Education typically comes with a high price tag. Harvard's current tuition cost is more than $45,000 per year. Yet, like most of us, you likely recognize that not everything of value comes with a price tag that makes your wallet scream.
As a B2B owner or marketer, you have several tools at your disposal to create a valuable, educational experience for your customers and prospects. Today, let's talk about one such tool -- webinars.
Webinars are a great offer for those that are a little bit further down the sales funnel than strangers. They require some commitment of time on the part of the viewer, so it's unlikely that you'll get too many genuine leads from those who have never heard of your company.
Rather, webinars are ideal for those who have downloaded some content, and even for existing customers wanting to take advantage of the knowledge and value you already provide them.
In this post you'll learn:
- How to use webinars to drive B2B leads
- How to set up your webinar
How to Use Webinars to Drive B2B Leads
Let's face it -- there are a lot of truly awful webinars out there. Some have all the excitement of a Friday night at your great Uncle Hal's house. The delivery is dry, monotone, and the presenter doesn't seem all that prepared.
However, a webinar that's engaging, lively, and on a relevant topic provides value that your audience may not find elsewhere.
Here are few webinar how-tos:
1. Offer it for Free (most of the time)
As mentioned before, a free education is hard to come by. So when your audience sees a webinar topic that hits home and it's free, they're OK with handing over some information.
It's more like signing up for a class than completing the typical hostage exchange-style form in return for a white paper or eBook.
Don't feel like you have to give away all your goods on a webinar, though. If your topic merits a an in-depth workshop, don't be afraid to create one, and actually charge for it.
2. Buddy Up with an Affiliate
Webinars are often hosted by two people. The second person doesn't have to come from within your organization, either. In fact, in some ways it's best if they don't. Why do I say this?
Partnering with a co-host has several advantages:
- You don't have to bear the workload by yourself
- You'll have access to a greater pool of leads by combining contacts
- You'll be able to address a broader range of issues
3. Choose Your Time Wisely
You may be located on the east coast, but remember that you may want your audience to come from around the globe. Of course, you can't possibly pick a time that will fit everyone's schedule, but you can do your best to accommodate the majority.
If you're located in New York, an early afternoon webinar will still work for those on the west coast.
Generating leads means being open to helping customers no matter where they are located.
4. Make it Urgent
If I receive an email that invites me to a webinar a month from now, I'm not likely to actually attend, even if it's on a topic that really interests me.
However, if I receive an invitation for a webinar at the end of this week and I have to sign up immediately, I'm much more likely to attend. This is typical since most of us get busy with life and these "extras" fall to the side.
So make your webinar urgent and watch your attendance (and leads) grow.
5. Limit Attendance
A webinar invitation with only 30 virtual seats available is much more exclusive than the I hope someone... anyone shows up for this thing invitation.
The average webinar has about 28 attendees. Now, this may vary for you, so play around with the numbers. You may end up limiting it to just 10 spots, or even 100. You can always extend other invitations to webinars of the same topic in the future, so you're not excluding anyone. You just want to make your audience feel exclusive.
Check out some more stats on webinars in this infographic from ClickMeeting.
6. Follow Up
After your webinar has been delivered, craft a follow up email with a link to the presentation. Not only will it be helpful for attendees, but will also help anyone who couldn't make it. After all, you don't want to lose them as leads.
This is also the point where you can follow up with helpful sub material, such as eBooks, white papers, or videos. Lead nurturing is what it's all about!
How to Set Up Your Webinar
Now that you have your objectives for driving leads, let's talk about some of the more technical aspects of webinar presentation.
1. Choose a Topic
Choose a topic that you feel completely comfortable discussing and that is of interest to your audience. If you're still Googling your subject, it's not the one for you.
2. Choose Your Presenter
If you feel comfortable presenting your topic, then go for it! However, if you don't feel comfortable with your voice, or if you panic under intense Q&A, why not let someone else on your team take a stab at it, with your playing a strong supporting role.
If you bring in an affiliate, make sure both of you are on the same page and work well off each other. If the relationship is forced, you're audience will be able to tell, and it will really spoil the mood.
3. Choose Your Webinar System
GoToWebinar has a free 30-day trial, so you can even host your first webinar for free!
4. Create Your Presentation
Haiku Deck or SlideShare are great tools to help you create lively visuals for your webinar. Remember, you don't just want a picture with your script written on top of it. Your audience will end up reading it along with you.
Rather, you want to include engaging visuals that help tell the story that you're trying to convey. Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse so that you can really be polished.
5. Create Your Registration Landing Page
Now that you have your content, presenters, software, and scheduled time, you need to create a compelling landing page. This is where you collect the info of your registrants. You can keep this form fairly simple, asking for a name, email address, and perhaps one other question, such as the size of the registrant's company, or even what future webinar topics they would be interested in.
Some webinar software automates reminders and follow ups for registrants. However, even if yours doesn't, a reminder email the day before, is typically a best practice.
6. Get the Right Equipment
Nothing is worse than an hour-long session of echoes and feedback, mixed in with background noises of doors shutting, papers shuffling, or dogs barking.
Ensure that you have a quiet place to work as you host your webinar and that you have the proper equipment, such as a good microphone that will isolate your voice, and a reliable internet connection.
Generate More B2B Leads
Webinars are but one piece in our month-long series on B2B lead generation. Really, no business can stay stagnant in their customer base and expect to succeed. Rather, building a consistently-growing fan base is crucial for the survival of any B2B firm.
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