by Anand Srinivasan, founder of LeadJoint.com
We recently started organizing webinars for our customers and prospects. While at the outset, webinars seem no different from the other forms of content and video marketing, there are some inherent advantages and challenges that we realized through the process of conducting one. Attracting attendees for a webinar is a lot more challenging than getting visitors to your Youtube channel. This is because, a video on Youtube is out there permanently and can gather views over a period of time. Webinars, on the other hand, are live events – getting so many prospects/customers attending your event at the same time is definitely a tougher ask compared to Youtube videos.
What we however realized was that people who actually did attend your webinar were the “creamiest of the lot” in terms of targeting. These prospects belonged to the highly interested category and were much easier to convert compared to the leads we generated via the other modes of marketing. The essential takeaway from our experience was that if you are in the B2B space and do not do webinars, you are missing out on something really big.
Having said that, we also committed quite a few mistakes during the process. They seem quite obvious in hindsight. But if you are a marketer looking to start your own webinar, here are things to remember and take note of:
Use a professional webinar software.
The first webinar that we organized was over Google Hangout. Hangout is a pretty powerful software and works pretty great for webinars. However, what we did realize was that nothing screams “unprofessional” more than skimping out with free software. There are professional webinar tools out there like ClickWebinar.com that let you rebrand the webinar interface with your own company branding. This helps establish a more professional setup – one that is ideal for reaching out to B2B prospects.
Keep your discussions extremely focused.
Most webinars that we came across the internet during research were upwards of an hour in length. Yes, the purpose of conducting these lengthy sessions is so that you cover the topics at length. However, be sure not to go all over the place. Keep your discussions extremely focused. This is important because people attending a session come with a mindset to seek answers to specific questions they have. Digressing from the topic on hand is a waste of their time – it stops them from attending your future sessions.
Co-brand whenever possible.
In a content marketing study organized by Adobe, it was found that 22% of businesses that have stopped using webinars as a content marketing strategy did so because of insufficient staff or reallocated budget – not because webinars are unsuccessful. Truth is webinars consume a lot of resources not just in organizing one, but also in attracting an audience and delivering valuable content. The workaround to this is by co-branding whenever possible. Identify businesses in complementary industries that target the same audience as you do and propose a co-branded session. Not only does it reduce the burden of budget on individual businesses, but is also extremely valuable for the audience since it brings together expert speakers from more than one business.
Advise the audience in advance if you are recording the event.
If you have a session that involves a lot of Q&As, do remember to tell your audience that the event is also being recorded as a video for your Youtube channel. Laws in the US and several other countries mandate permission from the audience for recorded sessions. While we did not face any issue ourselves, it is important to follow the law to prevent any mishaps at a later stage.
Have you organized webinars for your business? Please share your experience and learnings in the comments below.
Anand Srinivasan is the founder of LeadJoint.com, an online lead generation tool for digital marketing agencies. He is also a part-time marketing consultant and has previously worked with some of the most promising Indian startups.