Most webinars just plain suck. There, I said it and I don't regret it. Many manufacturers have put on webinars and nobody came to the party. The conclusion, webinars don't work, are a waste of time and don't generate leads. There is some truth to this conclusion because most webinars are done very poorly and are about a topic nobody cares about; your product or your company.
If you're one of those manufacturing marketers who are a bit skeptical about webinars and may have even reached the conclusion that they don't work, ask yourself this one question. Was the webinar about my product and/or my company or was it about something the target audience actually cares about? I bet your answer is "it was about my product".
... if you choose the right topic and you make the broadcast a little more interesting than one voice over a PowerPoint deck. I just did a webinar for a client last week that generated 600+ qualified leads that was not about their product but did use the tips listed below.
These 7 tips are guaranteed to help you produce a webinar that will generate qualified leads, improve engagement, and increase awareness of your brand and offering:
Tip 1 - Know your audience and choose a topic that they care about. Solve a problem, help them improve their career or make their day a little easier. Know their pain and help them relieve it. Know their problem and help them solve it. The topic should not be about you, your company or your products. Make the topic about them.
Tip 2 - Don't say too much about your company or your products. It's important to let the audience now who is presenting the information. Make the connection briefly then move on to the useful information. Make an opening statement about the company as a sponsor and a closing statement asking the audience to consider [ABC Company] for solutions, services or products such as [super duper widgets]. State, up front, that you will not be talking about the products. This simple statement tends to put the audience at ease.
Tip 3 - One way to lose your audience right away is to talk about yourself and/or your company at length as an introduction. It's a good idea to share a few sentences about why the speaker has authority to propose a solution, but keep it brief. The audience already believes the speaker has credibility or they would not be there. Credibility should be established during the registration process and briefly as the moderator introduces the expert.
Tip 4 - Use at least 2 speakers. Two voices and personalities are much more interesting than one. You can use a moderator and a subject matter expert, or you can use two main co-presenters. I would not advise using more than 3 people because it can get confusing as the audience tries to put together voices with names.
Tip 5 - Use the interactive tools such as pointers, highlighters, polls and quizzes provided by the webinar platform. The audience wants to participate and will be much more engaged if you let them interact. Use polls, surveys, question-answer sessions, drawing tools and any other tool offered by the platform. Try asking the audience a question requesting that they answer via the chat window. This is a great way to get their attention and a sure way to get some lively engagement.
Tip 6 - A series of 3 or more webinars is much more engaging than just a one-off webinar. A series acts as its own nurturing program, allowing you to establish your firm as the go-to expert, establish TOMA (top of mind awareness) and credibility throughout your target audience.
Tip 7 - Follow up after the live broadcast, especially with those who registered but did not attend. Offer both attendees and non-attendees a link to the recorded webinar, slide deck and any associated information that supports the webinar content. You can also offer the webinar as an on-demand class via your website or on 3rd party web sites.
Bonus Tip - Make sure you promote your webinars to a wider audience than just your house database. Webinars are a great way to engage with the people in your target market who may not know about your company. Give them the gift of education and they will want to get to know your firm and its offering. When the day comes along and they do need to buy what you are selling, you'll get the call because you helped them solve a problem, relieve pain or to be better in their profession.