‘Creating better content’ is an expression hated by most marketers. The majority of content creators and marketers work hard to deliver the best content, but ‘best’ is a subjective term. What is best for me might be decent for you.
Marketers ignore cool ways of engaging with leads and customers while perpetually striving to craft 10X content. Sometimes, the proper content format is as important as its quality. In other words, you will have better results by delivering your content in suitable ways. It’s about aligning your content with the stage of your buyers. The HubSpot model of the buyer’s journey is the starting point of an effective content strategy.
Blog posts may never be dead, but in particular contexts, they perform decently to badly. At the same time, other types of content, such as webinars, drive a bunch of leads and sales. The secret is to juggle many kinds of content and find what works the best at the proper moment.
Apparently, webinars look like the appanage of the top 1,000 Forbes companies. The reality is that webinars require more resources than a blog post, but creating one is accessible for many people. Still, the ROI is incomparable, so you should give them a try.
In this article, you will learn what webinar marketing is and how to get the most from it. Stay tuned—there is a lot of valuable information.
What Webinar Marketing Is
The term ‘webinar’ comes from the expression ‘web seminar’. Webinar marketing is the procedure of using web seminars to connect with a group of people. The purpose of a webinar is to educate people and eventually convince them that your products or services are indispensable.
Webinars done right bring staggering amounts of leads and customers. These stats are relevant:
- 73% of B2B marketers say that webinars generate quality leads
- 61% of marketers have already leveraged webinars
- 2–5% of your attendees will buy from you
- Unbounce grew its subscriber list by 60% with two webinars
Webinars perform the best when attendees already have an idea about you; they should be in the evaluation stage of the buyer’s journey. The real struggle of webinar marketing is the effective creation of a webinar. Unlike blog posts or infographics, a webinar requires an entire logistic system and plenty of resources. Nothing significant is achieved with little effort, so check out our plan for webinar crafting. It’s perfectible, and we ask for your contribution. The more ideas you bring to the table, the better for all of us.
How to Create a Webinar
Carefully plan each step because you may end up with a budget loss and massive disappointment. To make the entire strategy of webinar creation more digestible, I have broken it down into three phases.
The pre-execution phase refers to the early stages of conception. At this stage, you might conclude that you don’t have the entire arsenal required for a webinar and give up on doing one. Be objective and realistic with your potential!
1. Set Clear Goals
You can’t create a webinar just because it’s cool. Set clear and tangible goals before making any progress. A webinar might be used only to grow your email list or to educate people. You shouldn’t be afraid to state boldly that you want to sell more by leveraging webinars. You can’t measure the results if you don’t have solid and quantifiable goals.
2. Create a Webinar for Your Audience
It’s a no-brainer, but it wouldn’t have been mentioned so many times if marketers had done it right. A webinar should satisfy the requirements of the audience. You are creating the webinar for the audience and not an audience for your webinar!
Conceive the portrait of the average attendee and ask yourself which of their problems you can resolve. Find the best answers and determine the best approach to deliver your content. Is your average attendee a top executive or a CEO? If so, go for a formal approach. Is your attendee a freelancer, an entrepreneur, or a marketer? Then chose a friendly style and present plenty of practical pieces of advice.
3. Chose a Topic
Once you have penciled in the profiles of your attendees, you have to determine what topics might interest them. The truth is that no matter how cool you think your topic idea is, someone has created a webinar before you. However, nobody has presented your ideas about that topic! You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your webinar; it’s enough to present your contribution to the audience.
The topic must be in line with the audience’s needs. No one will invest their time for something that doesn’t resonate with their problems. There is no magic formula to find the best topics, but don’t disregard honest feedback from your blog’s visitors (if you have any). Create a list of topics and ask your subscribers for their opinions. Offer them an incentive, and you will have more accurate opinions.
4. Find Guests and Partners
Most webinars are 60 minutes long: 45 minutes for the presentation and 15 minutes for a Q&A session. This timeline is not carved in stone, but try to stick to it. Under these circumstances, a guest would spice up your webinar.
Search for industry experts and influencers and invite them to participate in your webinar. Prepare for rejection, especially in the early stages. However, the chances are that you will get a guest by smartly promoting your webinar.
Guests are necessary because it’s challenging to speak for 40–60 minutes without interruption, and attendees could get bored easily. Guests help you interact with attendees who will listen to at least two insightful opinions. Depending on the context, a partner who takes care of technical aspects will be a good fit for your team.
A webinar and a blog post aren’t different from this viewpoint. It’s not an exaggeration to say that effective creation makes up 20% of your endeavors, and promotion makes up the other 80%. If you don’t write down a marketing plan, you have already failed.
5. A Good Registration Page
There aren’t enough words to stress the importance of an effective registration page. It’s a landing page where potential attendees will read about your webinar and register to participate. Here are a few pieces of advice to keep in mind when crafting the registration page:
- Create a unique, explicit, attractive, and memorable title. The title is what people will remember after leaving the registration page.
- Feature the benefits to the attendees. State clearly what attendees will learn or get from your webinar. Mention that you offer a surprise for all attendees.
- Design an eye-catching CTA button. It should be in contrast with the background and placed in the most visible spot. HubSpot has created many webinars, and action verbs as ‘Register’ work the best for its CTA copy.
- Show who will be speaking at the webinar. Would you go to a movie starring some of your favourite actors or one starring people you’ve never heard of? The answer is obvious, and this situation is similar with a webinar.
- Specify when and how the webinar will be accessible.
6. A Great Email Invitation
Georgiana from Unbounce said that 70% of their registrations come from email marketing. The majority of marketers agree that emails are vital to your webinar’s success. You have to craft a compelling email invitation to attract the desired number of participants.
Writing a good email is a never-ending topic. However, your invitation should be clear, precise, and informative. Make sure that your copy is in line with the preferences of the attendee profile.
Last, but not least, pay attention to your CTA button; it should be bold and touchable because the chances are that most of your email recipients use a mobile device.
7. A Thank-You Email
Confirmation emails are totally underrated by marketers. People are the most receptive in these cases, and you can nurture the relationship with your subscribers. Don’t forget to send a thank-you email to everyone who completed your registration page. Confirm that they successfully completed the registration form and include an “Add to your calendar” button to schedule the webinar. This way, you will increase your chances of converting them into attendees.
8. Social Media
Email is still king when it comes to webinar registration, but it doesn’t mean that social media and other marketing channels are useless. Use Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to gather more attendees. Invite your guests to spread the word by asking their followers and friends to participate in the webinar.
Think ahead and determine which social network your attendee profile uses. Corroborate all the data and create a working strategy for social media promotion.
9. Three Follow-up Email Reminders
On average, only half of the people who complete the registration form will attend the webinar. It’s up to you to improve this situation. Sending follow-up email reminders will considerably grow the number of attendees.
Even if many people truly want to watch your webinar, they may be distracted by other activities or simply forget about it. Send three email reminders: the first, a week before the webinar; the second, a day before; and the third, an hour before.
If you plan it right, the execution will be simple. Altogether, a webinar is complex, and you might miss a few details. Read our suggestions for webinar creation to avoid missing the key elements.
10. Webinar Software
The quality of your webinar software significantly improves the chances of being a success. Attendees plan to get useful information from your webinar, and you shouldn’t disappoint them. Not many will spend three minutes in front of a black screen while you resolve a broadcasting problem.
Webinar software isn’t cheap, but the prices are reasonable compared to what you get. Zappier created a detailed list of the best webinar software. Check it out if you don’t have a clear idea of the proper software for your webinar.
A special mention goes to GotoWebinar, which is probably the most-used webinar software. It’s user-friendly, so your attendees will have a great experience regardless of their past experiences. It’s not only for hosting your webinar, but you get custom landing pages for registration, automated reminder emails, file sharing, live chat, and much more.
If you are on tight budget, you shouldn’t be disarmed. It’s not suitable for agencies, but you can use Facebook live or YouTube live streaming. For instance, Jorden Roper did a great job using Facebook live to present her courses. Attendees simply don’t care that it’s not a professional platform because she provides valuable tips for freelance writers. People who want more guidance can also buy her courses.
11. Don’t Be Salesy
A webinar is an educational tool, not just another method of making sales. Still, you can sell through a webinar. A good webinar is about how a product or service will improve the attendees’ workflow. Let the product or service convince them of its utility and don’t force them with tons of salesy messages.
Yes, it’s a blurred line between an invitation to buy a product or service and a salesy message. It involves cultural differences and personal approaches. This is another reason for knowing the attendees’ profile. Either way, for the first webinar, focus almost exclusively on the educational aspects.
12. Make Your Webinar Digestible
Do you remember that boring presentation full of text that hurt your eyes? I bet that you don’t know what the presentation was about, but you recall exactly how bored you were! Do not make the same mistake.
Most likely, you will use a slideshow. Don’t add too many words to each slide. It’s similar to a web page: too much content annoys the viewers. Also, when you display the slides, make sure that you discuss the same topic. Remember, a webinar educates, and humans learn the best when they see, read, and hear.
A joint message will make them learn faster and more easily about your product or services.
Another tip to make your webinar digestible is to add a personal touch. Present your ideas as though you were talking with a friend. A friendly approach makes people more curious about you. Even though you may hesitate now and then, your attendees will tolerate the hiccups because you are authentic, human, and emotional.
The most popular software solutions allow for attendee interaction. Ask for their feedback, create polls, let them ask questions, and interact with them. People will appreciate that you consider them part of the webinar and not just a number static. Certainly, you will sell if you convince them to participate actively.
13. Don’t Forget to Record It
There is life after you finish your webinar! Some of the people who register may not be able to attend your webinar. Others simply won’t be in the right mood. Don’t punish them and inform them that you regret their missing out. Rather, send an email with a link to the webinar recording.
Well, your webinar ran online, you crunched the figures, and overall, it was a success. You’ve done a deep analysis and identified the strong and weak points. Yet, it’s not enough. There are two things you can do to get the most from your webinar.
14. Nurture the Relationship
First, send the webinar recording to all users who registered for the webinar. Second, thank all attendees and offer a discount or bonus for their participation. Third, ask for feedback; the chances are that at this stage, attendees will be responsive and honest. Collect all the opinions and extract actionable tips for the next webinar.
15. Repurpose the Content
You did some strong research for the webinar—you spent ten hours or more gathering quality information and sharing it with participants. That’s not bad at all, but you can use this data to create another piece of content. Craft a compelling presentation and upload it to different sites like LinkedIn SlideShare, Scribd, or AuthorStream.
You now have a clear understanding of what webinar marketing is and how to leverage it. It’s not simple to hold a webinar, but the outcome rewards the efforts. Bear in mind that webinars aren’t only for big agencies—even solopreneurs can use them.
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