“Year after year, we have seen that providing engaging, informative, and helpful content is B2B marketers’ most powerful weapon in building authentic connections with their prospects,” said Paul Heald, the CEO and co-founder of BrightTALK in an article published in Search Engine Journal.
“As we continue to diversify and redefine webinars with innovative forms of interactive video content, online talks, and live events, it is exciting to see positive growth across all engagement metrics on our platform,” Heald added.
So, how do you create get started?
Boost Sales and Revenue with Webinars
When done right, webinars can help you accomplish a wide range of marketing objectives. These include using webinars for sales by generating quality leads, boosting brand awareness and positioning your company as a thought leader in your industry.
If your company isn’t actively using webinar marketing yet, now could be a good time to give it a try. Here are six steps for how to create a webinar and how to host a webinar for your business:
1. Choose your webinar topic carefully. This is the first and most important step in launching a successful webinar. Your topic should be engaging, relevant and informative to your audience. It also helps if your topic is timely by tying into current developments and trends in your industry.
For example, a financial planner might launch a webinar about recent tax legislation affecting individuals. A manufacturer might plan a webinar discussing the impact of trade policy on a particular industry. Or a realtor could conduct a webinar discussing how rising or falling interest rates will affect homebuyers.
Brainstorm with members of your marketing and executive team about good potential topics for your webinar. Also refer back to blogs, articles and other content that team members have written to help spur good ideas.
2. Select the right software platform. There are a number of software platforms to choose from to manage the technical aspects of conducting a webinar. Among the highly rated platforms are Zoom, WebEx, LiveStream, ClickMeeting, WebinarJam, EasyWebinar, EverWebinar, GoToWebinar and GetResponse.
These platforms all offer different features and price points, and there are pros and cons to each. As you perform your research, consider such factors as:
- How easy is it for participants to download the plugin and participate in the webinar?
- How many presenters can be featured at once?
- What is the quality of the video and audio?
- How many viewers can participate in the webinar?
- Does the platform offer features such as live-chat, polls, surveys and automatic recording?
- What kind of reviews has the software received from other users?
3. Make your webinar interactive. The more you can interact with your audience during the webinar, the better. Interaction allows attendees to actively participate in the presentation, which helps keep them engaged and increases the chance they’ll remain through the entire presentation.
“Having a skillful moderator will help you keep the session active and interactive,” said Shane Barker in a blog published by Synup, a next-generation customer acquisition specialist. “To engage and entertain your audience, make sure you use a more conversational type of communication.”
Barker suggests conducting polls and surveys among participants by asking them to respond to questions related to the content you’re presenting. You can also schedule time for questions and answers at the end of the presentation, just like you would during an in-person seminar. Other forms of webinar interaction include product demos, live workshops, and distribution of digital handouts to attendees.
4. Promote your webinar effectively. The more participants you can attract to your webinar, the greater your chances of achieving your marketing and sales goals. Effective promotion is the key to maximizing attendance of your webinar.
Promotional tools include your company website, social media, direct mail and most importantly, email. If you have built a quality mailing list of opt-in subscribers, start sending out emails letting them know about your webinar one month in advance. Then send weekly reminders right up to the date of the webinar.
According to research conducted by GoToWebinar, Tuesdays are the best day of the week for sending out webinar promotions. Between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. is the best time of day for sending promotions. And Thursday at 11 a.m. is the best day and time for conducting webinars.
Creative titling is also part of effective webinar promotion. According to the GoToWebinar research, the most effective webinar titles incorporate list formats and phrases like “how to,” “101 ways to,” “new,” “trends,” “training” and “worship” into them.
Don’t panic if you haven’t gotten many signups for your webinar early in the promotion process. About seven out of 10 attendees will register within one week of the webinar, with three out of 10 registering on the same day, according to the GoToWebinar research.
5. Make on-demand recordings of the webinar available. This step is critical because many people who sign up for a webinar are unable to attend live. In fact, 84 percent of B2B professionals say they prefer to view recordings of webinars when it’s convenient for them, instead of participating live, according to the GoToWebinar research.
“Your audience is interested in your webinar today, but you can’t guarantee the same interest tomorrow,” said Barker. “So be sure to download and share the webinar with your audience before they forget about it.”
Send an email to everyone who registered for the webinar letting them know that if they missed the live webinar or want to go back and listen to it again, they can view a reply whenever they want by simply clicking on a link. This way, your webinar can keep working for you weeks or even months after it has ended.
6. Follow up promptly with attendees afterward. This is where the marketing rubber meets the road. Every person who signed up to attend your webinar represents a qualified lead. So be sure to contact each of them promptly to answer their questions and gauge their interest in talking with your salespeople about your products and services.
Using Webinars to Achieve Goals
As you plan your marketing strategies for the new year, consider adding webinar marketing to your list. It could help you achieve some of your most important marketing and sales goals.
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