The term webinar and the basic concept it represents are nothing new. We’ve all attended one of these web-seminars at some point or other. You may also be noticing that when it comes to use as a marketing tool, webinars are becoming more common. As a potential audience member, how many webinar invites on average do you receive weekly? If you are on the end that is sending out the invites, this means you are competing for the precious time of your intended audience.
Here’s the deal – webinars are not going anywhere. In fact, their importance, especially when it comes to being used as a marketing tool, is only increasing. This post is intended to not only help marketers understand why that is, but also give insight into how to best optimize your webinar program and ensure you are getting in front of as many sales ready leads as possible.
As all of us in the sales and marketing world know, buyers have so much information at their fingertips that they are not reaching out to sales as early in the buying cycle as they used to. Latest studies show that 64% of buyers are opting to self educate, which is translating to 56% of the sales cycle being complete by the time they are ready to get on the phone. While we can’t force our buyers to call us, we need to find other ways to get in front of them and offer them the ability to start a dialog as early as possible. And this, my friends, is where webinars come in.
Why webinars? Well, for one, unlike Twitter or other forms of social media, it offers a long format delivery. The sales process, especially B2B sales, can be complex and you don’t want to rush your message. Further to this, this medium allows you to learn about your buyers as you deliver your message, through robust tracking and analytics. This is powerful as it In the same way that companies like Netflix study their customer activity to understand their customer preferences, webinar analytics provide marketers with insight into what types of webinar delivery methods resonate the best with their respective audience. So, where webinars used to be mainly used at the beginning of the sales cycle – to promote awareness – we are now seeing companies deliver webinar programs throughout all the major stages of the buyers journey, all the way down to the decision making.