B2B Webinar Best Practices to Wow Your Audience and Generate Leads
Many B2B companies are starting to include webinars as part of their marketing mix. And it’s a smart move—webinars generate leads, demonstrate thought leadership, and build up content that can be used in the future. But a great webinar isn’t something you can just throw together. It takes careful planning and targeted promotion.
Let these webinar best practices guide your planning:
- Determine what you want your webinar to be. What are your objectives? What content do you want to cover? Who do you want to target as your audience? How do you want to present your content? Answer these questions in a concrete and specific way and develop a strong plan to move forward. Don’t leave the important details hazy—the clearer your understanding of your objectives and how you want to achieve them, the better the webinar will be.
- Promote it well and promote it to the right people. A webinar that doesn’t reach your target audience is a failed webinar. Taking into consideration your budget, your timeframe and the audience demographics, determine what channels to use for promotion. Everything from emails to social posts to paid ads can be effective, as long as your promotion is properly targeted. Make sure that your promotional materials for the webinar speak to the pain points of your audience and deliver compelling reasons for why they should attend. Promote your webinar early and often—many people may not respond the first time they hear about a webinar, or may have to confirm their availability.
- Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. The worst thing a webinar presenter can do is “wing it.” While webinars should be lively and engaging, every aspect of their execution should be rehearsed beforehand to ensure a high-quality product. A few days before the webinar, hold a “table read” to check that the content flows smoothly and matches what was advertised. If you’re using slides, worksheets or other supplemental materials, get them in order and ready to go. Test any audio and visual devices (microphones, laptops, screen-sharing software, etc.) to avoid technical difficulties on the day of the webinar. Rehearse the webinar more than once, and time it—allowing room for questions and respecting people’s time are two keys to a successful webinar.
- Set yourself up for what comes next. The work doesn’t end when the webinar does. If you’re not prepared to follow up with webinar attendees, you won’t be positioned to take advantage of any leads. As you plan the webinar content and promotional program, also develop a lead nurturing plan and set up a workflow to keep reaching out to attendees after the webinar is finished. This will allow you to seamlessly transition into post-webinar outreach. Be sure to review the results of the webinar to learn what went well and what can be improved for next time. And make a plan to use and repurpose the webinar content in the future.
Webinars can be a gold mine for generating leads and growing thought leadership if they are executed well. Following these webinar best practices can help you put on the best webinar possible.
Image credit: David Jakes (Creative Commons)