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Why Sponsored Webinars Are Still The Best

Melissa Hugel
28-May-2019 15:16:00

Sponsored webinars are, increasingly, one of the strongest solutions for those looking to generate revenue through their marketing.

Media analysts predict an increase of 3.2% in overall B2B ad revenues by 2022. Meanwhile online B2B publisher ad media revenues are predicted to increase by almost 25%. A shocking difference in stats for some, maybe, but not for those who have felt the benefit of running sponsored webinars.

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Some publishers fondly refer to webinars as their "cash cow." Many larger B2B publishers are selling hundreds of webinar sponsorship packages and expecting 20%-30% year-over-year growth. In fact, events - including online events - are the single largest revenue stream for many publishers.

So, when you consider the above responses as to why people attend webinars, it’s easy to see why webinars are an important feature in the selling process.

Creating a Webinar Package Sponsors Want to Invest In

We’re not just promoting the webcast when we talk to our advertisers, we’re talking about the whole package and the campaign,” VP, Interactive Sales Cygnus Business Media.

To justify ad spend (and pull spend away from the other channels such as paid advertising), sponsors want their webinar package to hit four distinct goals:

  1. Raise brand awareness
  2. Educate the marketplace
  3. Achieve measurable results
  4. Provide a high-quality list of new sales contacts 

That’s why every effort to generate an audience for your webinar is an opportunity to promote your sponsor's brand. With a well-constructed campaign, the sponsor gets more than just sales leads - they get multiple opportunities to build brand awareness over a period of weeks and months, which is something that’s harder to replicate with any other type of communication.

These multiple touches are the key to driving clicks, registrations and viewers, as well as meeting your sponsor’s requirements. So, a strong webinar sponsorship package needs a great plan for squeezing value out of every aspect of your webinar

How? We've laid out the steps to help you get started:

Pre-registration efforts

  • Utilize all digital channels to promote your webinar and include a clickable text link or logo for the sponsor. This includes, email, website, ads, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Develop a special “upcoming webinar” opt-in email newsletter for announcing all future and archived webinars available.
  • Create a permanent, easy-to-find “upcoming webinars/webcasts” channel on both the publisher’s home page and in the sponsor's website that has additional content of value e.g. whitepapers, downloads, videos etc.

Registration and post-registration efforts

  • Branded emails and registration pages are key, as is including relevant content to encourage registrations.
  • After registration, the online confirmation page or thank-you page is a perfect opportunity to explain the sponsor brand in more detail. Perhaps link to a sponsor’s landing page with downloadable marketing materials.
  • Include a confirmation email to the registrant and send reminder emails a few days and hours before the event - all with links to the sponsor.

Activities during the webinar

  • Include the sponsor's logo and other relevant content in the frame of the webinar viewing screen. This is an area where webinar tools differ as some aren't able to do this, especially while fostering engagement. So, make sure this an option for your webinar.
  • Be sure the moderator mentions the sponsor in the introduction (i.e. “Today’s event is brought to you by XYZ Company…”). Keep it brief though, just because a webinar is sponsored, doesn't mean it can be advertorial. This is especially critical because your profits depend on attracting your top readers repeatedly over the year to new webinars.
  • Consider offering a one- or two-minute portion in the middle of the webinar as a “commercial break” for the sponsor.

Post-webinar efforts

  • Send thank-you emails to all registrants after the event. Besides mentioning the sponsor, include an online form for attendees to ask the sponsor follow-up questions. This provides the sponsor with post-event interaction that can go a long way in selling future webinars down the road.
  • Producing an on-demand version of your webinar is a must to continue to drive viewers and registrations. This on-demand should be posted and made available to your sponsor as embed code so they can re-use as part of their own digital campaigns.

Making sure that all these stages are on-brand and reflect the publication, subject matter and sponsors brand are vital for driving leads. Research has shown that 73% of marketers say webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads, with almost 40% saying they plan to host at least one webinar in 2019. 

This is a proof of the success of webinars, but it also means that those involved in B2B media need to ensure that their webinar promotion stands out and engages the potential registrant.

A Webinar That Benefits Everyone

As many Publishers have seen, webinars are not only an effective means of communication, but a lucrative one; with an average charge anywhere from $15,000 to more than $30,000 for webinar sponsorship.

That said, you shouldn’t underestimate production costs (just because it's online doesn't mean it's ultra-cheap.). However, these costs can often be worked into your pricing strategy, allowing you to manage an effective webinar campaign. Some variables to consider when finalizing pricing costs are:

  • Time=Money: The age old adage applies here. You’re providing a full-service opportunity for your client, so be sure to charge premium rates for it. Your staff coordinating the content, production and all technical aspects are of primary importance to the advertiser.
  • On-Demand Services to Extend Event Reach: Anticipate the number of registrations (sales leads) the webinar will generate for the advertiser. Archiving the event for on-demand viewing for several months will generate more leads.
  • Trade on Association: If your publication has strong brand recognition in the market, charge more for the association with your label. Remember, this isn't just a lead generation tactic, it's a brand awareness and educational campaign as well. The same applies for any high-profile speakers you may supply. Top names bring greater registrations and greater revenue.

With all that considered, it’s clear to see why sponsored webinars continue to develop in popularity. Perhaps it’s time you begin running some of your own.

Want to find out how you can get started with sponsored webinars? Schedule a demo with one of our consultants today!

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