Webinars bring people together. Unlike seminars that can be reached only locally, webinars offer a global reach. This creates fantastic opportunities for participants and the webinar hosts.
However, nowadays, webinars are not always about sheer knowledge sharing.
Companies all over the world use webinars to reach a wider audience, build reputation, and convert their viewers into loyal customers. In fact, hosting webinars have become one of the most effective B2B marketing strategies.
Sounds very promising. And indeed. Webinars do hold great marketing potential. And what’s also great about them is that they can be used at any stage of the sales funnel.
But to make them really worthwhile there are several factors to keep in mind. Otherwise, all the conversions you hope for, and the work you’ve put in, will go down the drain.
Let’s approach the B2B webinar subject in three steps and see what you can do to maximize your chances for conversion.
Step 1: Prepare Your B2B Webinar
Preparation is as important as execution. At this stage, you prepare the grounds for the upcoming event. You need to research your audience, topic, prepare an agenda, and choose the platform you want to stream your webinar on.
Then, when you’ve managed to identify these, there’s still work to be done with registrations and even promotion.
Quality Over Quantity: Research Your Target Audience
You want to run a webinar to attract and convert B2B leads. So your goal is clear and sorted.
But what about your audience? What’s in the webinar for them? That’s where it’s getting a bit tricky.
On the one hand, you want to drive new leads so hitting the high registration number can be tempting. On the other, there’s no point in attracting unqualified leads.
First, they will most likely fail to show up. Second, they might quickly drop out during the webinar. And third, even if they manage to stick with you till the very end, they won’t convert because the topic you presented was not relevant to their interests or problem.
So what can you do to increase your chances of reaching the right audience?
Choose Relevant and Helpful Topic
Think about topics that would be helpful for your audience and relevant to your industry. Perhaps there are some trends you can identify or major pain points that your customers are struggling with.
Start with Google Trends, or more advanced tools such as SE Ranking, and do the keyword research. You may also think about asking your customer service team whether they have noticed any recurring questions they’ve been getting lately.
There are other sources for b2b webinar topic ideas.
For example, you can take a look at:
- Your blog articles’ popularity. See which articles or categories on your blog are the most popular ones. This could be a good indicator of what your audience is searching for.
- Your company forum or community group on social media platforms (if you have one). Here, you can browse through the individual posts to get popular questions or phrases. Or, you can simply leave a survey/poll for your members to fill in.
- Your existing database of leads. Reach out to them to find out what they would love to learn about.
Specify the Topic and Outline the Agenda
Ok, so you know what you’re going to talk about. Great! Now, be sure to make it clear to your audience, too. Specify your topic so that your potential viewers will know what the b2b webinar is going to be about and who it is for.
If you’re going to talk about a problem and solution that is applicable to only certain business sectors, do mention it in your topic or agenda. This way you avoid attracting the wrong audience.
Lastly, consider avoiding including the name of your service or product in the webinar topic. You want to present yourself as an expert who has the solution to the problem, not as a salesperson looking for buyers.
Choose the Right Platform
There are tons of webinar softwares to choose from. If that’s your first webinar, how do you really know what you’re going to need?
Start with answering these questions:
- Who is your audience? We’re talking here mainly about demographics. The business people from the older generation may prefer solutions that require no plug-ins or installations.
- Can you record your webinar? Some viewers may drop-off half-way your talk due to various reasons, not necessarily because they were not interested. So they might want to finish listening to it later.
- Do you plan to invite any guest speakers? Your guests should be able to connect with you remotely and share their own presentations on the screen.
- Do you want to interact with your viewers? Most of the solutions support chats, but not all of them will allow you to run surveys or polls during the webinar. The latter ones will come handy if you want to engage your viewers better.
- How easy is it to use? Fiddling with the new software or platform shouldn’t be your major concern. Look for something that has all the features you need and which you can learn to use in minutes.
- Where is most likely your audience to be? If there’s a place where most of your audience is already concentrated, then see if you can run a webinar there. For instance, Facebook and YouTube platforms.
Put Together a Promotion Plan
By now, you should have your webinar platform, audience, topic, and agenda sorted. It’s time to start spreading the word about the event!
Write a Blog Article
First, consider producing some content around your webinar topic. Share with your readers what you have managed to learn during your research. You may include the following:
- What major pain points/problems you have identified.
- Where those problems stem from.
- How they affect businesses.
- A quick mention that you will be holding a webinar during which you will reveal the solution (you may add an agenda, too).
Then, post your article on your social media and community groups/forum (after all, this is where you got some ideas from in the first place). Then, email it to your leads as a separate campaign or as part of your newsletter.
Mention the date and time of the event. This will allow your future viewers to schedule their time and prepare some questions for you.
Add Promo Banners to Other Articles
If you have blog articles that are at least loosely related to the webinar topic, you may insert a promotional banner in some of them. This will increase awareness about the upcoming event among your visitors.
Record a Short Video
Similarly to movie teasers, you may record a short video that would briefly cover the points of your article. Videos are easier to consume, more dynamic, and can be listened to on the go. So chances are that if there are some leads who haven’t read your article yet, they might listen or watch a video about it.
There’s one more advantage of the videos: they show real humans behind the content and give the audience sneak-peek into whom they can look forward to listening to.
Add a Chatbot to Your Website
Chatbots are often referred to as virtual agents. They can activate at any time you want and answer the customers’ questions. But that’s not all. You can use them as conversational “pop-ups” that can help you achieve several goals, such as:
- drive leads to your landing page
- collect data and register your leads for the webinar
- pre-screen your leads through the chat to assess whether they are the right webinar audience
You can use a chatbot platform to build custom chatbots for free without writing a single line of code.
This is the only paid option on the list. Use the data you’ve collected via a lead magnet in your article. It will help you target the ad audience better.
Design a Coherent Landing/Registration Page
Don’t neglect the landing page. It should be coherent with the ad and allow the leads to register for the event. A few tips to consider when designing your registration page:
- Include your b2b webinar agenda. This will help people who haven’t seen your article or video to decide whether this is something for them or not.
- Go beyond standard input fields. Registration form is a great source of data of your leads that you can later use to segment your audience or personalize the emails you will send them.
- Allow your leads to include their questions. This will help you gather more insight and demonstrate your expertise.
Your b2b webinar attendees may be forgetful but you mustn’t be.
Send email reminders a week and a day before the event to your registered and non-registered leads. Reminders are a good opportunity for non-registered viewers to reconsider their decision whether they should join your webinar.
Step 2: Launch Your B2B Webinar
It’s time to kick-off with your webinar! Now your goal is to get people to stay.
Greet and Introduce Yourself (and Your Guests)
Needless to say, begin with self-introduction.
You’re not here just to pronounce your name and title. You are here to show your audience that you’re an expert. Someone who can be trusted and who is credible.
So briefly speak of your background, experiences, successful case studies, and happy clients you have helped so far. If you have produced any popular e-books or articles, you can mention them as well.
Finally, don’t forget to sneak in some funny picture or meme of yourself, or tell a funny story related to your work.
Introduce the Topic and Agenda
Briefly going through the agenda serves a few purposes.
First, there might be a few leads who joined ad hoc and thus are not quite sure what to expect.
Second, it gives you a chance to explain some concepts.
For example, let’s say you’re going to talk about electronic signatures. The term alone may sound familiar, but you cannot be sure that everyone knows what UETA or CLM stands for.
Remember, your viewers joined you to learn something new. Don’t leave them feeling lost or intimidated.
Don’t Mention Your Product/Service
You’re holding a web seminar, a knowledge-sharing event, not a sales pitch. Talking about your product should come as the last part of your presentation (unless you are able to neatly incorporate it without being too explicit).
Focus on presenting the problem and delivering the solution. Save the best parts for later to keep your audience hooked and wanting to stay longer.
If the content of your talk is more like a “step-by-step” or “how-to” approach, the mystery behind the solution will be naturally revealed one by one. If, however, you promised to deliver a fixed number of tricks or secrets, then reserve the juiciest bits for the final part.
Remember the feeling when you were at school or college and some new concept seemed so fuzzy to you? That’s how some of your leads may be feeling at some points. So give them plenty of examples.
The best ones are those that come from your own business experiences. This way, you not only build up your credibility even more but also let your leads understand and relate better.
Keep Your Audience Engaged
Some seminars are boring. You sit in the classroom because you have to. In the case of b2b webinars, the participants are free to leave whenever they like.
You, as the host, want to keep your “students” as long as possible, and the only way to do this is to keep them engaged.
Practice Your Script
If you don’t have too much experience with delivering long speeches, there’s a high risk that you will end up forgetting your key points or will rush through the content. So do a few rehearsals before you go live.
Let Your Audience Do Some Talking
Most (if not all) of the chat platforms come with chats which allows your audience to do more beyond listening. It’s a great opportunity to engage your audience by asking and answering their questions.
Moreover, the chat is for many leads an opportunity to talk to the company directly for the first time. For you, on the other hand, a chance to begin business relationships that can continue beyond your b2b webinar.
Run Surveys or Polls
If the webinar platform you choose allows for surveys or polls, then capitalize on these features, too. By asking the right questions, you will get to know your prospects better. For example, what business sectors your leads represent, how is the webinar topic relevant to their situation, what are their expectations, etc.
Run Final Q&A Session
This session should have a dedicated time slot on your agenda. This is the moment when you can answer the questions your leads have sent you via the registration form. If there are questions that were asked during the presentation that your colleague was unable to handle, you can address them as well.
Again, respond to the questions in the conversation-like style and address the leads who asked them by name.
In case there are lots of questions and some require an in-depth explanation, pick only the ones you find most crucial. You can answer the rest after the webinar (or through the personalized follow-up emails).
Step 3: After Your B2B Webinar: Follow-Up Your Leads
Your webinar is over but you still got a job to be done. In fact, the actions you’re going to take afterward are just as important to conversion as those from the previous steps.
Send a General “Thank you” Follow-Up Email
Send the first follow-up email within 24 hours.
The email should thank all viewers and guest hosts (if you invited any) for their participation. Do include on your mailing list the leads who did not show as well. Some of them, despite their sheer interest, were not able to join, so they expect to receive the recording by email.
Segment Your Leads
Try to divide your leads into various segments to email them personalized content. For instance, leads who expressed interest to learn more about your product or those who had their questions waiting to be answered.
Use the data you’ve collected through polls, surveys, and by your “chat support” colleague. Another useful data comes from the registration form responses.
Nurture All Leads
Not all your leads who signed-up are ready to buy soon after the webinar. But it doesn’t mean you cannot nurture them to help them become ready to buy your product or service.
Write a Follow-Up Article
During Step 1, you wrote an article that was meant to lay some groundwork for the webinar. The article outlined the problems but didn’t provide solutions.
Once a webinar is over, it’s a good idea to write a summary of what was discussed and shared with your listeners. Use this as a quick hack to help convert leads more effectively.
Turn your summary into a blog post and then, to filter for those who are more interested in learning about your product, incorporate some gated content in the post.
Additionally, you can gate the second article and/or turn both of them into a lead magnet thus simply repurposing your content.
B2B Webinar: Final Thoughts
Webinars require some practice. If your first attempt didn’t turn out to be exactly what you’ve expected, don’t be disheartened. They can become one of the most powerful channels for building a loyal customer base for your business.
Ask your audience to share their feedback and watch the recording with your colleagues from different teams. They might be able to give you some valuable pointers.
Also, remember that your conversion rate is a sum of your efforts you commit to all steps of your b2b webinar: preparation, presentation, and follow-up. Break down each step into smaller bits and see what you can do better or what will work better for you.
Analyze, draw conclusions, and keep going!