The first thing you have to do to succeed is to define ‘succeed’. This may seem simple enough, but it is a step often overlooked in many a marketing campaign. For the purpose of this post, let’s define ‘succeed’ in traditional marketing metrics. For traditional success metrics, I suggest ‘leads’ or ‘qualified leads’ as a good metric assuming you have agreed on a definition with the sales team. A better success metric is ‘influenced opportunities’ or even better, ‘influenced, closed won opportunities’. The latter requires a synchronized customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation platform (MAP) system with myriad other infrastructure in place. If you’re a beginner with webinars, you could also start with basic webinar metrics such as ‘registrants’, ‘attendees’ and ‘on-demand views’. The point is that you must first define success before you can make it easier to succeed.
If you are reading this post, chances are high that you have tried webinars or are in the midst of trying webinars you deem to have poor success or even to have failed. Don’t beat yourself up, most webinars do fail and the number one reason for failure is choosing the wrong topic. As long as we’re talking about definitions, you may ask, “what is the wrong topic?” I could be coy and say the wrong topic is one that fails to meet expectations, but I’ll give you a more explicit answer. The wrong topic is one that is about your product and/or your company. I’ll qualify that a bit more by saying there is an exception to this rule and that is if you are working with prospective customers in the latter stage of the buying cycle. Prospects in this stage could very well benefit from a product oriented webinar, but these audiences will usually be very small.
Are you ready for wildly successful webinars that engage with a goodly portion of your target audience? A target audience that may not even know you exist and may even be using your competition is ready and waiting for your educational, knowledge based webinars. Here’s how to succeed with webinars:
- Choosing a useful, educational topic that is at the intersection of the pain or passion common in your target audience and your particular expertise is guaranteed make it easier to succeed. Typically, when a firm decides to try webinars as a marketing tactic, they choose a topic about their product. That is the wrong approach. I’ve never seen a product based webinar outperform an educational webinar. In fact, product based webinars usually end up labeled as a failure. In my experience with creating and executing webinars for manufacturing companies, I always, repeat always, see educational webinars outperform product based webinars in the range of 1000% to 2000%! Listen to this KMI webinar series if you want to learn more about choosing the right topic.
- Good webinar promotion also makes it easier to succeed. Many times a company will send one email to their house database and wait for them to register. Surprisingly, this will garner a lot of registrants, but it is only the low hanging fruit. Success comes easier if you promote your educational webinars in venues outside of your house list where your target audience resides. For the manufacturing sector, consider inviting members of online trade associations by advertising in their enewsletters or by emailing their list.
- It always amazes me when the marketing team acts like the live broadcast is the end of the webinar effort. I can see why the completion of the live broadcast feels like it’s over. But, it is easier to realize your success metric if you follow up with everyone who registered, but especially with those who registered and did not attend the live broadcast. Follow up with an email offering a direct link to the slides and the recorded webinar, a sales call, a post card, a message in a bottle – just do something to follow up!
Finally, the only way you know if you succeed is to measure the results against your success metrics. It may seem too simple, but to make it easier to succeed, measure success. After you measure your wildly successful educational webinar, report the results to the leadership team. Granted, the leadership team will respect the metric that shows you created and/or contributed to new opportunities, but high registration numbers also garner attention. Ultimately, if you can show that your webinars positively affected revenue, you’re webinars are successful.
Do these things make is easier to succeed with webinars than you previously thought? If not, you can always hire a company like KMI to produce turn-key webinars guaranteed to succeed with high number of qualified registrants and attendees. How do we guarantee it? One option is to only pay for registrations. If is sounds interesting, check it out at the KMI website.