Marketers tap a variety of communication and engagement tactics across all channels to build relationships and interact with prospects and customers. Webinars, in particular, are a great tool to connect with your audiences in a meaningful way — on their terms. A majority (61%) of marketers surveyed cite webinars as an effective content marketing tactic, according to the CMI and MarketingProfs report B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America.
B2B organizations are feeling the wrath of a buyer-driven marketplace, and are increasingly challenged to “get permission” to interact with their target audiences. But webinars provide marketers with a unique opt-in opportunity, as an online event registration is in many cases a declaration of interest in engaging with a solution provider — if only for their content.
Live webinars are appealing for marketers because an online event provides an effective way to support brand awareness, demonstrate thought leadership and credibility, and support an engagement entry point through the sales cycle (all the way to product demonstrations). Webinars create value for prospects and customers because they can engage with brands and access content without having to travel. Today’s on-demand culture is supported with always accessible, relevant webinar content.
Marketing automation adds a power punch to your webinars. Our benchmark data shows that automated pre- and post-webinar reminders can increase attendance by 32%.
With an integrated approach to data and profile management, you can maximize the value of your technology investments, and support effective contact engagement. Here are 6 tips to leverage marketing automation for your next webinar:
- Trigger event excitement- Send an interactive asset to registrants, such as a video or podcast, highlighting the theme of the event, to get people excited about the content and encourage social sharing.
- Collect Q&A information- Record the questions asked by attendees during a webinar and integrate that data into your CRM to provide sales with deeper intelligence and context for follow-up calls, and to further qualify the opportunity.
- Segment your audience into groups based on key attributes, such as industry vertical, geography, or specific preference. This helps you refine your message and understand which prospects are most likely to convert and why. Segmenting can help reduce list decay and shorten the buy cycle.
- Build drip email campaigns to help move webinar leads from one stage to the next, and progress to conversion. Integrating automation with your webinars offers greater visibility into buyer stage, so you can improve your tactical approach.
- Match your content to your channel or target your invitations to people who you know have expressed interest in your topic. Rather than focusing on the need to cover a ton of ground, focus on exploring one topic in detail to support sound prospect education.
- Score the names generated from webinars- This will support your sales teams so they don’t have to waste time placing calls to the wrong leads. While many names sourced through webinars are early stage, lead nurturing will ensure those names are cultivated over time and scoring will ensure that they automatically get routed to the right person for follow up when the time is appropriate.
With an integrated data process in place, marketers can improve key performance indicators (KPIs) in their campaigns including open, click through and conversion rates from leads to opportunities.
Check out our 40 Must-See Charts for more benchmark data to help you maximize your event marketing!