Webinars are a great way to communicate with business prospects. You can demonstrate your product/service to hundreds of people at once sitting even in the remotest parts of the world! You can deliver memorable sales presentations from the USA to a business prospect in Australia without moving from your seat!
But how do you go about planning a webinar that not only adds value to your prospects but also helps you convert them into customers?
The very first step towards executing a successful webinar is to identify the topic and target audience for it. Pick a topic that adds value to your target audience and makes attendance worth their time. Perform a market research and truly understand the challenges they face and how your webinar addresses those.
Once you’ve a topic and target audience for the webinar, it’s important to make a concise communication plan for it. This would involve shortlisting the channels to be activated for promotions, content buckets/themes and a timeline of when you plan to engage the audiences. Here’s an example:
Channels: Social Media (FB, LinkedIn), Google Ads, Email, Internal Communities, Organic, etc.
Content Theme: Brand of Speaker, Virtual Summit, Value proposition, etc
Timeline: Ads to be run from N-30 till the webinar date,Customized Email sequences to be sent to website subscribers on N-20, N-10, N-7 and so on
Key metrics for measuring performance will depend on the type of channel. For instance for Social Media, link clicks and CTRs will be good metrics, for emails, it will be open rates, links clicks and so on.
If you plan to monetize the webinar, a pricing model that changes based on the promotion channels can be put in place (the reason being user intent).
For example, while promoting a business webinar, a user browsing Facebook (lower intent) may need more convincing than a user browsing LinkedIn (higher intent) given the latter is a business platform. This is where a price fluctuation will help convert even low intent users into webinar registrants. You can promote the entry fee for the webinar on FB at 10-12$ while promoting the same on LinkedIn at 18-20$.
Another variation that can be added to the webinar are offers. If you have a product/service that would be promoted before/during the course of the webinar, create a custom offer just for webinar promotions. This way, you will also be able to better measure the performance of the webinar
For email sequences to already subscribed users, specific offers (based on their profiles and funnel stage) can be created to get them to attend the webinar and improve your chances of accelerating pipeline.
The copy and the design of the creative can make or break your online promotions. The best way to approach this is to create a custom copy and design for each set of audiences to be targeted to increase user connect. If this proves to be resource-heavy, you can experiment with 2-3 creative variations to see what works best and what doesn’t.
Always take note of these learnings and implement the best practices for future webinars.
In general, it’s good to highlight the webinar takeaways and when it is going to take place so that the date and time are set in the viewer’s mind.
It's now time to decide how and where a user will be able express interest for the webinar. There are 2 ways to go about this. Let’s go through the pros and cons of each:
Lead Generation Ads: These simple in-line forms open instantly when an ad is clicked without taking users to a separate page. Users can fill in the required fields and move on.
i) Quick and easy
ii) Does not require website development, making execution faster
i) Very little content can be put into these forms to educate users about the webinar
ii) Website cookies will not be generated making re-marketing campaigns less effective
iii) Integration for payment getaways (in case of a paid webinar) will prove to be a difficult task
Landing Pages: Creating short and crip landing pages with concise content is a great way to get users to register for the webinar.
i) More content can be accommodated to tell a story and convince users
ii) Integration with payment gateways is seamless
iii) Re-marketing campaigns are simple to execute through cookies for users who have visited the page but are yet to register
i) Resource-heavy since it involves website development thus increasing overall execution time and cost
So, depending on the resources and time available to you, either one can be chosen.
No matter how well you promote your webinar, if on the day things don’t go as planned, you may end up losing all prospects.
Therefore, practise the entire webinar flow and everything you plan to cover on the day. Get the content validated from other team members to ensure correctness. Also make sure to make the webinar interactive and interesting as you do not want to lose out on participants mid-way.
Do you plan on reaching out to each participant after completion of the webinar to check whether they’ll be interested in your offerings?
While it’s not a bad idea to do this, a poor execution strategy could leave a bad impression on your brand. That’s why you need to be strategic from day 1 of promotions.
Finally, how do you plan to measure the success of the webinar? Are you measuring the right metrics and tracking impact on the pipeline? This data is critical to understanding how much the webinar has resonated with the prospects and what needs to be tweaked to make future webinars a success.
Most teams would be measuring performance across different data silos such as Facebook Ads, Google Analytics and an MAP/CRM such as Hubspot/Salesforce.
Let’s a take real-life scenario to understand this better:
Jay, a marketing manager, has recently concluded an important webinar for his organization that develops SaaS products. He now wants to:
Jay’s team would be able to give a performance report on:
While Jay will be able to gather insights on individual platforms for the webinar, more importantly, he will need a complete view into user journeys right from the first user visit all the way up to their status in the buying funnel.
This would help Jay make informed decisions for planning future webinar promotions better in order to acquire quality prospects.
At this point, Jay’s team were unable to find a way to stitch these data silos together to give Jay what he wanted.
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