Many people don't know that webinars can feature interactive elements, such as real-time chat questions and polling. However, these features can have a big impact on the number and quality of the leads your webinar generates.
Let's take a closer look at why you should make your webinar interactive:
An opportunity for greater engagement
According to a March 2013 Demand Gen Report reader survey, chat questions are used to engage the audience on 54 percent of webinars, while polls are used 34 percent of the time. While it's great that some people are using these features, there's even more opportunity for webinar engagement on a larger scale. These interactive features are essential for lead generation, as we'll see in the next section.
Webinars serve two main purposes: They help current and future clients learn useful information in an easy-to-digest way, and they help nurture leads. In fact, webinars nurture more qualified leads than other marketing channels. More than 60 percent of marketers are using webinars as part of their content marketing programs, according to the Content Marketing Institute. And a survey we conducted found that between 20 and 40 percent of webinar attendees turned into qualified leads.
The key to transforming webinar attendees into promising leads is creating webinars that effectively engage viewers. Attention spans are short, and webinar hosts need ways to grab audience members' attention. Interactive features do just that. Chat questions and polling enable audience members to engage in the webinar, instead of just passively listening to information. Webinar hosts also learn instant feedback, which they can use to tweak the content of the webinar to make it more relevant to attendees' needs. Let's take a closer look at both the chat and polling features:
Real-time chat can be conducted over webinars through both chat boxes and audio. A live audio chat Q&A session at the end of your webinar can be a great opportunity for audience members to learn more about your company and for you to learn more about what's on your customers' or potential customers' minds.
Polling helps you gain more in-depth knowledge about the people tuning into your webinar. You can get a sense of what problems, issues or goals your viewers have as you present information that can help address their common pain points. You can also ask questions that are designed to qualify leads, but these are best saved for the end of the webinar.
Getting people's attention is the name of the game in marketing these days, and interactive webinars are highly effective ways to engage audiences. The benefits don't end there, however – these engaged audiences then have a better chance of turning into qualified leads. Make your webinars interactive to give a much-needed oomph to your marketing strategy.