Let’s talk about the 80/20 rule. When it comes to webinars, you probably spend 80% of your resources on the actual webinar and only 20% on your overall webinar strategy. Sure, you want to create a great webinar, but to drive significant value, you have to think about the bigger picture. For example:
- Where do webinars fit in the customer journey?
- What type of webinars should you produce and how often?
- What topics should you cover?
- What are the measurable goals?
- How will you promote your live and on-demand event?
Here are five important emerging B2B marketing trends (as outlined by LinkedIn) that will help you answer these question and rethink your webinar strategy — or think about it for the first time!
1. Thought Leadership
As you try to build trust among your audience, thought leadership is critical. The funny thing is despite its importance, only 50% of B2B marketers actually believe their thought leadership builds trust within their organization according to LinkedIn. But among actual buyers, 83% gain trust through thought leadership. In other words, those in charge of creating thought leadership highly underestimate its ability to impact sales and win new customers.
In other words, those in charge of creating thought leadership highly underestimate its ability to impact sales and win new customers.
Thought Leadership + Webinars
One of the best ways to create thought leadership content is to produce informative, thoughtful webinars. To increase credibility, be sure to partner with influencers and top experts on their topic. Not only will your guest speakers attract their fans and followers to your webinar, but your webinar will become dramatically more valuable to your audience.
2. Blockbuster Content
Too many content marketing strategies encourage content teams to crank out as much content as possible. This strategy is meant to reach a larger audience and improve your site’s SEO. But with blockbuster content, you want to focus your efforts on one concept or topic that has the greatest pull. This is far more scalable and can have a higher impact in the long-run.
Apple is a great example of a company that has mastered the blockbuster strategy. Instead of producing tons of different tech and hoping for one success, they focus on the products they know will sell and make regular upgrades and variations. The result: the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook continue to be blockbusters for Apple.
Or think about popular content series that center around one theme. Moz’s Whiteboard Friday is a great example. This strategy takes advantage of your brand’s expertise and creates greater demand as people crave the next installment.
Blockbuster Content + Webinars
The blockbuster-content approach works for webinars in the same way. You don’t need to create a bunch of random webinars covering every topic your audience might like; in fact, it’s better if you don’t.
Focus on fewer webinars that are higher quality. If you can create a webinar series with a common theme and a catchy hashtag, even better. And remember that if a webinar is a huge hit, you can continue to generate leads from the on-demand version and repurposed content.
3. Touchpoint Consistency
The “Rule of Seven” states that potential customers need to view a campaign seven times before they take action. Essentially, this rule is talking about pattern recognition, which means you have to show people the same thing over and over again until they remember it. The moral of the story: consistently communicate with your audience so they recognize you and take action.
Touchpoint Consistency + Webinars
In order to have a successful webinar, you need to create a consistent communication plan around your webinar. This means reminder emails weeks, days, and hours before the webinar, a fantastic webinar, follow-up emails, and other targeted ads. Each communication piece needs to reflect your brand and the messaging must be cohesive to create a seamless customer experience. And, of course, all nurturing stream content should relate to the webinar topic.
4. Personal Networks
As a general rule, individuals are seen as more trustworthy than brands. This means that employees and individual partners can provide great reach and engagement than the brand itself. In fact, according to data from LinkedIn, content shared by employees has 2 times the engagement rate of content shared by a company.
Personal Networks + Webinars
I’m sure your brand is great, but your brand alone is not going to do the trick. Instead of relying solely on your brand’s social network, select panelists and speakers who are trusted by your audience. It also doesn’t hurt if they have a large social following. Besides panelists, you can also use influencers, tastemakers, and even your own employees to help promote your webinar and reach a wider audience.
Let’s talk about Disney. They didn’t just make The Little Mermaid; they made a TV show and a Broadway musical. They didn’t just make Star Wars movies; they made video games, action figures, lunch boxes, LEGOs, theme park rides, and a million other things nerds love. Disney finds what works (the blockbusters), and then monetizes it in different channels. Instead of creating one-off pieces of content, they create new streams of revenue.
Extensibility + Webinars
Extensibility works for webinars, too. Instead of producing one live webinar, create an on-demand version. Then take the content shared in the webinar and create eBooks, blog posts, white papers, videos, SlideShares, landing pages, ads, social posts, etc. Your webinar doesn’t need to end when your attendees log out; you can create new streams of leads and revenue by repurposing your webinar.
Webinars aren’t just about a presentation. You need to think about building trust, producing high-quality content, creating a consistent communication plan, networking through individuals, and repurposing content. So as you prepare for your next webinar, make sure your focus goes beyond the slideshow and you create a webinar strategy that would make Disney proud.
To learn more about webinar trends and best practices, download our new benchmark report, The 2017 Big Book of Webinar Stats.