Webinars are a fantastic way to generate leads for your business while establishing your company as a leader in its industry. Webinars are online presentations that can happen in real-time or on-demand by viewing a recording. They generally last from 30 to 60 minutes and can include one speaker or an entire panel.
To get an idea of just how powerful webinars can be, here are a few statistics from the 2016 ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report, which followed 12,870 webinars from January 2015 to December 2015. The webinars were given by 500 organizations comprised of large enterprises to small- and medium-sized businesses:
- The average number of attendees was 225.
- 85 percent of webinars offered a question and answer session
- 22 percent of webinars offered polls and collected survey data.
- The average webinar viewing time was 56 minutes
Clearly, webinars are perfect for lead nurturing due to their wide reach, interactivity and time spent with your brand. Also, along with white papers, webinars are the top content most likely to be shared with colleagues. If your webinar is recorded, people may receive the link from their colleagues and watch it when it is convenient if they were unable to attend.
Benefits of Webinars
There are many other benefits of webinars, some of which you might not have considered. Here are three:
#1 Reach a New Audience
A webinar can help you reach people that are interested in your industry. They might not be interested in your specific brand just yet, but they may know that the topic of your webinar interests them. Take the time to promote your webinar on social media, industry blogs, discussion groups or on your email marketing lists. Ask those who will be attending to invite a friend.
You can also pay to advertise your webinar through social advertising or display advertising to your target audience. Remember to plan your webinar with enough advance notice so that you have enough time to reach out to those who will benefit most. Three weeks is a good advance notice.
#2 Establish Your Authority and Educate Potential Customers
You want to provide information in your webinar that attendees can actually use, rather than simply being a sales pitch. This is true content marketing. Your webinar should inform, entertain and provide real value for your audience. In return, the attendees will get to know your brand. And as long as your content is consistent and top-notch, they will view your brand as an authority.
#3 Create Long-Term Content
When you record a webinar, it will typically be much longer than written content such as a blog post. Because a recorded webinar has so much value, you can upload it to your website as a gated lead generation tool. You could also share it on your blog and your YouTube channel. It can be repurposed into social media video content, podcast videos or advertisements as well. You may find that your most popular webinars are still generating leads for months or even years after the initial airing. The core “evergreen” content will serve as a relatively passive lead source.
Once your webinar event is over, make sure you nurture your leads with appropriate follow-up content. Thank each one for attending, send downloadable resources and relevant articles, or have them complete a survey on their webinar experience. Invite them to your next event. These steps will lay the groundwork for mutually-beneficial, long-term relationships by offering your attendees a learning experience and showing that you care about your attendees. Marketing automation tools can help you follow-up automatically.
Webinars in the Technology Industry
Tech companies are consistently using webinars to create engagement and buzz around their products and solutions. RFID and IoT companies in particular can have a difficult time using written content to explain the features and benefits of their products to laypeople. Webinars allow these companies to answer questions from their audience and demo their solutions to large numbers of people at the same time. Check out the RFID Journal webinar archive to see how tech companies have used webinars in the past.
Webinar Software Products from around the Web
Below are three webinar software products that can make creating and advertising a webinar easy:
- Adode Connect: Adobe’s service allows organizations to put on impressive webinars and events. It’s full of rich multimedia options with high-quality audio/video breakout rooms, streaming video integration and analytics and tracking.
- GoToWebinar: From the folks at GoToMeeting, the webinar version GoToWebinar caters specifically to the needs of people who are hosting webinars as products/services in and of themselves.
- Cisco Webex: This is part of a whole family of products from Cisco made for remote collaborative work. Their Event Center product is used to put on events and webinars.
Making Leads Happen
Webinars continue to be one of the most effective lead generation tools available today. If your webinars are designed and advertised well, they can help move potential customers through the sales funnel regardless of how experienced they are with your brand. Webinars can introduce your company to newcomers while also closing customers who’ve already had some experience with your business – all while giving you evergreen content and building your email list in the meantime.