If I ask you what’s your content marketing plan for the upcoming quarter, one of your answers will probably be doing a few Webinars.
Here is how this goes … Full of motivation and energy, you want to launch a Webinar. You have found an interesting topic with great content, you have convinced external co-speakers (e.g. partners or customers), you’ve built up the presentation and worked with your marketing operations team to set up the Webinar registration page, sent over the invitations by leveraging your contact database. You’ve monitored registrations during the one-month lead time you thought would be enough for proper promotion and you feel pretty satisfied because you got 30 registrants, which you feel is not too bad in the over-crowded B2B market.
But when the D-day for recording your Webinar arrives, the disillusion takes shape: only less than 10 people show up, with among them two customers, three partners, one competitor, a couple of university students and a hand of internal employees …
What went wrong?
Let’s try to analyze what happened.
1/ First of all, you didn’t think ROI. I mean that, unless you expected dozens of qualified participants, the cost of producing this Webinar would randomly be compensated by the generated marketing-sourced or influenced revenue.
2/ The poor result shows that your contact database might not be qualified enough, you will need to clean it up and create better segments. In some bad situations, your outgoing emails might even been considered as SPAM and land directly into the Junk folder of the recipients.
3/ The people you invited are busy, they might register for your Webinar with the true intent to participate but life catches them up and there is some high probability that some urgency comes up the D-Day.
4/ People’s mentality has evolved. They know that your content won’t disappear and will then be available on-demand. They create a task in Outlook to remember to check out the recording someday. Unfortunately this day never happens, leading at some stage to the deletion of this reminder task …
So why do I continue doing Webinars?
Personally, I believe Webinars are a good way to go deep with a topic. This is also an interactive format, especially if you are several speakers and have a Q&A at the end of the session.
A Webinar demonstrates thought leadership and creates a more personal relationship with the audience than simple white papers and solution briefs.
Youtube videos are great, I actually prefer Youtube videos to Webinars but unfortunately, there is no way for you to display a registration form on Youtube and capture the lead before watching the video. We’ll see actually below that my strategy consists in combing both approaches.
What’s my strategy to extend the lifespan of my Webinars?
My strategy consists in considering that the Webinar is not an event but an asset. This means that I don’t rely on the live Webinar broadcast to generate leads. I rather set up a traffic acquisition strategy to promote the Webinar as on-demand.
+++ Once this is in place, my second strategy is to leverage my product blog to publish several blog posts around the topic of the Webinar. I will add a few links to both the Youtube channel and the full recording, which will improve the SEO ranking of both the posts and the videos. When pointing to the full Webinar registration page, I use a second tracked link that indicates that the source is the product blog.
+++ Ultimately, I track this campaign activity by using our marketing automation tool. I use following metrics:
- number of views
- split by source (direct, youtube, blog)
- number of registrations
Those leads feed our contact database and flow then directly into specific nurturing campaigns that might be global or local.
This is how I turn a one-time online live event into a lasting marketing asset that will drive me traffic for the next 2 years. With this approach, the ROI naturally increases significantly as I cover the cost of producing this Webinar over 24 months.