Top 3 Webinar Myths Exposed
Most marketers call on webinars and on demand videos as a vital part of their B2B marketing mix to drive qualified leads and sales.
Over the years, though, certain webinar myths have developed that many marketers now take as gospel. For example, so-called experts will have you believe that you MUST produce a new, live webinar every month to have a successful webinar program.
Savvy marketers are able to get past the surface buzz and grasp what works and what does not.
Here are the top 3 webinar myths and how to avoid them. You’ll get more from your marketing budget and convert a higher percentage of webinar leads to sales.
Webinar Myth #1 – Live, Educational “Lead Generation” Webinars Are The Only Way to Build a Successful Program
If you stare at the webinar landscape long enough, you’ll likely spot a preponderance of live, “educational” webinars. They are designed primarily to move an opt-in contact from suspect to qualified prospect.
In some industries more than 80% of the webinar marketing budget and resources support these types of events.
Webinars are more versatile than many marketers realize.
Webinars and their derivatives such as videos and on demand recordings can be used in all stages of the marketing funnel.
They are equally powerful:
- Early in the marketing process to generate new leads and opt-ins,
- Mid-funnel to educate, nurture, and qualify, and
- Late in the marketing process to drive sales or sales opportunities.
What’s more, there is substantial evidence that potential buyers value on demand webinars or videos roughly the same as live events.
Consider: It is highly unlikely a single webinar will move a completely new and cold prospect to write a large check for your product or service at the conclusion of the event.
Different types of webinars and on demand videos should be used for different types of marketing objectives. Some organizations, for example, are leveraging online conferences to fill the funnel, live and on demand webinars to nurture contacts to leads, and on demand videos and virtual live product presentations to help convert leads to sales.
Webinar Myth Busting Strategy #1: Webinars along with videos and on demand recordings are effective in all stages of the marketing funnel.
Webinar Myth #2 – A Webinar Can’t Be Used for Selling
Too often, B2B marketers shy away from “selling” on webinars.
They fear that their presentation or video will be perceived as the online equivalent of an aggressive used car salesperson. Their presentations are bland – without a point-of-view around relevant issues. They may attempt to be “all things to all people.”
They avoid articulating any kind of offer or call to action so that the viewer is never encouraged to make a decision to act.
As a narrowcast medium, B2B marketing webinars and videos should be targeted to a specific audience.
They can be bold in positioning a company in the marketplace, offering opinions, advice, and best practices.
They clearly invite the attendees and viewers to take the next step: try or buy. Some of the most effective webinars, for example, simply summarize a special, limited-time offer for the audience and then direct them to a web sales page.
Webinar Myth Busting Strategy #2: Think of successful webinars in the context of taking the prospect to the next step in the buying process. This move is especially powerful for prospective buyers closer to a purchase.
You’ll find that the success of many videos or webinars CAN be measured by the number of sales opportunities gained or by the amount of sales resulting from the event.
Webinar Myth #3 – Social Media is the Primary Way to Drive Webinar Attendance
Many organizations center their media plans around social media and believe that channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook will be fertile ground to drive webinar attenders and viewers in droves.
The fact is that when it comes to webinar promotion, survey after survey of top B2B marketers reveal that the number one way to drive webinar registrations, attendance, and viewers is through an email invitation to a target list.
Start with your own in-house list and supplement with partner, affiliate, outside speaker, and opt-in media lists.
If you are still skeptical and want to prove the ROI of different marketing channels for your next webinar, consider promoting the same webinar with an attractive title to say 1,000 Twitter followers, 1,000 opt-in email subscribers, and another channel of your choosing.
Then, judge the results for yourself.
Webinar Myth Busting Strategy #3: While social media can be a large part of your webinar marketing plan, a well-crafted email invitation to an opt-in list will almost certainly out-pull all other forms of media.
So there you have 3 top webinar myths. You are invited to incorporate these ideas into your next event or video. Webinars can become a blockbuster marketing program for your organization.
Top marketers avoid the traps set by these myths.
They tap into the power of webinars and on demand videos to their competitive advantage. They are able to multiply qualified sales leads and achieve a higher ROI on their marketing budget.
Expert blogger Bob Hanson is the creator of the Must-See Webinar system and a published author who has written dozens of eGuides and White Papers on all aspects of driving sales through webinars. He gets in the marketing trenches with clients such as Citrix, Google, and Infusionsoft, who have produced thousands of successful marketing events and webinars over the past 20 years. Check out www.qlmarketing.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for his new free report, 5 Keys to a Winning Content Marketing and Webinar Program.