This question came into the Manufacturing Marketing Matters podcast queue recently, and I believe it is a common question among B2B manufacturing companies:
A sales manager at a 50 person metal fabrication company in the Midwest submitted this challenge question. "Hello Bruce, I've been listening to your podcast, and I'm a little frustrated with this idea about sharing expertise instead of talking about the product. We need high-quality leads, and we need them now, not six months down the road. How can we get quick lead gen by sharing expertise?"
Here's my response:
Thanks for submitting the question, Rob. It's true that sharing expertise or, sometimes called, content marketing, does take time. If you aim to position your company as the go-to expert and top of mind among your target audience, you should expect to stick with it for at least six months before you start to see results. It could take up to 18 months to see a significant return. By the way, it is well worth the investment in time and resources to pursue the TOMA position as the expert. However, I understand your sense of urgency. I hear it from manufacturers all the time and I get it. You need hard core, quality leads for your sales team.
The good news is that there is a solution that will quickly position your firm as the credible expert and generate high-quality leads in a short span of time.
Educational webinars can generate hundreds, sometimes thousands, of quality leads in a short span of time. Note that I said 'educational' webinars. Most webinars are done very poorly and offer very little value to the audience. If you produce a webinar that is entertaining, educational and helps the audience solve a problem, you will generate leads who are ready to hear from you. If you generate the run of the mill, boring, product centered webinar, I can tell you from experience, you won't get many, if any, leads.
Here are five secrets to creating an educational, lead generating webinar in a short time:
- Choose a highly relevant topic that your target audience cares about. Often a topic that makes their job a little more manageable is a good one.
- Educate and share your expertise, don't focus on yourself, your company, or your product. Focus on the audience.
- Use engaging tactics such as polls, quizzes, and interactive chats when you broadcast the live webinar.
- Be sure to use at least two speakers. One voice droning on is tedious.
- Follow up with an email offering a link to the recording and the slide deck. Send this email to those who attended and those who missed the live broadcast.
The registrants and attendees to these educational webinars are your high-quality leads. Be sure to assign someone to contact each person who registered personally. If you had 100 people register, it's a good bet that 5 to 10 are ready, willing and able to buy your product at that moment. The rest of them will place your company and offering top of mind and remember you when the day does come when they need your product.
If you were to start planning an educational webinar today, you could have 200 (maybe more) quality leads added to your sales pipeline within 30 to 45 days.