Branding and mindshare are important, but when it comes to ROI, lead generation is king, and webinars are successful tactics in generating a consistent stream of leads.
Several solution-providers offer webinar platforms. MSPC produces over 75 webinars annually and we chose our webinar platform after vetting various solutions and selecting the features, functionality and price point that met our technology needs and budget.
The most successful webinars, defined as those that drive the greatest number of registrants and engagement, share three attributes. They generally feature:
- A valued and timely topic
- Respected subject matter experts (SMEs)
- Well-planned integrated, promotional marketing campaigns
Engaging content, be it delivered via hard copy magazine, digital, video, social or webinar, is the key. The topic or topics you select for your webinars should align with your organization’s strategic direction and messaging that concurrently address challenges your customers or prospects are either currently facing or will soon face, while then offering a solution to those very challenges.
Subject Matter Experts
Because your webinar speaker will articulate your topic of choice, choose him or her wisely. Customers and prospects will be wary of speakers whose titles and perceived agendas appear more focused on sales and marketing and less attuned to their business needs.
Because of their speaking skills, you may decide to select a manager from your sales and marketing team as a webinar speaker, however those individuals should be balanced with employees who are directly involved in the creation and development of your product solutions.
Other speakers to consider include well-known industry experts from outside your organization. Including this type of talent brings objectivity to your message and, depending on the personality, may help drive registrations (i.e., leads). However, if you do include a third-party expert, be prepared to pay a fee for his or her inclusion in the presentation.
Another option is to have a customer who has successfully deployed your solution speak about how it’s adoption has contributed to their organization’s success. A peer-to-peer example generally resonates well with customers and prospects and provides objectivity and real-world examples to your audience.
We promote our clients’ webinars through an integrated marketing campaign that often incorporates hard copy magazines, Web banners and email newsletters. The campaign should generally begin two months prior to the webinar date and inform customers and prospects that if they cannot attend the live event, they should still register to receive a link to the recorded webcast, which they can view and listen to at their convenience.
Prior to beginning your marketing campaign, you should have a registration goal. If you are falling short of your goal two to three weeks prior to the event, you may elect to send an email reminder to your targeted contact list. However, these email sends should be executed with restraint. You do not want to risk alienating customers and prospects by over-working your list.
It’s been our experience that between 30 and 50 percent of those who register for a given webinar actually tune in for the event, while a varying percentage choose to download the webcast at a later date.
In the second article of this two-part series, we’ll delve into the webinar execution and provide tips that will help ensure your webinar is well organized, managed and rehearsed.
Read next: How To Execute a Successful Webinar