Marketing professionals know that buyers do not make their decision to purchase a product or service immediately. Hence they are trying to make their presence on all the platforms and attract qualified leads for their business.
Mike Agron, co-founder of WebAttract says
About 77% of B2B buyers would research about a company before they speak to you. In B2B, people are on a journey towards being educated. The best way to teach your qualified leads is by using webinars. Webinars offer significant amounts of value to the target audience and positions you as the authority.
The downside to this is that marketers create webinars that have little or no value to the audience. It is sad to note that their webinars can be so terrible that they do not turn qualified leads to opportunities that are ready-to-buy.
The goal here is to know the details of the qualified leads so that you can start your nurturing process in the near future. In this article, we will have a look at a formula that successful brands use to convert qualified leads to sales.
Choosing a topic that will draw the audience
The popularity of the webinar is increasing. And marketers are taking advantage of this to attract qualified leads to their business. They are stirring up controversies concerning their format. To get over the noise, you only need a killer topic. Therefore, you have to identify the challenges that your qualified leads want to get rid of. You cannot depend solely on private contributions to the topic. Webinars’ primary goal is to convert qualified leads into sales. Therefore, your sales team is a vital part of the brainstorming process for the webinar.
Ask the following questions to come up with a topic.
- What are your prospect’s most common questions?
- Which topic gives you the most pleasure while teaching?
- What topic do you have deep insight into?
- Which area will we deliver the most value with efficiency and within one hour?
You can pick a topic that is broad and break it into subtopics. Also, you can opt to go deep and discuss a particular topic in bits. The approach that you use will depend on what you want to offer.
For you to land an excellent topic for the webinar, pick a broad subject and brainstorm over the subtopics. For instance, we wanted to do a webinar on GDPR, we brainstormed and decided to cover these topics:
- GDPR is a regulation or a directive?
- Victims of GDPR?
- How does it affect Businesses?
- How to decipher GDPR Compliance and Implementation.
- Privacy issues faced by the customers
- Cause of the birth of GDPR.
- The role of Social Selling in combating the traditional sales practices of cold reach out.
Other than the organization, you can also search outside the organization to get a topic idea. There are four places where you can get your topics.
- Current customers
- Leads with the most engagement
- Email surveys
- Data from your organization’s content.
Your faithful customers know what your products or services solve. They have an understanding of your industry. Therefore, ask about the challenges faced by your customers and how your solution was of help to them. Ask them why they chose you over your competitors too.
The leads with the most engagement are those that keep consuming your blog content regularly. In as much as they are engaged, they need a gentle nudge into the sales cycle. Ask them about their challenges and what they wish to know more about concerning anything. Find out the topics that resonate excellently with them and will make them participate in the webinar.
Set up a surveying campaign to get a quantitative data from your leads’ list and subscribers. Give them multiple-choice questions to answer. Include one or two questions that are open-ended. This will give them a chance to provide more opinions about specific issues.
Choosing the right format for the webinar
After getting a topic, the next thing is to decide the form of the webinar. There are numerous formats, but the best formats are the ones we are going to look at.
1. Tell them about the Case studies
Every prospect is interested in knowing how other people were able to overcome the challenges. They want to know what their peer’s use and the results that they get. Therefore, by using case studies, you will be able to convince prospects and push them to the sales process. When you come up with such stories from your customers- you enhance your credibility. When a customer participates in the webinar, they show that they are pleased with the product and they love the results.
If you want to talk about how your product increases sales of your prospect, you can get a satisfied client to speak instead of you. Webinars are perfect for getting you to start using case studies. You can also repurpose a webinar into a blog post, and this will enhance your sales because of the content.
2. Include a panel discussion of experts
By having a panel discussion of experts, there will be a new level of credibility from external sources. Therefore, try and collaborate with industry website in your webinars. When internal experts make the webinar’s panel, people will look at it as a sales pitch. When you work with other experts, you will bring in a new perspective.
One of the best advantages of collaboration is that you will tap into a new audience. Therefore, you will have a win-win scenario. The brand you collaborate with will benefit just like you will.
Thought leaders have a lot of power. While influencer marketing can be difficult, if you collaborate with thought leaders in webinars, you will enjoy so much more. You can also build relationships with one or two industry leaders.
3. Education, use of tutorials, and product demos
This is a perfect format to use if you offer freemium product versions or technical solutions that need explanations.
There are so many software companies that use product tutorials to educate their customers on their software. The tutorials help with retaining and onboarding new customers, and it is very scalable. You can also conduct webinars whenever new features go live. This practice helps to reduce churns and boost retention. The format of your webinar will depend on the topic that you are handling. When picking the subject and the format of the webinar, map it excellently the perfect stage of the funnel and sales cycle. As for product demos, they are perfect for people who are using or want to use your product.
Keeping your audience engaged
Getting people to register to attend your webinar can be a challenge. Getting them to stay till the end is even more challenging. Also, remember that not everyone in attendance will turn into a sale. However, you can deliver exceptional content that will stay in their minds, and they will be a vital part of your online content consumers.
1. Use storytelling as a weapon
A compelling hook is a must for exceptional content. The same is the case for webinars. Tell a story at the beginning of every webinar. Create a narrative that relates to what you want to communicate. If you are skeptical about storytelling, remember what Alex Turnbull of Groove A/B did. He put to the test two versions of his blog post. One blog posts a story at the beginning, and the other one did not have one.
300% more people finished the post that had a story as compared to the one without. Also, the average time the people spend on the post was five times higher. Storytelling will never fail you regardless of the kind of content you work with.
2. Involve your audience
Your energy levels may be very high and your voice all enchanting. But not everyone will like to hear you speak for a whole hour. Here are some ideas that may help you out.
- Involve your audience in short sessions for Q&A by taking 2 or 3 questions after every topic.
- Work with a moderator who will help you pick the questions.
- Enable your audience to communicate with each other using chat boxes.
- Include multiple-choice polls to add a layer of interactivity and further engage the audience.
3. Make the webinar a visual one
You do not have to be a genius to have excellent content. Use a tool like Canva to create images easily. Now, you do not have an excuse for having a boring webinar. Remember the main purpose is to attract qualified leads.
65% of people are visual learners according to what Science Research Network found out. Therefore, have slides that have minimum texts. Too much writing will intimidate your audience, and they may not grasp what you are trying to convey. Let your slides have minimum texts and impactful visuals. You can also add a touch of humor with GIFs where ever possible. You can also include graphs and screenshots as well.
4. Incorporate data from third-parties
By using Google, you can find statistics about any topic. Use the information you get to back up what you are saying. Deal with the third-party that your audience knows. It will add to the credibility and authority to your content. Statistics will significantly boost the people’s trust in your content.
However, remember not to overuse third-party data. One or two points will suffice.
Creating the content for the webinar
At this point, I trust that you have a webinar topic and a perfect format to use. Let me help you to create the content now. Do not forget that you need to have more visuals and you can use Canva or get a designer to help you out. Sometimes canva makes it easy for you to attract qualified leads. Marketing is all about grabbing the lead’s attention and then making efforts to retain their attention.
1. The outline and the script
Creating a framework comes before writing a script. The structure shows how the webinar will flow. Therefore, ensure that it makes sense.
Below is an example of an outline.
- Incisive introduction
- A storyline that serves as a hook
- A total of three to five subtopics for greater value
- Call to action
Highlight all that you want to deliver on a piece of paper. Obviously, I didn’t mean that you write it word-by-word. If you do, you will end up sounding like a robot. Put down the information for every sub-section in short bullet points. Let the points guide what you want to say so that you can be as natural as possible.
2. The offer and the call-to-action
Your pitch can be very short or relatively long. It will all depend on the audience and the product or service that you are offering. The appropriate length is ten minutes at most. Deliver value at this time. The more significant share of the webinar has to be about educating the audience.
Also, remember reciprocation because it is a building block for stronger relationships. Put in place an offer that is exclusive for those who attend the webinar. Appreciate them for their time and attention. You can do this by:
- Offering discounts on the product or service
- An extension of the free trial of a software
- Giving an offer and an exclusive webinar bonus
Some marketers will provide rewards for the attendees that take action within an hour after the webinar ends. Whatever the case, find bonuses that are perfect for your business, qualified leads, and collaborators.
Promoting your webinar
Creating the content for a webinar is only half the journey. The rest of the journey involves promoting the webinar.
Here is how you can get more people to register and attend the webinar.
1. Have a landing page in place
A landing page is vital for driving traffic and converting qualified leads. Ensure that you have a form that requests for the person’s name and email address. When you have a lot of fields, you may end up losing prospects. You can also run A/B tests that will help in optimizing your messaging and consequently boost conversion rates. As you begin, you may not have enough data to get the best results for the webinar. You may also not know your typical audience. But after a few webinars, you will be more aware. Even so, optimizing the message will work for future webinars.
The webinar you create should have:
- A title is a compelling summary of the value that the webinar is offering to the listener. Make it excellent, and it will hook in your listeners. The title is crucial for promoting the webinar.
- Bios of the presenters are required. The attendees will know who they are and whether or not it is worth to listen to them.
- The topic should have a brief explanation. Let the attendees know what they will learn.
- Add Value by including a section of “key takeaways” or “you will learn.” This part makes it clear why they need to attend the webinar. If your listeners are targeted, be specific. For instance, “executives will learn” or “marketers will learn.” The attendee has to know what they will be able to do at the end.
- Include the time and the date of the webinar. Include an auto-scheduler that enables attendees to add the event to their calendars.
- Provide accessibility to your listeners so that they know how they can join the webinar. Include links and precise instructions.
Webinar registration pages that are out of the page have tools such as un-bounce and lead-pages. These two offer solutions that integrate with all platforms for email marketing and webinar.
2. Create your email sequence
As you think of acquiring sign-ups, have an intelligent email marketing sequence in your mind as well. Set the email sequence before you to send your first email. A higher percentage of the sign-up typically comes from the list of qualified leads and your partners. By collaborating with other brands, you will enjoy the benefits of sharing lists. Even so, get clear guidance and acceptance to opt-in from the audience. Send the audience two or three registration emails. The emails should serve to direct the audience to the landing page.
You should also send a reminder email to the audience. Include the time, agenda, speakers’ information, and how they can contact you. The information will help the audience to attend the meeting. It will give you an opportunity to jump into the story immediately and let the audience know they will still get the value of the webinar even if they do not attend. You can send two reminders; 24 hours before the webinar and one hour to the webinar. For the days that lead to the webinar, send value-added emails. This is a subtle advertisement of the webinar that also has relevant content or one that appeals to them.
After the webinar, send follow-up emails. Thank the attendees and present your call-to-action. Give them links to any resource that was mentioned during the webinar. Also, remind them of the deadline for offers. Have different versions of follow-up emails. Avoid sending “Thank you for attending” copies to people who did not attend. Segmenting your email list will significantly help in sending follow-up emails.
There are others ways for you to get webinar signups other than email lists. Your social media platforms are your first means of creating subscriptions. You can use pinned social media posts and your homepage.
Take your company blog as an avenue to speak about the webinar topic. Use broad strokes to write about the topic. Use a webinar teaser showing that is the place to get more information. When you get to the end of the post, include your call-to-action that will drive traffic to the landing page. As you create pre-webinar and post-webinar content, incorporate links that take the reader to relevant blog content.
Promote the blogs through content amplification or paid advertisement. You can use Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook Ads. Make the AdWords cost-efficient by using long-tail keywords. In all that you do, ensure that the pick the right day of the week and the right time of the day. These two will affect the signup and the attendance. The impact will be more significant if your audiences are in different time zones.
Webinars are very useful in driving qualified leads and sales. In the years to come, we will witness an increase in the use of webinars by companies. When picking a subject, select the irresistible one. A compelling subject matter is what will set you apart from your competitors. Also, ensure that the topic is educative and rich in business values. Let your qualified leads sign off when they are full of knowledge and insight. Arm them with relevant tools to act on the advice you give them.
Share your story with us in the comments section below. Let us know about your experience with webinars, your successes and lessons learned.