As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to change the way marketing and sales function in a time of social distancing, the rise of webcasts and webinars has been astronomical. Many companies are turning to a digital format to combat the loss of exposure from cancelled tradeshows and events.
However, hosting a webinar without a clear plan for how to gain leads from the virtual event can be a waste of time and resources. This blog will help you to understand how to get qualified leads from your virtual events both now and after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Improve The Webinar Experience
The first step to gathering valuable leads from a webinar is to ensure that people are attending. After all, it doesn’t do much good to have a plan for sales outreach after a virtual event if no one attends in the first place. To help ensure that your webinar has a large pool of attendees to nurture, here are some steps to provide a quality experience for guests.
1. Offer High-Value Content
The subject of discussion at your webcast needs to be one that will attract attendees with a high-value content offer. If you are planning a web event that has been done over and over again, it’s unlikely that many qualified leads will make the time to attend.
2. Short and Sweet
If you want to target decision-makers and higher-ups at your webinar, you’ll need to keep the actual event short. The higher up on the executive chain the target is, the less time they will have available to dedicate. The absolute maximum time your web event should be is 45 minutes.
3. Have a Q&A Session
Ending your webinar with some time to answer questions will help attendees feel more open to reaching out and interacting with your company. If someone doesn’t get a question answered but can see from the Q&A session that you have knowledge and expertise, they will be more likely to contact you after the webinar wraps up.
Market your Web Event
If you don’t spend time marketing for your web event, it’s unlikely anyone but your existing network of contacts will hear about the webinar. While it’s good to continually give your current customers and leads quality information, if your goal is to gain new business through a webinar you need to market the event correctly.
1. Reach out to Influencers
To capitalize on the power of referral, reach out to influencers in your industry that can help your event reach a wider audience with more valuable players in it. When a recommendation for a virtual event comes from a trusted industry source, the right types of leads are more likely to tune in.
2. Create a Landing Page
When you use a specific event landing page, you can gather the pivotal information from attendees, and, if you have the right CRM tools, can quickly respond to new sign-ups with automated messages. By including your information in these messages, you can start conversations before the event begins.
3. Use Social Media
If you are hoping that your webinar will be highly attended by qualified leads with just a landing page, a couple calls, and a few emails, you’ll end up disappointed. Using social media, both through posting on your own channel and by using targeted, paid ads, will help you get the message of your event in front of the eyes of people who you want to have as leads.
Create a Sales Funnel for Webinars
Most salespeople are accustomed to gathering information on leads at tradeshows through conversations with booth visitors. Speaking to people one-on-one to gather leads isn’t possible in a webinar setting, and is one of the biggest challenges salespeople face when transitioning to a digital sales approach.
However, creating a sales funnel specific to webinars can aid with discovering leads and ensuring that no one is forgotten in the digital landscape. Elements of a successful sales funnel for virtual events includes:
- A landing page that sets clear expectations of the event
- A thank you email with a link to the event and options to add the event to the attendees calendar
- A short series of lead up emails that remind attendees about the upcoming event
- A follow up email that includes a recording of the webinar and your contact information
- A nurture campaign after the event that gives webinar leads related information and more opportunities to contact and connect with salespeople
With these elements of the sales funnel in place before the start of the web event, you can ensure that you’ve taken the necessary steps to gather data and reach out to new contacts.
Follow Up in a Timely Manner
If you haven’t collected information on your attendees or reached out in a pre-webinar campaign, salespeople have little choice but to wait for interested leads to reach out to them. Putting in the proper marketing plan before the web event will help you have your list of leads after the webinar ends. But it’s important to follow up on those leads quickly.
If you sit on the leads from a webinar for too long, they start to lose interest in the subject of discussion and your company, having moved on to other things. Send out an immediate follow up after the end of a webinar, and include a recording to the event. While automation can help nurture most of the leads from the event, salespeople can look into the data of the attendees and pull out the most qualified leads for a more personal engagement.
Webinars are quickly becoming a staple marketing and sales tactic. And, as the current pandemic situation has shown, if you don’t have a solid digital marketing and sales program, you can lose out on big revenue opportunities. If you are interested in improving your digital presence, or want to learn more about technology options for your business, contact ManoByte and set up a call with us.