Everyone is trying their hand at webinars, and they’ve never been more popular, given the current situation we find ourselves in with COVID-19. But, just because you put on a webinar, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to have a massive queue of potential attendees waiting to sign up.
You’ve probably registered for a few webinars in the past; however, there’s also a good chance that you didn’t take part in some of them that you signed up for either.
Even if you did attend, did you end up purchasing any of their products or services? Probably not. The truth is: most webinars don’t have high conversion rates.
According to invespcro.com, you’re only likely to have a 5% to 15% conversion rate, even on your very best day.
Once your attendees are in place, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope that you’ve found the right audience to market yourself to.
There are many vital factors you need to put into place before you can generate any kind of reliable income from a webinar.
Attracting High-Quality Registrations
To generate more leads and increase your ROI, you need to first focus on honing your messages to increase your conversion rates, by undertaking the following:
Refining Your Audience
If the goal of your webinar is to collect targeted leads that will eventually go on to buy your product or service, then you first need to pinpoint who’s going to be interested in what you’re offering.
Put simply, this means you need to know exactly who’ll be tuning in to your webinar.
To clearly define this, you’ll need to create and target key demographic personas, for example:
Your persona should include pain points, frustrations, and the desired outcome of your demographic concerning the product or service you hope people will connect with through your webinar.
There are several different ways you can go about gathering this information:
- Surveys: By setting up a pre-webinar survey, you can ask customers, subscribers, and social followers what they want and need. There’s no harm in picking up the phone if you need more targeted, in-depth information too.
- Current Customer Data: Find existing customers who have purchased a similar product or service that you’re featuring in the webinar. This way, you can get an understanding of the kind of messaging and advertising positions they responded to.
- Webinar Registration: You can continue to enhance your target demographics during the registration period by collecting additional information on your registration forms.
Set Up a Targeted Landing Page
Image from Instapage
With the information you have gathered during the demographic persona phase, you can create your webinar registration landing page. This is when you’ll get the opportunity to use those pain points, frustrations, and desired outcomes that you uncovered in the previous stage.
The single most important, and only target of this registration landing page is to encourage potential attendees to sign up for your event.
Keep this step as simple as possible by asking for their information, such as their name and email address.
Your copy and choice of imagery should convey to your visitor exactly why they should be signing up for this webinar, virtually from the moment they land on the page.
Essential components of a high-converting landing page include:
- A compelling title and meta description – this helps ensure that you’re attracting the right kind of audience before they’ve even landed on the registration page.
- An explainer video will detail what the event is about and get visitors excited about what is to come.
- Easy, a straightforward copy should highlight the main benefits of attending the webinar, and an appropriate, value-driven call-to-action will attract more sign-ups.
- Social proof is a powerful thing, which is why it’s essential to utilize reviews, testimonials, and social comments in your page design.
- Creating urgency and the idea of scarcity will induce FOMO and compel users to act now, with the knowledge that there is only a certain period left to sign up and a limited number of spaces on the webinar.
Most webinars are free to attend, and while that might sound obvious, you must highlight this. If your prospects have even the slightest hint that the webinar might cost them money, they’ll probably avoid it altogether – also if it will benefit their business.
Remember to remind your audience that it’s completely free to encourage more people to sign up.
In 2017, one-third of all webinar attendees watched the entire event on demand.
This statistic tells us that people wish to consume content when and where it is convenient for them to do so.
Smartphone access has shifted the way we can consume media through on-demand platforms, which puts the viewer firmly in the driving seat.
Recognizing this shift in the way we interact and consume media means that offering a replay or allowing your attendees access to on-demand content will naturally entice more attendees due to the flexibility.
On-demand access also presents the opportunity to continue to promote your event well after the live date to continue generating leads.
Promote to the Right Audience
The old andic of, if you build it, they will come…could not be more off base in this scenario, unfortunately.
To tap up the right audience to attend your event, you’ll need to promote your webinar through a multitude of different channels:
Spread the Word to Your Current Audience
Letting your current audience know about your webinar is an excellent jumping-off point, and the perfect way to start spreading the word.
Of course, they’re already familiar with your work, so they are much more likely to opt-in to your event, but it allows you to nurture your current audience to continue to build on your pre-existing trust dynamic.
Below are a few different ways to let your current audience know what you’re up to:
- Create an email campaign and focus all your content on the webinar and ensure all the CTAs encourage conversion for the webinar.
- Update your social media cover photos, post updates, and create an event on Facebook to let your audience know about your webinar.
- Set up an affiliate scheme to encourage your audience to spread the word.
- Ask your most loyal customers and clients to share the event with interested family, friends, and colleagues.
- Utilize your sales team to reach out to their contacts and share the information personally,
- Use lead capture methods, such as pop-ups, hello bars, and exit-intent pop-ups – albeit sparingly – to let your website visitors know what’s happening.
Use Paid Advertising to Increase Audience Reach
Paid advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach brand new, targeted audiences more quickly than other organic methods.
The great thing about paid advertising is that it allows you to segment audiences on a more granular level.
This means you can put your message in front of the right people at the right time to maximize click-throughs and conversion.
Image from Instapage
LinkedIn is a fantastic, and often underutilized, B2B marketing tool.
46% of all B2B sales social media traffic emanates from LinkedIn, which means you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t utilizing it correctly.
You effectively have all the information you need right in front of you, where your audience has already willingly presented their roles, skill sets, interests, and geographic location.
Besides the opportunity of sharing your event with your connections, you can also leverage the power of paid advertising, where you can reach a larger audience, using:
- Sponsored updates – Increase your visibility well beyond your immediate connections by boosting updates that have already performed well organically. From here, you can use LinkedIn’s targeting options to ensure the post is shown to the correct audience.
- LinkedIn ads – These ads will appear in the sidebar and are priced on a cost-per-click basis, similar to Google Ads. You can test the waters with a small budget at first to see whether it’s an effective use of your budget.
- LinkedIn lead forms – This feature will help you to maximize the efficiency of your LinkedIn ads. Simply include the CTA for your webinar, so any interested parties can be taken to a form, which will already be populated with their LinkedIn profile information. Then all they need to do is click ‘submit.’ This process is convenient for a few reasons; firstly, you know all the information you’re receiving is correct as it’s being pulled directly from LinkedIn, and secondly, it’s seamless when someone is using a mobile device.
Image from WordStream
With over 2.6 billion monthly users, Facebook is an incredibly useful platform for promoting your webinar to almost any kind of audience that suits your business.
However, there needs to be a little more planning than there is with LinkedIn advertising. This is because Facebook is used primarily to unwind, relax, and socialize.
Users typically don’t log in to Facebook seeking the solution to a problem, to learn to do their job better, or, in this case, looking for a webinar.
Consider your Facebook Ads, as more of a series of interactions with a target audience in which you tell a story and cultivate relationships that will, in time, lead to the conversion, using the following:
- Content promotion – Clicking a link and reading the proceeding content is not something that takes a great deal of effort, which why it can be categorized as a “low-commitment action.” These low-commitment actions will help to widen the entry to your ad funnel, build awareness of your brand, and lower the cost-per-lead of your eventual webinar adverts. As you drive more visitors that show an interest in your content to your website, you can create custom audiences and retarget them with ads later down the line.
- Engagement – Part of the journey towards improving responses to your webinar ads, is sharing posts that encourage participation amongst your community. These opportunities help to generate awareness, create trust, identify the best leads, and pinpoint how your perfect audience discusses the needs and challenges that are presented to them.
- Webinar lead generation – When you let people know about your webinar using Facebook Ads, be sure to match your audiences with the messages you’re sending about. For example, you could talk about their pain points, and if we look back at “Lauren” our demographic persona from earlier, she’s concerned about the ease of use of her current CRM system. At this point, you could explain that your webinar will offer up solutions to her problems. Ensure that when you’re talking to people that you’re personable and, above all, relatable. After all, people come to Facebook to connect with others, and they’re unlikely to respond to a lengthy, jargon-filled sales pitch.
- A consistent user journey – Test varying ad copy and imagery to target various audience segments. It’s possible to created dedicated webinar registration landing pages that match the message of each segment. This means you can deliver a wholly cohesive user experience throughout a user’s journey.
- Lookalike audiences – When you begin generating leads from your ads, you can use the information of the registrants, with express permission, to create a GDPR friendly lookalike audience that helps to continue molding your ideal audience.
No matter how you decide to promote your webinar, be sure that, you’re tracking how effective each platform is. This means you can push your resources down the most effective avenues.
Building Your Webinar Sales Funnel
Image from myownconference.com
Despite everything we’ve already covered, you don’t generate revenue just by encouraging people to sign up and attend your webinar. Your money comes after they’ve purchased something from you.
If you’ve ever registered for a webinar before, you’ll know that sometimes you won’t attend for a variety of reasons, and that applies to your audience too. That is if you don’t stay on the ball.
Once you’ve put in the hard yards to get your leads generated, you need to ensure that your audience is looking forward to your event.
There are two key things that you need to do before and after your event to keep people interested:
This is perhaps one of the most overlooked steps of the entire registration process.
Many marketers will simply push participants to a generic thank you page or send out a generic email.
However, there are a few things that you can do to maximize the impact of your thank you email:
- Let them know the benefits of the webinar and how it will help ease the pain points in their day-to-day lives, and this helps to imprint that message and keep them excited about what is to come.
- Include all the logistical information – dates, times, and how to join the webinar on the day.
- Encourage registrants to tell their friends and colleagues about the event, after there is nothing more potent than social endorsements. Include some easy share buttons with some pre-written blurb to make it simple for them to spread the word.
- Include an “add to calendar” function so registrants can add the event to their calendar.
- Encourage the audience to visit your website by offering a special offer.
- Include a link to a survey that allows your audience to talk more about their pain points and how they’d ideally like to resolve them.
- Share links to your best content to help build trust and credibility.
- Most importantly, be genuine – tell them in no uncertain terms that you’re grateful to have them on board.
Follow Up After the Fact
Remember when we mentioned that one-third of people prefer to watch webinars on demand?
If you want to leverage this changing behavior, sending out a replay link will help to capture those in the audience that might have missed the live event, and would instead consume the content to fit their schedule.
It’s also a good idea to put together a series of follow up emails to remind participants over an extended period. Even those who do attend the event, may not be ready to commit to a purchase yet given the current economic climate, or perhaps they didn’t stay till the end of the event.
There are so many moving parts when it comes to generating those all-important leads from your webinars, chief of which are drumming up interest and maximizing attendance.
What we’ve covered in today’s blog are excellent jumping-off points, but by no means is this blog an exhaustive list. It’s important to dial in all the components at just the right frequency throughout each step of the customer journey.
Test and track everything you are doing to discover what works for your business model, products and services, and, most importantly, your audience.
Once you’re able to maximize the number of prospects and the quality of the leads you’re generating, you’ll then be in a great position to optimize your webinar conversion rates and ultimately make more sales.
Tim Cook is an event and marketing expert and the managing director of UK based events company versatilevenues.co.uk.