Webinar numbers have rocketed in recent months, but even in the 90s, business webinars were quite popular—just a bit different. They began as a way for companies to host smaller meetings, and some were pre-recorded. Today, they can be an invaluable lead generation tool, as most of the popular platforms can now handle unlimited attendees and participate in interactive question-and-answer sessions.
The Evolution of Webinars
It’s reported that the average time an attendee remains tuned in and listening is more than 60 minutes. Businesses that hold these online sessions have been getting better and better at engaging the audience and making them not only sign up—but stay. If you want to provide value to your target market, don’t leave the webinar out of your content marketing strategy.
Since business webinars are gaining even more traction than their earlier days—with the help of better technology—they can significantly boost your marketing and sales efforts. Now is the perfect time to learn why and how to utilize this tool. Let’s explore what makes people intrigued enough to register, and how webinars can position you as a leader in your space to increase sales and retention.
Make Sales Without Selling Hard
Webinars feel more inviting than forceful (which is a reason we love inbound), so people freely sign up to hear what you have to say. Your future listeners are likely busy—if they opt to spend their time listening to you, you know you’re doing something right.
Generate New Leads
Almost every business is driven by leads, yet most businesses lack high quality lead-generation. Business webinars are a great way to attract new eyes, generate new leads, and ultimately convert new customers.
Qualify New Leads and Build Relationships
The way to build lasting relationships is by giving value first—without expecting much in return. Education is the first step to making a sale. Business webinars give you the opportunity to teach your leads and help them understand why your product or service is valuable in the first place.
Webinars allow your audience to put a name with a face (and a voice with a name). They allow you to build personal relationships and have real-time conversations.
Invite Guests and Leverage Their Audiences
Guests aren’t just for better exposure—you can also borrow your guests’ credibility. Bringing on an industry expert will further position you as an expert, since that person is associating their name with your brand. This will also work to increase overall excitement, attendance rates, and social media sharing.
Speed Up Your Sales Process and See ROI Faster
The fact of the matter is, companies live and die by cash flow. So the faster you can convert a lead into a customer, the better. Business webinars can help speed up that process. They take all the initial funnel steps and merge them together, creating opportunities for you to build trust, deliver value, and kill objections—all in an incredibly short period of time.
Steps to Creating Business Webinars That Sell
Now that you have a greater sense of why business webinars are so useful, let’s walk through how you can create one so it can work its magic for your company, too.
Set a Clear Goal
It’s critical that you define your goal from the start—is it to sell? To get leads? Define your goal metrics. For instance, what amount of leads or revenue will make you happy and let you know that your business’ webinars are a success?
Choose the Right Topic
Be careful not to bite off more than you can chew by offering your audience the world all at once. Instead, focus on a single opportunity or solution at a time. You can always plan a full series of multiple episodes to make more points in the future, but don’t cram or your session will feel disorganized and hard to follow.
In other words, be as specific as possible. Promise real value and make sure you deliver it. Talk about the “why”—why they have the problem they’re experiencing. Then show them the “how”—what needs to happen in order to solve this challenge. Make things feel customized so people feel like you understand them. People want to feel like they’re being spoken to directly, so make it personal and relevant.
Know Your Audience
Buyer personas will help you customize the experience so the audience knows you care and understand their issues.
If you don’t know how to create a buyer persona, you can learn here. Some basic (but crucial) questions to keep in mind when you’re planning talking points are: who will be attending? What challenges or problems are they facing? What are their goals?
Get People to Sign Up
To convince people to attend live business webinars, you have to engage them. If you want a highly effective campaign strategy, try the following:
- Social media promotion
- Promotional email series
- Engaging designs and copy on a landing (registration) page
Keep in mind that, although some may find it handy to receive a recording of your presentation after the live session, live attendees are going to give you the strongest opportunity to close the deal. In fact, up to 40% of live attendees become qualified leads—so recordings should be offered as an addition, not an alternative.
Be Confident in What You’re Selling
Consider the value of your product or service—how can you expect other people to believe in your business if you don’t? Let your passions and enthusiasm show in each episode to help get people hooked. This kind of attitude is simply contagious.
You might try creating a special offer. For example, giving your audience a discount on the service you want them to buy (or a service that might lead them to buy, eventually) for attending can create a sense of urgency. And of course, close strong to make it feel worth their while.
Follow Up With Attendees
Nurture email series are great for follow-ups, refreshers, recaps, and making more offers—even enticing them to join your next webinar. As we mentioned, your listeners will appreciate a recording of your business webinars in the email sequence.
This is also where scarcity and timing come in, because a limited window of time will urge people to action. Few things get people moving faster than deadlines. For instance, if a discount is only available for a week after the webinar, those that tuned in will probably feel the need to act quickly.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while you build the presentations for your business webinars. If it helps, make a list so you don’t miss anything.
These items will make it more likely that your presentation will lead your attendees to see you as a valuable resource and a trusted leader in your field. They’ll want to tell their friends about the great information they got from your company—and maybe even sign up for a future webinar, becoming a long-time listener!
Make the Title Irresistible
Your topics must always be goal-oriented—in other words, specific to a particular pain, fear, or ambition of your customer. The title must promise complete satisfaction in a way that customers cannot resist acting upon. They need to not only sign-up, but show up, and remain on the line throughout the entirety of the show.
Be enticing. Come up with something they won’t be able to turn down. If people are having trouble saying no, you’re on the right track for an amazing turnout.
Make the Introduction Brief
Consider people’s attention spans and cramped schedules. They might have any number of commitments: a full-time job, children, sick or elderly loved ones, pets—people have packed days.
Assume it was tough for them to take time out of their day to log in. Thank them for coming right off the bat, then dive in.
Show them you respect their time by starting promptly and getting to the point. Fluff is not your friend. Thirty- to sixty-second introductions should suffice here, so lay a framework and move on. If you don’t capture their interest quickly, they could jump off the call and return to what they were doing.
Create Hunger for More
In your business webinars, set the expectation that they will be learning something they haven’t heard before. Give them a reason to show up to your next session. Insights and next steps should be crystal clear. Use stories to illustrate and punctuate. Guide prospects in ways that encourage them to ask more questions about what else you can offer.
Don’t let this be the last time you talk to them. You want your sign-off at the end of each episode to be a “see you later” rather than a “goodbye.” They should have gotten a good taste of what you can do for them and be confident that you’re the top resource in your field—meaning they’ll return for more.
Don’t Forget a Call to Action
By the end of the webinar, listeners should want more from you—more clarity, more insights, and more specific details about you or your business. Your call to action gives them a way to satisfy that—and it gives you a lead, even a sale. All your content should have purpose and instructions, so to speak, for continuing the relationship.
Tips and Best Practices for Webinars
Don’t overlook these next points if you want your presentation to really stand out from the rest. Remember, you won’t be the only businesses doing these, so make each webinar count!
- To develop top-notch business webinars with quality that will get your audience to take you seriously, invest in the proper technology. Get your hands on a good connection and platform, with clear sound and no lag. Do test runs with your internal team or special guest so things run smoothly.
- Don’t use a text-heavy presentation deck. You need to keep your deck appealing and fast-paced. People won’t read much, especially when you’re already there to talk them through everything. Too much text could distract and frustrate your audience members.
- Provide something that feels like a “free gift” or bonus for attendees, no matter how small. Perceived value is still value.
- Be gracious. You can never thank them too many times for logging in to be with you during your business webinars.
- After a webinar, it’s smart to repurpose it for other types of content, including blogs, content offers, and videos.
- Give a Q&A session. Interactivity differentiates webinars of the past from the more technologically advanced, live ones today. The more interactive the better. Make sure you leave time at the end—or even throughout, if you like—for real-time access. That is direct, uninterrupted access to the speaker. You can prepare possible questions so there’s no awkward silence if listeners are too shy to unmute and participate. They’ll still appreciate the option.
- If you like how your business webinars are coming out, document your process for easy repeatability and higher chances of success in the future.
Uhuru Webinar Series
How do we know so much about business webinars? We do webinars ourselves at Uhuru, so we speak from experience (never take the word of anyone who doesn’t). When you’re ready to take your webinar education a step further, we welcome you to attend one of ours and get a feel for what it’s like. In the meantime, check out this article that includes a comprehensive guide on how to plan your next webinar.
We hope you add this fantastic marketing tool to your strategy and see immediate success. We’re happy to help however we can!