Over here at Intelligent Demand, we’re constantly checking out new trends and keeping up with best practices to make sure we stay current. This week, we have decided to dispel some myths about a form of content we think has a lot to offer.
Behold the web seminar, or webinar. A species native to the environs of marketing and PR, this venue of delivering content is the subject of much speculation and lore. But what really are the benefits of the webinar? Actually, there are plenty.
Webinars have been catching some heat for a while, so when ReadyTalk came out with an eBook all about webinar myths, we dove right in. They address the concerns about costs, attendance, and even lead quality. Let’s talk about what some marketers are saying and why some of it isn’t exactly accurate.
1. Webinars cost an arm and a leg
The actual cost of running a webinar depends on how much you promote it, what technology you use, and if you’re hiring a guest speaker. However, hosting a webinar doesn’t have to hurt your wallet. There are a number of ways to decrease your costs:
- Limit attendance – Make your webinar something that only the first lucky 50 respondents can get in on.
- Increase cadence time between webinars – Give your listeners time to breathe and digest between webinars.
- Only record when absolutely necessary – Managing recordings can be time consuming, and we all know that time is money.
- Set clear goals around promotion – Knowing exactly where your marketing dollars are being spent will help you keep track and manage unnecessary costs.
- Follow up with attendees immediately – Decrease lag time when awaiting responses and see conversions come faster.
2. The price per lead is too high
An average of 20-40% of webinar attendees turn into qualified leads. If you can minimize the cost of setting up your webinar, then you can significantly reduce your cost per lead (CPL). If you are seeing a lower rate of qualified leads, consider tightening registration questions or adjusting content to attract a better-suited audience. Better content will help your leads be more engaged and interested in your product.
3. Webinars produce quantity, but not quality
Webinar attendees have already sacrificed their time to hear what you have to say, so why not capitalize on that? Remember, they don’t have to remain just a name and an email address—consider surveying attendees to learn why they are attending and then afterward, to see if they found it valuable. This will help you see if you are hitting the right audience and will give you ideas for future content.
4. Something always goes wrong
There are a few things you can do to guarantee a smooth webinar. First, do a dry run to see how things are going to work. Next, have a plan B—another way to dial-in, slides to print out, or a backup presenter. Lastly, consider switching webinar providers—there are many players in the space and some are definitely more reliable than others. We use ReadyTalk over here at ID. Explore your options and know which feature sets fit your business.
5. Everyone is doing them, so they aren’t effective
Or consider the other side of that coin: that everyone is doing them because they work. Webinars have proven themselves to be a very effective method for presenting premium content. Besides, plenty of people may be doing them, but not everyone is necessarily doing them well. Your mission is to differentiate your webinars from the crowd. Have something to say? Convince people that they need to hear it!
6. They’re boring and not interactive
They don’t have to be. Include surveys, polls, Q&A, and other interactive tactics to keep your audience engaged. And of course, themost effective thing you can do to make your webinar or webinar series effective is to have a good speaker. Think David
Attenborough or Morgan Freeman or Christopher Walken—then actually consider someone who knows your industry and can speak in an engaging manner. A recent survey showed that 48% of people thought webinars were least enjoyable when the speaker was sub-par.
7. Promotion is expensive
There are tons of free ways to promote your webinar series online—that’s the beauty of the Internet! Utilize your blog and social networks to promote your webinar effectively, and design an engaging webinar invitation email. Constantly share, post, and send updates leading up to the event date. You’ll be surprised how much simple social promotions will improve your attendance.
8. People never attend.
It’s important to manage your expectations when it comes to attendance. The 2013 Webinar Benchmark Report said that only 42% of registrants actually attend the webinar.
Increase attendance rates by doing a giveaway during the event and sending a reminder email. This is also a good opportunity to analyze the surveys and identify what attendees like and don’t like. Optimize your content from there. For the no-shows, send the recording/deck out and maximize your registrant list quality.
Now…go make a great webinar happen!
Hopefully some of this material changes your perspective of webinars. When you’re developing a marketing strategy, they should not be left out.
Interested in getting started with webinars at your company but in need of some help? Does your webinar content need a facelift or process overhaul? Give Intelligent Demand a holler—we’re always here to help.