Marketing is all about connecting with your audience, right? And what better way to connect than through one of your in-house experts solving your audience’s issues with the help of your products and services. Over the last few years, webinars have proved to be highly effective in generating marketing-qualified leads and building brand awareness. That’s why webinars should be an integral part of your content marketing. Here’s how to plan and promote your webinar to success.
- Webinar marketing definition
- 7 Webinar marketing benefits & statistics
- 10 steps to plan and promote a great webinar
- Top webinar marketing solutions
Webinar marketing definition
Webinar marketing aims to educate your target audience about industry-related topics and get them to engage with your brand, products, and services in scheduled online sessions.
Webinar marketing is all about developing a connection between the audience and your business by providing them with free, valuable information through a branded video-based workshop experience. Meanwhile, businesses can enjoy a substantial return from their webinar efforts, mainly in the form of brand awareness and lead generation. More on this in the next section.
Webinar marketing can take on many forms, such as top-of-funnel thought leadership panel discussions, product demos, and tutorials. However, a webinar is not a sales pitch. It’s important to offer value to your attendees by solving a problem or answering a question they share. That’s also the reason why successful webinars include a Q&A session, interactive polls, and downloadable resources.
You can learn more about webinars in our previous blog posts:
- The difference between a webinar and a video conference
- How to create a webinar in 12 easy steps
- The 7 best platforms for webinars in 2022
7 Webinar marketing benefits and statistics
Webinars are a powerful tool in the marketer’s shed. They are known to create a solid return for marketers. That’s why 95% of marketers see webinars as essential to their marketing efforts and 57% of marketers run 50 webinars per year. The following 7 advantages explain why webinar marketing is so successful:
Webinars attract crowds
As a video-based format, they are much more engaging and effective at conveying information than written articles. And that engagement starts early on with a 61% registration to attendee conversion rate, according to Hubspot. Once your webinar started, you’ll enjoy the undivided attention of about 40% of your attendees until the very end of the session.
Webinars build credibility
Your webinar should be hosted by your company’s expert on the subject, who will demonstrate the expertise and authority of your organization. It’s good practice to refer to other assets and resources on your website during the webinar. This way, you will make your brand the go-to for any industry-related question in the mind of your audience.
Webinars raise brand awareness
A webinar puts your brand, and what it could mean for your audience, in the spotlight. The fact that the attendee partakes in a live event hosted by a real-life representative of your organization, forges an immediate connection that is infinitely stronger than other marketing output, like ads or blog posts. Make sure you seize the opportunity by properly branding the recording studio, your host, and your audience interface. Webinar platforms like Kaltura Webinars understand this need and offer ample branding options to make your webinar platform 100% your own.
Webinars yield invaluable user data
Webinars bring potential customers and their needs on a silver platter. Through your webinars, you will generate a list of interested people, along with their emails, attendance and engagement metrics during the webinar, and the questions they asked during the Q&A. This data will indicate exactly how to reach out to them and nurture them into actual customers. User data pulled from webinars will also help you understand the needs and popular questions that live among your target audience. Ultimately, it will help you steer your marketing in the right direction and polish your products and services accordingly. In short, webinar data will help you grow your business.
Webinars generate high-quality leads
Further to the previous benefit of yielding user data, more than 70% of B2B companies confirm that webinar marketing is the most effective way to generate high-quality leads. According to Webinarcare, 73% of B2B webinar attendees and 30% of B2C webinar attendees convert into leads. In fact, 62% of buyers will request a demo from sales after a webinar, while 89% will visit the company website for more information.
Webinars can increase customer loyalty
Webinars let you engage with your audience in real-time. As we said in the previous benefit about brand awareness, this creates a strong connection that is unparalleled in marketing. Adding interactive elements to your webinar will further strengthen this connection. A Q&A session or polls create a dialogue between the audience and the brand and make them feel understood and cared for, thus deepening the relationship.
Webinars can be repurposed as on-demand content
Your webinar’s lifespan doesn’t expire when you interrupt the live stream. Make sure you always record your webinars. You can then edit the video and repurpose it as on-demand content to be used as marketing collateral or as a video post on your corporate website’s resource pages. You can also post the integral webinar or short clips on social media or YouTube, driving traffic to your website. You can also write blog posts and guest posts based on and linking to your webinar.
Webinar marketing has more than 7 benefits going for it. All in all, Webinar marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies with high return… if you do it right. In the next session, we’ll offer tips and suggestions on how to fine-tune your webinar marketing strategy and maximize success.
10 steps to plan and promote a great webinar
We got to the meat of this blog post –how to do webinar marketing the right way. These 10 steps aren’t a linear process, per se. They can run simultaneously or in a different order. To enable that, you should get your dream team together and hold a kick-off meeting to cover all steps and distribute tasks and responsibilities. Consider that Step 0.
Choose the right webinar topic
A webinar topic is something you should research. Because it’s not so much about what you have to tell but rather about what your audience wants to hear. You can set up the most spectacular webinar, if it doesn’t answer anyone’s questions or meets anyone’s need for information, you’ll still end up with an empty room.
In short, your topic should be Useful, Urgent, Unique, and Ultra-specific.
So, check industry forums, run surveys, do keyword research, or check the “People also ask” section in Google to find the popular questions or educational needs your target audience might have. A good free tool to discover what people are asking about is answerthepublic.com. But some of the best resources for this type of information can be found internally. Your very own Sales and Support teams are in direct contact with your target audience on a daily basis and know exactly what they need. Talk to them.
The best webinars teach the audience how to do something specific or how to solve a problem they solve regularly. Make sure to focus on a single topic. Any additional topic should be the subject of another webinar. According to Hubspot, consumers will more readily sign up for a webinar that helps them explore their hobby or passion (27%), while 18% would attend a webinar related to their career or industry.
Select the webinar format
Your topic might already indicate the type of webinar you should create. Otherwise, you have the choice between an interview, a panel discussion, a presentation, a tutorial, or a product demo. The interview format is the perfect solution in case you don’t have an in-house expert, or you want to leverage a more popular speaker who will generate more registrations. With interviews and panel discussions you’ll be working with external partners, so make sure to send them the questions, topics, and scripts in advance.
Whichever type of webinar you choose, it’s good practice to end your session with a Q&A (92% of webinar attendees expect a live Q&A session at the end). This will complete the attendees’ experience by answering any open questions they still might have and it will also be a great opportunity to engage and connect directly with your audience. You can have an assistant monitor the chat throughout the webinar session and take note of any relevant questions for you (or your invitees/panel) to answer.
Select a webinar platform
Your webinar will only be as good as your tools allow for, so carefully choose the platform that won’t limit you. That means you shouldn’t be tempted by free platforms like YouTube. Their branding will overshadow yours which won’t make you look professional and tools and features are extremely limited. Also, your content might be ad-supported and potentially surrounded by your competitor’s content.
If you’re in the market for a professional-grade webinar solution, I suggest you check out this shortlist of the 7 best webinar platforms I wrote a few months ago. Spoiler alert, Kaltura Webinars is your best bet. Read more about the features and capabilities and try it out for yourself with a free trial on our Kaltura Webinars pricing page.
Decide on the right time, date, and length of your webinar
Time is of the essence. And that goes for webinars, too. Luckily, with so much data out there, we can form a pretty good idea of what works well. I will spare you the research:
- 60-minute webinars seem to attract more participants than 30-minute webinars.
- The best day to schedule a webinar is Thursdays. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are close second and third.
- As for the time of day, mornings make for more successful webinars (93%) than evenings.
Other than that, it’s important to choose a date that doesn’t coincide with any holiday or other major events. Typically, you’ll want to set the date no earlier than three to four weeks in the future, to give you sufficient lead time to promote your event.
Create your webinar content
Your main mission here is to deliver useful content to the audience, whilst showcasing the value of your company and its products or services. So, you should craft content around your audience’s questions and problems (see step 1 for methods and tools) and sneak in how your products can solve them. Just don’t turn your webinars into sales pitches. Ideally, your attendees should be able to get value from your webinar, even when they don’t own your product or use your services. They can solve their problem this or that way, but it would be easier/faster/better if they used your product.
At its most basic, your content will be your host’s oral delivery. From there, you can and should enrich your webinar with a slide deck, audiovisual material, demonstrations, polls, and online resources. You can also go the extra mile and include links to downloadable resources (files, whitepapers, infographics, readers. …). With Kaltura Webinars, you can organize your content in playlists for an easy, uninterrupted session and use engaging tools like whiteboards, live quizzes, and quick polls.
Choose your webinar host
As we said before, webinars form the ideal opportunity to showcase your company’s expertise and to humanize an otherwise faceless corporate organization. Your choice of host plays a very important role in attaining these goals. So, choose a host who is an expert on the topic of your webinar and at the same time has a friendly and entertaining personality that is representative of your brand.
Choose your host early in the process so he can follow and be involved. Seen as your host is a subject expert, he or she should be actively involved in developing the webinar content. This will also help your host be confident, thorough, and deliver a smooth presentation, during the webinar.
Promote your webinar
So, you got a great webinar in the pipeline. Three to four weeks ahead of the event is when you should start promoting and drive registrations, at the latest. Before you can do that, you’ll need a registration page for your webinar. This registration page should be properly branded and designed and contain the “what, why, who, and when” of your webinar, along with a registration form. Once you published your registration page, you can start promoting your webinar with the usual set of tools for the job:
Up to 57% of your registrations will come from email marketing, so email will be your main weapon of choice. The conversion rate of webinar invitation emails is also 27% higher than other promotional channels [Hubspot 2020]. The usual strategy is to send out three designed and branded invitations to your target audience, two weeks ahead, one week ahead, and the day before the event. Why is that? Because 35% of attendees will sign up 1 to 7 days before your webinar and 29% won’t register until the day of the event itself. If you’re a bit superstitious or you have a particular fondness for freaky stats, 24% of all webinar registrations happen on a Tuesday. Don’t ask why.
Paid campaigns and social media
Have your design team create banner ads and other assets to promote your webinar on social media as posts and paid campaigns that drive traffic to your registration page. You should also use these assets to run Google Display campaigns.
Your sales team discusses needs and problems with customers daily. They could be an excellent promotional channel, inviting customers to your free webinar that will answer their questions. Align with the sales team on how to handle this. Maybe the salesperson could complete the registration for the customer right then and there, or they could send a personalized invitation with the link to the registration page.
More promotional channels
- Create a blog post
- Create a pop-up banner for your company website
- Add a link or banner to the registration page in your email signature
- Promote your webinar on industry forums
- Mention your webinar in guest posts
Launch your webinar
People easily forget they registered for your webinar. That’s why reminder emails are crucial for your turnout. Typically, you should send 3 system emails:
- a confirmation immediately after registration
- a first reminder the day before the event
- and a second reminder, about one hour before the event
Sending a reminder email on the day of the event increases attendance by 20%. Ideally, your confirmation email should include all the details of the webinar, as well as an “add to calendar” link. The reminder emails should contain a direct link to the webinar, and the system requirements to be able to attend the webinar if there are any.
Display a welcome slide announcing the session will start shortly and play some licensed music to make it more pleasant for early arrivals while you wait for everyone to join.
Everyone’s in? It’s showtime. Introduce your topic and your speakers. Remember it’s all about the audience and their need for specific information on your main topic. When it comes to putting your brand and products in the spotlight, webinars usually follow a “show, don’t tell’ strategy. And don’t forget to make room for a Q&A session. Your audience expects it. Good luck!
You delivered a great webinar and your audience enjoyed the experience? Then now is the time to reel in your attendees with a proper follow-up.
Edit your webinar and give it a home on your website resources page as free on-demand content. You may also decide to reserve the on-demand webinar as marketing collateral or gated content that users can access upon email registration or membership subscription.
Send a “thank you” email to your attendees with a link to the webinar recording. This email should also contain a call to action. This could be to fill out a post-webinar survey, read more on your website, start a free trial, or make a purchase at a discounted price.
You should send a similar email to registrants who ended up not attending the webinar. They might still want to watch the on-demand video and enjoy the same discounted price or free trial.
Align with your sales team to follow up with leads.
Measure webinar success
Analyze the whole production process and the performance of your webinar. Use your webinar platform analytics, the lead journey, the post-webinar survey, and other types of feedback. Of course, you should also evaluate the performance of your webinar promotion, through the analytics dashboards of your Google and social accounts. All these metrics will help you calculate ROI, set up a performance report, and suggest improvements for future webinars. Speaking of which, you should already be cooking your next webinar while the fire’s hot!
Top webinar marketing solutions
I reviewed the best webinar marketing solutions in my aforementioned blog post “7 Best Platforms for Webinars In 2022,” so do go and check out that post. However, I will reiterate the top 3 solutions right here. All three are paid options, as we mentioned earlier that free platforms don’t meet common business needs. That’s also why 78% of hosts use a professional-grade webinar platform, rather than YouTube or other free options.
Kaltura’s mission is to power video experiences for leading brands and SMEs, in any industry from education to telecom, leveraging video to educate, collaborate, communicate, and entertain. It goes without saying that Kaltura also offers a powerful webinar solution that leverages Kaltura’s technology and know-how.
At Kaltura, we know that our business customers need more than just a reliable and smooth streaming experience. We want to supercharge your webinar marketing with a white-label solution that helps you get your message across with content libraries and playlists, live quizzes, and polls, live captioning, screen sharing, digital whiteboards, full moderator and chat controls, feature-packed live-to-VOD conversion, session recording, and a granular analytics dashboard.
Start your free trial today to see how easily you can set up a smooth and professional webinar. Click on the banner below.
ON24 calls itself the digital experience platform and offers a webinar solution deserving of second place in this top list. The webinar platform offers a rich packet of features including branding options, screen sharing, polls, playlists, session recording, live-to-VOD repurposing, and real-time engagement analytics.
The large set of tools and features might have rendered ON24 harder to navigate and not very intuitive to use, which seems to be a recurring complaint. Yet, ON24’s webinar platform misses important features like emoji engagement, editing features for VOD conversion, and breakout rooms. If you won’t need these features and you can work around the complexity of the interface, then ON24 should be on your watchlist.
Webex by Cisco is known for its advanced security features. So, if security is your number one priority, then Webex might be a good option. But that’s not all the webinar platform has going for. Features include branding, screen sharing, polls, breakout rooms, session recording, and performance analytics. Everything you might expect from a solid solution by tech giant Cisco.
The Webex webinar solution will make sense to anyone who’s already invested in Cisco hardware or webinar hosts who need the extra security. If that’s not you, you might feel limited by Webex’s basic customization capabilities and dated UI. But it’s still a fantastic platform that deserves the third position in this list.
Webinars are relatively easy to set up and launch and they yield a high return, from brand awareness to loyal paying customers. They should get a prominent place in your marketing strategy and it’s important to read up about the best practices and available data regarding webinar marketing. So, check-in again with us soon to level up your webinar marketing with valuable tips and information. In the meantime, give Kaltura Webinars a quick try for free!
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