Webinars are fabulous affairs, indeed.
They’re convenient, inexpensive, educational, social…and they’re one of the most popular ways for B2B marketers to reach new customers and build enduring relationships with existing ones. According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute, 59% of B2B marketers are using webinars (up from 46% last year) and 61% believe that webinars are an effective content marketing tactic.
And that 61% are absolutely correct. But why are they so beneficial and what do they accomplish?
Here are 5 reasons webinars should be a key part of your content marketing strategy:
1. Lead Generation: Webinars on timely topics or useful how-tos can be a great way to generate leads. To get the word out, you should produce email invitations, social media promotions and blog posts–all of which can bring new eyes to your content or get current leads to engage with you in new ways. But they don’t just provide an outlet to generate buzz on your end, you’ll also receive retweets and mentions from the people planning to attend. Webinars are also great for list-building, because unlike a lot of top of the funnel content, attendees usually register with contact information before participating in a webinar. That means you can capture their information in your database, so you can follow up with content on topics you already know they’re interested in.
2. Relationship Building: When it comes to engagement at the top of the funnel, webinars are hard to beat. Unlike blog posts, how-to articles and even social media, webinars let you get right in front of your target audience and have real-time interactions with them. Most webinars also feature a Q&A section, where you can directly address any concerns or questions your prospects have. This lets your audience get to know your brand on a personal level, and allows them to interact with experts and thought leaders from your organization.
3. Affordability: Some people dismiss webinars because they’re not as effective as live events. But frankly, they don’t need to be. The time, money, and resources required for producing a webinar are only a small fraction of those needed for a live event, so the return on your investment can be huge. Also, webinars still provide an opportunity to speak to your audience and provide insights from leading experts. Because they are so cost effective, you don’t need to worry about cancelling due to low attendance. If you only have twenty people attend your webinar, it just means you have that more time to answer their questions and address concerns.
4. Repurposing: One of the biggest challenges for content marketers is producing enough content to fill their distribution channels. So once you’ve created all that fabulous content for your webinar, don’t forget about it. Repurpose your ideas into other pieces of content. Break your webinar topics down into a series of blog posts, tweet memorable quotes, make notes of the questions your audience asks for future content inspiration, and don’t forget to share any slides you produced on SlideShare.
5. Long Term Value: Webinars shouldn’t be a one-and-done deal. Record your webinars and host them on a resources page. You can add these recordings to nurture campaigns, include calls to action across channels (marketing automation, blog, social) to download the recording to generate new leads, and share the educational content with current clients to keep them informed and engaged. By continuing to promote and link to your webinars, you can produce a steady return on your investment, long after the webinar is over.
Those are just a few of the benefits webinars have to offer the modern marketer. To dig deeper into how to optimize your content marketing strategy with webinars, Kapost CEO Toby Murdock is teaming up with marketing experts Anita Wehnert, from ReadyTalk and Ian Hutchinson fromVidyard to host a free webinar “Where do Webinars Fit in a Content Marketing Strategy.” Please join us on Tuesday, April 30th at 2pm EST for this free event.