You’ve decided to host a webinar. Now what? Webinars can be highly effective in the B2B space for building brand credibility, developing thought leadership, and getting in front of many interested leads at once and at a low cost. So how do you get the most out of your next webinar? Have a solid plan that takes you from preparation to follow-up.
Know what you’re working towards.
- What are your goals? Advancing warm lead in the sales pipeline, promoting thought leadership and brand awareness, and establishing your brand as an authority in the space are just a few examples.
- What are your quantifiable objectives? According to Confertel, .5% – 1% of those invited will register, and about 40% of those who register will actually attend. So start with your end goal and work backwards.
Iron out the logistics.
- Who’s your audience? This can include all leads in the pipeline, warm leads who haven’t converted, and new contacts who may not yet be familiar with your brand.
- When will it be? Midweek at 10 AM or 1 PM typically work best, but consider when your audience is most available.
- How long will it last? While some will recommend 60 – 90 minutes, we suggest 45 – 60 minutes (before attendees starting losing interest).
- What’s your topic? It should be educational rather than sales-driven. Attendees shouldn’t feel like they’re sitting through your sales pitch.
- What platform are you using? GoToWebinar and WebEx are common platforms.
- Who’s owning what? Identify a key speaker(s) and host/moderator. Assign roles for who’s building out content and who’s responsible for day-of-webinar technical tasks like moving slides, running polls, etc.
- Will you have polls, Q&A time, and/or a survey? All of these components add value. A couple quick polls during the webinar can keep attendees engaged. 10 minutes of Q&A at the end allows attendees to ask their most relevant questions and provides you the opportunity to connect responses with your product, service, and/or relevant experience. A short survey gathers immediate attendee feedback while it’s top-of-mind.
- How will folks register? Most webinar platforms allow you to customize a registration landing page. Include what attendees will learn, as well the presenter’s bio and headshot to build credibility. For every promotional channel, use a unique tracking URL so you can later determine effective and ineffective channels.
Plan your marketing efforts.
Promotions should go into full effect 4 weeks before the webinar, which means you’ll need to plan the details 8 weeks in advance. This can include:
- Linked banner image on your homepage
- Linked image or text in everyone’s email signature
- Multiple posts across your company and team members’ social media networks
- Paid search ads
- Remarketing ads
- Display ads on relevant, popular websites in your space
- Drip emails through your marketing automation platform or email service provider to existing leads and targeted purchased lists
- Personal emails and calls to warm leads from the sales team
Be sure to suppress new registrations from promotional emails and calls.
Beyond the confirmation email your platform deploys after registration, send 2 reminder emails leading up to the webinar: 24 hours prior and 1 hour prior to start time.
Build your content.
Remember: content should be educational, not salesy. Kick off with a hook that will resonate with your audience like a story that exemplifies their most common pain point. Slides should be visually engaging, using graphs to convey quantifiable data and minimizing the amount of text used.
Simply put and for obvious reasons: do at least one run-through with all involved parties.
Keep the conversation going.
Just because the webinar must end doesn’t mean your conversation should. Thank attendees by sending them a follow-up email with the recorded webinar for their reference. Similarly, send a “We missed you!” email with the recording to those who registered but didn’t make it. Over the following couple weeks, drip another two emails with content relevant to the webinar topic, then add all who registered as subscribers to your prospecting drip campaign or eNewsletter.
Warm leads should get 1-on-1 attention with personalized follow-up via phone and email.