February 11th, 2019

The Marketers Guide to Running a Successful Webinar

This is an excerpt from our white paper, The Marketers Guide to Running a Successful Webinar. Download the full white paper here. 

What is a Webinar?

A two-decade-old marketing tactic and tool, the word "webinar" is a blend of the two words "web" and "seminar" and directly correlates to a seminar conducted over the internet. Having driven leads, engagement, and results for companies around the globe, webinars are currently used by more than 60% of marketers as part of their content marketing strategy (Content Marketing Institute).

Webinar Tools

In our State of Webinars survey, we discovered that 70% of all marketers would not recommend their webinar tool. That's because there is a disconnect between the relevance of webinars as part of a marketing strategy and the process of hosting them. This is a result of tools that require large downloads/plugins, an extensive workflow with multiple tools and outdated software design. Marketers should be focusing on driving engagement, generating leads, and sharing valuable content instead of focusing on the logistics of running a webinar. 

Why We Love Webinars - and Why You Should Start Hosting Them

Webinars are one of the best ways to tell the story of your brand. They are often a combination of slide presentations or product demonstrations. With busy work days and a globalized world, it can be difficult to get product experts and evangalizers together in a physical space. However, with webinars, this becomes attainable. They help you connect your team and thought-leaders no matter how busy they are or their physical location. 

Webinars are also extremely effective lead generators. They are two-touch campaigns: on one side, an email campaign to promote the webinar and on the other, the webinar itself. Prospects that are interested have to sign up for the webinar, which immediately converts them into your lead database. Effective follow-up campaigns after the webinar can guarantee that these highly qualified leads are passed on to the right channels. (Forrester Report: Top-Performing Tech Marketers Use Webinars As A Portal to the Buyer’s Journey (2011).

Webinars are a visual way of educating your audience and showing the product, all at the same time. And according to Forbes Insights, 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than actually read a text.

In our State of Video Marketing report, we found that only 6% of all produced videos are between 15 and 45 minutes long; yet, they account for 28% of the engagement driven by all lengths of video. This means that longer video formats, such as webinars, do not disengage the audience or scare them away but are a way to drive more engagement and education than just a teaser video. The relationship that develops after a half hour long webinar is more sustainable, also in terms of ROI. Even for smaller companies, webinars are very easy to scale as you can reach large numbers of people at once. Additionally, by integrating the webinar tool with your CRM and marketing automation tools, engagement and lead scores will be automatically updated, allowing you to nurture prospects on a whole new level.

Checklist: Building a Webinar

Planning, Format & Content

Half the battle of running a successful webinar is finding the right content and right format (the other half is promotion, attendance, follow-up, etc). When you are starting from scratch, the first step to a successful webinar is to proactively plan.

• Define your goals and expectations. When is your webinar a successful webinar? What are your success metrics? Is it the number of sign-ups, the leads generated, the deals closed?

• Think about the setup. How long will the webinar be? When is the perfect timing to host the webinar? Where can you host the webinar? And who else do you need to involve?

• Build the content. Do you want to give a presentation? Will another speaker give a product demo? How long will you talk on camera? If at all?

To download the full white paper that includes a webinar checklist and successful use-cases, click here.