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How to Host a Webinar that Gets Results

How to Host a Webinar that Gets Results

Webinars are one of the most versatile tools in a marketing team’s arsenal. Read on to build credibility and ensure your webinar gets results.

The lead-up to the launch of a new product is a great time to host a webinar.

So is the completion of a successful project with a customer who’s willing to talk publicly about it.

Webinars work well when you want to share market research you’ve conducted about trends in your industry.

You can also make strategic use of webinars to build credibility with your customers by hosting educational sessions that dive deep into their biggest pain points.

Webinars, in other words, are one of the most versatile tools in a marketing team’s arsenal.

There’s just one risk: that your customers are beginning to suffer virtual fatigue.

Since the pandemic, there has been an obvious effort by brands of all kinds to use webinars as a way to maintain a high profile and offer experiences that make up for what they haven’t been able to do in person.

That means some webinars have been substituted for physical events and conferences. It also means that companies which hadn’t traditionally hosted webinars have been leaning into them for the first time.

Even in the largest sectors, there are only so many webinars the average person is willing to register for and attend. In fact, attendee drop-offs are one of the biggest challenges marketing teams have faced with webinars, and it may be even worse today.

The only way to combat virtual fatigue and ensure your webinar gets results is to be laser-focused on the outcomes you want to achieve, mindful of how you handle the attendee journey and ensuring you offer plenty of choice in how the content is consumed. Let’s walk through each of those areas in detail:

1. Establish Crystal-Clear Webinar Marketing Objectives

Beyond all the occasions or catalysts for hosting webinars mentioned above, they all tend to ladder back to the same marketing goals.

These are three examples, and you’ll quickly see how settling on one will help fine-tune what you do next:

Lead generation: If you’re trying to help the sales team fill their pipeline, webinars will often hone in on content that gives the audience practical steps or solutions to the challenges they face. This can include a walkthrough of your latest product, or simply advice from your subject matter experts that answers frequently asked questions. In this case, the registrations you attract will give sales reps a great reason to reach out afterwards to gauge their level of purchase intent.

Lead nurture: Some business sectors have a longer buying cycle or need to ensure they stay connected with customers in order to reduce churn and encourage renewals. Webinars can help here by bringing together your SMEs with their peers, industry analysts and other trusted sources. You can discuss best practices, industry regulations or other trends that your audience should be applying in their organization. These kinds of webinars may be part of an account based marketing (ABM) campaign that builds trust, or aligns with key moments in your customers’ year.

Prospecting: There are always potential customers who have never taken the time to really get to know your brand, and a webinar can be a valuable introduction. They might sign up in order to hear thought leadership, new research findings or simply explainers on the products and services in your categories. These webinars can be cross-pollinated with efforts you’re doing to drive brand awareness across social media, video platforms like YouTube or industry publications.

2. Market The ROI Of Attending From The Outset

There are way too many webinar invitations landing in your customers’ inboxes already. Teasing the value of your virtual event, or suggesting some kind of surprise element, risks being ignored by the people you want to attract.

Instead, all your pre-event marketing — whether it’s the webinar signup page, posts on social media, your blog or anything in between — needs to give a clear picture of the value they’ll get by the end of the webinar. This could include:

  • Hard data in the form of statistics to benchmark themselves against their peers

  • How-to guides to solving problems via case studies or insights from a seasoned keynote speaker

  • An easier, faster or better way to use your products and services than they would learn by reading knowledge base articles or similar content.

The more specific you can be about the ROI, the more likely attendees will invest their time.

3. Repurpose And Expand The Availability Of Your Content

There can be considerable excitement when you’re running a live webinar and watching attendees sign on. If you run polls or take questions, you’ll be enjoying a dynamic real-time interaction with customers and prospects. What many brands don’t realize is that the excitement doesn’t have to end there.

Given all the last-minute conflicts that may come up — a sudden call from their boss, a forgotten meeting, a family emergency — they’ll appreciate the flexibility of having a page where all webinars can be access on demand. Even if they sign in at their convenience outside of traditional business hours, you’ll still be able to track their attendance and follow-up accordingly.

Also, consider the ways you could share the key takeaways from your webinar in other formats, such as:

  • Writing a blog post in which you cover over the highlights, perhaps answering any audience questions that couldn’t be covered during the live broadcast

  • Taking the audio and editing it into a podcast which you use as the feature of an existing podcast series or as a one-off you offer to test the waters in a new medium

  • Taking quotes from webinar speakers and turning them into graphic-oriented posts you share on social media, including any positive comments attendees might share in a post-webinar evaluation form.

No matter what you do, you can continue to include a link to the full on-demand webinar for those who couldn’t attend or somehow missed the initial invitation.

Lastly, consider how you measure your webinar results. A big list of registrations is great, but even a small list that leads to a single large sale could represent big success. So can renewals, increased traffic to your blog or even just a willingness by attendees to show up again to your next webinar.

Virtual fatigue might never completely go away, but with the right approach to executing a webinar, you’ll give customers great reasons to wake up.

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