By Sudhanshi Parakh
Webinars have evolved, pushed to new, engaging heights as technology continues to transform this traditional marketing tactic. Static slide presentations with unseen speakers have been replaced by professional video, live chat, and other dynamic interactive features.
Because of this, webinar marketing has taken on greater importance. Webinar fatigue has made some potential attendees apathetic, and more hesitant to register. In this guide, we'll show you how to properly market and showcase your webinars in 2022 for maximum impact.
What is webinar marketing?
A webinar is an online seminar that aims to convey relevant information to educate a specific audience about a product or a service. And webinar marketing, smartly put, is the art of creating and developing the right content to achieve that end goal of getting a good number of high-quality leads. This tactic is usually an effective one, both for a prospect as well as an avenue for customer marketing.
Webinar marketing is of greater salience as a B2B marketing strategy. The product being marketed through this virtual seminar could be physical merchandise, a SaaS (software-as-a-service), an eBook, a blog post, or an online service. The content of the webinar largely depends on the end goal, which can be to drive awareness, educate customers, or sell to them.
Why is webinar marketing so important?
Before 2020, hosting in-person events and tradeshows was one of the best demand-generation techniques for businesses. Now that virtual and hybrid events have become the new reality, it only makes sense for businesses to make the shift from in-person seminars to webinars.
Here we list down the FOUR biggest reasons why this tactic can truly impact your business’s bottom line:
Webinars drive conversions. Selling for an online business can happen through various tactics, such as sales letters, product launches, social media, etc. depending on your business type. But you will always have a time crunch when personally selling to the ones who are most interested in buying. But imagine talking to 100 people at the same time for the same product? And being able to convert 25 of them immediately, and maybe even more down the road! Webinars can really help you up that conversion rate you have set your sights on.
Webinars generate leads. When leveraged properly, webinars become lead magnets that bring in new subscribers and leads for you. According to ReadyTalk, between 20-40% of the webinar attendees become qualified marketing leads. To achieve this, you need to place this lead magnet on your website and tell your audience about the value you are going to share in the webinar. If this value is significant enough, people will share their contact info to join your webinar. And just like that, you gain quality leads through your offering!
Webinars retain viewer attention. Unlike advertisements, webinars will not intrude into your audience’s screen time, as people would willingly sign up for your webinar to learn the knowledge you share. According to MakeSocialMediaSell, 40% of users watch webinars from start to finish. This allows you to take some time to establish your brand and product’s credibility before you make your sales pitch.
Webinars help you warm up leads quickly. Since people sign up for webinars of their own volition, it means they are interested in the content offered. Perhaps they are at the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, which means they are aware of their problem, want to learn how to solve it, and find the quickest and best possible solution. If your webinar helps guide them in finding this solution, they are likely to remember your brand.
How to create a successful webinar
Making an impactful webinar presentation begins with curating the right topic, creating engaging content around it, and using the right messaging. Only then can your webinar be successful in attracting your audience towards your product. Here we’re listing down the steps that can help you achieve your registration goals for your webinar.
Select the perfect topic: When choosing a webinar topic, concentrate on the 4 "U"s: Useful, Unique, Urgent, and Ultra-specific. Ideally, when creating a webinar, focus on a single topic that is of immediate relevance to your audience. You can review content that is already published on your site and filter out your most successful content pieces in terms of audience engagement – this could be a good starting point for deciding on a relevant topic. Another way is to discuss with your sales and client support teams and gauge which issues your customers and prospects are most concerned about. Your webinar topic should also be aligned with your speaker’s area of expertise so that any questions from attendees can be addressed immediately.
Another good tactic can be to make use of a quick web search and/or Google Trends to see what your target audience is searching for. Select a topic that resonates with your audience's needs, and also resonates with the current times and industry trends.
Get the perfect presentation ready: The average stick rate for a webinar attendee according to ClickMeeting’s 2020 State of Webinars Report is 53 minutes. In order to keep your audience engaged for that long, the webinar content has to be interesting and engaging throughout. Make sure your deck is full of demonstrations, videos, and visuals. Showcasing content in bullets is always better than showing lengthy boring paragraphs. Use relevant infographics and images on every slide. The speaker’s audio-visual should also be tested prior to the D-day, to avoid any hiccups. Provide your audience with supporting reading material wherever necessary.
Carefully plan the webinar structure:
First 5 Minutes--Grab their attention: The first impression is the most important, so make sure to utilize the first 5 minutes of your webinar to deliver a powerful introduction! Walk your audience through the entire flow of the event and let them know what they can expect (and when) during the next 50-70 minutes.
10 Minutes--Storytime: Utilize the next 10 minutes to present to them a carefully crafted brand story revolving around your product or service. Use numbers wherever possible to increase credibility. Make sure that these 10 minutes are compelling enough for them to stay hooked to what is coming next! Slowly start segueing towards the next stage – which will focus on your service/offering.
20-30 Minutes- What’s in it for them? Your target audience came to your webinar for a reason. Tell them how your offering can solve their existing problem. This part of the webinar should be all about offering solutions, valuable information, or new strategies to your audience. This is also the stage where it would be alright for you to talk in-depth about your product.
5-10 Minutes--Make an offer they can’t refuse! This is your chance to convert those attendees into your prospective customers. Reel them in with a limited-time promotional deal or a personalized offer. Create a sense of urgency so that your offer lingers in their mind even after the presentation. This will increase the chances of a purchase happening soon after. Clearly indicate the next steps they can take to reach out to your business.
Last 10 Minutes- Q&A time. The Q&A segment is the best way to ensure audience engagement for your webinar. It not only helps clear any queries that your audience may have about your content or offer but also acts as a great platform to get feedback about the session. You can gauge what worked and what did not by the audience’s reaction. But if Q&A is not feasible for you, then polls work just as well - engagement doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a direct conversation.
Create a Visually Appealing Landing Page. Now that we have the webinar content and structure ready, the next step is to figure out how to compel your target audience to register for this virtual event. As we have discussed, one of the key benefits of this tactic is lead generation. And to achieve this, creating a landing page that is comprehensive, crisp, and easy to navigate is important.
While creating the registration form, make sure to add the necessary fields for capturing the right information in your database. At the same time, don’t add too many mandatory fields as that can significantly reduce sign-ups. Your audience might not be willing to share their information due to privacy concerns or they simply may not have enough time to fill your extensive form. Ideally, the fields that should be kept mandatory are name, company, job title, phone number, and work email address.
Page design is extremely crucial as well. Badly designed landing pages have proven to result in reduced conversion rates. Work with your web design teams to get a creatively and cautiously designed LP. Don’t stuff the page with excessive information. Make it easy to navigate. Highlight the date, time, speaker details and session brief. Clearly highlight the registration process as well as any necessary information your audience would look for. Promoting your webinar: Put together a multi-channel marketing plan to promote your webinar. This could include social media posts, social media ads, influencer marketing, email marketing, and paid partnerships. Don’t forget — your personal network is also an important marketing channel here. Your LinkedIn connections, your Facebook brand-page fans, your Twitter followers, etc. are all likely to attend your webinar if you promote it with a personal touch. After all, they follow you for a reason!
Email marketing is also one of the most important tactics that can be used here. To get the most out of your email promotional plan for your webinars, create a webinar email sequence that starts weeks before the D-day. You can easily create and automate your sequence through email marketing and marketing automation platforms.
Once your attendees register, it’s important to send out a reminder to them via an email or text message. A good tip is to not write a reminder with just the day and time but give a peek into what they can expect for their time spent at your webinar. This builds excitement and anticipation.
Remember to include key takeaways you will share in the webinar that cannot be found anywhere else. This can be in the form of graphics you created or teaser videos of your product with a voiceover describing what the webinar is about.
If you have a blog, place a call-to-action to the webinar at the bottom of a related post to drive registrants.
Zero in on the webinar hosting platform:
Now that you have these webinar marketing best practices down, you’re probably wondering which webinar tool or platform to use to host your upcoming webinar.
While services offered by paid tech providers vary, be sure to look out for:
Integrations with other software you use, like your email marketing service provider
Option to free dial for participants from around the world
Ability to share your screen and show videos
Automatic recording, and
Chat + Q&A or Polling features
Continue the conversation after the event:
Once the webinar is over, follow up with your attendees by sending them supplementary content. You can share your webinar recording with people who registered but didn’t show up and with attendees who left the webinar early. Webinar recordings can be useful for other purposes as well. Sharing them with your audience will give them the freedom to revisit the content at their convenience. It also becomes a highly sharable asset, which can easily be distributed directly or through follow-up emails or websites. They can also be repurposed into shorter videos that capture the highlights on the webinar, making it easy to share on social media.
Webinars are an easy way to make an impression on your audience. But executing an impactful webinar means your webinar marketing strategy needs to hit ‘just right. Design a strategy that gets the basics right and then molds it around your brand. Make sure to always listen to your audience, offer content on topics you have expertise on, practice for a smooth presentation, follow up with your audience, and repurpose your content. And lastly, don’t forget to track the results!
Sudhanshi is a Field Marketer at Cvent, responsible for executing brand awareness and customer engagement campaigns for Cvent’s virtual and live events. She is a marketing enthusiast who gets excited about seeing interesting moment marketing tactics and creative brand campaigns! She spends her free time actively seeking out opportunities to learn or indulge in new experiences and hobbies, such as music, sports, travel, or design.