s a lot of moving parts, and setting the stage for a smooth webinar production is critical to success. In the many webinars we have produced, we know that while planning and managing webinars is time consuming, using keyboard shortcuts is not an option. If you don’t plan, you will fail.
This is the success of your webinar!