Understanding Why Webinars Are Effective at Demand Generation
Simply put, webinars have taken off. 84% of event organizations report spending less on virtual events than their in-person counterparts, while the mere number of organizations that planned on using a virtual event as part of their marketing plan doubled last year.
What about results? Glad you asked. Webinars are bringing success to those who use them, with a 36% increase in popularity of always-on webinars.
But what really defines a “webinar,” and what makes them so important for lead generation? Let’s dig in.
Start with the Basics: What Is a Webinar?
When people use the word webinar, they’re referring to an online video event, which is a web-based seminar, or “webinar.”
Webinars are popular choices for capturing leads through real-time engagement between presenters and attendees, providing an educational format as well as question and answer opportunities.
Webinars Come in All Shapes and Sizes That Are Useful for Every Type of Business
Webinars and virtual events can adapt to many different purposes, including a workshop, lecture, class, or presentation. Organizations typically host a webinar to provide updates on products or services, and share information or other ideas relevant to their industry.
They’re also strong marketing tools for businesses looking to deepen relationships with existing audiences or cultivate new relationships with potential customers. Webinars help strengthen brand authority and trust, oftentimes humanizing the brand while boosting audience engagement and retention.
Webinars Are Simpler To Implement Than a Full-Blown Conference
Because you can host a webinar anywhere there is internet connectivity, you have great flexibility for how and when to host an event.
There’s no need to find the perfect venue that can accommodate your target audience or deal with the multitude of logistics and expenses that typically accompany a full-blown conference.
With webinars, you can host simpler, one-time events as part of a larger event plan, rather than focusing all of your resources on one large event.
All you need to do is choose a webinar provider. A virtual event platform like SpotMe offers a complete set of integrations, customization, and marketing tools in addition to outstanding customer service to ensure your webinar(s) are well taken care of.
Webinars Are All About a Concentrated Dose of Information That Position You as an Industry Expert
Because webinars are like mini-conferences that typically focus on a single issue, product, service, or message, you can focus and dig deep into a topic, providing enhanced value to attendees.
This also helps to position your brand as an authoritative source for industry information, without overwhelming audiences with too much all at once.
An Amazing Educational Platform for Anything From a Product or Service To an Event
As mentioned earlier, education and learning is a natural fit for webinars. They offer an easy method for students and teachers to interact, regardless of location or other potential hurdles.
But their worth as an educational tool doesn’t end there. Customer education is easy with webinars for the same reasons. Existing and potential customers can learn about your product (or service or event), potentially see it in action, and ask questions for clarification.
This educational framework helps foster trust and comfortability among your audience.
Still not convinced? Learn more about why your company should be using webinars.
Common Types of Webinars To Get Your Lead Generation Gears Turning
Webinars are an ideal way to connect businesses and prospects at all stages of the marketing funnel. They can be used to connect with partners to build a referral engine or to educate potential customers with product demos, insider insights or open Q&As.
Demand Gen found that webinars were the most successful top of funnel engagement tactic for almost 60% of demand generation marketers who participated in the survey. And almost half reported webinars successfully moved prospects further along the funnel.
For more about the wide variety of online events your business may benefit from, check out The Types of Virtual Events That Companies Commonly Utilize.
The Webinar Platforms Demand Gen. Strategists Prefer To Use
While many have hit the market in recent years, popular webinar platforms that can truly enhance your lead generation strategy include Zoom, SpotMe, and GoToWebinar.
- Zoom’s name recognition makes it a popular choice. It has experienced significant growth in the past several months, resulting in a few wrinkles surrounding security. But overall, Zoom remains a simple, effective choice, especially for first-time users.
- SpotMe focuses on creating high-quality virtual events and webinars under a single roof. Chalk full of integrations, interactive features and top-tier customer support, the virtual event platform puts an emphasis on creating experiences that convert. It’s easy to see why it’s a popular choice among demand strategists.
- GoToWebinar is a trusted, dependable provider with a centralized webinar hub and various marketing and integration tools. It remains a dependable, widely used webinar provider among businesses.
To get a better understanding of the platforms available to you, check out the 15 Best Webinar Platforms For Your Business in 2021.
How Your Lead Generation Team Can Create Webinars Guaranteed To Bring Highly Qualified Leads
While every webinar is unique and will require personalization, there are common approaches to hosting a webinar that can deliver the quality leads you are looking for over and over again. The webinar creation process includes the following steps.
Step 1: Choose an Effective Webinar-Style or Format Proven To Generate Leads
For best results, spend some time considering your overall organization and the goal of your messaging to ensure your webinar structure aligns with it.
Educational vs. Product Reveal or Promotion vs. Showcasing Case Studies
What are you hoping to achieve with your webinar?
- Do you want to educate your audience on new industry standards or potential areas of concern, providing your expertise on the subject? An educational webinar might be right for you.
- Do you have a new product or service coming out? An upgrade? Consider a product reveal or demo to generate excitement and leads.
- Have you collected a long list of achievements? A promotional webinar focused on who you are and what you offer can be an effective lead generation tool.
- Want to let happy customers do the talking for you? Focus your webinar on showcasing case studies.
Step 2: Make Sure You’ve Picked a Webinar Hosting Platform That Can Deliver the Best Experience for Your Audience and the Analytics You’ll Need To Target Future Leads
When considering webinar platforms, it’s important to keep Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in mind, such as webinar lead generation, customer engagement, audience retention, increased brand awareness, and attendee feedback.
Find a platform that has features to support your KPIs, with analytics to assess whether you reached them. Such features may include engagement tools like live polling, chats or breakout rooms, as well as a variety of integrations that help you track attendee behavior. The platform you choose should not only carry out the tasks you require, but also optimize your webinar.
Step 3: Webinar Lead Generation Requires a Smart Registration Process
Setting up the right funnel from the start is the best way to capture lead information.
Think landing pages, website functionality, and forms that collect the information you need from each person who registers. If people sign up but they don’t show up, you’ve at least collected their information and determine whether or not they are a qualified lead worth nurturing.
Step 4: Webinars Need Promotion, Promotion, and More Promotion: Choose Marketing Channels Based on Which Your Strongest Leads Are Likely To Exist.
What you say is only half as important as how you say it and who you say it to. Effective promotion depends on selecting marketing channels that align with your audience. From there adjust your messaging to suit your top platforms and target audience.
By speaking their language, you’ll increase the chance of securing quality leads.
Check out these 12 Event Promotion Strategies To Attract The Right Audience and ensure your promotion efforts align with your webinar strategy.
Step 5: Lead Generation In A Webinar Environment Is About Being An Organized, Charismatic Expert
Especially in the B2B market, clients want to see that you know, or at very least, appear to know, more than they do. Polished speakers capable of handling questions, relating to individual pain points, and demonstrating empathy are the real winners in this space.
Additionally, being highly organized and offering attendees value-added content is another way to help generate high-quality leads.
Step 6: Evaluate The Data, Optimize the Experience, Repeat, Generate Better Qualified Leads
As a wise man once said, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” He could have been talking about webinar lead generation, too, with a few caveats. For best results, after your initial virtual event do the following:
- Evaluate the valuable insights you collected through your virtual event platform analytics and other data input points.
- Look for opportunities to optimize the overall experience for your attendees.
- Rinse and repeat until you develop your ideal personal framework to capture quality leads.
Is Your Demand Generation Team Ready to Start Using Webinars?
Want to host a great webinar and establish an always-on webinar strategy that converts? You’ll need a full-service virtual event tool that includes integrations with popular marketing tools and CRM systems, amazing customer service, and an event app that makes virtual events a breeze. Lucky for you, SpotMe offers these key features and many more.
Transforming an ordinary webinar into a high-quality lead generation machine doesn’t have to be difficult. See for yourself and sign up for a free SpotMe demo.
And now that you know effective demand generation strategies and how webinars can become streamlined, keep the momentum going with help from our Guide To Generating Leads With Virtual Events.