In the last webinar post, we described the first 4 steps of the 8 Step Framework for creating, producing, executing and measuring lead generating webinars. You can view the first 4 steps webinar here. As a refresher, these are the first 4 steps:
- Collaborate on the basics with your stakeholders
- Create the concept, topic and face you will promote to the audience
- Build the team
- Choose the best tools
The 8 Step Framework is primarily written for companies that manufacture a product. The idea behind the framework is that by moving away from webinars about the product, you will offer more useful information to the target audience. As we outlined in the first webinar and in last week’s blog post, the sweet spot topic will generate hundreds or even thousands of registrants and attendees to your educational, knowledge based webinar. As a reminder, the sweet spot is the intersection of the pain or passion of your target audience with the relevant expertise housed within your company.
By educating and/or helping the people in your target audience to be better at something that matters to them, your brand gains TOMA (top of mind awareness) and credibility in their minds. It follows what when the day comes around when they want or need to purchase the type of product you are offering, your firm gets the call and, usually, gets the order.
Here’s steps 5 through 8 of the 8 Step Framework:
Step 5 – Promotion or lack thereof can make or break the success of your webinar. Promotion of the webinar should be accomplished via multiple inbound and outbound channels. All promotion activities must make it easy for someone to learn more about the webinar and presenters AND make it easy to register. If it’s not straightforward, intuitive and easy, you will lose people during the process.
- Your internal email list will be your best channel for promotion. I recommend sending an invitation email 2 to 3 weeks ahead of the broadcast date. As mentioned above, a marketing automation platform is ideal for managing the process. It’s OK to send 2 or even 3 invitation emails to each of the contacts in your database.
- Consider sending a press release announcing the webinar series.
- If you have social media followers on the various channels, be sure to push out information on a regular basis telling followers about the webinar series.
- Advertise in venues where your target audience goes to get information. Industry associations are excellent places to advertise educational webinars.
- Make sure you don’t forget your own web properties. Place ads on your home page and all other relevant pages where your target audience visits.
- Engage your sales team to tell their customers, prospects and contacts about the webinar. Provide them with a custom email signature. Make up an email template they can easily forward to their contacts. Ask them to promote the webinar on their personal social channels.
- Create a custom landing page where you will funnel all traffic. Again, as mentioned above, make it super easy for people to learn more about the content, topics, speakers and how to register. The landing page should tell a curious visitor what they should expect to get out of the webinar, details about time and date and provide credentials of the speakers.
Step 6 – Broadcast the live webinar. Some organizations prefer to record the webinar only for on demand viewing and not to broadcast it live. There are some vendors who offer a hybrid where you record the webinar but promote it as live event where the presentation recording is played, but the chat feature is live.
- Try to use at least two speakers. Two or more voices and personalities makes for a more interesting event and keeps listeners more engaged.
- Use the interactive features of the webinar platform such as polls, surveys, quizzes, questions and the chat feature.
- I do not recommend opening phone lines (or VOIP) for live questions. The sound quality is just too unreliable.
- Be sure to send automatic reminders as the broadcast day approaches. I recommend sending 3 reminder emails at 7 days, 1 day and 2 hours prior to the broadcast.
- Don’t be disappointed when everyone who registered does not attend. Typically, you will get 20% to 30% of the registrants to attend the live event. If you get 50% or more, that is an outstanding attendance rate.
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE AND PRACTICE! The key to sounding natural and confident is to practice.
Step 7 – Post webinar is where the gold is mined. If you want to see good ROI from all your work, make sure you follow up with attendees and, especially, those who registered but were not able to attend.
- Send a follow up email as soon as possible after the broadcast. Send one saying ‘Thank you for attending’ and another on saying ‘Sorry you were unable to attend’. Both emails must include links to the recording and to the slide deck.
- Some companies contact each registrant via telephone after the webinar.
- Another option is to make another offer of educational content via a separate nurturing flow.
- If you are executing a webinar series, make sure everyone who registered for the prior webinar gets invited to the next one.
- The key to converting registrants and attendees into customers is to continue to engage them with value based content.
- Make sure to have a debrief meeting with all those involved with the production and broadcasting of the webinar. Show special appreciation for your speakers as it is likely they have volunteered to participate on top of their regular day job. Talk about lessons learned. Ask each person to offer ideas about what went well, what should be done differently and what should not be repeated.
Step 8 – Measure and report the results.
- Compare the results to your objectives and goals.
- Report return on investment.
- Report on revenue based metrics such as new opportunities and influenced won opportunites.
- Get ready for the next one!
Register for the fourth and final webinar in the series, Converting Webinars to Revenue
Request more information about KMI turn-key webinar services for manufacturing companies.