Not only are more people attending webinars these days, but they are staying engaged longer, actively choosing this channel for a two-way dialogue with hosts and fellow participants.
Current research indicates that online events, including webinars, produce the best content marketing results. So, how can you use webinar content to boost lead generation, capture demand, and build pipeline while doing it in a way that elevates your webinars above the competition?
Read on for helpful insights to help you create a content strategy that drives webinar engagement!
Let Your Audience Drive Your Webinar Content
Start with creating an audience-driven program by segmenting and getting to know your audience in advance. Why are they attending? What problems need solving? What related topics of interest can you present? Involve your audience in the content conversation.
You can garner content insights directly from your audience at each touchpoint by inviting them to:
Submit speaker questions – Add these to your talk track.
Discuss the webinar with others on social media platforms.
Upvote/downvote a list of questions submitted by other registrants.
Join a chat room to discuss the webinar topic.
Ask them to share things like their biggest professional challenges or what informs, inspires, or entertains them.
During the Webinar
Assign a person to regularly assess engagement. Are attendees using chat, asking questions, expressing via emojis, and downloading content? Take an active role in getting and keeping participants engaged by:
Encouraging them to participate with emojis if they don’t want to engage with spoken or written words.
Monitoring a call to action within the webinar console as an opportunity for attendees to raise their hand and signal they are a hot lead.
Maintaining a parallel chat that enhances the main presentation.
After the Webinar
Survey responses will let you know if your target audience found the content relevant. Consider how you might be able to address any low marks in the post-event experience.
Use these best practices to keep engagement rolling, including call-to-actions such as:
Watch a recording of the webinar at their convenience.
Sign up for upcoming events.
Download relevant content.
Leave a comment or review on an online forum.
Join a chat room to discuss takeaways.
Opt-in for emails for updates on future engagement opportunities.
Request a follow-up call or demo.
Build Your Webinar Program for Attention, Retention, and Acquisition
Registrants, although likely to attend, are not attendees - and attendance is not the same as active participation.
You want your audience to register, show up, pay attention, and participate. Build your webinar programs for attention, retention, and acquisition.
Make it easy for your audience to pay attention by considering their needs when determining length and timing. Are four, 30-minute sessions more likely to fit their schedule than one, two-hour event? Which time suits your audience best? Apply regional considerations as well as preference for before/during/after the workday.
When it comes to the run of show, build an agenda that demonstrates forethought, work with your speaker to ensure it remains flexible, and check in with the audience regularly to fine tune.
Be sure to deliver content in an engaging way that reflects an understanding of audience needs, then watch for reactions and be prepared to respond to engagement levels. If you see indications that attendees are losing interest (or, heaven forbid, dropping off) consider how you can flex the agenda to focus on a topic that held their interest.
Check the chat for clues, take a poll, or encourage members to raise their hands to ask questions.
After the webinar, retain attendee attention and attract new attendees by repurposing content and mining the event for unanswered questions, chat conversations, and interesting video snippets that might be the seeds of new content to create or share for continuing the conversation on social or other channels.
Be sure to keep the feedback loop open. The only people who can accurately assess the success of your event are the audience members. If they found value, the odds are good that they will be back; if not, you will work have to work twice as hard (or more) to get them back.
If, at every step of the way, your content has acknowledged and addressed their needs and helped solve their problem(s), your chances of seeing them at the next webinar are strong!
Start Leveraging Your Webinars for Demand Generation
The competition is intense for your audience’s time. If you get them to register for your event, the pressure is on to entice them to attend, to participate, and to stay engaged in the conversation before, during, and after.
You want your audience to walk away with a sense of having received solid value for the investment of their time and attention.
For valuable stats, tips, and insights on making your webinars the best content marketing tactic in your company’s tool kit, download our new guide: How to Turn Webinars into a Demand Generation Machine.