COVID-19 has impacted the marketing environment in several ways, but it has also paved the way for new opportunities, such as the rise in webinars as a marketing tool.
With conferences, events, and other face-to-face interactions getting canceled, companies are increasingly leveraging webinars to generate leads and meet their business objectives. Webinars are an interactive medium that lets you deliver valuable content to your audience while establishing credibility.
While many are waking up to webinars now, it’s interesting to note that 61% of marketers have already been using webinars as a content marketing tactic.
From educating people about your new product and offering solutions to establishing yourself as an expert and building relationships, there’s a lot you can achieve through successful webinars.
That’s not all: you’re likely to attract leads with high intent because when people register for your webinar, it indicates that they are genuinely interested in what you have to say and consider it worth their time.
So, let’s take a look at how you can run a successful webinar that captures leads.
Select a relevant topic
You need to pick an interesting and relevant webinar topic that will interest your audience. Creating a webinar takes a lot more time and effort than other marketing strategies, like writing a blog post. In order to get quality returns on that effort, you need to decide on a strong topic.
The idea is to identify a problem your customers are facing and use the webinar to offer solutions. You need to identify which stage of the sales funnel you are creating this webinar for, while ensuring it’s in line with your target audience’s needs.
Start by looking into your content repository—take a look at well-performing blog posts that saw considerable traffic or interaction. If you’ve created an eBook, see if you can repurpose some parts and turn them into a webinar.
In addition to that, use Google Trends to understand what’s trending and being commonly searched in your niche. For instance, in the midst of COVID-19, many companies are hosting webinars addressing this crisis in relation to their line of business.
Prepare valuable content
Once you narrow down on the topic, the next step is to choose the webinar format that will do justice to the topic and your business. These are some popular webinar formats:
Interviews or panel discussions
Training and workshops
Regardless of the format you pick, it’s imperative to prepare compelling webinar content that will keep your audience invested.
You want to keep it focused on a specific challenge instead of overwhelming viewers with an avalanche of information. Apart from delivering valuable content, you need to make it engaging and easy to digest. Give them a reason to want to connect with you after viewing the webinar.
Start by creating an outline and enlisting everything you wish to cover in those 45 to 60 minutes. Working on an outline gives your webinar a logical structure while ensuring you transition smoothly from one point to the next.
While drafting the script, make sure you keep it natural and conversational.
The script is just half the work done. The next step is working on a compelling presentation. Here’s what makes a powerful slideshow:
Keep the slides simple
Use visuals in the form of photos, videos, infographics, charts, graphs, etc.
Include statistical data
Use bullet points
Limit text on the slides
Use colors and fonts in line with your brand guidelines
Your slides need to look professional and communicate your message in the best way possible. If you’re not confident about your design skills, you can turn to presentation templates to design engaging slides.
Promote the webinar
You’ve chosen a date, time, and webinar tool, and worked on the content. Now, it’s time to promote the webinar to maximize attendance.
The first step is to use a landing page builder to design an optimized landing page dedicated to the webinar. This page should have a strong headline and body copy that emphasizes what the webinar is going to be about and how it will benefit audiences.
Include an easy-to-fill-out lead form that captures interested attendees’ details and places a clear and prominent call-to-action that encourages clicks.
Once the landing page has been created, you should make noise about it on social media to drive traffic and attract registrations.
As webinars are more common in the B2B space, you should promote yours on LinkedIn to reach the intended audience. You can share an image post or a LinkedIn presentation to accurately showcase the agenda of the webinar, and also post it on relevant LinkedIn groups.
Apart from that, make sure you promote it on your website through header banners, blog posts, and exit-intent pop-ups. You should also put a link to the webinar landing page in your email signature to get added visibility.
Leverage email automation
Email is the most powerful communication tool for promoting your webinar, and if used strategically it can help you create awareness, attract attendees, and generate leads.
It’s not enough to send out one webinar invitation email and expect to get results.
In order to maximize attendance, you must leverage email automation to set up an email sequence focussed on inviting prospects, building hype about the webinar, keeping them interested, and sending reminders.
As far as reminders go, it’s a good idea to send a reminder one week prior to the webinar followed by one day and one hour before the webinar begins. Sending timely reminders will increase your chances of boosting attendance.
Host an engaging session
This is it, the time is here to make your efforts count. You’ve gotten a considerable amount of people to register and now, it’s time to deliver.
It’s interesting to note that longer webinars have the potential to attract more attendees. However, long does not necessarily mean interesting. So, how do you keep your audience engaged?
The key is to keep it interactive and treat it like a two-way conversation. Use stories, humor, and interesting facts to keep your audience hooked.
You can ask open-ended questions to your audience and answer their questions as the webinar proceeds. You can also offer them a downloadable content piece at the end of the webinar to give them a reason to stay till the end.
It does not end there; make sure you follow up with webinar attendees immediately after it’s over. You can send them the recorded webinar or the downloadable presentation link. It’s also a good idea to send a survey, asking them for their feedback on the webinar.
As we continue to work in remote teams and with an increase in content consumption patterns, this is a particularly apt time to run webinars and spread the word about your business while generating high-quality leads in the process.