Every modern marketer runs into the same issues. No matter how successful your strategies, there are always hurdles to overcome.
Perhaps you recognize one of these:
- You have a lack of marketing resources (and budget)
- You struggle to generate leads
- You have a hard time qualifying new leads
- Your leads are unengaged and getting cold
- Your leads aren't ready to talk to sales
- You have complicated product updates to share, and an email won't help
You'll most likely fall victim to one (or all) of these from time to time. And you usually try to overcome them with more content. Often to no avail.
Webinars offer something different from other forms of content. They're more urgent and immediate than a blog post or ebooks; they're easier and require less expertise than videos.
Here's how you can overcome all of those 6 classic marketing problems above with the help of webinars.
Problem 1: A limited marketing budget
This stack of cash is rarely what you see when you open your marketing piggybank, so saving on budget is a great place to start.
Because no matter how much money your company has, you could always use more of it for marketing.
Marketing technology is the 2nd fastest growing marketing trend in 2019 (which at least should loosely correlate with budget entries).
If you ask us, this trend will accelerate in the next few years.
Some businesses spend thousands to attend conferences every year, often with no clear return on investment. And no matter how sure you are that a conference will be a success, it requires a lot of money upfront, and faith that it'll pay off.
Or they pay tens of thousands to agencies for one-off campaigns, often to build new websites or advertisements that don't show a clear return on investment.
No matter what you choose, you'll often be tempted to open the marketing budget floodgates.
Then there's video - an increasingly popular marketing channel, with some pretty creative uses. But producing high quality video often requires expensive equipment and a lot of know-how to reach professional standards. If you don't have that already, you'll probably end up paying a freelancer or hire a video expert in-house.
How webinars help you get more from your marketing budget
Webinars only require you to find a good webinar platform. That's it! No expensive conference tickets, no flights, and no accommodation. You don't need an agency to help you run webinars - just a few good webinar topics and a simple email campaign to promote them.
And unlike other video formats, you don't need a cinematographer or production team to make great webinars. Good lighting and a solid camera make a difference. You don't need cutting-edge technology and can build a professional-grade setup for a few hundred dollars. You also don't need to edit the videos.
Webinar platforms guide you the whole way through, so in the end it's no different from an average presentation. It's relatively easy to improve a webinar deck and backdrop, and these are things you can pick up over time. In comparison, making better marketing videos is a huge challenge, and there's no try.
Huge plus: you can have interesting guest presenters without anyone needing to travel.
Webinars are already budget-friendly. But you can get even more from your investment if you:
- Use on-demand webinars. Rather than presenting them live every time, make one high-quality recording and let people watch it whenever they choose.
- Reuse and repurpose webinars throughout your buyer's journey.
In both cases, you spend time on content creation just once, and then reap the benefits from then on.
Problem 2: Struggling to generate inbound leads
For most marketing teams, this is problem number one. Because no matter how many leads you attract, your sales teams could always use a few more.
It's natural, then, to look for new ways to reach prospects. If you've written every blog post, ebook, and Facebook ad, it's no good just re-writing and re-posting this content.
This is where webinars can help.
How webinars help you generate leads
Webinars are still one of the most underrated ways to generate new leads for your business. They're relatively easy to create, and still aren't completely saturated like the blog market.
And you don't even have to start from scratch. You can take those carefully written ebooks and blog posts and present the came ideas in a new format. With some smart promotion and a catchy title, you'll have no trouble bringing in hundreds of new leads in a short timeframe.
The secret? Find a good company or influencer to partner with. If you know that they have an interesting customer base and can promote the content well, you're able to reach a whole new audience from the comfort of your office. Much easier than travelling to conferences and endless cold calling.
Agree on the promotion plan before the webinar. You need the other party to do their bit, so make sure they agree to a certain number of emails or social media posts in advance.
Problem 3: Too many unqualified leads
Another issue that many marketers face is staring at a database full of email addresses, without knowing whether any of these people might be potential customers. You might have thousands of names at the very top of your funnel. So how can you get more information about them and eventually turn them into qualified leads?
The first step is to gather more information. Which means offering more content and encouraging them to engage. And a webinar is the perfect thing.
Qualifying leads through webinars across your marketing funnel
How webinars help you qualify leads
The key step to qualify leads is to gather new information about them. Where are they? What's their job title and industry? Are they looking for products like yours?
And the simple way to find these answers is to have prospects fill out more forms. Which means more content.
But as we said above, you don't want to write endless ebooks and other downloadable content, just to get people to fill in a form. This is time-intensive, and there's no telling whether leads will even find them compelling.
Instead, present live, exclusive webinars. They're easy to set up, don't require design or development time, and you can easily change on the fly if people aren't interested.
And more importantly, you get to interact with leads directly. You learn more about these viewers and their goals, and they get to talk to the smiling faces behind the company. Sales people can actually qualify handfuls of leads in real time, while the leads are engaged and receptive. This is far more impactful than a series of cold emails.
Ask questions! The more interactive your webinar, the more memorable it will be. And the good news is that every question or comment they write is recorded and can be used again later in the sales process.
You can even be direct and ask whether viewers would like a free trial or to talk to sales.
Good webinar platforms include polls and questionnaires that viewers can respond to as they watch. These make is easy to ask follow-up questions without begging or being pushy.
Problem 4: A high number of dormant or cold leads
Perhaps you just bought a big list for your sales team. Or maybe you ran a great marketing campaign six months ago, and then never properly followed up. Either way, if you have leads lying dormant, you need to think of a way to get them engaged again.
Otherwise your past efforts just go to waste.
How webinars help you re-engage cold leads
Again, a timely webinar is ideal. You've probably already sent your best ebooks and blog posts for them to read, and you still haven't caught their attention. But a webinar on current trends or with a particularly fashionable influencer may be exactly what they're looking for.
These don't take a huge amount of effort to create, so you don't have to worry about them being evergreen. Instead, find an eye-catching headline about a topic of the moment, and make sure that these dormant leads see it.
These leads are likely not opening your emails anymore. So consider using retargeting campaigns on social media to get their attention. You'll have to pay a little bit, but it's better than letting leads go to waste.
Problem 5: Leads not ready for sales
Here's another common problem. You have interesting leads with good job titles and exciting companies. But your sales team calls them, and they have not idea who you are or why they would want to buy.
Of course, there might be an issue with your sales approach. But one way to get them primed for this conversation is to present an introduction to the service before they get the sales call.
How to use webinars to prepare leads for sales calls
Webinars let you give a quick walk-through and demonstrate your biggest selling points to large groups. And then if a user has attended the webinar, they can hardly say that they don't know what you're offering when they get the follow-up call.
This is also considerably more efficient than speaking to each user one-by-one, only to find out that they're not interested at all.
Present your selling points in a webinar, and then find out who'd like to learn more. The follow-up calls will be more productive because you can get right to the nitty gritty, without wasting too much time on introductions.
This is also a great way to deal with lower-value (but still worthwhile) leads. Your sales team likely prioritize certain buyers - CEOs and decision makers from a specific company size or industry. And unfortunately, they may not give the same time and respect to other leads.
But you worked hard to generate all those contacts, and there's still money to be made. So instead of your sales team calling everyone individually, they can present to 20 or 30 users at once, and convert buyers at volume.
Then, even if the average value of the deals is lower, together they're worth the effort.
Problem 6: A complicated product launch
If you work in SaaS, you've certainly been here before: the product team has slaved away on a wonderful new update, and they want you to spread the word. The problem: this is a largely technical update, it's not sexy, and people aren't looking for this sort of thing.
In other words, it's not really marketing material.
But it _is _valuable, and if your users only knew how it worked, they'd love your product a whole lot more.
How to keep customers up-to-date with webinars
This is the perfect subject for what we call a "product" webinar. It won't bring in new leads (since nobody's looking for it), but your existing users absolutely need to know about it, and will love it.
Instead of launching a wide-scale marketing campaign - which will almost certainly be time and money wasted - present this new development to users via webinar.
You'll get to show them why it's so powerful and help them use it themselves - live! They can ask questions and follow along as you go.
Remember, nobody knows (or cares) about this feature yet. So you can't host a webinar called "How to Use [Feature X]." They don't know how valuable this is, so they'll never sign up (or show up).
Instead, focus on solving a significant problem or achieving a goal for the user. How does this new feature make their life easier? Make this the subject of the session.
Make webinars part of your marketing toolbox
It's perfectly normal to run into problems as marketers. You have high targets, finite resources, and there are only so many hours in the day.
In a perfect world, you could write and promote all the content you need, prospects would find it all, and you'd have an endless flow of happy new customers.
But in reality, marketers need to get smarter. It's not about how much content you produce, it's about whether it makes an impact.
So instead of more, more, more, try changing the medium. You can reach new prospects with your same, tested messaging, without needing to reinvent the wheel.
Webinars are the perfect way to get their attention, and inspire action.