We welcome Mark Spera, founder of Growth Marketing Pro, the biggest growth marketing blog on the web, as a contributor for this blog post. In addition to his work and success with the Growth Marketing Pro blog, Mark also founded the 5-star rated SEO tool, GrowthBar. Our thanks to Mark for his insights about the value of marketing webinars for lead generation. -BlueJeans by Verizon
As a sales and marketing tool, webinars are second to none. Especially during a global pandemic, you need to engage during webinars if you’re going to keep the attention of your customers for more than a couple seconds. Up to 55%
of communication is nonverbal, so if your sales and marketing teams aren’t using webinars to engage with prospects and convert them into customers, you’re losing a lot of opportunities to increase conversion rate.
are proven to capture and maintain the attention of consumers. An average webinar attendee sticks around for 61 minutes
. That’s a huge opportunity to connect with decision-makers and communicate the value of your product or service. Particularly for B2B businesses, incorporating webinars into a digital marketing strategy is a surefire way to increase sales as they attract quality prospects in 2021 and beyond. Here are five tips for converting more leads into customers with webinars.
1. Use webinars for lead capture
Webinars are a fantastic way to capture leads at the top of your marketing funnel. Even if they don’t show up, every registrant for your webinar is a valuable lead, which you may nurture through your sales funnel via email marketing.
Using a webinar to capture leads is easy. These are the best practice steps for doing so:
- Come up with a concept and name your webinar. We’ve found time and time again that using numbers in your webinar title is key. People are attracted to metrics that show value, like “How Amazon increased sales 136% with this one growth hack.”
- Make a killer, concise landing page. The highest converting landing pages are straight to the point, yet compelling and offer a clear value proposition. We love including a title, quick value proposition, press badges for credibility, and an email capture module. Also, make sure to specify logistics like date and time. That’s it. Every piece of information should have a strategic purpose. You only have a few seconds to convert a user, so don’t overdo it.
- Drive traffic to your webinar. Maximize the exposure of your webinar and increase your overall brand awareness by leveraging an SEO strategy, paid ads and social media. If your budget allows for paid ads, focus on LinkedIn and Facebook. Those two are channels proven to sniff out leads through precise audience targeting. Identify your customer persona and target them with social media ads. You can even retarget audiences on Facebook that have previously visited your website. Social Media is also one of the best promotional tools for webinars. Create buzz for your upcoming event by creating a social campaign. Post unique updates on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to give your audience a sneak peek of what they can expect.
2. Host live events to increase conversion rate with existing leads
The math is simple: “visit” more prospects, build more pipeline, and grow revenue. All without ever leaving the office.
Webinars give you and your brand a way to interface with clients and use your organization’s most engaging and impressive employees to put on a show and build trust with events. Here’s how to do it right:
Come Up with Engaging, Data-Driven Topics
Deciphering which topics to cover in your webinar requires you to know your audience and will take some exploration. The most valuable content addresses specific pain points and offers tangible solutions, i.e., your product. These are a few ways to find out what topics will resonate with your audience:
- Your sales team talks to customers every day. Ask them what kind of feedback they get from customers about their biggest challenges. See when prospects are dropping out of the funnel and what concepts about the product do customers have the most difficulty grasping. A webinar can be a great way to address these issues head-on.
- Use the data you already have from your blog or previous webinars to identify what topics identify with your audience. If you have a blog post that saw significant engagement, consider hosting a webinar that expands upon that topic. Were there any interesting questions asked or insights gathered from a previous webinar? These could be opportunities for a broader discussion.
- Do some research on the recent happenings in your industry. Explore relevant online communities and forums to see what conversations are being had amongst your target audience. If your company or product can provide any valuable insights or solutions to current issues, that could be a timely topic for a webinar.
- Do not go into a webinar unprepared or you risk doing more damage than good. Create a webinar outline and powerpoint. Include an introduction, personal anecdote or story if possible, explain what attendees will learn in the webinar, and give them an incentive to stay the whole time. Also, be sure to send plenty of email follow ups to your base to ensure attendance is high for your live webinar. We generally recommend five or more emails leading up to the webinar, including one 24 hours before, one 30 minutes before, and one when it begins.
- Move your new leads further through the marketing funnel by integrating your preferred marketing automation or CRM software with your webinar tool. Integrations like Salesforce, Marketo and Splash make it easier to track and manage data collected during webinars and allow you to begin targeting leads with email campaigns. Hint: Use these integrations make it easy to segment your audience based on actions they did or didn’t take during the presentation.
3. Recording: moving customers through the funnel on autopilot
Webinars don’t always have to be live. Recording webinars
means you can sell while you sleep.
You’ll spend a lot of time and energy planning and hosting your live webinar, so turn it into an ongoing lead marketing tool. If the content covered during your webinar will still be relevant weeks or months after the event, make sure to record and automate it.
Record an engaging product walk-through, case-study or educational presentation to continuously share across all your marketing channels. Best practice is to use webinars for objection handling as well. So if there are common questions or objections to your product, make sure to address those in your recorded masterpiece.
Make your automated webinar available on your website, send it to new leads via email and distribute it across social media. Having this sales collateral available 24/7 will improve your conversions over time.
Also, since the messaging used in your webinar and on its landing page is optimized for search engines, it will continue to drive traffic to your site for as long as it lives. Pretty cool, right?
Hint: Use closed captioning to make your recorded webinars even more accessible.
4. Evaluate buying timelines and enrich leads with webinars
Live webinars are also great for enriching your leads and collecting data. Use polling questions
and analyze buyer urgency based on how they respond to your content. Gauge their interest and get a sense of where your audience members are in the buying cycle with specific poll questions.
For example, you can ask: What is your buying timeline? a) 0-3 months, b) 3-6 months, c) 6-9 months -- follow up with the “0-3 months”’ group first! If you receive a product-specific or pricing/package specific question in the chat/Q&A -- follow up with that individual.
These types of questions let you prioritize your warmer prospects so you can focus on nurturing the folks further along in the sales cycle that are most likely to convert.
Webinars enable you to better hone and predict your sales funnel with buyer-specific content.
You can also use this as an opportunity to evaluate the sentiment from people at each level of the funnel. Ask attendees how they heard about your webinar, what their major pain points are and what reservations they may have about your product. This valuable insight can be relayed to your product and sales teams to refine strategy and better retain existing customers.
: Some of the liveliest conversations happen via live chat. Make sure to introduce people via live chat
, monitor the chat experience throughout your webinar, and include extra data-driven nuggets to increase engagement.
5. Make a webinar-based funnel
Treat your webinar program similar to your other marketing campaigns: You can develop a webinar series that speaks to each phase of the buyer’s journey. Meaning, invite members of your lead database to a 3-part webinar series.
The first starts with educational/high level content about your products and services. Go over what exactly the product is, what it does and who it’s for. This preliminary event will help you sift through and qualify leads. Through Q&A, polls, chat and post-webinar surveys, you can determine who your potential customers are.
The second gets more product-specific, walking attendees through several use cases and showing them how your product works in real-time and how it could solve issues specific to their organization. This audience chose to attend the second event, so they have some degree of interest. Be diligent about addressing all questions and concerns during this session.
The third is an interview with a current customer to drive value for new prospects via testimonial. This is the time to demonstrate the proven effectiveness of your product or service. A case-study style webinar like this should present real data showing how proper implementation of the product saves time, money and drives results, using a credible source.
Nurture your new leads with email campaigns
throughout the series. Send each attendee a thank you email after each event and an invitation to the next one. You can also include a recording of the live webinar, survey/poll results and an option to book a free demo or consultation.
A 3-part webinar series gradually will work leads through your sales cycle and lets you closely monitor and nurture them with messaging specific to where they are in the funnel.
Webinars are a proven and effective way to generate quality leads and are notorious for having high conversion rates. You can deliver tremendous value to consumers at no cost to them. With webinars, you get to teach and sell at the same time. This removes the annoyance and pressure that comes from a traditional sales pitch because the focus is on sharing value, not closing a deal.
With the five tips above, you can use webinars
to create a lead generation machine that boosts conversions.