Why Do Webinars Fail?

Melissa Hugel
05-Apr-2019 11:29:37

Okay, so you’ve decided decision to run a webinar. You plan and compile your content, send your invites and create your webinar presentation. But, instead of a pipeline of interested, qualified leads you get: a low attendance rate, no engagement, no pipeline, no leads. What happened?

As I’ve mentioned time and time again, webinars are effective content marketing 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 webinar mistakes.

1. You’re not defining webinar success

Here’s a question: how can you tell if your webinar is successful if you haven’t defined what that success looks like? The answer is you can’t.

Too many people dive into presenting a webinar without having first 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 very different goals, and while they may work hand-in-hand, success for one isn’t necessarily success for the other.

To avoid any ambiguity, make sure you set goals and choose 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 help to inform your future strategy.

2. Your expectations are too high

 

It’s all well and good to set goals for your webinar, 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 your baseline. How many leads does an average webinar for your company or industry generate? How large is your contact database? You shouldn’t expect to get 10,000 registrants if you have a contact database of 12,000 people.

You should also be aware of the industry averages for the medium itself. I’ve seen marketers disappointed with a registrant to attendee conversion rate of 60%, not realizing the average conversion rate for a webinar is 30-40%.

3. You’re not creating user-first content

Who is your webinar for? If you can’t answer that simple question then you will probably struggle to achieve webinar success.

Understanding who your target audience is and what they expect from a webinar will help you to create content that they will find valuable. Ultimately, you want to create content that will keep your audience engaged and interested, so putting the audience first and picking a topic that will interest them is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your webinar.

It’s also important to think of your target audience when planning the logistics of your webinar. What day and time will work best for them? How long should your webinar be? If you consider all of these queries during your planning stage, you can create an event that drives maximum audience attendance and engagement.

4. You’re not promoting it properly

You can have everything in place - your webinar goals, content and your presenters - 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 involves more than simply sending an email invite and event reminder to your database. Promoting your webinar requires comprehensive plans, goals, and promotional efforts.

From starting your webinar promotion 4 weeks out to writing a blog post, or utilizing social media platforms, like LinkedIn and Twitter, to market your webinar, you can create a multi-channel promotional campaign for your webinar. Doing so will maximize your lead generation and overall results.

5. You’re using your webinar as a sales pitch

You know what audiences despise? Feeling as though they are being sold to by companies. 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 also ensure they don’t show up to the next webinar.

Obviously webinars can be used as a sales tools, but they are much more effective when they’re used to nurture leads and engage them with valuable content. Treat your webinar attendees as a pipeline to be nurtured, and let your sales teams worry about the hard sell further down the line.

The more your contacts trust your brand as an industry leader, the more likely they are to buy what you are (eventually) selling. Just like anything, it’s all about striking a balance.

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