What content format best engages our target audience? A million-dollar question for every B2B marketeer! It is not enough to measure unique web visitors or the number of downloaded materials. Making sure we reach the right target audience is essential.
Webinars are not the easiest tool in the B2B marketer’s toolkit, but a very effective one. The evident benefit of online events – webinars – is that they last and are available on-demand when our target audience is ready to communicate. Keep in mind the following 5 steps when getting started and make sure to try and test instead of getting stuck with creating the first webinar!
1. Choose your webinar audience
Invite people from the target accounts you have selected with the sales team – they have the best knowledge as to which clients have the momentum to start communicating.
Be realistic with results: if your sales cycle is 6-12 months, companies that have an on-going buying process are most likely to attend the webinar when invited. The on-demand webinars are gathering the audience for the coming months, whenever the time is right. The on-time approach is something to think about – instead of mass-marketing, make sure the recorded webinar is available on your website.
2. Content – Talk about solutions
The temptation to tell about the superb details of our product or service is always there. However, we can also approach the message from a customer-centric view: which problem are we here to solve?
3. Choose the right tools
Webinar platforms provide a broad set of possibilities for creating a great customer experience for webinar participants. Starting with live-simulated pre-recorded webinars is a good and low-risk way to begin – you can still have a live discussion part at the end! The following features are at least something to think about and available in most common platforms, such as GoToWebinar or ON24, to mention a couple.
- Live webinars: Host live webinars and share recordings with participants later on.
- Custom landing page forms: Encourage people to sign up for your webinars.
- Email notifications: Remind people about your upcoming webinar event.
- Engage: Use live chat, polls and send files to audience members during your webinar.
- Analytics: Reporting and analytics on webinar performance. Encourage feedback from those who take part.
By easily integrating the webinar platform with marketing automation you will also ensure the data from the registrants is flowing in to your marketing database for further analysis. It will help you to create a holistic view for your customers.
4. Reach your audience
Once you have all set up, make sure your webinar is connected to your web pages and is also easy to find by search. Drive traffic to the web pages from the sources you know your audience is using.
Offline events and exhibitions are a great source of personal contacts, and also for having the next contact with the customer online. Sending an invitation email is obvious, but make sure you also have the on-demand webinar there in your marketing automation engagement programs. A reminder email or SMS sent a few days before the webinar is proven to have a positive effect on the number of participants. Depending on your customers, consider adding another reminder a few hours before the webinar, with a direct link to join the session.
5. Follow up
A good start is to make sure your marketing automation platform will identify the first touch with the people that came into your database through the webinar. Make sure to also backtrack how many from your webinar audience produced sales in the following months. Using CRM campaigns to label the participated companies is also a best practice and gives transparency to further reporting.
Written by Kaisa Valakari
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