Why B2B Marketers Need to Drive Webinar Engagement

B2B marketers are faced with a crowded, attention-sucking environment. There’s a lot of digital noise out there, so it’s important to make the most out of opportunities proven to drive engagement. As it turns out, webinars are a great opportunity. According to Demand Gen Report’s annual Content Preferences Survey, 64 percent, or two-thirds of respondents say they’re willing to spend 20 to 60 minutes in a webinar.

But simply running webinars isn’t going to be enough. For B2B marketers to get the most out of webinars, they need to build events with engagement in mind — from polls and surveys to panels and pre-event questions. In fact, Demand Gen Report hit this point home in a recent article, “B2B Marketers Look To Modernize Webinar Experiences By Promoting Two-Way Engagement.

Click the links below to learn how webinars engage:

Making Way for Two-Way Dialogue in Webinars

Demand Gen Report’s Brian Anderson sat down to chat with several webinar experts to discuss how B2B marketers can craft webinars with engagement in mind and collected several great tips. Among those tips is providing opportunities to drive two-way dialogue in webinars.

When folks talk about two-way dialogue in webinars a few common tactics come up. Q&A sessions, polls, surveys and chat rooms are all common tools that can easily be deployed.

Combine these tools with varying webinar formats — such as expert panels, product demos and video briefs — and you have a great recipe for two-way conversations with attendees. Presenters can watch a webinar’s chat feed and respond to questions in real-time. Polls can give them a better understanding of where audiences are at and tailor the program to suit the audience.

Prepping Webinar Engagement

But two-way dialogue extends beyond the actual webinar. For example, marketers can empower their audience and allow them to dictate the topic and questions within a webinar by asking registrants to contribute questions before the event takes place.

Elle Woulfe, PathFactory’s Vice President of Marketing, uses this tactic when promoting webinars. According to Woulfe, the results are good, telling Demand Gen Report that collecting questions ahead of time helps prepare webinar panelists and encourages registrants to attend so they can see their questions answered.

Woulfe also tells Demand Gen Report that webinars can pull in even more questions and engagement when co-marketing panel webinars.

Making More With Webinar Leftovers

Finally webinars, it turns out, are content-rich opportunities. That is, they can easily be re-cut, reused and recycled into additional content. Podcasts, small videos, ebooks, YouTube videos can all be derived from a single webinar and can further engagement as time wears on.

Old webinars are actually really solid sources of engagement, too. In fact, according to the ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report 2019, 36 percent of all webinar attendees only attend on-demand webinars. That’s a third of your overall attendees — and plenty of opportunities to drive more engagement.

For example, marketers can run old webinars as a simulive event — where a team member sits in on a replay and answers any questions that come through on chat. Marketers can also provide unique polls for attendees watching an always-on event or provide attendees with new, relevant information.

At the end of the day, B2B engagement is about knowing where audiences are most likely going to interact and reaching out to talk with them. Understanding your audience’s pain points is essential, but so is making it easy for them to share their concerns and questions with you. Find those opportunities within your webinar events and take advantage of them.