The year 2020 has changed the meaning of life for almost everyone. While human beings, also referred to as “social animals” were forced to stay indoors and in self-isolation, the gist of hanging out was redefined to google hangouts; in-class sessions turned into online classes; cinematic experiences became online streaming, and seminars became webinars. Not that these activities were something new, but they took precedence when the ‘new normal’ lessen the in-person human interaction.
It’s not that just human beings are in anguish, almost everything is going through tremendous episodes of distress – on top of the list is finances and businesses. Business marketers continue to keep a keen eye on market trends, generating insights while strategizing the ways to promote products and services to their customers and clients.
Up Your Game During Pandemic
The question is “how to generate high-quality leads especially for your B2B business model which was one of the highly affected industry?” As per the B2B marketers, webinars work. However, there has been a lot of doubts about the salability of a product through webinars where the user-experience is quite redefined. According to 73% of B2B marketers, webinars generate high-quality leads and 61% believe that to devise an effective content marketing strategy, webinars not only work but they also deliver valuable results.
A host often prepares for the content more than he/she has planned for an overall webinar experience for attendees. It’s observed that some attendees leave the session before even the intro ends. Seemingly, lengthy content with merely relevant information lead to losing attendees’ interest. There is no point in beating oneself; rather, one should try to learn from it and take pride in following the market trends and for being ahead of the competition.
Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics 2020 report suggests that although 87% of marketers found webinars to be an effective strategy, only 44% hosted or participated in it. This Growth Marketing Pro Report had 656 unique participants who took part in the survey. John Ainsworth, who runs data-driven marketing shared some key findings in his report, “Ideal 2018 Benchmark Data – Learn how well your Webinar funnel stacks up.” The report pointed out the audience turnover and shared a clear picture of how the webinar viewing duration is increasing every year while challenging the common marketing expectation – that content in small doses always wins.
Right Strategy Is the Right Recipe
So what is the right recipe or the one you call a correct strategy for hosting a successful webinar? We are simplifying and summarizing it for you in 9 easy steps.
1. Setting the Objectives & the Target Audience
Before you plan a webinar, it is important to outline its objectives. It is indispensable to have clarity on everything – whether you want to increase sales, establish your organization’s position as a thought leader in the industry, or want to train stakeholders on new systems and processes; once you define the objective, it will be easy to chalk out all the important steps in strategizing a successful webinar. The objectives will automatically define the target audience and you will have a deep understanding of whom you want to benefit from through your webinar. Once the target audience is clear, the content and flow will be easy to sort out.
2. Title and Subject of the Webinar
Make sure your title and subject are relevant enough to gain benefits for your company and meet your objectives. It is also important to understand that the webinar has the ability to benefit the audience by presenting useful information. Once have defined your target audience, it gets easier for you to identify the topics that will resonate with them. The topic should address their most current or pressing issues and offer some solution to it. So, to grab the attention of your attendees, ensure that the title is short and catchy.
3. Timeline & Budget
A webinar is an event that requires certain investments for profitable returns. Therefore, the host must keep some basic in-checks regarding the right day and time. For instance, ‘Mondays’ are always very busy as they are the first day of the week and on Fridays, everyone is busy wrapping up the week’s task to get in the weekend. Thus, these two weekdays along with the weekends are just off the charts. The ideal time to schedule the webinar is between 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. This way, you can cater to a broader target audience spread over multiple time zones. Once you decide the time, plan out your budget. A virtual event requires hefty budgets to provide stable internet connections, decent gadgets including speakers, hardware and headsets, data collection staff, personnel to manage the technological aspect of the event, and moderator & speaker fees to make it profitable.
4. Moderator & Speakers
A confident and go-getter person can be the best fit as a moderator who can also facilitate the Q&A. As for the speakers, it is advised to have a panel of a product expert, a marketing person, and a satisfied customer, or a client. This will give a holistic experience of your product or services to all and have a promising outcome.
5. Web Conferencing Vendor & Technical Training for Participants
Search, evaluate, shortlist, and secure a vendor to host your webinar as soon as you can so that you not only announce the event but also train the moderator, speakers and participants on it. For training, it is best to develop a smart manual, mentioning all the necessary steps and coordinated efforts required to pull this high-tech and virtual seminar on the web. Such efforts reduce the chances of error and make it an enjoyable experience for all – also can get you some loyal audience.
6. Spread the Word
Since you have sorted out most of the planning, now begins one of the most difficult tasks. It requires 4Ps from you; Patience, Perseverance, Persuasion, & Promotion. Just use all your social media platforms, distribution platforms, and profiles to send out a word on your event. It could also be in the form of emails, paid promotions, and personal invites. While you are at it, try a master move. Team up with another business that has a similar vision as yours and has a diversified target audience that matches your wish-list. That gives you a bigger audience as well as a free promotion.
7. Registration & Attendance
As discussed before, only one-third means ‘only 33% of registered people showed up for the session’. What to do to increase the attendees? Make registration simpler, easier, and accessible – link your registration form with multiple social media websites. That means, your social media pages will become automated for customer engagement and will give a dynamic and highly interactive feel. Once the registration closes, send a reminder email with the invitation link for the webinar, a calendar invite, and a reminder couple of hours before with the link again. This will not clutter the client’s web space and will be counted as friendly.
8. Prepare for the Best & Worst
For a webinar to go best, it is important to prepare for the worst – know the possible risk of things going wrong and plan accordingly. Since webinars rely heavily on technology, the glitch is unavoidable. Hence, one needs to be over-prepared with tech backup and Plan B for every minute. From microphones to the internet connection, anything can go wrong. However, all these errors can be rectified with a good script. So, don’t hesitate to be over-prepared.
9. Ending on a Right Note
The final step is the follow-up. This includes sending thank you notes to all participants along with the link of the webinar which your team most likely has been recording. Also, share it with the audience who registered but couldn’t show up due to certain reasons. Make them feel important and draft an email accordingly. Later, make your webinar an evergreen resource by uploading it on YouTube or your company website.
Last but Not the Least
Make webinar your regular feature. Ensure the efforts and resources you put in are maximized. Make use of this wholesome learning in conducting your first webinar and master the art of it.