The importance of lead generation to your business is difficult to over-emphasize. Branding and mindshare are important, but in a lackluster economy, lead generation is king, and webinars are successful tactics in generating a consistent stream of leads.
Several solution-providers offer webinar platforms. MSP-C produces approximately five client webinars per month and we chose our webinar platform after vetting various solutions and selecting the features, functionality and price point that met our technology needs and budget.
The most successful client webinars, defined as those that drive the greatest number of registrants, share three attributes. They generally feature:
- A popular and timely topic
- Respected subject matter experts (SMEs)
- Well-planned integrated marketing campaigns
Engaging content, be it delivered via hard copy magazine, digital, video, social or webinar, is the key. Your organization’s solutions and corresponding marketing messages almost certainly align with a “hot topic.” Or it may simply be a case of taking a new perspective on a mature concept to give your content some buzz. The point is, the topic of your webinar should address a challenge your customers or prospects are either currently facing or will soon face, while then offering a solution to those very challenges.
Because your webinar speaker will articulate your topic of choice, choose him or her wisely. Customers and prospects will be wary of speakers whose titles and perceived agendas appear more focused on sales and marketing and less attuned to their business needs.
You could include a manager from your sales and marketing team as a webinar speaker, but those individuals should be balanced with employees who are directly involved in the creation, development or management of your product solutions.
Other speakers to consider include well-known industry experts from outside your organization. Including this type of talent brings objectivity to your message and, depending on the personality, may help registrations (i.e., leads). However, if you do decide to bring in a third-party expert, be prepared to pay a fee for his or her inclusion in the presentation.
Another option is to have a customer who has successfully deployed your solution speak to their organization’s success. A peer-to-peer example generally resonates well with customers and prospects and provides objectivity and real-world examples to your audience.
We promote our clients’ webinars through an integrated marketing campaign that often incorporates hard copy magazines, Web banners and email newsletters. The campaign should generally begin two months prior to the webinar and inform customers and prospects that if they cannot attend the live event, they should still register to receive a link to the recorded webcast, which they can view and listen to at their leisure.
Prior to beginning your marketing campaign, you should have a registration goal. If you are falling short of your desired registration goal two to three weeks prior to the event, you may elect to send out an email to your targeted contact list. However, these emails should be prudent and moderated. You do not want to risk alienating customers and prospects by over-sending emails to your list.
It’s been our experience that approximately 50 percent of those who register for a given webinar actually tune in for the event, while a varying percentage choose to download the webcast at a later date.
In the second article of this two-part series, we’ll delve into the webinar execution and provide tips that will help ensure your webinar is well organized, managed and rehearsed.