When you think about demand generation, traditional tactics like events, paid search, and social media probably spring to mind. But like most marketers, you consistently run into the same old problems–spending too much money for too few leads.
Well, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by InsideSales.com, nearly 50% of B2B marketers say their number one challenge is generating more leads. The second biggest challenge is converting those leads into customers.
So what is a marketer to do?
One of the best ways to generate leads and move prospects down the funnel is with webinars. I know that hosting a webinar can sound like a lot of work, but the pros are more than worth the effort. Just think, you have 30-60 minutes to say exactly what you want to say to a listening audience who can engage and ask questions.
So for those of you who are ready to rake in the quality leads with little overhead, here are five ways webinars can boost your demand gen game.
1. Higher ROI
Let’s look at the average conversion rates for some of the most common digital marketing tactics. According to WordStream:
- 2.70% conversion rate for AdWords search
- 0.89% conversion rate for display
- 2.35% average conversion rate on landing pages
These numbers tell a discouraging story. But what if you could achieve conversion rates as high as 50%? Daniel Miller, Sales Manager at Benchmark Email, and GoToWebinar customer said, “We’ve found that approximately 50%-70% of our webinar attendees convert to paying customers.”
Everyone may not see conversion rates as high as 50%, but Inside Sales.com reveals that 70% of B2B sales and marketing leaders say a webinar is the best way to generate quality leads.
Webinars not only drive leads, they do so at a relatively low cost. Most webinars don’t require the design and production costs that assets like videos, eBooks, and infographics do. The real cost of a webinar comes down to your time and the money you spend on advertising.
Generally, you can effectively drive registrations through free and organic channels, including your blog and website, organic social, and email. Email is especially effective if you’re co-producing a webinar with a partner who is willing to email their database.
2. Immersive Experience
Webinars are a totally unique marketing tactic because they provide an immersive, multimedia experience. Your message isn’t limited to a headline and a blurb. You have 30-60 minutes to develop a rapport with your audience, explain difficult concepts, answer FAQs, and visually walk through tutorials or demonstrations. Can you think of any other content format that provides such a captivating experience?
The best part? If attendees can’t make the live event, you can invite them to view the on-demand version. This way they can watch it on their schedule. You can also promote your on-demand webinars to new audiences. Even though it’s not live, it’s still a highly engaging experience, and with GoToWebinar’s Simulated Live feature, your pre-recorded webinars can include surveys and polls the same way your live webinars do.
3. Valuable Co-Marketing Opportunities
You don’t have to host a webinar all by yourself. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. Get your partners and other industry leaders involved and use the webinar as a co-marketing opportunity. Just make sure your partners are relevant to your webinar topic and add value to your target audience. Here are two ways co-marketing can make your webinar more successful:
1. Expanded reach – A company survey found that 59% of GoToWebinar customers find they can greatly expand their reach with webinars. By adding 1-2 other industry leaders to your webinar lineup, you’ll expand your reach and boost your audience size.
2. Better content – Brainstorm content ideas with your partners. By using leaders with different specialties and perspectives, you can develop a better webinar for your audience and thoroughly cover your topic.
4. Increased Audience Engagement
A webinar is actually two-way communication between you and your potential customers. By inviting your audience to submit questions or comments, you provide a personalized, real-time experience you just can’t pull off outside of a sales call or live event — and your audience will love it.
In fact, the average webinar viewing time is 57 minutes, according to our research in the Big Book of Webinar Stats. Because of the in-depth content and active participation your audience is willing to spend way more time engaging on a webinar than with any other kind of marketing content.
To engage your audience, make sure you use tools to send poll questions, ask and answer questions, or get participants to digitally raise their hands throughout the presentation. This makes the webinar feel more personal than reading an eBook or a blog post. Comments and polls will also provide you with invaluable information about your audience and their preferences, challenges, and more.
Webinars are also an effective way to get people through the funnel. Once you have a lead, a webinar is a great way to re-engage them and encourage them to take the next step. In your webinar and post-webinar follow-up, be sure to include calls-to-action that keep the conversation going—like a CTA to download a white paper, a free trial signup, or a promo code to make a purchase.
5. Content That Keeps Giving
Webinars are the gift that keeps on giving. Once you complete a webinar, you can repurpose it into other forms of content. You can also continue promoting the “on-demand” version to keep driving new leads.
Once a live webinar ends, 81% of GoToWebinar customers use recorded events to reach even more attendees. In fact, 25% of GoToWebinar customers use recorded events to create new marketing assets such as brief clips, white papers, and blog posts, all of which are simple ways to get more life out of content that you already know interests your audience.
Just like every other digital tactic, webinars require planning and organization. The main difference is that your webinar is almost guaranteed to generate higher-quality leads and provide your audience with comprehensive information, which most digital marketing tactics can’t promise. So if you can stand the sound of your own voice for an hour, your demand generation strategy is about to jump to the next level.
If you want to learn more about generating leads with webinars, download the eBook, Attracting Your Webinar Audience: A Guide to Lead Generation for Marketers.