B2B marketers are in a strange place. There’s more money going into marketing than ever before, but marketers are more uncertain than they’ve ever been. Marketing budgets, according to a recent report by Demand Gen Report, are going up by 20 percent or more. But a joint ON24, Heinz Marketing report found that 67 percent of marketers consider their content strategy somewhat or not at all effective.
So what is effective? Demand Gen Report examines what works in “What’s Working in Demand Generation In 2019?” The report found that marketers can effectively balance their approach to new strategies, like account-based management and peer-to-peer review sites, with traditional tactics like direct mail and webinars.
Webinars, in particular, are an effective way to connect with prospects across all stages of the marketing funnel. According to Demand Gen Report’s “2019 Demand Generation Benchmark Report,” 58 percent of demand gen marketers say webinars are the most successful tactic for top-of-funnel engagement. Nearly half, 48 percent, say webinars move prospects through the rest of the marketing funnel — from mid to bottom and closed — effectively.
How Webinar Marketing Empowers Digital Results
Why are webinars an effective digital approach? It may be because marketers are using webinars in more conversational and personalized formats. Jon Russo, CMO and Founder of B2B Fusion, says webinars are becoming a “must do” channel.
Our own Mark Bornstein offers his own theory as to why webinars are a useful tool:
One of the biggest changes we have seen in webinar marketing is the move to more conversational formats, such as panel discussions. [Buyers] don’t want to be lectured to; they want to participate in conversations where panelists are talking to each other but also including the audience in the discussion. This type of conversational marketing increases audience participation and content retention. It’s for your audience but also good for you as the more you interact with your prospects, the more you learn about them.
With engaging, conversational content, marketers can gather the data they need to refine messaging for targeted audiences and accounts, enabling popular strategies like account-based marketing.
Learn more about webinars
- Three Lead Gen and Pipeline Trends to Look Out For in 2019
- Meet the Deminar
- Freshen Your Webinars with Tweaked Formats
- The Three Rules for On-demand Webinars
Webinars Formats That Drive Conversations
A panel of knowledgeable experts provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to interact and learn from industry thought leaders. Depending on the audience, panels can be as casual or as formal as necessary. Just know what panel webinars entail — they can require a lot of organization.
Presentation webinars may seem like a one-sided affair, but modern webinar suites offer a range of interactive tools like polls, surveys, Q&As and chat rooms. It’s very easy to put an in-house expert, or spokesperson, on a webinar to showcase updates, introduce new products and answer questions from attendees.
Some attendees want to learn from experts. So, conduct an interview. Interviews are a great format allowing organizations to sit down with an industry leader and draw out a better understanding of an industry trend. Audiences, too, can ask questions through the chat tool or collectively decide on a theme with polls.
Live Case Study
Case studies allow prospects to fully evaluate product and solutions based on how other organizations use a given service. Webinars provide an excellent medium to share case studies, especially when a satisfied customer shares their experience and interacts with an audience.
Webinars provide a range of opportunities for marketers to engage with prospects (and customers) at every stage of the funnel.