5 Tips to Start Integrating Webinars Into Your Marketing Communications Strategy
See why B2B marketers identify webinars as the most effective digital content tactic in their marketing strategy.
If you’re looking for a way to raise awareness, generate sales leads and establish credibility with the media, then hosting a webinar may be the right fit for your company. Webinars not only give you the chance to be showcased as a thought leader on a specific topic or industry trend, they also offer an easy way to generate new sales leads for your company. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 Benchmark report, 66% of B2B marketers identify webinars as the most effective digital content tactic.
If you’re ready to incorporate webinars into your marketing strategy, here are five tips to help get you started.
DETERMINE A FOCUS
Are you getting ready to launch a new product or have a big company announcement, such as an acquisition or rebranding? Before getting started, it’s important to select a topic and set goals. Webinars can serve several different purposes, so establish first what you’d like to accomplish. A webinar would not only generate press around your new product, but it could also bring in sales leads. A webinar is a great way to gain feedback from your employees and the public globally if you can’t hold an in-person conference.
Webinars can also lead to becoming a thought leader in the industry. Is there a recent industry trend that your company can help address? Webinars can be a great tool to explain complex ideas and products to potential customers.
Webinars can also be used to engage with your employees—whether it’s communicating important company news or conducting training. If your employees are global, hosting a webinar can be an affordable way to interact with everyone vs. an in-person meeting.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLATFORM
Once you determine your focus and set your goals, it’s time to choose the right platform to host your webinar. There are several options for companies to choose from.
One option, and consequently the most cost effective, is partnering with a publication or organization to get your message across. Keep in mind that although this can be more cost effective, you may not have the right to own the content afterwards or access sales leads without a sponsorship.
Another option is to host the webinar on your website. This will provide you with the most control as well as the flexibility to repurpose the content afterwards.
Finally, you can choose from several different webinar systems that provide this capability. A webinar system will handle the technical logistics for you, as well as help organize the promotion. They may offer to send promotion emails, create social posts, collect RSVPs and even set-up the landing page to help drive traffic.
PLAN, PRACTICE, AND PROMOTE
After you have your goals set and your platform is determined, it’s time to start planning, practicing and promoting.
Will you have multiple presenters on the webinar and a moderator? Will you show a video or have key visuals throughout the presentation? Creating original and educational content is key to a successful webinar. Consider how you will visually present your webinar to make it engaging for the audience. Having a well thought out PowerPoint presentation takes time, so make sure you plan ahead.
How you deliver your content can be the most important factor to hosting a successful webinar. Whether you are presenting your webinar live or pre-recording it, practice makes perfect. Don’t forget to anticipate questions at the end—this is a great way to engage with your audience.
Once you have your content ready, make sure it is delivered to the right audience. Send media alerts and reminder emails to your customized lists. Utilize social and paid media to drum up attendance in the weeks leading up to the event. If you are partnering with a publication or organization, lean on their resources to help drive new sales leads. According to the 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing Report from Demand Wave, webinars were listed as the number two type of content that is most likely to drives sales leads.
BUILD CREDIBILITY WITH THE MEDIA
Not only can webinars be a tool to interact with your targeted audience, they can also help establish credibility with the media. Webinars allow you to reach a wider audience at a lower cost vs. a formal media tour. It provides your company with an additional touch point for your targeted trade media and helps position you as a marketplace thought leader. It also helps build ongoing relationships with key trade media that often leads to future opportunities including executive interviews; bylined articles (with an ongoing media outreach program); or sourced pieces.
REPURPOSE THE CONTENT
You’ve put all this work into creating your webinar. The good news is that there are multiple ways to repurpose your content:
- Host the recorded version on your website for anyone who missed the live event.
- Utilize the content on your social channels.
- Turn your webinar into a blog post, infographic, or thought leadership article for editorial content.
- Present your webinar to multiple audiences (key customers, the media, employees, conferences, etc.).
Not only can webinars be an affordable alternative to hosting an in-person event, they often allow you to reach a larger targeted audience for instant engagement. Webinars have many benefits and you can see a high return on investment, but only if the content is educational, the presenter is engaging and it has been targeted to the correct audience.
At Godfrey, we can help you determine if hosting a webinar is the right fit for your organization and help you through the planning process—every step of the way. Reach out and get started today!
Gina Mudie - Senior Public Relations Manager
Gina leads the strategic direction for high-impact PR programs and projects, ensuring those efforts align with integrated B2B marketing programs. A Millersville University graduate, Gina is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society (PPRS).