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Addressing 3 Challenges for Today’s Demand Generation Webinars

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Today's blog post is provided by Mike Agron, co-founder or WebAttract. Mike recently  presented on the ReadyTalk Webinar series in a webinar called "Managing the Webinar Life Cycle from Start to Finish." He also co-wrote an eBook on the topic. 

I always say that anyone can deliver a mediocre webinar, but to deliver an amazing webinar it takes thoughtful planning, nurturing and execution.  Ask yourself, are webinars high enough on your priority list to devote the necessary time to craft the right messaging, create an engaging, impactful delivery, and connect with an interested audience?

Webinars are a cost-effective means of attracting fresh new sales leads to your company’s bottom line. A well-executed webinar can mean revenue!

Based on my experience producing and moderating hundreds of B2B webinars for leading global and emerging brands, I have found that regardless of the industry or subject, all demand generation webinars have three key challenges:

Addressing 3 Challenges for Today's Demand Generation WebinarsChallenge #1: Attract the right audience.

Challenge #2:  Keep the audience engaged and stimulated with valuable information.

Challenge #3:  Inspire the audience to want to have a conversation after the webinar to forge a business relationship.

Here’s how ReadyTalk and I recently met the above three challenges to deliver a successful webinar:

Challenge #1: Attract the Right Audience

Since our webinar topic discussed how to manage and deliver webinars, we wanted to attract an audience that was interested in learning best practices. We wanted to get audience feedback right away about the challenges our audience faced, so we opened with an online poll.

We asked, “What are your biggest webinar challenges?” With 67% of the audience participating, these were the instant poll results:

  • Attracting the right audience -- 40%
  • Converting prospects to customers -- 40%
  • Engaging the audience -- 20%
  • Other -- 0%

I was not surprised that their major challenge was attracting the right audience. Today, it’s far more difficult than even a year ago to get the right eyeballs to register for your webinar. With all of the email noise from webinar invitations and social media updates, the novelty of attending a webinar no longer exists.

Here are some tips to attract the right audience:

  • Make sure your webinar topic is a “must have” and not a “nice to have.” Spend time up front strategically selecting a topic that your audience is hungry to learn about.
  • Create a compelling email subject line. Your goal is to have people register! This recent webinar subject line garnered over 1,000 registrants:  “Experts Reveal 4 Critical Engineering Leadership Skills to Improve Profitability.”

Challenge #2: Keep the audience engaged

During the webinar, I move quickly through my points, using slides to focus on one major point at a time.  I’m using my voice to create a connection with the audience, and I actually smile and use my hands, just as I would during a face-to-face conversation.  I really care about my topic and I want that to project to my audience.  Audiences want to learn something new, and in this particular webinar, we kept them engaged by presenting a step-by-step overview of the webinar planning life cycle and threw in plenty of best practices. 

For the closing poll, I asked, “Which of the following best practices will you use to help manage your next webinar?” With 57% of the audience weighing in, these were the results:

  • Using metrics to drive outcomes -- 53%
  • The role of planning -- 24%
  • Techniques to optimize audio/video -- 24%
  • Managing logistics -- 18%
  • Balancing human factors -- 6%

I was pleased that ‘using metrics to drive outcomes’ was over 50%, as this, along with a deadline driven methodology and having a set of best practices, are the three cornerstones to producing successful webinars. The audience chose ‘the role of planning’ and ‘optimizing audio/video’ as their next highest best practices.  Both areas that can make or break your webinar!

In this poll, very few attendees chose ‘balancing human factors’ as an important best practice.  In my experience, the human factors have everything to do with how the speakers are able to connect with the audience in a virtual event.  I realize most speakers don’t deliver webinars regularly because they have a day job, but I can’t stress enough the importance of rehearsals for speakers to help them get more comfortable with this virtual medium and make a connection despite being physically absent. It takes practice!

Challenge #3: Inspire the audience to have a conversation after the webinar

Webinar attendees are in various stages of the sales cycle. The world of sales keeps evolving, and based on our own observations, as well as conversations with other demand gen experts, it seems today that a majority of B2B buyers prefer to do their research online before speaking with a live salesperson. The good news is that they might be attending your webinar because they’re interested in your topic and your company. They may be in the initial stage of collecting information, or looking to make a product choice move forward with a purchase.  Regardless, you’ll need to practice good old-fashioned lead nurturing to convert them from prospects to customers! 

To learn more, you can view the on-demand recording of the webinar at as well as download a complimentary copy of the eBook authored by WebAttract and ReadyTalk at http://meet.readytalk.com/WebinarLifeCycle.

 

 

 


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