Marketing Tips to Stay off the Naughty List

Like most adults, you are probably wringing your hands as you nervously ponder where you stand on Santa’s infamous list. If you are anything like me, it may be too late to save face when it comes to sticking to that diet or regularly calling your mother, but you may still be able to make the “nice” list when it comes to webinar marketing! Here are a few examples of Naughty and Nice webinar marketing that may help you avoid any lumps of coal this year:

The Nice List

  • Helpful, informative content: What will the audience walk away with after they watch your webinar? Will it help them do their jobs better? Has it improved any part of their day or routine? Nice marketers know that their audience’s time is valuable and always make sure there is a clear ROI for their attention.
  • Engaging, interactive audience experiences: Few things in life are more thrilling than listening to a Product Marketer discuss best practices over a PowerPoint deck, but nice marketers like to go the extra mile just to ensure their audiences stay engaged. Adding audience polls, prompting users to ask questions that are answered live on air, branding your console, and incorporating video are all great ways to provide an excellent audience experience.
  • A thoughtful follow-up: Nice marketers know that webinars are a great way to drive engaged leads through the funnel — and they aren’t leaving money on the table. Having your follow-up email and/or calling campaign planned out and tracked in your CRM will ensure you can demonstrate ROI on your webinar program.

The Naughty List

  • A sales pitch: In top-of-funnel content? This is the naughtiest! Webinars used for demand gen need to position your brand as an expert in the subject matter. Not that a webinar platform isn’t great for a demo (we definitely do that), but nice marketers know to save the pitch for later.
  • Barriers to entry: Loading up that reg form with 10 different fields? Making your audience download software in order to view your content? Content that disappears as soon as the webinar is over? Naughty, naughty, naughty! If you want to make the nice list, you need to make your content easily accessible to your audience. This means lite reg forms that will allow for follow up, but don’t ask for a life story; a browser-based webinar platform that doesn’t delay access to the content through a download; and content that is available on-demand after the webinar is over, just in case a prospect can’t make the live event.
  • Bad planning: There are a few ways you can create quick content in a pinch, but they won’t make up for bad planning. To stay off the naughty list, make sure your slides are done ahead of time so they can have the best quality images. Speakers should also be prepped and trained on software well in advance to avoid any embarrassing mishaps. If you really want to make the nice list, promotions should also begin at least four weeks before the day of the webinar to ensure a robust audience.

For more examples of webinar marketing that surely made the “nice” list, check out “Webinars That Rocked 2015”.

3 Webinar Hacks For Any Marketing Strategy

It’s the end of the year and if you’re anything like me you are looking with wide, cartoon-like eyes of ambition into the demand generation possibilities that the new year will bring. Webinars are part of any great demand generation strategy, but since planning for a full new year can feel a little hectic and intimidating, I’m sharing three webinar hacks that will get you up and running as you kick off your 2016 webinar program:

Panel Discussions

This is one of my favorite ways to whip together some super engaging content with about three hours of work total. After selecting a topic, I invite four–five of my colleagues that are topic area experts to join me in a 45-minute call to discuss what we think are the most pressing points around the issue. I then have each speaker submit five bullet points on what they thought were the high priority take-aways from the conversation. I use those bullet points to reverse-engineer the panel questions and send them back to the panelists, and based on their bullet points, I assign the question to each panelist so they know who will be the primary (and potentially secondary), responder. This helps make sure that each panelist gets asked an even amount of questions and helps them all prepare their answers to avoid any surprises. Toss those questions up onto some really cool looking slides with great images and you’re set!

If you have some extra EOY budget, you can also have a well-known analyst or marketing influencer moderate or join the panel. They bring extra brand power into the equation and can offer fascinating insight for the audience. On the flip side, consider reaching out to partner companies to get sponsorships (and panelists) that help offset any cost! Which leads me to the next webinar hack…

Co-Marketing

Co-marketing is one of the easiest ways to get extra leads with minimal time and economic investment. Consider reaching out to your current network of partners to start, but if you want to expand your potential network and surprise your audience with new webinar names, I have found that a few minutes of strategic prospecting on LinkedIn usually yields a few names of fellow marketers that I can reach out to who have similar target audiences. When I reach out, I share the topic and date that I have in mind just to get the ball rolling. Since you will be combining your shared expertise on common topic, I have found that I can usually recycle some of my old content with minimal tweaks and add in ideas from my partner rather than create a new deck from scratch. If you are comfortable working out a lead exchange, co-marketing arrangements can be a great way to expand your audience at no cost. For best results, be sure to work out those details before the webinar so as not to delay your follow-up comms plan.

Be Customer-Centric

Your customers are your biggest fans and customer-centric content can help them learn how to use your solution better. They are hungry for best practices and thought leadership and want to learn how to use any product updates you might roll out after they have signed their contract. Your customer success team will thank you for developing more customer-focused webinars as well, as they will inspire your current customer set to become power users and more likely to serve as a reference for prospects, thereby generating more revenue.

I hope these three hacks will help get the ball rolling with developing new webinar topics and types for your business. Want to get more great webinar hacks from the best webinars of the year? RSVP now to get the hottest ticket in town — Webinars That Rock 2015 is coming December 9th at 11 a.m. PST to a computer or mobile device near you!

Great Webinar Ideas Are All Around You

I talk about webinars for a living. Every month, and usually several times a month, I serve up a fresh hour of live conversation on the same topic: webinars. And I’m not alone. In recent years we’ve seen a strong trend to more and more companies delivering regular quarterly, monthly, or even weekly webinars. But how many ways are there to talk about the same subject, week after week, year after year? You’d be surprised.

Where am I going to find all this content?

As marketers, we live with constant pressure to come up with new webinar ideas, fresh campaigns, more content. That’s a lot of pressure. But don’t let that get you down. If there is a secret to content marketing, it’s that there are great ideas everywhere you look. You just have to know how to look.

Follow the funnel

Start with a survey of the webinars you’ve already done. Are you doing a lot of product-focused events? Then maybe it’s time to throw in a thought leadership webinar. Have you created hours of content on best practices? Consider delivering a webinar on your key benefits or differentiators. Once you take a good, long look at the webinars you’ve been creating, it’s easier to see the holes in your content strategy — and every hole in your content strategy is a new idea for a webinar.

And there’s nothing wrong with putting on the same webinar more than once. Here at ON24, we deliver a bottom-of-the-funnel product demo webinar every week. Every week. It’s the same content and the same deck, and it gives us 52 chances a year to reach our customers and prospects.

Phone a friend

If you were creating a TV show instead of a webinar series, you’d have a team of dozens of writers, producers, actors, and other talented people to draw on. Why would you try to run a webinar program all by yourself? Reach out to your sales and customer service teams and ask them what topics they are getting asked about a lot.

Of course, if it’s the audience perspective you want, why not go straight to the source? Survey past webinar attendees to find out what future topics they’d be interested in seeing. Or spend some time on customer forums, influencer blogs, and social media to see what topics and trends are top-of-mind for your target market.

Look inside yourself

Think about all the great content you’ve already created: white papers, customer case studies. blog posts, videos, and more. That’s a ton of killer content, and chances are you already know which pieces are performing the best for you. Take a look at your analytics and pick out the best-performing assets, and then use them as inspiration for your next webinar. Even content that you might not traditionally think of as a core piece of content, like an email drip campaign, could be packed with interesting and compelling ideas.

If you produce any research or data reports, those are some of the best sources for webinar content. People love data, and audiences really appreciate deep-color commentary on the bare-bones facts and figures in your published report. Any sort of benchmarking data that you can provide will be invaluable to your audience and would make a great webinar.

Great ideas are everywhere

And I mean everywhere. Once you learn how to look for them, you’ll find that you have more webinar content ideas than you know what to do with. And now I’m off to come up with some more ideas to give webinars…about webinars.

If you need even more inspiration, check out our on-demand webinar, “10 Secrets for Creating Great Webinar Content.”

Turn Great Ideas Into Killer Webinar Presentations

There’s nothing like the feeling of putting the last finishing touch on an absolutely killer webinar presentation. There’s just something satisfying about flipping through the slides and knowing that you’ve really nailed your messaging.

Of course, great decks don’t happen all by themselves. Even when you have a really great idea for the presentation, it takes time and skill to craft a deck that will communicate your points, engage the audience, and inspires the people in your webinar to take your ideas and run with them. Fortunately, there are some fairly simple techniques that can help anyone pull together highly effective, highly engaging webinar presentations. Here are just a few:

Let the pictures do the talking

Don’t let your presentations die the death of 1,000 bullets. When your slides have too much text, your audience will spend their time reading the bullets instead of listening to the presenter. And if you include a lot of text-heavy slides, you run the risk of turning your attendees off entirely.

Instead, let images do the heavy lifting. Add evocative photos of people in situations your audience can relate to. Instead of describing your product or features, including a large, detailed image that shows the audience what you mean. The images will set the right tone for the topic, then your speaker can fill in the detail.

Tell a story

The best webinar presentations take a great idea, then turn that idea into a story that the audience can relate to. Not a budding novelist? No problem! You don’t need Game of Thrones-level drama to tell a story. All you need is a challenge people can relate to, and a resolution to that challenge.

Start your presentation by asking the audience a question: Does this situation sound familiar to you? Are you having trouble solving this problem? Do you find yourself making these common mistakes or falling into these common traps? Once you’ve framed the question, follow it with slides numbering the solutions one by one. Then wrap it all up with a quick summary at the end.

Have a conversation

Even when the topic is really interesting, it can be hard to pay attention to one person lecturing for a whole hour. Keep your audience engaged by engaging them directly. Live Q&A is a great place to start, and the vast majority of webinars use Q&A. But even live Q&A is usually a small portion of the webinar, and it’s generally confined to the last 10–15 minutes.

When you’re building your deck, try to find more opportunities for audience interaction. Polls are a particularly great way to bring a drifting audience back to attention. I like to include at least two polls in most of my webinars.

Don’t stop there

Want more advice on putting together great webinar presentations? Next week, I’m going to share all my best tricks (well, almost all of them) in a free webinar event, How to Build the Perfect Webinar Presentation. Don’t forget to register!

What if You Threw a Party and No One Came?

Marketers invest a lot of time and energy into building presentations and locating the best speakers so they can deliver great webinars. That’s because we all know that webinars are one of the most effective ways to drive new leads and engage new prospects. Even so, in a recent ON24 webinar poll, we saw a result that, frankly, didn’t surprise us all that much:

What has been your biggest challenge to delivering a successful webinar?

  • Driving registration    42.9%
  • Providing an engaging webinar experience    30.5%
  • Extending the life/value of your webinars    16.2%
  • Getting feedback from attendees    10.5%

Results: ON24 benchmarks webinar poll

That’s right, almost 43 percent reported that driving registration was their greatest challenge to delivering a successful webinar. It’s something we hear time and time again: “How can I get more people to come to my webinars?”

Of all the methods for getting attention, email probably comes closer than anything else to a one-size-fits-all tactic. It’s immediate, digestible and convenient. But that doesn’t mean that email is without its faults. No matter how well you time it, your email can easily get lost in a flooded inbox. And even someone who’s really interested might put off reading your email til “later,” until “later” turns into “never.”

To take advantage of all the great things email has to offer while overcoming the obstacles it throws in your way, just repeat this mantra: One line, one chance.

What do we mean by “one line, one chance”? Most of your recipients will decide whether or not to open based on your email’s subject line, so that line really needs to catch their interest. Great email subject lines promise to solve a problem, offer entertainment or challenge the reader. The very best subject lines do more than one. Here are some strategies for effective subject lines:

  • The compelling question — Pose a titillating question that your audience can’t help but be curious about: “Is anyone paying attention to your emails?”
  • The bottom-line benefit — Tell the reader exactly what they’re going to get: “This email will increase your webinar success”
  • The webinar title —If you already have a killer webinar title, get more mileage out of it by using it as your subject line: “WEBINAR: 7 Ways to Enhance your Webinar Promotions”

You should also apply the “one line, one chance” mantra to the opening line of the email message. Most modern email clients, from Outlook to Gmail, have a preview mode that gives the recipient a glimpse of the content before they open the email. That glimpse needs to convince them that the email is worth opening. If your subject poses a question, answer it in the first line. If your subject promises a bottom-line benefit, the first line should follow up with detail. If you used the webinar title as your subject, your first line should address a common pain point that you can solve. If your first line is compelling enough, they’ll click on your message and read the rest.

By crafting more effective emails, you can get higher registration numbers for your webinars and generate more leads.

Want to learn more tips for driving webinar registration? Download the ON24 white paper, “7 Ways to Enhance Your Webinar Promotions.”

3 Ways to Bring Video into Audio Webinars

Video is one of the easiest ways to make your webinars more lively and engaging, increasing their value to both your attendees and you. But if you think only an on-camera presenter can add video to your webinars, you’re missing out. Even if your next webinar features an audio-only presenter and a slide deck, you still have multiple options for injecting the energy of video into the webinar experience. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Option 1: pre-recorded video clips

Many of us have created short video clips promoting our products or introducing our companies. Perhaps you have customer interviews or testimonials that you created for your website or YouTube channel. If they’re relevant to the topic of your webinar, why not integrate videos into the presentation? If your marketing department produced any promotional clips that you’re particularly proud of, use them to liven up your next webinar. As long as your videos are brief and on topic, they can add value to your presentation.

Option 2: off-site events

Think about all the live presentations your organization delivers at trade shows, seminars, customer briefings and conferences. With very little extra effort, you could record the speaker and repackage that video, along with any presentation slides, as an on-demand webinar.

But full-length on-demand webinars aren’t your only option for repurposing live presentations. For example, you could break the full recording into mini-webinars that you release on demand. Or you could include those shorter video segments as pre-recorded clips in your live webinars. You could even take the event globally, streaming all or part of the presentation live as part of a scheduled webinar.

Option 3: Screen Sharing

Technology companies can use webinars to create bottom-of-the-funnel marketing presentations with live product demos. During the live event, the presenter can share the screen in the slide area of the console and demonstrate software or key product features.

When delivering a live Screen Share demonstration, make sure to practice in advance. If you’re nervous about a live demonstration, you can pre-record a product demo and insert it as a video clip, rather than streaming live. That way you have control for every possible situation, from a beta release that reveals glitches at the worst possible moment to inconvenient instant messages or email notifications popping up on-screen. Pre-recorded or live, Screen Share demos can be a great way to drive prospects to a final purchase decision.

Now it’s up to you

These are just a few ideas for using video as part of the webinar experience. You can implement the ones we’ve listed here or use them as a springboard for creative ideas of your own. Whatever you do, make sure you have fun.

If you’re curious about more ways to add video to your webinars, check out our on-demand webinar, “5 Ways to Integrate Video into Your Webinars.”

How to Improve Audience Participation in Your Webinar

Each year when ON24 releases its annual Webinar Benchmarks Report I look for the most interesting or unexpected statistic in their data. This year the benchmark that particularly caught my eye was listed under Audience Engagement Metrics. ON24 reported the overall percentages of attendees across all webinars who performed certain actions within a webinar.

All three numbers improved from last year, which is encouraging. But the absolute figures are still far lower than they should be. If you find similar attendee interaction percentages in your webinars, you have room for improvement in the way that you stimulate interaction and make audience members want to take an active part in the proceedings.

Let’s look at each type of interaction in turn and see if we can find some best practices to improve response.

Downloading Content Resources

The most common mistake made by webinar administrators and presenters is to place too many documents in the resource folder. This leads to “option paralysis.” Attendees are unsure of which resources are most important and valuable. Faced with a selection choice and no obvious clues as to which choice is best, people tend to make the fall-through choice of “no action.” It is the fastest and easiest way to deal with the problem.

If you really want to improve the uptake on your reference information, pick one – and only one – document to make available for download. Now attendees can take an immediate action without any selection or discrimination process.

If you want to make multiple documents available, place links to the resources on a customized web page. Then in your webinar, give attendees the link to the resources page. This again lets them take a single, quick click-through action with no decision process involved.

Submitting Questions

There are several tricks for getting attendees to interact through the typed chat or questions interface in your webinar. In the interest of brevity I will just summarize a few of the most important techniques:

  • Get them used to using the interface with a simple direct response at the start of the session. “I want to make sure you can hear me and that I see your submissions. Would you just type your first name and hit Enter?”
  • Refer to comments or questions throughout your presentation. Just sprinkle in a few references here and there to prove that you are paying attention. “Rick just commented that he always uses this technique. That’s great. Thanks, Rick!” Or “Betty, I see your question about statistical accuracy. I’m going to address that in just a few minutes.”
  • Use first names. When you say the name of a questioner or commenter, other people feel encouraged to type and see if you will say their name on the air.
  • Ask for something specific. Don’t use a generic request like “So, are there any questions?” Instead, give them a guideline as to what to type. “What is the top difficulty you have had?” or “What functionality do you think still needs more explanation and detail?”

Responding To Polls

Low response to polls is usually caused by insufficiently framing the poll in terms of value to the attendee. Far too often, presenters introduce polls as an information-gathering tool for the benefit of the presenter or hosting company. If you find yourself using the following kinds of phrasing, you are setting yourself up for poor participation, as you are asking the audience to do work for your benefit:

  • “I would like you to answer this poll for me.”
  • “Here’s a poll we created to get a sense of how these products get used.”

Instead, try setting up the benefit that the attendee will get by contributing to the poll:

  • “Here’s a chance for you to see how you compare to your peers in the audience.”
  • “Now it’s your opportunity to guide me. Your response will tell me how much detail I should go into in the next section.”

In each of these three interactions, the key is to think from the perspective of the attendee, rather than the presenter. The fact that you are offering an opportunity to engage and interact is not enough. You need to give each participant a reason to take the action, with clear and unambiguous instruction as to what they should do and how they should do it. Following these guidelines will improve the participation you see in your live webinars.

is president and founder of Webinar Success, a consulting firm that assists companies in producing and delivering effective and compelling web seminars. Molay combines a technical background with experience in corporate marketing and public presentations. He is a prolific blogger on the subject of web conferencing and its applications and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and industry publications. He is a frequent public speaker on the topic of more effective webinars.

The Art and Science of Driving Webinar Registration

I often poll marketing audiences about their biggest webinar challenges. Almost every time, I hear that their biggest challenge is on driving registration — in a recent poll, we found that 42.9% of respondents had the biggest trouble with getting people to register for their online event.

Why is driving webinar registration such a challenge for marketers?

Perhaps the biggest explanation for this issue is the fact that our prospects are now busier than ever, making it very hard for them to take the time to tune in on a certain day at a certain time. They’re also bombarded with tons of promotional emails, making them wary of any kind of advertising — social or otherwise.

So how can we get them to sign up for our webinars if we can’t even get them to read emails promoting them? The key is catching your target audience at a moment of receptivity with a message that resonates — it’s both an art and a science.

The Science of Getting People to Register for Webinars

As marketers, we rely too often on a static process to promote our events: a single email (sent multiple times) and perhaps a few tweets with the name of the event and a link. Depending on your brand and the appeal of the subject matter, this may be enough to capture a sufficient audience, but it certainly leaves a lot of prospective leads behind.

Truly innovative marketers are now experimenting with the process of promoting their events. This includes sending out emails at the right time, promoting different types of emails (HTML, plain text and hybrid — and with embedded videos, for example), experimenting with drop schedules and timing, and mixing up social promotions with different messages and types of outreach.

1) Send your promotional emails at the right time

Though the best time of day and day of week to send emails depends on your business, industry, and audience’s behavior, it’s helpful to get an idea of when your emails are most likely to succeed (and time your sends accordingly). In our annual benchmark report that analyses thousands of webinars hosted by our customers, we found out the optimal times for sending your emails are

2) Extend the promotional period to drop more emails

When you look at industry best practices for when people actually sign up for webinars, there is an enormous percentage of people who sign up more than seven days before the event — as many as 36% of sign-ups will take place more than a week out. As a result, make sure you give yourself enough time to promote the event (beyond a week) in order to improve your results.

3) Mix up email types

Doing different types of emails in different drops is typically a very successful approach. One flow I typically recommend is to send an HTML two weeks out, a plain text email seven days out, and then an HTML email again on the day of the event. This can give the impression that the event is much larger and more significant than it first appears. This process also makes it more likely that your recipients will read one of the emails since one is different from the others in the campaign.

4) Mix up promotional messaging

This is similar to the previous tip, but instead of email format, we’re referring to the readable content itself. While you may be delivering the same message, changing up the tone and verbiage can help cut through the noise. You might try taking a more personal tone with your messaging in one message but keep to a more formal tone with others.

The Art of Promotional Content

The art of driving webinar registration comes in how we design our promotional content. For many companies, all of the creative energy gets put into the webinar presentation, not the invitations. This leads to the classic “If a tree falls in the forest …” dilemma. Your content doesn’t exist if no one knows about it.

Writing compelling promotional content is the first exposure your prospects will have to your message. It’s the doorway to your webinar. To make sure you’re creating compelling promotional copy, make sure your writing has at least one of the following elements:

1) Upsets the status quo

Great promotional material is always going to galvanize action from the recipient, and an easy way to do this is to deliver content with a headline that stops people in their tracks. If your material tells audiences what they expect or already understand, it’s easily glossed over. But a contrarian headline or lead sentence can snag the interest of a recipient. For example, a webinar touting the title “Big Data as We Know It Is Dead” is sure to garner interest. Just be sure that the content of your webinar actually delivers on that headline — otherwise, you could alienate the registrants you worked so hard to earn.

2) Promises change

In this case, we’re again referring to the lead or headline of your promotional material. Succinctly, you need to articulate exactly what prospective attendees will be able to accomplish once they’ve attended your webinar. How much will they save? What will they achieve? How will their lives or businesses be better? If you can deliver this message in a brief format, more people will be likely to attend your event.

3) Challenges common beliefs

While this may seem similar to “Upsets the status quo,” there are subtle differences, primarily related to phrasing. Challenging common beliefs means posing a question related to the recipients’ day-to-day experiences that challenges them to re-think a foregone conclusion. “Do you really need analytics to be a successful marketer?” would be a question that might make a recipient stop and wonder what an event is all about.

4) Titillates

The pure definition of “titillate” is to “excite agreeably,” and this can be an effective strategy, provided that it’s combined with substantive information that will further compel the recipient to attend your webinar. Perhaps this may take the form of a preview or teaser of the event, so your audience gets a sense of what to expect from the event itself. One approach is to provide background on the expertise of the speakers and/or presenters who will be running the event.

5) Addresses known pain points or needs

This may appear obvious, but for many promotional materials, a clean, clear description of how you’re going to address a common problem is the most effective means of getting recipients to pay attention. If a target spends all day trying to install X and then sees a webinar that says “How to Install X Three Times Faster,” that person is going to consider that event carefully.

Successful webinar promotions artfully and strategically capture people’s attention, whether it’s through a subject line that threatens the status quo, an opening email sentence that promises change, or a tweet that spurs the imagination. As marketers, we have to be just as creative in promoting our events as we are delivering them. It’s a little bit of art, and it’s a little bit science, but mostly it’s just great marketing.

Nurturing Leads With Webinars: Awareness is Just the Beginning

The buyer’s journey has changed due to the high-quality information now easily available to prospects. B2B technology buyers are using this information in the early stages of the buying process and aren’t engaging directly with salespeople until much later. However, as buyers change their habits, there is an opportunity for marketers to play a bigger role.

Marketers’ primary goal is straightforward: to identify new prospects and progress them from one stage of the buying process to the next, ultimately moving them to the purchase stage. But how do you guide a lead from the first inquiry to a lifetime of customer loyalty? At ON24, we know that webinars are key in moving leads from one stage of the sales funnel to the next. In fact, according to Forrester Research, webinars are the #1 marketing tactic at each stage of the sales funnel.

Many of you may be using webinars to spark general interest and increase awareness, but that’s only the beginning. If designed with the buying cycle in mind, webinars can be an extremely effective method for moving prospects from awareness to purchase.

The secret to nurturing leads with webinars is delivering the right content at the right time. For example, while demonstration webinars are appropriate for bottom-of-funnel stages, they do not work well for top-of-funnel lead generation programs.

Here are some examples to illustrate how you can successfully use a webinar solution in each stage of the sales funnel.

Awareness

Prospects in the awareness stage are researching information to learn about your company – and others – so they can begin to evaluate options. At this stage, your objective is to win the prospect over with your company’s unique approach and value proposition. An effective webinar at the top of the funnel should demonstrate your company’s thought leadership perspective and your expertise in the field. Get one of the leaders at your company on board to discuss your specific point of view and how your product is at the cutting edge of the industry.

Consideration

Your prospects in the consideration stage are looking for answers. It’s now your responsibility to provide information to help move the prospect closer to making a decision. At this stage, webinars work best when they provide general solution-based content that explores typical challenges and benefits without highlighting the specifics of your company’s solution. One way to bring this to life is by having an industry leader, not a company spokesperson, host your webinar to discuss potential solutions to prospects’ problems.

Evaluation

By this stage, your prospects know that your particular technology is a possible solution for them but might not be convinced that you’re the right vendor. Therefore, you must influence them with the specifics of what your company offers and the benefits you can provide. In order to convey this through your webinar, call on your best advocates, customers! A customer in the same industry can describe your solution in detail and demonstrate the return on investment during a webinar. Hearing from a current customer can convince prospects that your company has a solution that can satisfy their needs.

Purchase

At the purchase stage, your prospect is ready to make a decision, and you’ve made it to the list of the top two or three choices. Now’s the time to demonstrate the superior features of your solution and highlight your competitive differentiators. Try teaming up with your company’s product manager to host a webinar to demonstrate the key features – and their benefits – that will positively influence your prospect’s decision.

Once you master the ability to tailor your webinar content to each stage of the sales funnel, you’ll find webinars to be an extremely effective method for moving prospects from one stage to the next. The equally important webinar analytics measure attendee engagement, progression through the funnel and behaviors, allowing you to identify sales-ready leads in real time and follow up with the most qualified leads immediately.

And webinar analytics become even more valuable when integrated with your CRM and marketing automation platforms – like Act-On – and incorporated into your lead scoring and nurturing programs. So what are you waiting for? Optimize your marketing program with webinars to accelerate your prospects’ journey through the buying cycle – from the first inquiry to revenue.

Ready to learn more about lead nurturing? Access our Lead Nurturing Toolkit, and you’ll learn about the lead marketing lifecycle, lead nurturing segmentation, automated email programs, and lead scoring. We’ll give you a blueprint for implementing long-term lead nurturing programs that will deliver more leads and higher close ratios.

“Nurturing Leads With Webinars: Awareness is Just the Beginning,” as posted on the Act-On Software Blog, 4/7/15