Why You Should Use Webinars to Generate Leads (& Who’s Doing it Right)
By Tom DiScipio
Smart companies have been generating leads with webinars for a long time, but there are still many who don't believe the hype.
If your brand is on the fence about using webinars as a tool for generating leads, don't be. Webinars are a great way to break down the cold cyber barrier and connect with your prospects while also generating and educating new leads.
In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of using webinars to generate leads, and you why so many brands love them, and take a look at a few companies who are doing them right.
Why Should I Host a Webinar?
There are several reasons why webinars are great for generating leads. The following are the most compelling of those reasons.
1. To Establish Brand Trust and Authority
Hosting a webinar positions your brand as an expert in your field. However, the difference between reading a book written by an expert and attending a webinar is that you get to interact with, hear, and possibly even see the expert, establishing a stronger connection.
Before doing business with you company, prospects want to get to know the people behind the brand and webinars help make that more tangible in a digital world. The more you allow people to get to know you, the easier it is for them to trust you.
The fact that you are providing valuable information for free also helps you earn the trust of prospects and nurtures your relationship with current customers.
2. To Generate Higher Quality Leads
Of course, webinars are great for building your email list in terms of quantity, but they're also great for pre-qualifying leads to determine the quality of those leads.
Webinars generally provide better leads than other gated offers.
People who register for your webinar as usually in search of a deeper connection and higher level information. They've moved beyond the superficial with your brand so they've made the commitment to attend your event and hear what you have to say.
Unlike downloading an eBook that you can set aside to read later, registering for a webinar is the action of a person who is truly engaged. It's like visiting a car dealership. You're not going to speak to a salesman unless you're ready and seriously considering a purchase.
Furthermore, you can also gather more information from leads when they opt-in to attend the webinar, then you would with a more top-of-the-funnel offer.
That doesn't mean you should get carried away and require them to complete a detailed survey, but it's not unreasonable to ask a few questions about their company and their goals.
3. To Supplement Your Content Marketing
This is one of the best and most overlooked reasons to host a webinar.
As an inbound marketer, you're always on the lookout for new content ideas and ways to provide fresh content for your buyer persona. Although your webinar might be a one-time event, that doesn't mean you are limited to only using the content from that webinar one time.
The standard length for a webinar is one hour. That's an entire hour of audio, video, and additional visual elements (graphics, charts, bullet points, etc) that you've prepared in advance. All of these things can be broken down and recycled in some way.
Here are some ideas for content that can be reproduced from a webinar:
- Blog post or series of blog posts
- Video on YouTube or Vimeo, either in its entirety or a series of clips
- Series of social media posts
- Webinar replay
- Podcast or free audio recording
There's no reason why the hard work that goes into preparing your webinar shouldn't reap more benefits after the presentation.
However, this isn't the only way to get additional inbound marketing value from your webinar.
Depending on your webinar platform, webinar attendees are able to chat with each other, provide feedback, and ask questions. All of this provides incredibly useful information for you.
It helps you tap into the mindset of your buyer persona by seeing the actual language they use when discussing their problems, their goals, and their concerns. This allows you to create content specifically around those issues to attract more leads and remove mental barriers that are preventing prospects from converting.
You can use this information to improve your FAQ page, craft better copy in emails, and plan blog posts that you know will be helpful to your buyer persona.
Last, but not least, you can also gate the recording of your webinar behind a landing page to keep generating leads from it.
4. No Geographical Barriers
Entrepreneurs have been using seminars to generate leads, convert new buyers, and educate current customers for centuries. (Although, they didn't always describe it that way.)
The problem with seminars and workshops is that they are location-dependent. That creates several barriers for generating leads and makes them much less cost and time-effective.
Webinars have no geographical barriers. People can attend your seminar from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Depending on what your brand sells, this can substantially grow your customer-base and lower your cost per lead.
Even if you target a local or regional market, it's much easier to get people to commit to sitting at a computer for an hour than it is to get them in a seat at your seminar.
5. Partnership Opportunities
Webinars present unique partnership opportunities that can generate leads and increase brand awareness.
By partnering with another brand that provides a similar or complementary service, you can offer twice as much value to those who attend. Not only that, but you're getting twice as much promotion for the webinar and the possibility of more people attending.
Who is Successfully Generating Leads With Webinars?
There are a lot of companies out there using webinars to generate more leads, including us.
However, there are a few brands that stand out when I think of who is having the most success with webinars. Below are three brands that are killing it and the tips they've shared that can help you generate more leads with webinars.
It's difficult to find a brand that's had more success with webinars than HubSpot. They set the standard for what makes a great webinar in terms of quality and there are few companies that can produce the quantity of webinars that they do.
Here are a few tips from HubSpot to make a great webinar:
- Interact with your audience leading up to your webinar and create a hashtag for it
- Use speaker and company Twitter handles
- Have at least one moderator or host
- Perform a thorough sound check and record from a quite location
- Take other time zones into consideration
Want to see a HubSpot webinar in action to learn from the best? Check out their archives of previous webinars here.
According to Neil Patel, he was able to generate 518,399 visitors and 16,394 leads from 77 webinars!
Here are a few tips that led to his success:
- Always record your webinars to reuse later
- Don't make each attendee a lead or you'll waste the time of your sales team
- Ask for a lot of information in registration forms to qualify leads
- Give value before you try to promote anything
- Brand your slides
- Leave room for questions
- Make a unique offer they can't get anywhere else
- Partner up with other people/brands
Similar to HubSpot, you can also watch previous webinars hosted by KISSmetrics to learn firsthand.
LeadPages loves webinars so much that they host 2-3 a week. In 2014, LeadPages hosted over 200 webinars and they saw a 30% conversion rate from attendees to new customers.
Here's what they learned from all of those webinars:
- Simplify your lessons and get to the point
- Pre-load your webinar funnel by providing content they can use before the webinar
- Improving the opt-in process increases conversions at the end of the webinar
- Have a backup plan for technical issues
- Make your offer the obviously easier path
- Be passionate about your message
LeadPages used webinars to go from zero customers to over 25,000 in just two years. If that doesn't get you fired up about using webinars in your business, I don't know what will.
Wondering where to begin?