December 03, 2015 Haleigh Clark
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:
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 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.
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!