In remote and hybrid working environments, webinars have become increasingly popular due to the ease of access and ability to watch on-demand, any time. Most webinars are also free of charge, saving you and your team money versus if you were to attend a conference or tradeshow that would take up some marketing budget. While webinars are being utilized across all industries, B2B webinars have certainly become one of the primary ways to distribute information, and even gain quality leads.
Data shows that B2B marketers use of webinars increased to 67% compared to previous data and 89% of marketers believe webinars outperform other channels when generating quality leads. The appeal for using webinars as a marketing tactic lies in the fact that these events allow you to engage with an audience and generate interest for your products by demonstrating thought leadership in the space. However, producing a webinar can take a great deal of time and effort and creating a standout, engaging webinar takes even more resources and time. Thankfully, there are a few best practices that you can use to inform your webinar strategy and derive greater results. Follow these “3 P’s” of creating and delivering stand out B2B webinars.
1. Plan Activities in Advance
With so many moving parts involved with producing a webinar, it is important to begin the planning process well in advance. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to prepare all details from start to finish. This could include securing guest speakers, planning the marketing activities you will use to promote your event and preparing the presentation materials.
When planning presentation materials, the first step to producing a webinar is deciding on a topic. A good way to go about this is you want to be educational and not overly promotional. Most people do not want to spend an hour listening to you talking about how great your product or service is. Instead, think of ways that you can give your audience valuable content that they can take away and apply to their company or work environment.
Another thing to plan is the date and time your webinar will take place. While the date and time might not seem important, there is a strategic approach to choosing, especially for B2B webinars. As far as time of day, it is a common best practice to hold your webinar toward the middle of the day, keeping in mind the various time zones your audience resides in. According to research, 10AM to 11AM or 1PM to 2PM are the best times to hold webinars. When thinking about the day of the week, avoid the early part of the week, as most professionals are more overloaded with work earlier in the week, and will be catching up on tasks that occurred over the weekend. Fridays should also be avoided, as many people are ready for the weekend. The best days to aim for are Wednesday and Thursday.
2. Promote Your Upcoming Webinar
Once you have determined the topic of your B2B webinar and finalized the date and time, you can move forward with promoting the webinar. Pre-webinar marketing is important because if people aren’t aware of your webinar in advance, they’re less likely to attend.
When reaching out to potential attendees to drive registrations, it is important to be straight-forward in the benefits of attending the webinar. Keep email copy short and lead with the top benefits. With so many webinars taking place, it is important to differentiate and stand out from others.
Most webinar registrations happen around a week in advance. Therefore, it is important to time your promotions to be close enough to the event so that people pay attention. Additionally, reminder emails, sent the morning of the event, have been shown to drive attendance to the live event. Including a link to a calendar invite to block off someone’s calendar makes it even easier for registrants to add your event to their calendar and ensure they attend.
3. Post-Event Follow Up
Once the live B2B webinar is over, make the most of it by promoting the on-demand version as soon as you can. This way, registrants who were unable to attend the live event can still experience the webinar. In addition, consider embedding the slides and/or recording into other marketing channels such as your blog, social media and email marketing sends.
B2B webinars are an effective method to generate leads, grow your database and establish thought leadership. Following the “3 P’s” of Plan, Promote and Post-Event can help ensure that your hard work pays off and that your webinar is successful.