Many organizations are starting to see for themselves the value of using webinars as a viable sales technique. Webinars are typically an inexpensive tool that allows businesses the opportunity to quickly share the value of their business offering while reaching a number of prospects at once.
There are a number of steps that businesses must take when hosting a webinar and deciding the best way to promote an event can prove challenging to many organizations. It must first be determined how to attract attendees and which markets to target based off of the key messaging that is developed. Then organizations have to develop strategies to determine how they are going to follow up with leads generated to ensure a good return on investment.
Based off of our experience in handling webinar promotions, here are our five tips to improve your business’ next event.
Determine Target Market
The key to having a successful event of any kind is attracting the right audience. When hosting a webinar, businesses first need to decide which industries they plan to target keeping in mind the topic they plan to cover during the event. Once industries are targeted, businesses then need to consider which organizations would benefit most from the webinar and locate the decision makers, or other pertinent parties, within those organizations.
Businesses must not forget about their existing customers! Hosting any event provides an excellent opportunity to reach out to current customers and educate them on additional products or services. Because they are a current customer, they may be able to provide testimonials during the webinar on how your organization has already helped them achieve company goals.
One sure fire way to increase attendance is by building awareness. Businesses can promote the event through various avenues including social media, a company website or blog, direct mail, email campaigns, telemarketing and more. Businesses can also post about the event on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as tweet about it on Twitter. During the event, businesses should encourage attendees to use their Twitter accounts to connect with other professionals as well as share information about what they have learned.
Incorporate calling and email campaigns leading up to the webinar by utilizing an internal or outsourced team. Many organizations have seen great success by sending out weekly email reminders to registered participants. Others have had greater success by having telemarketers call the registrants to remind them of the webinar as well as provide any additional pertinent information. Contacting the participants prior to the event is beneficial as it will increase the odds of prospects attending the webinar.
Develop Key Messaging
Another best practice to having a successful webinar is by tailoring the content to meet the needs of the target market. Businesses need to create content that is clear, concise and relevant; quickly addressing what makes the business offering unique. Businesses should also make the content engaging by interacting with the audience throughout the presentation. (Learn more about creating key messaging at Lead Generation: 3 Tips for Effective Messaging)
Be sure to present content that is informative and not too sales pitchy. The best webinars include information where the prospect is learning something new or that provides key takeaways that they can implement. Obviously webinars are a good sales tool for any organization and as such, you want to make sure that you are highlighting the importance of your product or service. Just make sure the information addresses a need and provides valuable information.
Having attendees pre-register for a webinar allows businesses to gauge the amount of attendees they can anticipate. Businesses can also utilize online event registration to gather information about participants, allowing organizations to send out friendly reminders to registrants leading up to the event. Online registration also allows businesses the ability to send personalized communication both before and after the webinar.
Remember what we talked about up above about emailing and calling participants prior to the webinar? During that conversation or interaction is an opportunity to not only inform the prospect that the webinar is taking place, but also provide them with the ability to pre-register for the event. Many webinars have a cap on how many participants can join during one session. By pre-registering, you have an accurate count of participants and this will help your organization decide whether or not there is a need to have additional sessions on the same topic.
After the event has taken place and the organization has gathered a number of prospect’s contact information, organizations must follow up with attendees in order to get a better return on investment. It could be beneficial to send a summary of the event, outlining key topics that were discussed, as well as thanking participants for attending. Businesses can also pass the contact information on to their sales teams for follow up.
Building a follow up strategy prior to the webinar taking place can also be beneficial for businesses. This way the marketing and sales teams know exactly when they are going to contact attendants, whether sales or marketing are going to make the initial contact, what marketing vehicles will be used (phone, email, etc) and the timeline for when each interaction will take place. By reaching out to prospects after the event, businesses are able to gauge interest and determine if the lead can be converted to a sale or needs to be nurtured.
Want More Insight?
Contact Invenio Marketing Solutions to hear how we have used integrated marketing efforts to help multiple organizations grow sales, increase their lead pipeline and generate more revenue with lead generation and telemarketing programs.