Webinars are live events you invite prospects to so they can learn about how to achieve the business results they want while informing them of your products and services. This guide will help you understand how to do a webinar that generates the most qualified leads, so you can engage prospects and close more deals.
Hosting a webinar requires using high-quality audio and visual software. RingCentral, a robust voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) provider starting at $29.99 per user, per month, offers phone services and a “RingCentral webinar” add-on, letting you host virtual events and online training with up to 10,000 attendees. Participants can join from their desktop, tablet, and smart devices, providing multiple ways to engage any interested lead from a single service. Sign up for a 15-day free trial today.
Here are seven ways you can make engaging webinars that drive sales leads for your business.
1. Find a Web Conferencing Provider
Every webinar needs to be hosted on the most appropriate webinar software for the situation. There is no shortage of programs you can use to conduct a webinar, but you should check out several key features such as participant limits, webinar length limits, cost, and interactive features.
Here are the main considerations any small business should look for in webinar software:
- Planned participants: If you more than 100 participants, you will have to consider paying for a program unless your phone service provides webinar hosting. Standalone meeting software such as Zoom offers free webinar scheduling and hosting for up to 100 people.
- Webinar length: If it’s less than 40 minutes long, you can use Zoom for free, but if you want to have a longer webinar, you can purchase a plan that costs $14.99.
- Audience engagement: If you want participants to be heavily involved in the webinar, some providers such as Cisco Webex allow for participant polls to gauge the audience’s opinion without everyone having to speak up.
- Mobile access: People are constantly on the go, so you want to give them the ability to join your webinar no matter if they are in the car, at a conference, or in the office.
Teams that want a comprehensive phone system with webinar capabilities
Business users looking for high-quality webinar capabilities at a low price point
Small businesses that want collaboration tools, screen sharing, and messaging
Teams that want interactive features such as participant polls to engage their audience
2. Choose a Relevant, Engaging Webinar Topic
Choose a topic that resonates with your customer persona to define and understand who would benefit from your products and services. Cover the pain points, frustrations, and desired outcomes of your customer persona concerning the product or service you’re promoting in the webinar.
For example, you may be targeting digital marketing managers with products and services that increase conversion rates of organic and paid ads. You could host a webinar with a panel of social media engagement experts to encourage prospects to sign up.
It’s also a good idea for marketing and sales teams to work together to generate engaging webinar ideas. While a marketing team may plan the content, no one knows their customers’ needs, frustrations, and wants more than the sales reps who talk with leads every day. You can also create polls on social media that can draw ideas from people who already follow your page.
“Use an eye-catching headline that promises to solve a big problem for your target audience. Show the audience exactly how to solve that problem to establish credibility. Tell them clearly what you want to them do at the end whether that’s signing up for a trial or purchasing your product or service to help them in more depth.”
―David McHale, Principal, HailBytes
3. Promote Your Webinar to Your Audience
Once you’ve come with a webinar topic, it’s time to get the word out and promote it to your audience to get them to sign up. Direct prospects to a landing page with a sign-up form for your webinar. Your landing page should be simple, speak to their pain points, and make it as easy as possible to sign up. Then, they should immediately get a registration email and calendar invitation sent to their inbox.
Make sure the “Sign up” button is visible as possible, so there’s no question of what they need to do to register. You should also promote your webinar on your social media channels, email, and Google Ads to increase visibility.
Here are a few ways to promote your webinar.
You can segment types of people you’re trying to reach based on their title, location, skills, or groups. Share your webinar with status updates―you can also pay for sponsored updates that boost the visibility of your post and purchase LinkedIn ads priced at a certain cost-per-click (CPC) that will show up on the sidebar of the page.
This is different than LinkedIn advertising because, most of the time, people are going to Facebook to relax and socialize, not look for webinars. Consider using video that showcases a customer testimonial that tells a story about how your products and services helped businesses like theirs. End with a call-to-action (CTA) that invites them to register for the webinar.
Google Ads lets you reach people who are already searching for things like webinars and other professional development opportunities. If you have the budget, consider purchasing a Google Ads campaign so that people will see an ad for your webinar when search certain terms.
You can create posts that advertise your webinar just like you do on Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s also a great place to plug in Instagram stories or live videos that remind prospects about your upcoming webinar and give them teasers about what they will learn.
Send personalized email invitations to your webinar to everyone who is already in your prospect pipeline. Send one every week during the 4 weeks leading up to your webinar. Once they register, don’t forget to send reminder emails the week before the webinar, the day before, and the hour before.
Pro tip: You can schedule and post content for more than one social media channel at a time. Try out a tool like CoSchedule that will allow you to plan and automatically post content about your webinars, so you don’t have to remember to post reminders regularly. You have control over when each post goes live.
4. Make the Webinar Interactive
Don’t just make a PowerPoint and preach to your attendees. You need to engage your participants and make them feel like they are part of the webinar. One way to plan the content of the webinar based on participant questions. You can do this by asking a few questions in the registration form.
If you are hosting a webinar about recruiting new employees, ask questions such as:
- What is the hardest thing about finding quality candidates?
- What software do you use to source candidates? (This also gives you valuable insight about your competitors.)
- How long is your typical interview process for new hires?
- How do you incentivize current employees to provide employee referrals?
Many webinar software programs offer a “raise hand” feature that lets people ask questions as they arise. You can also use a polling feature with some programs to engage them with questions without even having to talk.
5. Leverage Your Current Customers
Your satisfied customers can serve as huge advocates and are a great source of attracting webinar participants. You can even base a webinar off of a customer success story and invite them to talk about how your product or services helped their business.
Using your current customers also serves as social proof and a testimonial to how your business can help prospects reach their goals. It also increases customer loyalty when you involve them, treating them as an extension of your team.
Consider creating a “brand advocate” program for long-term, happy customers to bring in more webinar participants. You can offer them incentives to speak about their experience during webinars and success working with your company. Offer items such as gift cards, trips to visit with team members, and company swag, such as T-shirts and travel bags. Satisfied customers are usually happy to help out, and they appreciate being recognized for their contributions.
6. Consider Co-hosting a Webinar With a Partner
Co-hosting a webinar with a partner company gives you access to more leads and potential participants. It also doubles your marketing and outreach activities automatically since you and your partner will both be advertising the webinar on your social media pages.
However, make sure whoever you partner with isn’t a direct competitor, but offers a service that compliments rather than competes with your service. For example, if you offer social media strategy, invite a partner company that offers website creation and hosting. Work together to make sure both of your products and services receive equal attention with regularly scheduled strategy meetings.
Pro tip: You don’t want the live webinar to be the first time you run through your planned content. That would be like performing a Broadway play without having a dress rehearsal. There will always be some kinks to be worked out and edits to be made once you’ve heard everything out loud.
Do at least one or two run-throughs before the day of the webinar to give yourself time to make adjustments to your webinar format. You can do them by yourself or invite team members to participate―they can provide valuable feedback. Plus, if you practice beforehand, you’ll discover any technical glitches that need to be addressed with your software, and you’ll sound more natural once you’ve practiced what you’re going to say.
7. Be Intentional About Following Up
First, make sure you record the webinar and send it to participants who registered but didn’t attend so they can watch it on demand. Send a follow-up email to everyone who attended, inviting them to take a next step like attending a live demo or signing up for a free trial. It’s also a good idea to offer special promotions or discounts to those who registered as a thank you for participating in the webinar.
Sales and marketing teams must work together to do the best follow up. Create lists of people who registered for the event but didn’t attend. Create a separate list of people who attended. Disperse them to sales reps equally and make sure they are documented in your customer relationship management (CRM) and put into the sales funnel so that you don’t forget to follow up with them individually with phone calls, emails, or thank you cards.
“A successful webinar shares tons of free value to your audience. You don’t want to give too much away, but you want your audience to feel like their time was well-spent. After the webinar, provide next steps like signing up for an online course or your email list. If your audience feels like you can help solve their pain points, then they are more likely to take you up on your offer.”
―Becky Beach, Digital Marketer & Business Blogger, MomBeach
How Making a Webinar to Drive Leads Works
Creating a webinar that drives leads by attracting your target audience. It involves knowing your audience, creating engaging and relevant content, and promoting it to your prospects. Having a compelling landing page, and a good social media promotion strategy are the best ways to drive leads to your webinar. Following up with webinar registrants and participants quickly is also essential to turning those leads into customers and generating revenue.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do webinars help drive leads?
Webinars give prospects engaging content that helps them improve their businesses and informs them about the products and solutions you can provide to help them reach their business goals. People register for webinars because they want to learn from industry experts about how to tackle their own business problems―and determine if you can help.
How effective are webinars?
What are the best ways to promote a webinar?
The best ways to promote a webinar involve having an engaging landing page that invites people to sign up and promoting your webinar with Google Ads and on social media. It’s also helpful to have your current satisfied customers promote your webinar on their own pages.
Bottom Line: How to Make a Webinar That Drives Leads
Developing webinars with relevant content is an excellent way to drive leads and create new business opportunities. It’s important to understand your target audience, create engaging content, and promote your webinar across several channels to get as many participants as possible. You also must conduct thorough follow up with all registrants to move them from interested prospects to making a buying decision.
Use quality webinar hosting software to get the most engagement from participants. RingCentral offers four different plans to accommodate nearly any business size and offers a webinar feature that allows you to use interactive Q&As, live polls, and participant chat to ensure optimal audience engagement. Visit its website to sign up for a 15-day free trial today.