HOW TO PLAN AN ENGAGING WEBINAR
Pandemic-related lockdowns and travel restrictions have meant that for tech B2B marketers, in-person events and meetings are curtailed, so it’s unsurprising that webinars are on the rise. However, this is not a momentary trend. Interactive video content was increasing in popularity well before the lockdowns of 2020.
In our tech B2B buyer survey at the end of 2019, video not only came out top as the most useful content type – preferred by 53% of respondents over blogs, white papers and more. It was also voted the most likely to be shared by 63% of respondents. And sharable content is key for content marketing and social media strategies – take a read of our infographic to find out more.
The webinar is – at its very essence – a form of interactive video content, highly preferred in tech B2B content marketing. This versatile form of content works its best for educational purposes, such as demonstrations and tutorials, informative discussions on emerging topics or product and service ‘how-tos’. But, it can also add some magic to the top of the sales funnel, where marketers need to engage and hold their audience’s attention. According to MarketMediaSell, webinars retain the attention of 40% of listeners from start to finish, which is an impressive statistic.
But like all content, webinars need to be done right in order to be effective.
Like any other marketing campaign, webinars need a clear objective and audience; you wouldn’t plan an event without knowing who is coming or why, and webinars are no different. Setting specific goals very early on and defining the audience will steer you through the entire planning stage.
Another key point to remember is to market your webinar well, and well in advance. The last thing you want is to put weeks of work into a webinar – getting sales teams and product factories involved and streams of marketing copy written – only to discover that you’ve only given yourself a week for promotion prior to the live date. Webinars that have been effectively promoted can multiply attendance by a factor of ten: putting a promotional calendar in place is essential.
Everything about a successful webinar is centred around a tight timeline – the earlier you start, the better. Think of it as scheduling a meeting for 5 executives: you’re going to need months to get all their calendars lined up, and a webinar is no different. We recommend you work two months in advance, start promoting at least six weeks in advance, and then get everything from speakers to script ready.
Last but not least, don’t forget to book in two rehearsals – one to work out talking points and session logistics, and one to iron out any technical issues and understand the features of the platform you’re using.
Expect webinar attendance to be about a third to half of registrations – many tech B2B audiences sign up for webinars with the intention of listening to it on-demand at their convenience. Hence, ensure audiences can easily access the on-demand version of the webinar and presentation materials after the event.
Now you have a starting point for an action plan in order to ensure an effective webinar. We’ve also put together a handy infographic below, providing more detail on what you can do to increase engagement, drive leads and ensure a success webinar every step of the way.
Now, it’s time to get down to business!