Have you used webinars as a lead generation channel? Have they worked for you? Why?
Hmmm, first of all I wouldn’t call it an acquisition channel. It is a lead generating content. In my work this is the most effective content for that. But besides generating these leads, you need to nurture them to convert them into customers. Webinars can be also used to nurture the leads that are already in your pipeline.
One of my white papers is on the topic in case you’d like to know more on lead generation and nurturing
I’m downloading the paper now. I’ll take a look, thanks.
Quick follow up question: How are you driving people to your webinars right now?
I hope it helps. Let me know if you want to discuss it or have any questions.
we mainly drive audience through Social media (groups, pages etc), e-mail marketing, PPC campagns
Having a webinar/whitepaper really makes your product come off as professional.
I think you need to be at a certain level before a bootstrapper can get into creating this type of content unless you outsource or you are sitting idle with no sales and create the first few sets.
If you are a solo-shop, and your customers need so much hand holding and the sales process involves webinars it sounds as if it might be the wrong industry to be targeting, what do you think?
I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about webinars lately and have been thinking about giving them a shot. I guess my main fear is that I’ll just get stumped by someone or not be knowledgable / authoritative enough.
I’m planning to do a lot more sales calls though so maybe that will help me to feel more confident about webinars.
white papers and webinars are of course a good practice for B2B products, where the sales cycle is much longer than in B2C products.
Usually a good webinar is based on an already published research and this research is presented in a more digestible interactive form. Moreover it can be recycled by the recording distribution and publishing.
Also webinars can come as good product walkthroughs too.
To prepare one, of course, one needs a lot of time on their hands and some experience in writing and presentation.
Great insights @ValPPG.
What about attracting people to the webinar? What are your thoughts?
@CescVilanova I was thinking probably my existing network (twitter, email). For some reason it feels like it would be easier to attract people to a webinar - I’m not sure why. I just want to feel ready to actually do the webinar before moving forward with it
I’ve had a few more pre-sales calls recently and with each one I’m getting more and more confident - so hopefully I’ll be ready soon!
Of course you need to attract the right kind of audience to the webinar and of course it is all about where your audience is. Try specialized forums, twitter channels (hashtags), PPC on web resources interesting to your audience, and of course, your existing leads in the pipeline (e-mail marketing). It depends on your customer really and how they behave.
I’m just beginning to get into webinars… What I like about them is
A) Despite being known as a sales tool, you can actually provide a lot of value to attendees, especially in the open Q&A section.
B) Easily trackable sales funnel (compared to other strategies, like blogging and SEO). Figure out the cost of getting X number of attendees, calculate % who stay til the end (to see offer), calculate % who buy. Optimize and repeat.
I just want to feel ready to actually do the webinar before moving forward with it
Last month I ran my first ever webinar, mainly as a test-run. I didn’t sell anything at the end. My only goal was to see if people on my mailing list would be willing to show up, and also see what it’s like to host one. 37 people registered, 17 attended (more than I expected!). The software didn’t break either! I also found that I was much more relaxed as a presenter than I’ve been at live speaking events. Something about the comfort of sitting in my office chair I guess.
Now I feel I’m ready to do webinars “for real” by driving more traffic/registrations and making an offer at the end. My next one will be in October to promote my upcoming course launch.
So my advice would be, try doing one without selling anything at the end. Just get comfortable presenting and teaching in that format.
Since my first reply here, I’ve now done a couple more webinars. I found I really like this format and acquisition channel. It tends to work slightly better for educational products, but can also be effective for SaaS and other software.
Personally, they’re the most enjoyable way to connect with an audience and drive sales in a genuine, live, kinda way. I find I’m way more relaxed presenting live to a couple hundred attendees on a webinar, than I am speaking in front of a live in-person audience. Maybe it’s the comfort of my office or something.
@CescVilanova - I have found that it’s much easier to get people who are already subscribed to your newsletter to then register and attend a webinar. I tried driving cold traffic (ads) to a webinar registration page, and saw much lower conversion rates than from people in my audience… which makes sense.
So I think it’s best to first work on getting people to opt into your list (lead magnets), and then present an offer to join your webinar.
@kalenjordan - I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that this isn’t the case. Keep in mind those who resonate with the topic and take time out of their busy day to attend are hungry to learn. You wouldn’t be running the webinar if you didn’t know a thing or two about the topic, so in all likelihood you’re much farther ahead and well positioned to teach this audience.
If you have at least a couple hundred people on your email list, then I’d say don’t wait. Do a small first webinar, learn a bit, then do it again.
Thanks dude that’s helpful. I hadn’t even really thought about the idea that it could be an enjoyable way to connect with an audience. I also get pretty uncomfortable speaking in public and it’s not something that I really enjoy and I’d probably have to work on a lot. But with podcasting I feel a lot more comfortable and actually really do enjoy it.
I hadn’t thought about webinars in that context and now that I am I can kind of see that possibility.
I guess with sales calls I wouldn’t necessarily say that I enjoy them - I never know exactly what the person’s personality is going to be like - some people are more aggressive and it make the calls not so enjoyable. I sort of imagined webinars would be closer to sales calls than to the podcasting experience.
But maybe that’s not really the case since on a webinar you’re more in an expert role than when you’re just on a sales call, and like you’re saying people are there because they’re hungry to learn more.
Thanks for the encouragement!