With evolving buyer expectations and preferences, marketers are getting creative with webinars. They’re trying new formats and using webinars at key moments in the customer journey to reach people in new and personal ways.
To give your webinars a refresh, we’ve partnered with Demand Gen Report to round up the best webinar advice from 10 top B2B marketers.
For all the game-changing tips, download the full ebook here.
1. Extend the conversation beyond the live event.
Ardath Albee recommends taking a holistic approach to webinars. Don’t think about your webinar as an isolated event. Instead, think of it as a pillar of content that activates a conversation.
As a marketer, it’s your job to take prospects on a journey from curiosity to customer. So when creating a webinar, think about the conversation you can have before and after the webinar. Before the webinar, try learning about registrants so you can host a more relevant webinar. After the webinar, think about your audience’s mindset and how you can motivate them to take the next step.
“Give [attendees] something more to keep the conversation going. You could even develop a nurture program around the topic to extend engagement and provide even more ideas and insights to those interested.”
Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions
2. Go beyond lead gen and think about other goals and KPIs.
The go-to KPI for webinars is usually lead volume—the more leads, the more successful the webinar. But Lauren Alt suggests going beyond lead gen and thinking about other ways webinars can achieve your marketing goals.
Do you want to push prospects through the funnel? Do you want to increase brand loyalty? Do you want to upsell?
Once you know exactly what you want to accomplish, it will be much easier to craft a webinar that meets internal and external expectations.
“Make sure you have the right KPIs to move you in the right direction because if you’re looking at the wrong KPIs, … then you might be wasting resources on your webinar program as a whole.”
Lauren Alt, Demand Generation, Outreach
3. Make a webinar series.
Webinar series are a great way to maintain ongoing audience engagement and make a lasting impact. Monthly webinars also allow you to break up your content into more manageable pieces and dive deeper into specific topics. Just make sure to maintain a regular webinar schedule to keep your team on track and your audience interested.
“One webinar rarely makes an impact. I use webinars in a monthly series, and we consider it simply a part of our content marketing strategy where everything has a frequency.”
Michael Brenner, CEO, Author and Keynote Speaker, Marketing Insider Group
4. Go deep on a topic.
Creating a “master class” webinar allows you to go much more in-depth into your subject matter. And if you approach your webinar as if you’re talking to one person, as opposed to an entire audience, the conversation will be much more intimate, and your audience will feel like you are speaking directly to them.
“Sometimes it’s better to get more granular and take the master class approach than it is to go super broad with a particular topic because everybody can do that.”
Tina Dietz, Founder, SmartSomething Creative Business Solutions
5. Get on camera to make a personal connection
Make your webinars more interesting and engaging by sharing your webcam. These days, static slides with a faceless voice doesn’t do the trick.
One pro tip from Andrea Fryear is to show video of the presenter drawing on a whiteboard. This is a great tactic to keep your audience’s attention and a unique—and totally old-school—way to explain new or difficult concepts.
“Adding video is a simple option for upping your webinar game. Likewise, having co-hosts who are more conversational is great.”
Andrea Fryear, President & Lead Trainer, AgileSherpas
6. Host targeted webinars for ABM
The best way to make them work for your ABM strategy is to create targeted webinars aimed at specific segments or personas. These kinds of ABM webinars have a couple big benefits: Not only do they drive higher conversion rates, but webinars also provide deep intelligence on specific accounts because you can see how long they attended, the questions they asked, and how they responded to polls and surveys.
“We do ABM, and we use webinars as one of the touchpoints along the ABM journey, but to make it scalable, we don’t take a one-to-one approach.”
Lauren Mead, CMO, TimeTrade
7. Repurpose webinars into video clips.
Webinars require a lot of effort and investment, so it’s important that your webinar provides value beyond the live event. Before hosting your webinar, think about how you can create new content from your webinar—blog posts, video clips, infographics, email campaigns, how-tos, etc. When you have a plan, you can make sure you have everything you need to maximize your webinar’s value.
“While it does take some planning to ensure the recording has good sound bites that are short and can stand alone from the rest of the presentation, they are extremely helpful to embed in blogs and nurtures, use in follow-ups to discovery discussions, and improve engagement on social media and web personalization.”
Sherrie Mersdorf, VP of Marketing, Evariant
8. Post promotional videos on social.
When it comes to social posts, videos have a much higher engagement rate than posts with plain text or images. Give your social presence a boost by having presenters post short videos (30 to 45 seconds) promoting the upcoming webinar. You can then reuse your presenter videos by adding them to your promotional email campaigns.
“If you’re having the presenter record that video, go ahead and ask for just one more and have them record a follow-up video that can be sent to those who did register. Then email that video to registrants to encourage them to attend online.”
Jen Spencer, VP of Sales & Marketing, SmartBug Media
9. Get to know your audience through polls.
Polls a great way to interact with and get to know your attendees. You can ask questions to understand where they are in the customer journey or find out how comfortable they are using your product. You can even find out their biggest pain points. Then you can use that information to create a more customized webinar.
“We encourage simple things like hand-raising, or I’ll ask people to just respond with a quick yay or nay… Then, I can tailor the content to the audience. That helps both in terms of segmenting who they are and in the webinar delivery.”
Daniel Waas, Director of Marketing, GoToWebinar
10. Tailor your content by taking questions before the event.
Everyone likes a good Q&A or an engaging live chat during a webinar. But what about starting the conversation before the event? One of the easiest ways to start a pre-event conversation is to leave a space for questions on the webinar registration form. Then registrants know you listen to your customers and that real customer questions will be answered during the webinar.
“The benefits to this were three-fold: it gives us a better idea of why people want to attend the webinar, it gives the speakers time to prepare thoughtful answers, and it increases the likelihood of the audience member showing up to the webinar to find out the answer to their question.”
Elle Woulfe, VP of Marketing, PathFactory
Even though these are some really great strategies for killer webinars, we’ve only scratched the surface. For more tips from top B2B marketers, download our eBook The Webinar Playbook: Game-Changing Strategies from 10 Top B2B Marketers.