How to Create Great Webinars to Fill Your Sales Funnel
Wondering how to master the science and art of creating great webinars to fill your sales funnel? The popularity of webinars has been growing as more businesses rely virtually on filling their pipelines and growing sales. Here’s how you make your webinars successful from the top to the bottom of your sales funnel!
“They take the old teleseminar/speaking model to a whole new level” – Russell Brunson, Dotcom Secrets
Quick Reference (you can jump to specific sections below)
- Webinar Fact Sheet
- Why Are Webinars Effective At Filling Your Sales Funnel?
- Seven Key Steps In Creating A Successful Webinar For Demand And Lead Generation
- How To Ensure Your Webinar Fills Your Sales Funnel
- Ways to Improve Your Webinar
Webinars are one of the most versatile ways of drawing in your audience. They allow you to share engaging content that motivates buyers to purchase your products and services. With many different webinar formats, they never become uninteresting to your buyers. But, like any other content, creating a successful webinar for demand and lead generation must be done carefully and strategically using the right marketing tactics.
Let’s take a deeper dive into how webinars can help you across your digital sales funnel, how to set them up, and how to promote them to generate demand and leads for your business.
Why are webinars effective at filling your sales funnel?
Some of the greatest challenges in building your sales funnel is finding high-quality leads and closing deals. With engaging platforms, remote working conditions, and a need to stay informed, webinars’ popularity has grown. Webinars have been proven to be an important part of your integrated marketing communications strategy and demand and lead generation. In fact, a 2019 survey revealed that 58% of demand generation marketers think webinars are “the most successful tactic for top-of-funnel engagement.” Also, 48% stated that webinars “move prospects through the rest of the marketing funnel effectively.”
Top of the Funnel
In this stage, the emphasis is on generating awareness and interest. As a sales rep, a major struggle is getting potential buyers to speak with you because they prefer to do their own research before reaching out. However, webinars allow you to combine their research stage with interaction with sales leaders or industry experts. So, when you host only one webinar, it has the possibility to generate over 1000 leads for your company. But what is most interesting is that it does not generate just any leads. 73% of B2B marketers say a webinar is the “best way to generate high-quality leads.” Having good quality leads makes you more likely to receive a response from them and close the sale. In such rapidly advancing industries and with highly competitive quotas, webinars can be the key to having a successful sales funnel.
Middle of the Funnel
In this stage, the emphasis is on lead nurturing and providing solutions to their problems. It is essential to solidify the trust and relationship that you have already started to form and demonstrate how products like yours can solve their problem. This will help your buyers swiftly move to the bottom of the funnel.
Goal #1: Sharing Information
When your buyers are trying to gather information about your product, a webinar can give them live Q&A sessions where they can get prompt responses. Also, you can conduct product demonstrations so they can see and hear firsthand how simple and effective your product is.
Goal #2: Relationship Building
By observing your audience’s questions and interactions, you can find out more about them, which helps you personalize your marketing and build better relationships. As you continue to lead nurturing, webinars are also useful to generate emotions that influence your buyers. A study revealed that consumers’ subconscious emotions have a large impact on purchasing decisions. So, when you have a webinar that establishes a human connection early on, you will be in a better position to nurture and convert your leads.
Bottom of the Funnel
In this final stage, buyers are very interested in your goods and services, but they need a final nudge to convince them. Using a webinar, you can answer your consumers’ last questions immediately. Showing live product demonstrations, case studies and discussing your after-purchase support and customer experience are great ways to encourage your buyers to purchase your product. Webinars have been proven to be effective at the bottom of the funnel as well because of their incredible conversion rates. Whereas an email campaign may get a conversion rate of 1-5%, a webinar can have a conversion rate of around 20% – four times as much as the best email campaign.
It is evident that webinars play an essential role in all stages of the digital sales funnel for demand/lead generation and conversion. However, if they are not done properly, then they can have a negative impact on your business. For example, if you provide untailored or uninteresting content, then you can lose your leads. To avoid these blunders and get the most from your content, here are seven steps for creating a successful webinar.
1. Determine what goals you want to accomplish
Based on the stage of your digital sales funnel, you may be pursuing different goals, such as demand or lead generation, gaining interest in your product, converting leads to loyal customers, and/or increasing demand, among others. It is important to determine what you want to achieve because it will help you decide on your target audience and the content and format of your webinar. With a goal in mind, you can align the rest of the webinar planning with those objectives. So, you will be in a better position to generate the outcomes you want, and you’ll know what to measure to determine the webinar’s success.
2. Understand your target audience
Once you have chosen your goals, it’s time to determine your target audience. Consider the industry, specific companies, and who in the organization you are looking to reach. Then, based on this information, you can understand what issues they are facing and what they need to do to solve them. Understanding who your target audience is will allow you to create relevant and personalized content, product offerings, qualifying questions and more effective campaigns to promote your webinar.
3. Develop content based on your target audience, stage of the funnel and goals
You can share a wide range of content, such as information about your goods/services, details about the issues in your clients’ industries or product demonstrations, among others. Regardless of the type of content you choose, ensure that you have aligned it with your goals and the needs of your target audience. Also, consider the stage of the digital sales funnel that you are targeting. For example, when you are nurturing your leads, it is better to choose content that highlights your product’s benefits and positions you as the best in the market.
4. Four different webinar types
- Panel: These types of webinars allow you to have multiple people from your organization sharing their knowledge and expertise. You can even bring industry leaders to discuss their industry issues for lead generation purposes. This would be best for the top and middle of the funnel webinars where you are trying to acquire leads and demand for your products and services.
- Q&A: This type of webinar is more interactive and engaging. One or more speakers from your organization will answer the questions that your audience asks. Q&A webinars are best when you are at the final stage trying to answer any lingering questions about your product. Also, this type of interaction is what creates an engaging webinar. Research has shown that 92% of viewers want the webinar to end with a Q&A session, so you should incorporate this into all types of webinars.
- Interview: This format usually has a presenter and an interviewer. It is best when you are trying to prove your expertise and knowledge at the top of the sales funnel.
- Single individual presenting: This type of webinar is best when you are trying to share specific information, case studies, details about your product/service or cost to acquire.
Each type of webinar is appropriate for a specific stage of the digital sales funnel and goal that you are trying to achieve. So, choose the webinar style that will help you accomplish your goals.
5. Find your presenter
Choosing your presenter is a key step in the success of your webinar. Nothing ruins a webinar like a monotonous, uncharismatic speaker. In fact, recent research showed that 52% of people said that webinars were more enjoyable with a good presenter. A webinar provides personal interaction, allows you to build relationships with your buyers and attaches emotions to the decision-making process. It is well-known that emotions and mood affect consumer behaviour. So, when you put your buyers in a positive mood, they are more likely to buy your product. Having a personable, enthusiastic and charismatic presenter can make the webinar more engaging and leave a lasting impression that will encourage your buyers to purchase your product.
6. Create your visual aids
If you have chosen a single-person presentation format, then you need to create a PowerPoint. Ensure that you are keeping the visuals engaging and informative so that you can keep your attendees’ attention. If you choose another format, then you may want to create handouts or infographics that your audience can download or use to follow along with the presentation.
7. Determine the time and place
After you finish planning the webinar, it’s time to determine when to air it. In general, research has shown that the middle of the week, from Tuesday to Thursday at 10-11 AM is the best time to host it. Also, you must determine the length of the webinar. If the webinar is too long, then you risk losing the engagement from your consumers. But if it is too short, it may not be viewed as valuable. It was found that “67% of registrations are for 60-minute webinars” as opposed to only 8% for 30-minute webinars. So, webinars that are one hour long are optimal.
When considering where you’re going to host your webinar, make sure that you look at what technological capabilities you have, your budget and the different webinar services/software available to you.
How to Ensure Your Webinar Fills Your Sales Funnel
Creating a successful webinar for demand and lead generation doesn’t end here. After planning and creating your company’s webinar, it’s essential to begin the promotion process to generate interest and gather participants.
When you are promoting your webinar, you need to ensure that you create a webinar registration page that has relevant, honest and engaging information. This is the page that you will share in your promotions, so you want it to be user-friendly and peak your audience’s curiosity. However, it’s essential to only provide accurate information on what your webinar will cover because if your attendees do not receive the value that they thought that they signed up for, then you will lose those leads.
Now you can begin promoting. How you choose to promote your webinar depends on a few factors. For example, your budget, the channels your target market is most active in and the stage of the digital sales funnel are important to consider. It’s important to note that “59% of registrations occur less than a week before the webinar,” so advertise extensively at that point in time.
There are four main advertising methods.
- Social media. This method is best when you are still at the top of the funnel trying to generate demand and awareness about your product. Sharing your webinar information on social media will get the information out to a wider audience so that you can have more registration and attendance.
- Your website. Using your website allows you to target buyers that are already interested in and researching your company. This is best for the top and middle of the funnel webinars.
- Email campaign. This is especially useful for the middle and end of the funnel webinars. You can directly contact high-quality leads by using your current customer and prospect email list that you generated when hosting past webinars. Email is very effective and in the past, email has generated 57% of webinar registrations.
- Paid advertising. This is best for the top of the funnel when you are trying to generate awareness and demand. Paid advertising can allow you to target specific audiences and have prime advertising placement. However, using some of the above free methods is better and still effective if you do not have the budget for paid advertising.
Congratulations – you promoted it, generated lots of interest and finished hosting an amazing and informative webinar! But the work doesn’t stop here. Following up is just as important for demand and lead generation as creating a good webinar. Following up with buyers at the top or middle of the funnel will help them progress to the next stage. If your buyers are at the end of the funnel, then following up will enhance their customer experience, keep you in communication with them and, ultimately, build more trust, loyalty and sales.
Here are four things you can do in the follow-up stage:
Send a follow-up email to all registrants. All registrants should receive a recording of the webinar. Be prepared to send a different email to those that attended and those that didn’t. If you have a platform that tracks who stayed for the whole webinar, you can further segment your list and email sequences.
Those that attended. Thank your viewers for taking the time out of their day to participate in the webinar. If they attended the full webinar, encourage them to share and refer back to it. If they hadn’t seen the whole webinar, encourage them to go back and watch the replay. Also, at this time, you can share an offer, encourage them to book a meeting or demo, reply with questions, or whatever the next desired action you were hoping for from the webinar. Sharing a short feedback survey can help you understand what to improve on for future webinars.
Those that didn’t attend. Send them an email encouraging them to watch the webinar. Share a webinar recording with an offer or call to action.
Send follow up content. If consumers have learned about your product and are not ready to buy, then you can add them to a lead nurturing campaign. If your audience was at the top or middle of the funnel, then you can send information for future or past webinars with similar topics. This is also a great time to share other blogs, whitepapers or videos. You may want to provide a free trial, demo or provide a case study if they are in the middle or final stages of the sales funnel.
Identify your qualified leads. Firstly know who your ideal audience is. Align your webinar to their pain points at the right stage of the funnel. Also, promote it across the right channels. Then, you have taken all the right steps in attracting your ideal audience. However, usually, you may want to limit the registration form questions to encourage enrollment. So, you can’t always tell how qualified a lead is from the registration form. There are additional ways to gather and determine a qualified sales opportunity.
Gather more information to identify sales opportunities. During the webinar, it’s an opportunity to gather more information about your attendees and here’s how.
- Take polls and ask questions to get attendees to share more information about themselves. Ask about their pain points, industry, size of the company, etc., to narrow in on the most qualified for follow-up.
- Evaluate those most interested to prioritize your follow-up focusing on those more sales-ready.
- Track those that attend the full webinar VS those that only partially or don’t attend.
Ways to Improve Your Webinar
Analyze the data that you have gathered from your webinar. This can help you determine how to improve your results next time. The first important metric to look at is the attendance rate. Although it varies by industry, a rule of thumb is that 40%-50% of registrants attending is a good turn out. Next, look at how many of your consumers stayed until the end to see how much value the webinar added. Having an 80% retention rate is considered to be good. Analyze the feedback survey you sent to registrants to address gaps. Then, review the questions you were asked during the webinar. This can help you determine if there was any content you needed to explain more in-depth. Also, review your promotions. For example, what media sources drove the highest registrants and did you do any a/b testing against messaging and creative?
When used properly and created strategically, webinars are incredible tools for demand and lead generation and conversion. But webinars should not stand alone and you should continue to produce other content. Using webinars in conjunction with blogs, whitepapers and others can make your digital sales funnel more effective.