Pivot from cancelled events to digital lead generation
With many events still cancelled, webinars are a great alternative and a powerful addition to your content marketing and lead generation strategy. Here are five steps to help you plan, create and host an effective webinar.
Events are normally a key part of many B2B marketing calendars – whether that’s thought leadership positioning at conferences, generating leads at trade shows, or just the relationship building that comes with face-to-face interactions. With many events cancelled for the foreseeable future, webinars are an alternative with many advantages: They’re suitable for all parts of the customer journey, highly engaging, and super flexible for online and remote working.
But if you’re not used to creating and hosting webinars, the process might sound intimidating. Trust us, it doesn’t have to be! Here are five steps to help you plan, create and host webinars to help you build awareness, generate the right leads and nurture customer relationships into conversions.
1) Lay the foundation and define your goals
Webinars are a flexible format that can help you reach many different goals. So be clear from the beginning what you’d like to achieve with yours: Awareness? Moving leads down the funnel? Reactivating existing customers? Think about your audience and their buyer journey, challenges and goals – the spot where your needs and their needs meet is an ideal opportunity for your webinar.
Now is also the time to set clear KPIs so you can score your leads, measure the impact of your efforts, and find ways to improve next time.
These might be registration numbers, audience participation, or a post-webinar conversion action like scheduling a discovery call.
Tip: Involve your sales team from this early stage to align on your goals and share insights and content
2) Bring your ideas to life with polished content
You probably won’t need to start from scratch for your webinar. You can adapt content from existing e-books, case studies or even presentations from your cancelled events. You can also draw on the knowledge of your sales teams, subject matter experts or your customers to build your content, or perhaps host the webinar as a guest speaker.
Think about not only your content (What unique insights or expertise can you offer your audience?) but also the best way to present it. Your text and graphics should help you explain your point, as well as represent your brand in the best light. You should also remember to make the most out of this digital, interactive format – finishing with a Q&A session is a common way to engage your audience, but you can also add live polls and surveys, for example.
Tip: Keep the text on your slides short and tight, and consider writing your presenter a script so that they feel comfortable elaborating
3) Promote the value you’ll provide
Use blog posts, emails and social media to promote your webinar. Make sure the value of your webinar is up front and crystal clear: What will attendees gain from this webinar so it’s worth their time? As well as your text and images, think what other content and formats you could use: infographics and videos are highly engaging – you could even feature your presenter for a more personal touch.
It’s best to start promoting your webinar at least four weeks in advance to give your audience plenty of notice, then keep promoting up to the big day. (This includes a reminder the day of the webinar!)
Tip: Don’t forget to make it clear when the webinar will take place (including the time zone!)
4) Practice, practice, practice
Technical difficulties can undo so much of your hard work. Practice using your webinar platform, and practice using your mic/headset set-up to work out any kinks. Prepare back-up plans, like printing out your presentation/notes in case you can’t fit both on-screen on the big day, and consider having a co-presenter who can take over if your connection drops out.
Practice until you’re completely comfortable giving this webinar – this includes the technical side, but also making sure you have your transitions and timings down like you would for any other presentation. You could also think of what questions your audience are likely to ask and prepare your response.
Tip: An enthusiastic and genuine speaker will engage your audience. Let your passion shine through and have fun!
5) Be prepared to follow up
Make the most out of your webinar! Your webinar should include a clear Call to Action that can move leads down your funnel. But you should also proactively follow up with everyone who attended or signed up for your webinar.
Make an email flow to share the webinar recording and slides within 24 hours of the event, then follow up periodically with more relevant content such as blogs, infographics or e-books to nurture your leads. Have all your content ready to go (including copy and image assets), and set up an automated flow in your CMS.
Tip: You can make more collateral based off of your webinar, including participants’ poll answers or questions
What’s next? Strengthen your lead generation strategy
Of course, while webinars may well be more personal and engaging than content like white papers, we don’t see them as a replacement to events and face-to-face meetings. Instead, webinars are an important addition to an effective content marketing plan or lead generation strategy.
Even before the coronavirus, B2B buyers had been increasingly spending more time online doing their own research before reaching out to sales. You need to be visible – and adding value – at all your customer touch points, online and offline.
Whether you’re adding webinars to your existing nurturing flow, or planning a whole new digital lead generation campaign, we have some interesting cases and results that might help you. Get in touch with Ralph Krøyer, Managing Partner at CBC, on +45 35 25 01 75 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Topics: Digital content