Webinars may not the first thing to pop into your mind when you think of content marketing. However, webinars, if executed properly, can be successful at building your brand and influencing customers to proceed through the sales funnel.
Webinars have a 40% conversion rate on average, making them one of the highest converting content marketing mediums, according to the Bizibl Webinar Benchmarks Report. Webinars are also one of the most effective lead generators, helping marketers attack their biggest challenge: getting more qualified leads for the sales team.
Apart from the measurable results in terms of sales and leads, webinars can also boost brand perception and prove your expertise in your field.
In my position as a content strategist and marketing consultant, I have advised numerous companies on how to create, promote, and distribute webinars that actually deliver targeted brand messaging to their users or customers. From this experience, I’ve narrowed down four reasons why webinars should be on every marketer’s radar.
1. Establish Niche Authority
Positioning your brand as a thought leader is one of the best ways to attract relevant clientele. This is often the underlying goal of many content strategies, which is why many businesses maintain active company blogs or post video content to establish this kind of authority.
Thought leadership can have a significant impact on the perception people have of your business, especially for B2B companies.
Nearly half of key business decision-makers agreed that a company’s thought leadership content played a role in their choice to purchase, according to an Edelman report.
In addition, 40% of decision-makers spend at least 1 hour per week viewing or reading thought leadership pieces, and 82% of executives reported that it increased their trust in an organization overall.
Quality content and sales-focused storytelling can help brand your company as a leader in your industry. By hosting educational webinars that explain concepts, ideas, or discussions of industry-related topics, your company can boost its stock within the industry.
Webinars offer your audience something more unique and special than a run-of-the-mill content piece people could find somewhere else. Most importantly, they are interactive, and your thought leadership is displayed in real-time.
Showing you are the authority on a topic can go a long way in attracting clients.
2. Create Real, Powerful Engagement
When it comes to content marketing, engagement is king. It is the best way to determine if your tactics are working. Almost all marketers look for ways to boost these numbers.
Engagement is all about giving the audience the exact information they seek, eliminating the unknown, and building relationships. A webinar provides an opportunity for instantaneous engagement that very few other content types can offer. Watchers can interact with your team immediately through shared live chats and instant polls.
For example, a video conferencing and webinar platform such as ClickMeeting can give you a host of options to interact and engage with viewers, such as screen sharing, live polls, presentation slides, multi-user whiteboard, and simultaneous chat translation for interacting with your audience in real-time while running a live webinar.
Source: Sticky Eyes
You can also use ClickMeeting to analyze the number of attendees, viewing statistics, and the post-session depth of social sharing on social media.
The Bizibl report referred to earlier found that the highest engagement drivers during a webinar are Q&A sessions and lists of additional resources that pertain to the content.
Hosting Q&A segments not only boosts engagement levels, but it also gives your team a chance to address questions that are on your audience’s minds. This works to create a strong sense of personalization while providing key information in regards to audience profiles, making it the perfect recipe for marketing success.
Engaging your webinar participants will build a relationship with them, which further encourages them to convert with your company.
3. Target the Entire Sales Funnel
In general, most content focuses on one or two parts of the sales funnel; it is either to introduce people to a product or business or to establish relevancy and push for further action (sales).
However, if designed right, a webinar can hit all parts of the funnel at once.
When you host a webinar, you are in complete control of the message. In the process, you are able to make a genuine and accurate representation of your brand. You tell your audience who you are, what you do, and why they should take action. From there, you can explain things such as details and benefits, provide tutorials, and give them a call-to-action while answering any questions that arise.
However, you should be careful not to seem too broad or vague at any point during the webinar, or else your viewers will quickly lose interest. After all, they’re accustomed to watching Facebook and YouTube, which tend to be significantly shorter than webinars. You don’t want to bore users with topics that are too broad.
You must carefully plan the entire process of creating a webinar as a part of a marketing campaign from start to finish, targeting the appropriate touchpoints of the customer journey.
You must determine why you’re putting together a webinar in the first place before you even think about the structure or content. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Is it to establish credibility by explaining a complicated process or discussing a technical topic?
- Is it focused on top of the funnel growth, or is it a push for higher conversion rates from already engaged consumers?
These questions will help you focus the agenda of the webinar on a specific business goal. Otherwise, it’s easy to digress while you’re on a video with a lot of people interacting – improperly targeted webinars are no different than a rambling meeting or cold call.
4. Gather Important Audience Information
Collecting accurate audience data is an important step to curating better content and driving stronger leads. Creating an exclusive webinar that requires customers to sign up and share their information should be one of the initial steps in the process.
First, make sure that you have a plan in place for the type of data you will be gathering. Names and contact information is obvious, but what about other important details?
- Are they a business owner, top-level executive, or employee?
- How large is their business?
- Are they an expert on your webinar’s topic, or is this probably going to be the first time they’re hearing about it?
Questions like these are important to ask so you can get a better idea of the audience demographics you are working with and create appropriate customer personas that you can target better.
Be sure to ask these types of questions beforehand so you can tweak any details during the presentation in order to make the message highly relevant to your audience.
Also, pay attention to the questions or comments people leave during the webinar. These questions could be inspiration for future content, and your audience's inputs may provide more insights and avenues for improvement, too.
Further learning about who your audience is can help you create relevant webinars and other marketing tactics that meet their wants and needs.
Webinars Can Better Your Marketing
Webinars serve many purposes throughout a marketing campaign. By creating one-of-a-kind-content that is hyper-focused on your industry, your business can establish leadership and credibility that eventually leads to consumer trust and, ultimately, conversions.
Webinars create the opportunity for instant engagement through live conversations and interaction. They give you complete control of the message, so you can guide people through the sales funnel while simultaneously gathering the kind of data for even better content down the road.
About the Author
Dipti Parmar is an experienced business and marketing consultant. She helps startups, brands, and individuals build a stellar online reputation and establish thought leadership in their industry with innovative content and digital marketing campaigns.