How to Plan a Succesful Webinar
The key to producing webinars that actually drive the kind of leads your sales team will love is proper planning, nurturing, and "smarketing."
How to Plan a Webinar
Great webinars don’t just happen. You can’t expect to throw something together in a week or two and expect it to be a massive hit.
“But, I did that once before, and it was a hit.”
No, it wasn’t. Okay, maybe it was, but that is not a recipe for success. That’s not how companies who rely on webinars to generate leads and revenue do it in a repeatable fashion.
Three considerations for creating a great webinar
Timing is Everything
If you expect people to attend your live webinar, you need to consider the timing. For instance, if your target audience is national or international, you need to consider the time zones by finding a time that works for everyone or running multiple events to accommodate your audience.
Also, be respectful of people’s time. Ensure your webinar starts on time, so your audience isn’t left hanging and your presentation isn’t rushed.
Promote Your Webinar
If you don’t promote your webinar, don’t expect any attendees. And if you’re only promoting it to your existing contact lists, don’t expect any new leads.
Promoting your webinar is a multi-prong approach. You should be using social media, paid social and display ads, content marketing, and email marketing to drive traffic to your registration/landing page.
Learn more about the marketing services that can make your webinar a kick-ass success.
Practice Makes Perfect
Don’t wing it. This is a live event, you get one shot to leave a great impression, so make every effort to do that.
You’ll want to do a dry run at least a week before the event to make sure you are comfortable with the webinar platform, the audio and video controls, and that your guest speakers are comfortable with the subject matter and webinar format.
Learning is real-time is not what you want to be doing.
Post Webinar Follow-Up + Nurturing
If you struggle to turn webinar attendees into clients, you might want to start by looking at your follow-up steps.
Just how great webinars don’t come together without effort, registrants don’t turn into customers without some serious nurturing. Part of your webinar preparation needs to include a nurturing process. Remember, the average prospect needs 8-10 touchpoints with your brand before they’ll engage. The webinar was one, what are the other 7-9?
Identify who will own the responsibility of follow-up, what the purpose of each touchpoint will be, how you’ll deliver them (i.e. social media, email, phone call, etc.), and when they’ll go out.
We’ll be blunt, a webinar without a follow-up plan is a waste of time.
But, proper follow up is difficult. You have to:
- Stay on top of the timing
- Make sure people who engage early are removed from the campaign to avoid confusion
- Sync contacts and data between multiple marketing tools
- Track the effectiveness of each touchpoint.
This is where a tool like HubSpot comes in super handy.
Yes, “smarketing” is a made-up term, and yes, it is ridiculous sounding. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not essential for webinars and all other digital marketing campaigns.
“Smarketing” is achieved when sales and marketing teams engage in frequent and direct communication to align on common goals.
The intention is to have measurable outcomes that each team agrees to hit, so there’s mutual accountability. For instance, marketing should have a goal for webinar attendees, nurture touchpoints, and a defined process for passing qualified leads to the sales team. Where sales have goals for how quickly they need to connect with the qualified leads, providing feedback to the marketing team, and logging new deals.
“Smarketing” goals should be made together and re-evaluated every regularly to identify opportunities for improvement on both teams.