When considering any marketing strategy and what parts make it up, a few key considerations are needed. Underpinning every decision you make should be considerations about what audience you’re trying to reach, how to drive loyalty from this audience, and whether you’ve maximized return on investment (ROI).
Webinars are becoming pivotal to the marketing strategies of many companies. In a world that is moving closer to the hybrid working model as standard, the idea of having a set time and date for things to attend is becoming less fashionable.
So, how do we marry together the vital nature of webinars with this new attitude to flexible working? Simple. We make the webinars ‘on-demand’.
Firstly, let’s make sure we understand what we’re referring to when we use the term webinar.
Simply put, a webinar is a seminar conducted over the World Wide Web. The internet has brought with it a lot of technological advances, such as social media, voice over IP phone numbers, and email. But, as a marketer, they haven’t come much farther with webinars. It is a piece of content used by businesses to present findings, product features, or views on a topic to a wider, external audience. Webinars can be used as internal communications, but in this instance, we’re looking at the more outward-looking variety.
They’re filmed and presented by a member of the business, and often incorporate presentations from PowerPoint, Keynote, or recorded footage. They serve to put a more human face on an organization, as well as provide a business the opportunity to articulate ideas proactively.
So what do we mean by on-demand? Well, as anyone who has missed the broadcast of their favorite weekly show can attest to, modern platforms that allow you to catch up on TV that was screened at a different time have become invaluable.
The opportunity to view content as and when it is pertinent to you is a similar reality to the modern world. Ensuring this webinar resource is similarly available, therefore, can have real benefits to the audience you’re trying to reach.
Now that we understand what webinars are and how to make them on-demand, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should consider on-demand webinars as part of your marketing strategies.
On-demand webinars have the added capability of being available to the viewer when they’re needed. Let’s take a look at some of the data around this.
When it comes to B2B marketing, some 73% of attendees convert into generated leads and the same figure (73%) of marketing and sales professionals believe that webinars are the best way to generate these high-quality leads.
These are figures that no decent marketing team can afford to ignore. So making your webinar content readily available to anyone, can be the difference between exceeding your lead gen target, and falling short of it.
The reason that customers choose to move from something that they know, to something they don’t, often has to do with offerings. When there are gaps between what you're offering and customer needs, your potential customers will begin to look elsewhere.
While webinars may not always directly contribute to the bottom line of your organization, they provide an opportunity to convey authority and expertise that can retain your current customer base and attract new customers.
Creating a channel, either on your website or on a streaming service like YouTube, that allows you to develop a library of on-demand webinars is an effective way to build this comprehensive message. It’s a proactive method of showing those browsing your site or channel that you are a subject matter expert, without having to repeat yourself at every new client discussion.
As social media has continued to play a more significant role in marketing, the metric of engagement has similarly increased in value. Where once, you produced television ads that returned vague viewing figures, online services now allow you to monitor the level of engagement your audience has on an almost second-by-second basis.
This is a great source of justification for their existence. Webinars allow for chat, audience participation in polls or surveys, and elements that throw it forward through calls to action. These factors can make on-demand webinars a key pillar of your user-engagement strategy, and could lead to new business partnerships, including SaaS business ideas if the right person engages at the right time.
This may not be where you want the customer journey to end. However, engagement is a great ‘bridging’ metric. It links prospects to ambassadors and points to the reasons around why that journey is either getting more or less popular with your brand.
While creating libraries of content and supporting user engagement is easier on an established hosting site like YouTube, this does throw up a slight issue. As with most things in life, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
In fact, if you are putting your on-demand webinars on YouTube, you are doing yourself a disservice. All analytics on YouTube are anonymous, so you can’t attribute specific actions, like answers to polls and questions. This means you can’t collect any granular data to help you segment your audience for post-webinar marketing automation.
This is where some good on-demand webinar software comes in. Unlike YouTube, you can use webinar software to measure watch time and engagement rate and attribute them to individual users, not to mention data collected from polls and questions. With the data attributed to individual users, your marketing campaigns will be better informed and hopefully more successful.
Data from your on-demand webinars can also be sent to your Customer Relationship Management software of choice through a CRM integration. This idea of working smarter, not harder, is what has inspired everything from cloud migrations to marketplaces on social media. So why not take the same approach with your analytics? This makes it possible to access both your CRM and webinar data in one place, making performance tracking easier and more efficient as an exercise.
There’s a saying in the game of rugby that “a kick is only as good as the chase that follows”. In other words, the initial action you take can only have its performance judged by what you do to capitalize on it. With on-demand webinars, the “kick” is the webinar itself, and the “chase that follows” is your promotion.
As with so many things, on-demand webinars are not the silver bullet that’ll catapult you ahead of the competition. But they are a really handy tool that forms a part of a larger whole. Promoting them once isn’t going to be enough. They need to form a repeatable, recognizable element of your promotion strategy which, in turn, makes your promotion strategy stronger.
It’s like operating functional testing automation tools. They make each part of a software build stronger, rather than running one test and hoping it fixes all. By finding different ways, each time, to tee up something familiar, you’re providing the audience with an image and a visual that they are already aware of whilst giving them new written reasons to care about it.
The great thing about on-demand webinars, compared to live in-person webinars, is that members of your team can use them too. Not to learn new things about the product or the industry at large, but because it allows them to return to the well and repurpose that knowledge.
Transforming webinars into blog pieces, guides, audio clips, social media video clips, etc. turns one, isolated piece of content into the center of a spider’s web of new material. It’s the most cost-effective way of building a wider content strategy.
Since on-demand webinar content is generally evergreen, the other content that springs from it will also be evergreen. It allows you to create a site that looks full of things to discover without having to reinvent the wheel and go through a pitch meeting for every new blog or social media post.
It’s impossible to justify many things in business without looking at the cost as a key determining factor on whether to proceed or not. When looking for new premises or alternatives to eVoice, the cost is there as something you need to consider almost above all else. On-demand webinars aren’t immune from this potential issue. Happily, they do offer many benefits in this area too, compared to other marketing tactics you may consider.
For one thing, they’re cost-effective. Using social media or email marketing to try to build a community up to the size of some webinar-based communities takes a lot of time, effort, and resources. For this reason, webinars are the most cost-effective tool in your marketing kit. This is especially true if they are evergreen and on-demand. Your efforts will continue to pay dividends for a long time, unlike a live webinar
Also, they offer a return on investment that is quicker than other options open to you. Any registration from customers happens then and there, with the value for the webinar building trust with that customer on the spot. By allowing for questions in webinars, any concerns these prospects have can be addressed, meaning that conversion rates are quicker too.
In this guide, we’ve taken a look at what webinars are and how their on-demand variety should form a part of modern marketing strategies. We’ve also looked at some of the reasons why you should be considering using them if you don’t already do so.
Across criteria such as cost, reach, and speed of progress through a sales funnel, on-demand webinars cannot be matched. To dismiss them out of hand means having to spend time, effort, and money building communities at a much slower rate, making targets for growth harder to achieve. It’s easier, quicker, and cheaper to include them in your marketing strategy from the beginning, so why don’t you get started today.
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