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How to Structure and Optimize Your Webinars for Engagement and Conversion

October 28th, 2019 Andrew Warren-Payne

This post is the latest in our series on B2B marketing optimization and how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

In our last post, we made the case that even as you look to optimize the performance of your B2B marketing and webinars, it’s vital that anything you create should be built for the needs of your customers.

Audiences want genuine connections — even over digital channels. Learn how to build them in this on-demand webinar. [Watch Now]

The good news is that careful optimization can produce a win-win, where you meet your goals and customers gain value from your interaction.

Earlier, we covered how to optimize webinars for attendance and driving MQLs. But we shouldn’t stop there, because webinars can provide a valuable tool in establishing and strengthening connections across the entire customer journey. Indeed, data from SiriusDecisions shows that buyers see webinars as one of their preferred channels.

Delivering engaging webinars helps to drive conversations and, ultimately, conversations will deliver conversions when the sale is made.

With that in mind, here are some steps you should take to structure and optimize your webinars for engagement and conversion.

Be Clear On Customer Needs and Wants

Before you begin with planning your webinars, make sure you are clear on the exact needs of your target customers. What do they want to achieve? What is valuable for them?

Getting clarity on this aspect will make sure that any webinar program you deliver provides a compelling reason to engage.

Define Your Goals and Know Your Benchmarks

You can use webinars for a whole variety of goals. So what are the metrics you would like to improve? The number of free trials or demos taken? Meetings booked with sales? The number of customers successfully onboarding or completing a training program?

Use your own figures to set a SMART goal  you can achieve through optimization — that is, a goal which is specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and timed.

You may find it helpful to have a marketing brainstorming session which can help you align your own goals to the needs of your customers.

Design and Plan Your Webinars With These In Mind

Now that you have both an understanding of what your customers need and what you want to achieve, you can plan accordingly.

To see continual improvement, you’ll need to deliver or promote more than just one webinar to optimize against your goals. With that in mind, here are some areas to consider:

  • What value will you deliver through your content? Think about what you’ll present, what assets you’ll share, what questions you’ll look to answer.
  • What engagement options will you offer? In addition to the content, how else will you offer attendees and viewers the opportunity to engage? Will you take questions? Will you ask and respond to polls? Will you show video or do a screenshare?
  • How will you structure your webinar console? With many potential options to drive engagement, think carefully about how you will design the webinar console to make the most valuable widgets and interaction points as accessible as possible. Also consider branding your console to improve its visual appeal.
  • When will you encourage engagement through your delivery? Planning the delivery of your webinar should be more than just a running order of slides. Plan when and how during your delivery you will encourage your attendees and viewers to interact. For example, you might plan polls at the beginning and in the middle, Q&A throughout the session, or reference the assets as you present.
  • When will you deliver calls-to-action? If you have a particular goal in mind (for example, to get attendees on a free trial or demo), plan how and when you’ll ask attendees to take that next step.
  • How will you take the conversation further? The webinar shouldn’t be a single event where you speak with your attendees. Instead, look for opportunities to develop conversations that can continue after the session. Having your sales or customer success colleagues onboard can be particularly valuable here.

Assess Performance and Optimize Accordingly

After you have sufficient data, assess your performance and look for areas where you can optimize your webinars.

For example, you might vary the layout of the webinar console to prioritize particular engagement options. You might change the times at which you deliver engagement options and a call-to-action.

Use Simulive and Always-On To Maximise Optimization Opportunities

Every live webinar will  have difficult to control variables. However, by running simulive and always-on webinars, you can make changes without even having to record the session another time.

Simulive and always-on sessions also offer the benefit of making webinars available whenever anyone wants to access them. ON24’s Webinar Benchmarks Report also notes that buyers are increasingly accessing webinars that have already been broadcast, so offering them in this way helps to serve your customers in a flexible manner.

Don’t Forget the Post-Webinar Opportunity

Once your webinar has wrapped, or when your viewer has finished with their session, also look to optimize the post-webinar experience.

Consider how you can help continue the conversation. Some options include:

  • Invite them to your next webinar.
  • Send a personalized message after their attendance.
  • Provide additional useful information to help them with their goals.

Interested in making your webinars more engaging? Then tune in and find out some top tips from ON24’s Chief Webinerd and MarketingProfs on the Keys to Engagement Driven Webinars.