B2B buyers can get lots of information from provider websites but will typically need more to reach a level of trust that compels them to commit to one as a partner. Getting buyers to that desired point requires more from B2B marketers than providing facts and figures about your solutions. It requires a relationship.
One great way to advance relationships and begin earning trust with your audience is by creating a dialogue through webinars. B2B webinars are effective, multi-purpose marketing tools that can deliver valued thought leadership content, generate quality leads and further engage prospects already in the sales cycle.
So, if you’ve been ignoring webinars as a component of your B2B marketing strategy, read on to learn more about how they can help your organization.
Position your company as an industry thought leader
In an ever-growing sea of marketing emails, ads, mailers and more, getting your brand to stand out is a big challenge. Providing compelling, authoritative and innovative content that addresses B2B buyer challenges can help to elevate your organization above the crowd and showcase your thought leadership.
Webinars are an excellent tool to achieve this goal as they offer an opportunity for your audience to learn from and engage with your subject matter experts from virtually anywhere and at no cost to them. This provides a great way of adding context to your value proposition via conversation that facts and figures alone cannot.
Add new leads to the top of your sales funnel
Webinars are especially appealing to new prospects in the early research and education phases of the buyer journey. All that’s required on their part is a bit of time and attention. And even if they don’t ultimately attend your webinar, the information they provide when registering demonstrates interest that enables you to share subsequent relevant content and offers. For example, a security webinar attendee or registrant may also benefit from your whitepaper on “cybersecurity best practices” or be interested in a free assessment. You can also test the inclusion of additional registration questions such as “do you use any of the following cybersecurity tools” for even more insight.
Teaming up with other organizations to co-deliver webinars is another excellent way to add to your credibility and introduce your company and expertise to new audiences. When both organizations respectively promote the webinar, the outcomes (including your ability to capture new leads) are amplified. Each organization has already built some level of trust with their respective bases and serves as a signal to those customers that they can trust you too.
Move existing leads further down your sales funnel
Webinars are also a powerful way to keep active leads engaged and move them further down the funnel. The B2B buyer’s journey typically requires multiple touchpoints before a lead becomes a genuine opportunity for business, so webinars allow an efficient way to keep the conversation going and reach those later phases.
To gauge interest and elicit insights from your audience, consider including polling questions at a few points during your webinar. This will also help you adapt the direction of your presentation, keep participants engaged and provide points for an end-of-webinar Q&A session. In fact, Clickmeeting found that half of webinar attendees engage through chat, polls or Q&A.
Unless explicitly touted as a product or service overview, the focus of your webinar should be on delivering relevant content that centers on your personas’ needs and pain points, and solutions to address them. That doesn’t mean you can’t leverage this opportunity to convey how your company can help, but be careful to position it in the proper context.
Not only can you expect the audience to ask specific questions about your company and products during the Q&A session, this is also a great time for a short live demo about your capability, which can be so much more powerful than a datasheet or simple ad.
Lastly, hosting a B2B webinar is a great way to qualify your leads. Spending the time to attend a live webinar or download the on-demand version shows a certain level of interest and perhaps need for your company and solution.
Deepen engagement with your existing customers
Customer retention is always a goal for B2B companies. Beyond the obvious reason of protecting existing revenue, providing your customers with an avenue of additional value-added content via webinars keeps them engaged, deepens their advocacy for your brand and fosters referrals.
Webinars can also open or advance paths for wider business opportunities with your existing customers. Continually educating them on topics of interest renews their trust in you and exposes them to other aspects of your business they might not have been aware of before. Furthermore, webinars provide a convenient training tool for new members of a customer’s team and can easily be used to share best practices and tips so more value can be derived from your offerings.
Bonus benefit! B2B Webinars are an affordable gift that keeps on giving
The technology used to broadcast webinars is very affordable and you can even take advantage of free trial offers if you are not yet convinced of the long-term value. All you really need is to have an enthusiastic presenter in-house who can deliver a unique perspective in an engaging manner on a topic your audience will want to hear about.
Audiences across the globe can access your webinar without the cost of travel or need for in-person attendance at an event or conference. And because you can record your webinar, you can continue to benefit from it after the live presentation. Prospects and customers who registered but didn’t attend can access the on-demand recording and content via your website or YouTube channel. And wider prospects may learn about it from your social channels or email marketing efforts.
Putting webinars to work for you
With a better idea of the benefits that webinars can bring to your marketing strategy and business, the next step is up to you. If you want to strengthen brand awareness, boost lead generation, advance existing leads and deepen customer relationships, get started now on planning your first (or next) webinar. And to get you going, here’s a helpful checklist on how to produce a successful webinar.