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Ok, so you’ve made the all important decision to run a webinar. You get your content together, send your invites and make your presentation. But instead of a pipeline of interested, qualified leads you get...well nothing. A low attendance rate, no engagement, no pipeline, no leads. What happened?
As I’ve written about before, webinars are amazing tools for everything from lead generation to thought leadership, but not every webinar is created equal. So why do some webinars fail where others flourish?
Here are a few of the more common reasons why webinars fail and some tips to help you fix your mistakes.
Here’s a question - how can you tell if something is successful if you haven’t defined what that success looks like? The answer is you can’t.
Too many people go into their webinars not having defined what they want to get out of it. Is it a lead generation webinar? Are you trying to establish your business as a thought leader? These are two different goals, and while they may work together, success for one isn’t necessarily success for the other.
To avoid any ambiguity, make sure you set goals and set up metrics to measure whether your webinar has met these goals. Not only will this tell you whether or not your webinar was a success, it will show you where you can improve for next time.
It’s all well and good to set goals, but you need to ensure your goals are realistic. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
If your goal is lead generation, make sure you know what your baseline is. What does a normal webinar for your company or industry get? How big is your contact database? You shouldn’t expect to get 10,000 registrants if you have a contact database of 12,000.
You should also be aware of the averages for the medium itself. I’ve seen marketers disappointed with a registrant to attendee conversion rate of 60%, not realising the average webinar gets a 30-40% conversion rate.
Who is this webinar for? If you don’t know the answer to this question then you’ll probably struggle to make it a success.
Knowing who your audience is will help you create content that will resonate with them, keeping them engaged and interested. It will even help you pick a topic that will interest them in the first place.
It’s also important to think of your audience when planning the logistics of your webinar. What day will work best for them? What time? How long should it be? If you use these questions as the basis for your planning, you’ll create an event that will ensure your audience is interested and engaged.
You can have everything in place - the goals, the content, the speakers - but if you’re not promoting your webinar properly, it will all be for naught.
One of the most important parts of any webinar is the marketing aspect, which is more than just sending an email invite and event reminder. Promoting your webinar requires plans, goals, and effort.
For some great tips on how you can specifically promote your webinar, check out our recent blog post. But in general, you should treat your webinar marketing plan as a mini campaign, with all of the aspects that go with that.
You know what audiences hate? Being tricked into being sold to. If you’re inviting contacts to a webinar about an industry topic, don’t turn it into a clandestine sales pitch. Not only will this frustrate your attendees, but it will all but ensure they don’t show up to the next webinar.
Webinars can be used as a sales tools, but are more effective when they’re used to nurture leads, engage them. Treat your webinar attendees as a pipeline to be nurtured, and let your sales teams worry about the hard sell.
The more your contacts trust you and the more highly they think of you as an industry leader, the more likely they are to buy what you are (eventually) selling.
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