In B2B marketing, the primary objective is generating leads. With 73% of webinar attendees becoming qualified leads (Webinar Care), it should be no surprise that marketers have embraced webinars. And, despite the many work-from-home distractions, an estimated 89% of respondents agree that webinars are the key to their lead generation strategies (On24).
In a recent talk, Argyle CEO Paul Price discusses the impact webinars have on the marketing efforts of B2B businesses and the critical strategies you should consider for hosting a successful webinar.
When hosting a webinar, incorporating database marketing is key for personalizing the message and speaking directly to your audience’s needs. It is critical for every B2B business to know its key target audience. Developing personas or an ideal customer profile (ICP) will help you better understand your target audiences’ pains and challenges. Speaking to these challenges should be incorporated into all event marketing.
People will decide whether to attend the webinar based on the content and its value. The more the messaging speaks to a solution, the greater chance you will attract the right audience.
Provide clear directives about the subject topic
Attracting the right audience begins with the planning phase. The content, speakers, and key takeaways are critical to persuading your audience to register. Compelling content is essential for running effective webinar programs. When it comes to webinars, clarity, simplicity, focus, and objectivity are essential. While the purpose of a webinar is to drive leads, the content must bring value to the audience. The webinar will drive away viewers if it comes across as a sales pitch or heavy-handed promotion.
Creating content that is relevant to your audience during a specific time of year is a proven technique for driving webinar attendance. Examples of this include a webinar about trends for the holiday shopping at the end of the year (for retailers) or the Q1 tax filing season (for accounting professionals).
Creating content related to industry standards, compliance, or other practices is a great way to draw in specific audiences. Financial services professionals will be interested in SEC compliance talks, while healthcare providers will always want to know about updates to HIPAA and similar privacy regulations.
Once you’ve found a relevant topic, provide real-world examples to show the audience how to apply this new knowledge to their campaigns.
We often underestimate how much information our audiences can absorb – when it’s well presented. The most successful webinar presentations are typically between 60 to 90 minutes, providing enough time to present the necessary information and field subsequent follow-up questions.
According to GoToWebinar, 67% of registrations are for 60-minute webinars, so the more succinct, the better. A best practice is to provide 20-30 minutes of presentation time per speaker and another 20 to 25 minutes for the audience to ask questions.
Promote a compelling visual experience
According to research by SSRN, approximately 85% of our learning is done visually. When applying this concept to webinars, it means focusing heavily on presentation slides, animations, video clips, and other visual media to accompany the speaker(s).
Tools like Prezi can help create polished, professional-looking visuals to accompany the webinar at a very affordable price. If the webinar is dealing with software or an application, using a live tutorial or demonstration is another excellent way to engage with viewers.
Recording and editing software, such as Camtasia, will create polished software tutorials ahead of time, preventing unexpected technical difficulties or website malfunctions during the webinar.
There is a fine line between “engaging” and “distracting” in webinars. For example, a cluttered screen with too much active animation can detract from the audience’s experience. For those new to building a strategic webinar campaign, be sure to acquire as much audience feedback as possible and be prepared to iterate based on the needs of the viewers.
Some audience types/industry groups will have different expectations and comfort levels regarding visuals. Audience groups from financial or legal services might not have the same expectations as audiences from media or advertising, for example.
Ultimately, the visual experience should engage the target audience. While the specifics will vary, understanding the needs of your audience is the key to ensuring the right balance when adding visual elements to webinars.
Perhaps even more important than the actual webinar session is the post-event follow-up. Every webinar will see attrition, but this does not mean those registrants are unwilling to further engage (they did provide their information to register, after all). Ensuring you have a solid messaging plan in place after the event concludes will help nurture these leads into your sales pipeline.
According to the Demand Generation Benchmark Survey Report, over 53% of B2B marketers cited webinars as one of their most effective tactics for generating qualified top-of-funnel leads. Webinars were also one of the most successful tactics to convert and accelerate leads in the middle and bottom of the funnel at 42%, based on the report.
Most commercial webinar software will integrate lead generation / nurturing systems. Ensure you understand your systems’ strengths and weaknesses to capture all the information you need.
For organizations in the initial stages of webinar-based marketing, strategically review your platform options to ensure that they will integrate with existing systems and record-keeping. Even the best platform will fail to generate actionable leads if it does not connect with existing data.
The transition to remote work has led many companies to consider the possibilities and benefits of digital events like webinars. Companies can reach a wider audience than traditional in-person events at a fraction of the cost. But simply posting a recorded panel discussion online won’t deliver your desired results. Identifying your target audience and providing practical, high-quality content is key to a successful webinar campaign. And like any marketing initiative, having a strategy to capture and fully utilize your lead data is paramount.
Argyle can help amplify your reach through our proprietary membership database of Fortune 1000 companies with our turnkey webinars. We create opportunities for senior-level executives, innovators, thought leaders, and solution providers to build their pipeline with qualified leads and gain insights that can transform your organization.