In a head-to-head comparison of an educational webinar versus a product webinar, the educational webinar wins hands down, every time. If you share expertise and educate your target audience about some problem they struggle with on a regular basis, you will generate 100's of qualified leads for your sales funnel. Check out these real life success stories.
Many manufacturers who begin reading this post will recall past webinars that failed to generate any interest. I hear it all the time, "We tried webinars, and they don't work for our business." For those skeptics, read on with an open mind. I'd be willing to bet that those of you who have tried webinars unsuccessfully created a webinar about one of your products or a new product launch. In that case, you're right, webinars about a product or your company simply don't work. You have to give your audience something they can use. Solve their problem.
If you were to produce even one educational webinar offering your unique expertise to address a problem via education, I guarantee you would get hundreds of attendees knocking down the door to hear your experts tell them how to solve a perplexing problem. How does that sound? Imagine being in front of (virtually) several hundred people who are in your target audience and solving their problems or making their lives better. You can and should include webinars as a primary activity in your manufacturing marketing mix. Here are 5 compelling reasons to use educational webinars in your marketing mix:
1. Educational webinars generate demand and create tons of high quality leads to the top of your sales funnel
- Nothing generates interest and engagement like a webinar that educates the people in your target audience. If you pick a relevant topic and give away useful information, you will attract hundreds or even thousands of the very people in your target audience who will one day purchase your product. It's important to remember that only a small percentage of the people who do attend your webinar is ready to buy at the moment when they sign up or attend a webinar. But, the overwhelming majority will eventually purchase the thing you are selling. It is essential to continue to offer relevant and useful information on a regular basis. A series of webinars is the best way to position your brand and your offering top of mind with your target audience. If you really want to be a superstar and take market share from your competitors, repurpose the content into an enewsletter or other regular nurturing programs.
2. Educational webinars establish your brand and your offering as more credible than the competition.
- Which firm is more credible; the one who pounds you with their corporate spin and product features or the manufacturer that helps you to be better at your profession or relieve some pain in your daily tasks by sharing their expertise via educational events and activities? I can tell you from experience the latter destroys the former every time. The best way to demonstrate credibility is to prove it by sharing expertise. Don't confuse expertise about your product with expertise that helps the people in your audience. Check out this MM Matters podcast for more on that topic.
3. Educational webinars are a gift to the very people who will one day purchase what you manufacture.
- Giving a gift of education to the people in your target audience evokes a desire within them to reciprocate. When the day comes around, and the people who attended your webinar (which made their lives better) are ready to purchase the thing you are selling, they want to reciprocate and buy from you, not your competitor. Top of mind awareness (TOMA), credibility and reciprocity are a killer combination.
4. Webinars offer great engagement metrics that will impress your executive leadership team, the sales team and validate your marketing team's strategy and tactics.
- Unlike other content marketing tactics, webinars offer straightforward and easy metrics that will quickly prove your success. Imagine telling your CEO that your most recent webinar put your manufacturing experts in front of 2500 prospective customers. ( I achieved this result with a manufacturing company - read about it here.) If you have the proper tools in place, you can also show how your webinars series directly generated revenue. You just might even be able to impress the CFO!
5. Educational webinars will grow your business and enable you to take market share from your competitors.
- You'll get the attention and engagement of a much larger portion of your potential market by helping them to be better through educational webinar events which share your expertise. While your competitors are stuck in the old ways of sales and marketing like trade shows and brochures talking about their products and their so called global leadership position, you're helping the people in the market. You get TOMA, credibility, reciprocity and you take the business from your competition.