Even if we are close to the post-pandemic era, webinars are still an invaluable content marketing tool for companies to attract and engage potential customers as well as keep existing customers as representatives. They allow you to tell a story that doesn’t make sense and has real business results.
Over the past 12 years, we have produced, delivered, and overseen hundreds of webinars across a wide range of B2B industries. In many cases, we have seen how A well-produced and delivered webinar can move potential off the fence to become new customers as well as helping to measure their intention to buy as a result of attending a webinar.
In this post, we intend to share key lessons to increase webinar registrants and attendees.
Before you begin
First, in order to attract your webinar audience effectively, you need to understand that most registrants and participants are not “ready” at this point. Instead, they are on their way to becoming more aware and better educated. They don’t want to feel like they’re present at the point of sale or that you’re asking them to participate in something. They want to know how you can solve their problems.
Attracting your audience is your challenge:
- Identify their challenges and pain points.
- Find out how you can help them solve their challenges.
- Communicate this effectively before and during the webinar – in your email invitations, on your registration home page, and through your speakers and slides.
In this way, participants can eventually become customers and future advocates. Let’s now take a closer look at how you can plan and make sure you attract the audience you want
1. Select the relevant topic
Is your topic “mandatory” that educates the audience on how to overcome the pain point or shows how they achieve better results? People will not sign up if it is not special or if it does not provide content that will help them overcome the painful challenge. Remember, people buy when they have pain and they have the money to deal with it.
A great example of a relevant topic comes from a recent case study webinar covering a major car dealership. The dealer uses the innovative software solution to increase the gross profits and sales of new vehicles by discussing their challenges, options to address these challenges, methods used, business results, learning and getting started.
Webinar, title Conquest Case Study: How Performance Toyota Increased Gross Revenue and Sales of New Vehicles, addressed the real pain point of car dealers; it attracted about 600 influencers and decision makers! This led to more than 180 referrals, 30 of which were closed, resulting in additional annual revenue of more than $ 400,000.
Below are examples of some other mandatory topics that have proven to be very successful in attracting an audience. (By the way, two of these led to a million-dollar sale – can you guess which ones they are?)
- “Case Study: How Merck Uses Virtual Team Building to Improve Performance”
- “How Active Retreatment Protocols Reduce Postoperative Recovery Time”
- “Smarter Streets: Case Studies for Cities and Utilities – Learn How Baltimore and Washington Gas Reduced Costs”
- “Separating Competitors from Pretenders in the World of Oil Separation”
- “Cultural Shock: Mix up your business, store, staff and sales growth follows”
2. Take advantage of industry disruptions
Mixed or confusion and change industries are ripe to attend a webinar to learn to overcome these challenges. Webinars that answer these questions are very attractive to their audience. All of the above examples dealt in one way or another with disruptions from changes in industrial markets, standards, or changes in regulatory compliance.
For example, we continue to see a very strong public procurement outcome in the areas affected by the disruption, such as aerospace, automotive, healthcare and life sciences. These industries consistently attract 250-950 registrants with a participation rate of over 50% and who keep over 80% of the top audience well in advance of the Q / A live panel.
3. Develop an audience profile that matches the topic and value proposition
Start by asking yourself, “If I received an invitation to my webinar, is the value proposition clear enough that I would like to attend?” Create a list of priorities, which industries, markets, or buyer types would benefit most from this topic and that also fit into the desired business results. For example, in addition to identifying these five key demographics (industries, job titles, job levels, income thresholds and geographical areas) continue to refine which job titles and functions would be most appealing to your webinar.
We did a webinar for a company that specializes in supplying light curing materials (LCM) and wanted to educate the public about the business benefits of using these LCMs to reduce costs, improve safety, and increase energy savings. By refining demographics, we not only identified the 10 largest industries, but we were also able to identify the most mature job titles to find out why LCMs offer advantages over traditional methods. It would have been easy to target items to manufacturing or design, but we would not have targeted the subject and value proposition to the right person.
4. Consider leaders of external thoughts as speakers
The credibility of a webinar increases significantly when at least one of the speakers is not affiliated with the company sponsoring the webinar. A thought leader or a third-party expert is critical in attracting an audience. During the webinar, they can invite real-life examples to educate the audience as well as share trends and opportunities to overcome key challenges. Done right, real thought leaders inspire participants who are interested in learning more to contact the webinar sponsor after the webinar.
We did a webinar for a well-known brand that chose its sales manager as one of the performers along with an in-house engineer and it fell steadily. Although they were knowledgeable, they lacked a credible third-party speaker, so the event sounded like a company outlet. When an industry analyst, journalist, or thinker who is not affiliated with a webinar sponsor is involved, it looks less like a selling point and motivates people to sign up and participate.
5. Collect and dig functional lifecycle intelligence
Every project, initiative, or event has three critical success factors that must be managed and monitored throughout its lifecycle to achieve or exceed commercial results:
- Proven, time-based method.
- A set of constantly evolving best practices.
- Appropriate metrics or performance indicators (key performance indicators) to compare and predict results before, during and after the event.
What is measured is done. Key email and webinar performance metrics can tell you if you’re achieving your goals. If you haven’t, they’ll help you diagnose medium-term changes long before you meet your virtual audience.
Knowing your email delivery rates will give you an idea of how your lists work, revealing any differences between the number sent and the number delivered. The open price provides an idea of the effectiveness of your topic and topic line. Subscription cancellation rates will tell you if you are responding to the right audience.
The best early indicator of the success of your webinar is to compare how many people are registered to the people who clicked on the registration page (clickthrough rate). It predicts with amazing accuracy what type of enrollment and attendance you can expect. A clickthrough rate of over 25% is a strong indication that your message is resonating. Poor teen CPCs may indicate problems with your landing page selection, as well as your overall message and value presentation.
Other life-cycle inquiries to be collected include demographic data – which industries, job titles / jobs, and geographic areas register – as well as which sources, such as email marketing or social media, drive registrations.
Perhaps the most important intelligence you can gather is simply ask people when you sign up, “What do you want to learn from this webinar?” It is better to learn this before they appear on the day of the webinar, as it will help confirm the messages and deliveries contained in the invitation. More importantly, you can share this information with your speakers to make sure they match their presentation with the public interest.
(And these are just webinar performance metrics that need to be looked at before webinar! There are many other metrics in use during and after webinar, which I will cover in the next post.)
While these lessons will only scratch the surface, following them will ensure that you achieve and exceed your commercial goals and add value to your audience. Good content marketing aims to make your participants smarter so that they can make informed decisions and choose you as a supplier or partner.
Finally, two important acknowledgments need to be remembered: The first is that participants are on their way – resist the temptation to sell during the webinar. The sales period is after the end of the webinar because you can use all the life cycle data and metrics collected before, during and after the webinar to find out who is ready to sell, who needs more care and who is not.
Another recognition is that produce a webinar there are a lot of moving parts, and setting up a smooth webinar production is critical to success. As many webinars as we have produced, we know that while planning and managing a webinar is time consuming, using shortcuts is not an option. If you fail to plan, you are going to fail.
Here is the success of your webinar!