Bolstered by the COVID-19 outbreak, the marketing industry has experienced unprecedented demand for digital content in the first half of 2020. Webinars, already a popular tool in most marketers’ playbooks, have stepped up to fill this need. Why? Because modern webinars are interactive. They encourage audience participation and help fill an information void. More marketers than ever are hosting webinars—some for the first time. Therefore, it’s important to remember that there is still such a thing as a good webinar experience. Webinar best practices should always be followed to ensure audience satisfaction and to help build on repeat (good) experiences. Keeping your company top of mind means your competition isn’t.
While much has changed in the webinar landscape, a webinar is still just that. So, the basic webinar best practices touted the past few years still apply. These include selecting a narrow point of focus to make it worthwhile for your audience. Beyond that, ensure the format is appropriate for your topic and audience (common formats include interviews, Q&As, panel discussions and presentations). Lastly, using tools to engage throughout.
According to InsideSales.com, 73% of marketing and sales leaders say webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads. That’s because they are engaging and generate high-quality, actionable leads. Plus, they can be formatted to apply to every point along the marketing funnel/customer journey (e.g. demo for bottom of funnel, customer testimonial for top of funnel). As sales teams struggle in the face of the 2020 industry landscape, webinars can help close the gap.
Webinars were already growing in popularity prior to the pandemic. But the cancellation of in-person industry events coupled with remote work mandates have skyrocketed the demand. According to ON24, the average number of webinars per month in 2019 was a little over 7,000. The number of webinars held in April 2020 alone was just over 19,000! Reaching your audience has never been more important, and virtual tools that harness webinar best practices make it easier. Take advantage of a screen-bound audience with a thirst for information by ramping up your efforts.
Whether conducting a one-on-one interview or hosting a moderated panel discussion, the speakers are the stars of the show. They set the tone for all that follows. Be sure to pick speakers with the right level of topic knowledge. Also consider mixing it up with experts across different specialties. It’s very important that speakers are their natural, authentic selves and carry the conversation without heavy reliance on slides or speaker notes.
Not only are most webinar attendees viewing from home these days, most presenters are doing so as well. This brings new logistical considerations into the webinar best practices mix, from how to get the best audio to good lighting. It also brings up technical issues like whether using two monitors is better or the best way to ensure a professional looking backdrop. Now’s the time to take cues from folks who have lots of experience doing remote webinars and their recommendations.
Have questions about the 2020 marketing landscape? Want to share your recent webinar experiences? Connect with us! Drop us a line or message us directly on our social channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We’d love to hear from you!
Author: Stacy Greenberg, Content Manager, Outlook Marketing Services
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