6 Types Of Webinars That Convert Leads Into Customers
There are many goals that you can set for your content marketing strategy. However, there’s ultimately one objective: to increase your conversions. This goal is achieved by generating relevant content that attracts, engages, and educates your target audience. One type of content that is incredibly effective in this process is the webinar.
A webinar is a form of video content. It differs from other video content types because it doesn’t require the same high production values to engage its audience. Webinars tend to be long-form videos focusing on interviews or presentations. They can also be streamed live, which gives them a unique advantage over other types of video content. By implementing a successful webinar strategy into your content marketing efforts, you’ll quickly find that your ability to convert prospects into leads — and leads into customers — will improve drastically.
Why Webinars Are So Effective At Improving Conversions
There are many reasons why webinars are so useful when it comes to improving conversions. First, webinars are a form of video content. In general, human beings are much more engaged by video content than they are by any other kind of content, including text-based articles and static images (such as pictures or infographics). There’s one primary reason for this: roughly 90 percent of all the information that your brain processes are visual. It’s easier to capture someone’s attention using visual content. On top of that, a person’s eyes are automatically attracted to movement, which means that moving images engage people more than static visuals.
Of course, these are advantages that also apply to other forms of video content. Yet, there are several advantages that webinars have that are unique as well. The following are a few of the reasons why webinars, in particular, are so beneficial to your ability to convert viewers:
Improve Your Brand Authority
Webinars allow for in-depth discussions on specific topics. It’s a waste of resources to have a webinar that’s only five or ten minutes long. People who register for your webinar expect an extended presentation. By going in-depth on a topic during your webinar, you will showcase your brand authority and increase trust. Webinar leads will be much more likely to convert as a result.
Provide High Value
The more in-depth your webinar is, the more valuable it is to your audience. When you offer value, you give your audience a reason to convert. What makes webinars incredibly useful is their ability to nurture leads through every part of the sales funnel. For example, you may have leads who have already engaged with your brand watching your webinar. The webinar may be enough to push them into the direction of a sale. On the other hand, a prospect unfamiliar with your brand may have signed up for your webinar because they are familiar with your guest speaker. The webinar then acts as an introduction to your brand and can convert them into a strong lead.
Engage Your Audience More Effectively
Webinars use one or more speakers to deliver information. Their presence engages audiences because it gives viewers the chance to relate to real, onscreen personalities. Interactive Webinars are even more engaging. Your audience will be able to engage directly with the speaker via a live comment section, which is not possible with other video content types.
Learn More About Your Target Audience
If you host an interactive webinar, you can find out how your audience feels about the topics you’re covering, allow audience members to post questions during a live Q&A session, and directly ask the audience questions. Any comments that viewers post are points that you can leverage to understand better who your audience is and their needs.
Repurpose As Video Content
Once a webinar has finished streaming, you can repurpose the video you recorded for your content marketing strategy. For example, you can post the webinar in its entirety to your website, or you can offer it as a gated piece of content on your resource page that leads can access if they sign up to your email list. You could even go the extra mile and edit your webinar down into videos that you can publish over time.
Build Your Email List
By requiring your audience to register for your webinar ahead of time, you can build your email list. Not only will your webinar attract leads that you’ve already been nurturing, but you may attract completely new prospects due to the topic of your webinar. You could also co-host a webinar with another business within your industry. Co-hosting can increase both your brands’ exposure and expand both of your email lists.
A webinar can do everything that an in-person presentation, such as a convention or a seminar, can do, but for much cheaper. You don’t need to rent space to set up the presentation, nor do you have to pay to travel anywhere. Instead, all you need is access to a webcam and a webinar app. The cost of producing a webinar is so low that as long as the webinar is of high quality, and you properly promote it, you should see a high ROI (return on investment). Your ROI could be higher if you’re able to turn your webinar into repurposed content as well.
Types Of Webinars That Increase Conversions
When you think of a webinar, you may think of a video presentation that’s streamed live. You might also assume that this limits what you can do with a webinar. After all, you don’t have nearly as much freedom as other types of video content regarding the production and post-production elements of a webinar. However, a webinar presents many options in terms of how you can present a topic. Consider these examples of different types of webinars that have been proven to convert:
Product Demo Webinar
A product demo can showcase precisely how your product works, which can help to convert your sales leads into customers. Some businesses will even use product demo webinars to encourage leads to sign up for a free trial, which will push them closer to becoming customers. Because of this, product demo webinars are useful to have on your website as evergreen content; however, you can also use them to generate brand awareness and excitement. For example, you can perform a product demo while you live-stream a new product reveal.
Educational webinars are webinars that help to generate new leads. They should inform viewers about relevant topics and address the needs and challenges of your audience. Educational webinars are useful because they allow you to leverage your expertise, which builds brand authority and trust. This will also let you nurture prospects that you can then convert after the webinar has ended. Additionally, depending on your industry and your audience’s needs, you may be able to offer continuing education credit with your educational webinars – such credit is often necessary to maintain licenses or earn certificates.
Producing webinars that address your industry as a whole can boost brand awareness and credibility within your industry. If you’re a newcomer or a small to mid-sized business, this can be a great way to generate more attention for your brand. For example, suppose new regulations were passed that will have a significant impact on your industry. In that case, you could create a webinar that goes into detail about these regulations, their impact, and how companies can plan to ensure that they stay compliant.
An exclusive webinar can be any type of webinar that’s only accessible to specific viewers. Exclusivity makes people feel special — and those who are restricted from access will feel like they’re missing out. This fear of missing out can help drive them to do whatever is necessary to gain access, such as signing up for your newsletter or subscribing to your service. Those who have exclusive access will feel like they’re being rewarded with added value, which will increase their brand loyalty.
Panel Discussion Webinar
A panel discussion is a discussion among professionals with a high level of expertise on a specific topic. A panel discussion can help attract new prospects who registered to watch one of the professionals on your panel, but who end up becoming more familiar with your brand and your expertise during the webinar, leading to new leads. Panel discussions are also a great way to showcase your brand authority.
Usually, a keynote webinar consists of a speech or presentation delivered by a single speaker accompanied by visual aids, such as a slideshow, to help keep the audience engaged. Because keynote presentations are carefully planned with visual aids, they can be more structured and educational than panel discussions or Q&As.
What Makes A Webinar Successful?
While there are many types of webinars that you can host, and there are undoubtedly many benefits to hosting them, there’s no guarantee of success. A poorly done webinar can hurt your ability to convert leads into customers and cause you to lose potential leads. Plan to implement the best practices for creating a successful webinar.
1. Focus On A Relevant Topic
A webinar will only be successful if you choose the right topic, meaning that the subject matter is relevant to your audience. The speaker (or speakers) can demonstrate their expertise. If you don’t pick a relevant topic, you’ll have a tough time attracting your target audience. And if your speakers don’t have in-depth knowledge of the chosen subject, your webinar won’t offer much in terms of value. Take the following steps to make sure you pick the right topic for your webinar:
Check Your Website Analytics
Website analytics can give you insight into what types of content get the most engagement from your visitors. Metrics such as the number of visitors, time on page, social shares, and click-through rates can help you identify subject matter that appeals to your audience.
Ask Your Customer Base
Asking your customers what topics they’re interested in or have questions about is an excellent way to identify relevant issues. You can use your social media presence to ask followers what they’d like to hear more about or email your customers a survey.
Research In Your Selected Niche
In addition to figuring out what your audience wants, do some research to see what types of webinars businesses in your niche have produced. Seeing what other organizations in your industry are doing can give you some ideas about what webinar subjects tend to be successful. You might even stumble on a webinar that drew a big audience that you think you could further improve upon.
2. Use A Credible Host
It helps to have a well-spoken host. However, even if you did find such a host, they still need to know the covered topic. Even more important is that you use a credible host. They don’t have to be the best speaker of all time as long as they have expertise in your niche. Your audience will forgive a host for not being a smooth talker as long as they have credibility.
3. Prepare For Everything
Your audience won’t remain engaged very long if there’s no structure to your webinar. You need to plan your webinar out in advance. Prepare an outline, speech, or list of questions ahead of time. Whoever your host or main speaker is should rehearse what they’re going to say. You should also time the presentation. Be sure to schedule out chunks of time to different parts of the webinar. For example, if you want to end your presentation with a Q&A, you should schedule a certain amount of time for it (such as the last 15 minutes of a one-hour webinar). You should time this out carefully to prevent having your webinar run too long.
4. Use Visual Aids
If a single speaker hosts your webinar, consider implementing visual aids, such a slideshow. Watching a single person for a long time can cause viewers to lose interest. Visual aids help keep audiences engaged, but they can also help illustrate the points the speaker is making more clearly, ensuring that viewers don’t get confused.
5. Promote The Webinar In Advance
To make sure that people register for your webinar, you need to promote it. Use your social media presence to promote the webinar and provide users with a link to the registration page. You should also send an email to subscribers with information about the webinar. In addition to advertising your webinar ahead of time, make sure that you send reminders to everyone who registered (such as the hour before it goes live).
6. Make Sure The Webinar Is Technically Sound
Using a webcam is relatively easy, and it’s not difficult to check to see if the video is working or not. However, sound can be a little more tricky. The sound is arguably the most critical element of a webinar. Make sure that you’re in a location where you’ll be able to hear the sound. Avoid areas where you can hear outside traffic or that create a lot of echoes. Investing in a real microphone instead of using the built-in one on your computer will not waste money.
Before going live, do a dry run to make sure that there are no technical problems. It helps to have someone who can address technical issues in real-time oversee the recording and streaming of the webinar.
How To Convert Webinar Prospects Into Sales Leads
Although your main goal is to increase customer conversions, webinars are also beneficial for generating new leads. Make sure that you’re leveraging your webinars to attract prospects so that you can convert them. The following are a few tips that will help you do just that:
Create A Webinar Landing Page
Promoting your webinar will help spread awareness, which will help you to attract new prospects. However, try to make it as easy as possible for those prospects to register for your webinar. Build a landing page for your webinar that prospects can find on your website, and link to this landing page whenever you promote the webinar. Make sure that the content on your landing page targets your ideal customer’s challenges and needs.
Online advertising can be a very effective way to target prospects who you identify as potentially high-quality leads. You can do this by using Google Ads or Facebook Ads (along with various other social media advertising platforms) to target specific demographics. However, to ensure that you’re targeting prospects who are more likely to convert, you need to know precisely who your webinar’s target audience is.
Setup Email Marketing Automation
Emailing your prospects once they’ve signed up for your webinar is an excellent way to nurture them. Merely interacting with them will help keep your brand at the top of their minds. Your emails will also show them that they matter to you. Both of these things can help lead to conversions down the line. Consider setting up email automation to send the following emails to registered prospects automatically:
A pre-webinar email should thank the prospect for signing up for your webinar. You should include an introduction to the speaker or speakers of the webinar. Briefly describe what the webinar will be about and what the benefits of watching will be. Doing so will help generate more interest so that the prospect doesn’t skip the webinar or forget about it. Finally, make sure you include the webinar’s date and time and a link to the page where they can stream it.
A simple email thanking the prospect for viewing the webinar should be sent out right after it is completed. If you plan on posting the recording to your website in the future, let them know that you will send them a link. You could also take the opportunity to recommend content that’s relevant to the webinar they just viewed.
How To Convert Webinar Leads Into Customers
If your webinar is successful, then your leads should be a step closer to converting into customers. However, you can’t just assume that they will take the next action on their own. The following are a few tips on converting your webinar leads into customers after the webinar has ended:
Perform A Survey Following The Webinar
Ask your audience to complete a survey following the webinar. Many webinar programs have polling features that you can use. You’ll want to ask the viewers questions about the webinar they just watched, such as whether they thought it was excellent, good, average, or bad. You should also ask about their interest in the topic. Such a survey can help you determine how you can improve your webinars in the future and help you identify leads that are ready to convert.
Follow Up After 24 Hours
Be sure to follow up with your leads within 24 hours while the webinar is still fresh in their minds. Although you’ll want to send thank you emails to those who watched the webinar, don’t forget to email leads that registered but didn’t attend. Just because they didn’t watch the webinar doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested. Provide them with information about what they missed to help stoke more interest and then let them know how to watch a recording of the webinar. If you published the webinar online, send them a link.
Use all of the information that you collected from your registrants to segment your leads into hot leads, warm leads, and cold leads. An example of a hot lead is someone who watched the entire webinar, responded to your survey positively, and participated in the webinar by posting comments or asking questions indicating genuine interest. A cold lead might be someone who didn’t engage at all and left the webinar after ten minutes. By segmenting your leads, you’ll prioritize who to engage with further to increase your customer conversions.
Send Personalized Follow-Ups To Best Leads
Once you’ve segmented your leads, send personalized follow-up emails to your hot leads. These leads are ready to buy and don’t need to be slowly nurtured through the sales funnel. Use the data you’ve collected to personalize your follow-up so that you can successfully encourage them to make a purchase.
Nurture Less Engaged Leads
While your hot leads are your best chance at closing a sale, don’t ignore your less engaged leads. The leads that you’ve identified as warm just need to be nurtured a little more until they are ready to convert. Cold leads may seem like a waste of time, but you should still engage with them. For example, maybe they gave you negative marks on the post-webinar survey. An email asking what kind of webinar would be more appealing to them can help keep them engaged.
Empower Leads To Take Action
Your leads won’t know what to do unless you give them a little push. Ensure that whatever follow-up emails contain a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages your leads to take a specific action, whether it’s to check out another piece of content that you think is relevant to them or to sign up to a free trial. If you don’t empower your leads to take action, you won’t convert them.
Webinars Generate The Most Engaged Leads
As most businesses know, the more engaged your audience is, the better the chance of conversion is. After all, why would anyone convert if they weren’t engaged with your marketing efforts? And as far as content that drives engagement goes, few types can beat a webinar.
Webinars drive engagement like no other form of content for a myriad of reasons. First of all, webinars give businesses the chance to educate viewers by providing in-depth information. Off the bat, this helps increase brand authority and trust. Secondly, because webinars focus on an actual person providing a presentation, the audience will relate to your brand on a human-to-human level. Finally, the ability to interact directly through questions and answers means that the audience can participate.
If that wasn’t enough, when a person registers to view a live webinar, it indicates that they are already interested in your company in one way or another. As previously mentioned, they wouldn’t give up their time to view your webinar if they weren’t interested. Knowing this makes it easier to keep them engaged throughout the webinar. And if your webinar was successful, then the interest your audience had should increase significantly, which means that they are much more likely to convert into a customer and remain loyal to your brand. While there are plenty of other effective content strategies that can drive engagement, few have the kind of power to engage and convert that the webinar has.
Take Advantage Of The Right Type Of Webinars
The ability to attract new prospects, drive engagement, and increase conversions should be more than enough to convince you of a webinar’s potential. Not to mention that webinars are much less expensive to produce than other forms of video content, allowing for a potentially sky-high ROI. However, it’s crucial to understand what goes into creating a successful webinar and choose the right webinars for your particular audience. Only then will you be able to take advantage of webinars to achieve your marketing goals.