Sponsoring  vs Running Webinars

Michelle Houghton
24-Nov-2015 10:30:00

Rounding up our mini-series on sponsored content, today Michelle will be looking into whether running webinars on your own could help supplement a programme of sponsored webinars...

Sponsor-led webinars are without a doubt the most popular type of online event that we deliver at WorkCast, especially for our clients in the publishing or association sectors. This is mainly down to the fact that WorkCast offers the most flexible and consistent branding and we can also deliver engaging video– allowing publishers to offer great sponsorship packages, which we talked about in a previous blog post.

However, a question that we’re being asked more and more is:

“When should I move from sponsoring content to running my own events?”

Of course, it’s natural that you’re asking this question. Often, as a sponsor, you present on a webinar and after taking part in the delivery of a webinar you want to know why your organisation isn’t already involved in creating similar content! That’s great, it’s what we like to hear!

Before deciding whether you should sponsor an event or deliver your own, you need to look at the reasons behind sponsoring an event and decide which best fits your needs.

So why do organisations want to sponsor online events?

Usually organisations sponsor events delivered by a publisher or association for one of two reasons: 

  • Brand awareness: aligning your own brand with that of a trusted publication or association
  • Lead generation: generating qualified leads from the subscriber base of a publication or association

Why would I use another organisation to generate leads?

We know that organisations want to generate their own leads, but this can often be difficult in the early stages. Developing and nurturing an online “community” organically can take a long time. Publishers and associations have a great subscriber base that are demanding engaging online content, and this translates in to qualified leads for you as a sponsor. Not only are they in the correct sector, interested in your content – but an organisation that they trust is partnering with you.

I want people to see my brand, not somebody else’s!

Getting your brand out there is essential for any company, but sharing a webinar with another brand isn’t a bad thing. Whether you’re a start-up or a global organisation, aligning your brand with a well-chosen, trusted association or publisher can actually increase trust in your product and encourage potential clients.

So, you’ve sponsored a few events – are you ready to enter the big bad world of delivering your own?


OK, I’ll elaborate… You’ve built your brand awareness, and you’ve got a great community that is continuing to grow. You’re definitely ready to level-up and start creating your own content and marketing it to your leads.

Think carefully about the purpose of your online events though. You might have existing contacts that you want to nurture, and lots of leads that you would like to market to but there’s nothing worse than throwing out bad content. At best it will cool down your leads, at worst it could put them off entirely.

That being said, content creation doesn’t have to be hard. My suggestion would be to deliver content that is more direct to your current clients – show them how to best use your product, or other products that they might be interested in. For your leads, take a different approach. You know they were interested in the thought leadership content from your sponsored webinar, so drip feed them content that focuses a little more on what you’re offering.

That’s great! Now we don’t have to sponsor any more webinars!

Well… not exactly! Just because you’re a pro at delivering your own events doesn’t mean that you should stop partnering with other organisations. In fact, WorkCast just sponsored a thought leadership webinar run by the American Marketing Association. It just means that you can develop a portfolio of events that you use for different purposes. Sponsoring webinars will always be a great way of generating new qualified leads for your sales and marketing team, and nothing will change that!

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