How should a business create an effective webinar?
Like all mediums, webinars are complex and the right answer depends heavily on the product and the team using them. For the initial setup, the following guide on how to create a webinar is instructive in determining an approximate format. Once the approximate format is decided, a company can decide how to ensure the webinar is effective by touching on the relevant psychological triggers necessary to induce the final purchase.
However, there are gaps in the overall setup process, which this article hopes to increase. Namely, a business needs to know who is being targeted and how to best influence those people. Then how do you make sure they know about the campaign in the first place.
Stay on target
When it comes to psychological buying triggers, you first need to have a much deeper understanding of who exactly are you trying to influence. Take into account the different cultural, social, personal and psychological factors that could go into the buying decision, but also the decision to click on the initial registration button and introduce yourself.
Without going too deep into this piece of the puzzle, consider where your target audience is.
- Will they be available to join your webinar when it’s scheduled? If the product being sold is designed for their job, normal working hours make sense. If this is a secondary agitation, consider starting it after 5 p.m. or so.
- Are there any linguistic considerations? If the target audience is of a drastically different socio-economic status, consider the platform and minimum technical requirements for the webinar to make it as easy as possible.
- What is the age range of the audience? Is the product intended for an older audience? Younger? Hip, laid back, conservative, professional?
- Why do the public join you? Is it to learn? Is it out of motivation to succeed, or even out of fear?
Once the various sociological and psychological profiles are completed to the point of having a more solid understanding of who target market In other words, a business can devote resources to finding the ideal influencers to make it successful.
To dispel the obvious myths, influencers aren’t just Kim K and her sisters selling the latest face cream on Instagram. While this is still an absurdly successful use case, every marketing medium and product combination can benefit from the right influencers. It’s just a matter of choose the right type of influencer for the campaign.
Influencers can generally be grouped into three main categories:
- Aspiring. For ease of definition, the aspiration can be viewed with the celebrity Kim K example above.
- Authority. These influencers are essential for webinars. Authoritative influencers are the trusted subject matter experts, even in a narrowly defined field.
- Peer. Peer influencers are akin to your colleagues and industry peers from a B2B perspective.
Why do we care so much about authoritative influencers for your webinar campaign?
Using the utility matrix above, we can determine what kind of influence is best suited to the sociological and psychological profiling work done earlier on the target audience.
Reach matters. sure, but given the educational nature of webinars, the ability to inform in a reliable and relevant, business-oriented manner is the winning combination. Peer influencers also have a fairly high rating, which we can apply later.
For example, Jay Baer hosts webinars for Convince & Convert client, SharpSpring. Jay is an authoritative influencer in marketing and marketing technology, and also helps generate registrations for virtual events through email, social, and word of mouth marketing.
How to use authoritative influencers on your webinar
The article could have been as short as that previous sentence and still wouldn’t have been a waste of a business’s time. If a business can pay a renowned expert in their field to host a webinar on how they’ve been successful in using YOUR product, you’ll make sales.
If you can’t get authorities, you can entice existing customers to potential customers, by aggregating peer signal.
Host, co-host or union?
In the short example above, the recommendation is to pay the expert to host a webinar for their audience and subscribers on how to use your product as the expert sees fit, co-hosted with you for proximity to co-quote (this is the leech turn authority).
As a follow-up step, syndicate the webinar to your potential audience via email with the option to participate in a series of company-hosted follow-up webinars where your sales staff interact more in the form of questions and answers. Since the trust has already been established with the tacit approval of experts, subsequent webinars can go deeper into the sales channel.
Bring the pack of wolves
In the penultimate step of the process, the goal is to get multiple leads and funnel starts.
Use an ongoing webinar series to keep people in the funnel
An easy way to do this is to record an ongoing webinar series for these potential customers, using your top product users as weekly / monthly / quarterly experts. This series is recorded and then syndicated through the following authoritative channels: YouTube and blogs. Since these even-level users are already in love with your product, you can infer their use in many cases. The famous influential professor Cialdini would call this unity: the desire to stay in the wolf pack.
Encourage peer influencers to promote your webinar
It can be as simple as getting peer influencers to share webinar registration details on Twitter and Facebook, using a series of relevant hashtags and a brief personal story explaining why they will be participating in the webinar. Make it easier for them by providing them with a standard promotional copy in a Google Docs.
Save registrations by email
Email is another overlooked influencer syndication method. Convince & Convert is awesome by email marketing with Jay’s personal updates that seamlessly interweave a narrative with a branding purpose. When a relevant messaging influencer is used to connect their audience to your next webinar, wonderful things can happen, which is why companies like Intellifluence are willing to invest money on these influencers. They can generate incredible registrations!
Get some press
Finally, to perfectly tie the entire webinar campaign with an arc of influence, consider running a targeted press relations campaign to expand your perceived authority on the subject and collect some extra eyeballs for your job. The point of this step is not to submit a generic PR Newswire report and hope for the best. For best results, target journalists who have actively written about your industry and / or webinar marketing in the past. You are now doing something amazing that their audience could benefit from.
Become the expert
If you’re new to your content marketing journey and the whole process seems daunting, don’t despair. You can become that authority yourself by taking the first step and writing about the B2B topics you know. In due course, you will be the paid expert to share your thoughts on a webinar.